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WorkingMums is a recently-launched online service in the UK that displays flexible jobs opprtunities for women.

Started last year by Gillian Nissim, a working Mum herself, the business has been profitable since November and has signed up 600 employers. We asked Gillian about her experiences of launching a start-up and her plans for the future.

How's the site going? What figures can you give us?
It’s going well. We launched just over a year ago and it’s been gathering momentum. We ran the service for free until October last year, in order to prove the concept and build up our databases. We’ve got 5,000 Mums registered currently, and about 700 employers. We’re working on search engine optimisation and pay per click campaigns to increase volumes.

What interest have you had from employers?
If you pick up any newspaper at the moment, there is a real economic need to attract women back to the workplace. There’s a real need economically and socially to attract women into the working environment.

Employers are finding more and more that it is a less expensive way of attracting and retaining experienced and talented people, and we’re seeing that through the website. The government’s also been very pro-active in getting women back to work, and the Conservatives have also put flexible working very high on the agenda.

How are you monetising the site?
It’s free for Mums to register and we work on a classified advertising model, so companies pay to post job ads online and for other services like advertorials, banner advertising, sponsored emails and so on. Also, given our market, as we grow we will be looking at other advertisers that want to reach working Mums. We’re working on employers for now but that’s on the agenda.

What are you doing to increase the amount of listings on the site?
We certainly want to grow that. We have a lot of SMEs coming to us, but more and more agencies and corporates are finding out about us. We’re putting structures in place to improve our product offering for different types of employers. So we’d definitely like to see some significant growth and that’s what we’re gearing up for in the coming months.

How big do you think your market potentially is?
It’s very hard to put a figure on it, because we’re attractive to everyone from one man bands to large corporates.

Are the mainstream job sites catering to your audience effectively?
Not particularly. We’ve got quite a nice niche market in a way – we’re offering employers a way to go straight to a particular market; people that want to work flexibly.

The bigger job sites do offer part time jobs but they have a very wide audience. We have a particular type of candidate and a particular quality of candidate too – if you look through the profiles of candidates, they are very experienced.

We offer a lot of transparency – Mums can choose to post career profiles on the site, and employers that register can see that information. That’s a really powerful sales tool because people can test the water.

What are you doing in terms of social media?
That’s going to be key. We’re going to make the blog more dynamic, but we will definitely make it a place for working Mums to come and talk with other Mums, get information and advice, and perhaps shop as well.


Published 13 August, 2007 by Richard Maven

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