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Reviewing wikijob.co.uk - a truly recruitment 2.0 site

posted by Alex Hens
12 November 2008

The guys over at MyLongLunch (who look to "harnesses the power of online community to connect the advertising industry") come through every once in a while and ask me to cast my critical eye over a site or job board that has caught their eye for their (often irreverent) weekly newsletter. Here's what I made of this site: Soooo – this week’s challenge from the MLL crew was to really get down with the kids and review a site called www.wikijob.co.uk (not to be confused with a job board to recruit 6ft 11’ hirsute bipeds (WookieeJob), a job site for employers in a Somerset village famous for it’s hole (WookeyJob) or the .com wikijobs variant that you can buy at a snip for $25,000 – oh, I’ll take 3 please!). WikiJob is “designed to let students and graduates find out what careers, employers and interviews are really like. It is the first candidate focused graduate recruitment website and the largest graduate job search community on the internet.” Well – you gotta expect a grand claim or 2 when you’re talking websites. Let’s start at the beginning shall we. A wiki is a “page or collection of Web pages designed to enable anyone who accesses it to contribute or modify content.” The best known is of course Wikipedia – and if you still don’t know what I’m talking about then either ask your secretary who printed this off for you to read to explain the concept or else go straight to the bottom of this piece because this isn’t going to get any easier. This site has been going for about a year I’m reliably informed and with unique user numbers touching the 100,000pm mark this is becoming one of those “ignore at your peril” type sites. So what’s it about? Well basically it’s a focal point for people (well – graduates & undergraduates - and they’re like real people, just generally newer) to impart their knowledge about companies and/or tell of their experiences through the various recruitment processes they encounter on their adventures. This then has grown into a self-supporting community with a career seeking bent that, at break neck speed, has developed into a valuable “between the lines” resource and virtual meeting place for keen job seekers. The site isn’t pretty – but it’s not meant to be. If you’re like me and wanting to meander through it to review then it’s all pretty bland, but I’m nowhere close to target audience and the value/relevance lies in the content. Now if I was a graduate looking for what I can really expect from submitting my application to XXXX Corp, wanted some real tips or wanted to see behind the carefully crafted marketing front that’s so skilfully created (by the likes of me) to find out what the job might actually be like then this is what I’d really want to read. I could so easily slip into the usual “the web today is a conversational not a broadcast medium”, but suffice to say this kinda site is the epitome of the former and in short generating the kind of user generated content, true community engagement and therefore probably reach that established publishers would kill for. It doesn’t currently have any advertising model (although that’s about to change – so if you’ve got any budget for 2008-09 grad recruitment left I think you’d do a lot worse than giving this site a pop (consider it more an educated bet than an outright gamble)), but that’s only part of what you should be doing with such a site. If you’re in anyway responsible for a client who’s recruiting grads, and you may have to help them with this, then they need to be listening, learning from and ideally partaking in any conversation that’s taking place about them. You/your client may feel it’s too hard to do so right across the web, but with 100k potentially relevant candidates a month (and their user breakdown ain’t half bad either) coming to this site then the nice people at WikiJob have created a focal point where a significant amount of relevant internet chatter is in one place for you to start getting with the web2.0 programme. I think wikijobs.co.uk is a clever move by Edward & Chris (founders) and has tonnes of potential. Starting with the web2.0 aufait student and grad community was of course the only way to start – but surely turning it main stream is the next natural step in some shape or form (although whether they’d be able to rise to the magnitude of that challenge without some serious VC backing is something only time will tell). And for those who have been in the job board game for quite a while - I think they’ll be looking at this site (if not just the URL) in a couple of years and wondering why they weren’t able to come up with this and take it to market first themselves.