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Job Bounties is founded by recruitment entrepreneur, James Uffindell, who believes the UK recruitment industry is far too expensive, with the cost per hire in the UK double that in the US.

To counter this, he recently launched Job Bounties, which takes the principles of social recruitment databases like LinkedIn and adds a new type of social P2P business model that isn’t advertising revenue based or controlled by recruitment agencies.

I've been asking James about the thinking behind Job Bounties, and its plans for the future. 

In one sentence, what is Job Bounties?

Job Bounties aims to fundamentally disrupt the world's recruitment industry by being the first peer-to-peer recruitment network that let's you get rewarded for who you know. You headhunt your friends for cash; your friends get great jobs, you get real money, 'simples'!

What problem/s does Job Bounties solve?

We want to solve the issue of recruitment being too expensive. The average cost of hiring someone in UK is over £5,000. In an economy where we need to get everyone back to work, this needs to change fast.

Firms want to hire, but if the costs of finding the people they need for their business are too great, they won't. Everyone has contacts they can reach through their social networks, Job Bounties allows users to earn real money by suggesting jobs for these connections.

These networks are fast and low cost - now everyone can use them.

When and why did you launch it?

Job Bounties just went live on Wednesday (November 14). I came up with the idea for the site over a few years running a small business. I realised the economics of the recruitment industry just weren't working properly and I was struggling to find the right staff.

Firms were allocating too high a cost to finding the best people for their business, however referrals are proven to the most successful way of filling jobs (30% of jobs get filled this way), so we thought let's put it all online and save firms a ton of money at the same time, plus help them get their jobs out to more people. 

Who is your target audience?

As we're crowdsourcing recruitment we're all about building a Job Bounties crowd. Initially we're just focused on London, with £25k to £100k roles in finance, consulting, online, FMCG and IT.

We feel that by being niche our crowd of users will have a super clear proposition about how we can help them.

What are your immediate goals?

We've already trialled the referral system so we know it works - people love recommending jobs to each other. With the site now, our immediate goals are to generate as many referrals, leading to applications leading to successful placements as possible.

We want our users to be earning lots of nice bounties!

What were the biggest challenges involved in building Job Bounties?

The role of an entrepreneur is to think about how something 'should work' and be impatient about getting to that point. For us, every firm should rationally have a price they are willing to pay to fill a job and then only pay that price if the job gets filled - it's basic economics.

Our challenge involves working with HR departments. Most of them are great, however some of them are slow to get new concepts, they are stuck in their ways and don't fundamentally grasp what a killer proposition we have - i.e. 'set the price you want for your job, only pay if you hire' - it defines 'no brainer'.

There is literally no risk to using the service, but as obvious as that sounds, some people still just don't get it - so overcoming that is our biggest challenge. 

How will the company make money?

We take a cut of a bounty. Essentially we're a market place matching buyers and sellers and charging a commission for a successful transaction. The great thing from a business angle is that it's a highly scaleable, low overhead model.

We need strong community engagement to grow the proposition, so we have also decided to offer double-bounties for the initial launch phase. Everyone is a winner - companies cut their recruitment costs, users earn bounties, people get jobs and we earn fees, but only when our clients (the recruiters) are happy!  

Who is in your team?

I'm super lucky as I've got a team small in number but mighty in the fun and execution department. They are both great to work with and are 100% professionals. Rob Fenech (@robertfenech) is our IT whizz and Chloe Daniel (@chloeeyesopen) is our highly organised COO and keeps the whole show on track (!)

Where would you like to be in one, three and five year’s time?

  • One year: the de facto job site in the UK having scaled from London. 
  • Three year: de facto job site globally. Ambitious I know, but why not?
  • Five years: working on some new business idea I haven't even thought of yet, as well as doing that Ironman triathlon I've always talk about. 

Other than Job Bounties, what are your favourite websites / apps / tools?

I am a massive fan of www.housebites.com. It’s a great concept that has some entrepreneurial flair about it that I greatly admire.

The founder, Simon Prockter, who had a successful speed dating enterprise on his CV, identified the gap in the market that we have all recognised and suffered from (dodgy takeaways!) and disrupted the market by introducing gourmet takeaway dining with local produce by a roster of local chefs.

Also, www.neardesk.com, a great way for people to work flexibly!

Itchy feet? Why not head over to our jobs board to check out the latest digital marketing jobs.

Graham Charlton

Published 19 November, 2012 by Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton is the former Editor-in-Chief at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter or connect via Linkedin or Google+

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