Jamie Mistlin and Anna Taylor

Jamie Mistlin tells us how frustration with the temporary job market led to the development of his online recruitment service

Frustrated with the whole process of recruitment agencies Jamie Mistlin and Anna Taylor decided to design a new system where employers and candidates could communicate directly with each other. Jamie Mistlin talks us through the birth of

Name: Jamie Mistlin and Anna Taylor Age: 27 and 24 Business: Type of business: Online recruitment service for students and graduates of all ages Start date: September 2006

When did you first decide you wanted to start your own business? We have always been enterprising people so the idea of starting our own business was a prospect that excited us both. As students we became aware of some of the flaws in the current recruitment agency model, we saw a gap in the market and were keen to fill it. So in many ways, starting our own business was a natural development.

Tell us about your business The site allows companies to book temporary workers directly via our bespoke fully-automated online system. Both parties can even negotiate the hourly rates directly online. We do not filter or distribute CVs! Instead candidates market themselves directly to companies via the website. Additionally, companies are able to search our database and send their jobs directly to candidates at a press of a button.

Was it your first business idea and where did it come from?Anna and I have had several possible business ideas, however in devising, we felt that time was of the essence and this was an opportunity which needed our immediate attention: we saw a distinct gap in the market and we went for it!

The concept of the business model was inspired by our negative experiences within the temporary job market. Whilst working as temps we both became frustrated by the whole approach. Likewise we found that companies were irritated by receiving unsuitable candidates.

What research did you do? We spent about 6 months putting together the business. We had to research the recruitment industry both on and offline, the legislation governing the industry and all the other pieces of the jigsaw needed to start the business.

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How much did it cost to start the business and how did you fund this?In the region of £250,000. Initially we approached the banks and had a couple of options on the table. We actually turned down an offer from the bank to provide a 40% unsecured loan. We managed to find a private investor who was so passionate about what we doing and loved the business model.

Tell us about your website. How important is it to your business? Our website is our business. We employed a web consultancy to design and build the system. We were extremely hands on in every part of the process and would not tolerate anything short of perfection. The whole design and build of the site took around 9 months. What about staff, is it just you? We have outsourced a lot of functions, including website maintenance, design, payroll and accounts, legal and PR. We are fortunate to have a large pool of talented friends and family who we can call upon should we require their services. We have just taken on around 25 campus representatives and within the next month we are looking for full-time members of staff.

Where do you hope to be in 12 months time?In 12 months time our goal is to be one of the leading student and graduate recruitment services.


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