Finding valuable work experience whilst at University or a decent job after is a challenge for most students and graduates. We catch up with founder of thestudentjob Jack Tang to find out about his efforts to solve the problem.
What is your business?
thestudentjob.com is a real-time location based student job site. It is a platform for students to find casual one-off and part time jobs within their local area. Businesses looking to hire talented, flexible and local staff are able to post jobs on our website based on a listing fee pricing structure – convenient and simple. Our website automatically match-makes the job listing with the most suitable candidate based on it’s location, interests and job requirements – the students most suitable for each job is notified via a notification feed as well as direct email message. Thestudentjob.com is more than a job site, it is a social network friendly enabling students to communicate directly with employers through business profiles, each student has their personal “Linkedin” style profile to showcase their talent and skills.
Beyond money making opportunities, some businesses on our platform offer student promotions and discounts. These money saving opportunities are made available to student members via promotional messages appearing on their Dashboard feeds similar to Facebook feeds. All in all, thestudentjob.com offer money making and money saving opportunities to both student and businesses alike.
What University do you attend?
Explain exact moment you got ‘entrepreneur’ fever?
Business has always been apart of my DNA, at the age of 12, I was selling bespoke computer systems. Back then I built computers to order, brought computer hardware in bulk, put together computers and sold it on to friends and neighbours. I looked at ways to expand my micro business but accidently found my passion for web development.
Where did the idea come from?
The idea initially came from brainstorming ideas to help students to find extra cash from casual opportunities. Initially the idea was a platform to aggregate all domestic help opportunities i.e. cleaning out garages / mowing lawns. However, we though for this website to scale quickly and successfully, we should concentrate on offering casual job opportunities to students from businesses instead
When was your business founded?
My latest business venture thestudentjob.com officially went into its beta phrase on the 10th October 2011, however, we have been working on developing the product for over 6 months. Since then we’ve had over 7,500 students registered with us with over 40+ businesses offering job opportunities.
How does your business make money?
Thestudentjob.com makes money via several revenue streams, these include:
- listing fees from job listings
- direct marketing facilities for businesses to do real-time targeted marketing
- advertising spaces on the website
- graduate sponsorships
Further down the line, we hope to open up other potential revenue streams from HR services and consultancy.
What’s your USP?
Our 3 key USP(s) are:
• Our website offers real-time and location based job search service which is unheard in this field
• Our pricing policy is unique compared to others, we charge a listing fee, we do not charge a percentage of the salary paid etc. A simple one off listing fee from £1.99 per vacancy!
• We are the first employment social networking platform that gives Businesses and students a reason to continually return to our site for both employment (money making) and promotional (money saving) opportunities
What is your main form of advertising?
Our main form of advertising at the moment would be using social media marketing, fresher fairs, the word of mouth and seminars where we’ve presented our website to the students. However, we intend to do more advertising by doing more of what we’ve been doing and compete with our competitors in the search engines!
Who are your main competitors?
The market environment for thestudentjob.com is a niche focus in the casual work market. Currently there are no other job sites that offer real-time and location based casual job opportunities. The main competitors offer a job board facility that we offer as a subsidiary product. I have carried out extensive research in the competition, their membership base, years in operation as well as search engine market research.
I have carried out search engine market research purely to compete head to head with our competition on organic web traffic. Since our launch 3 weeks ago (10th October 2011), we are now competing head to head on the page 1 on the keyword “Student Job”.
Our main competitors, offer similar but differentiated product which we have innovated and improved. Our main competitors include:
Currently we have 7,500 registered members which equates to 0.5% market share, with my direct access to students, university societies and the like – I am very confident that I will be able to grow this membership 10 folds within the next few years.
What is your most memorable moment so far?
The most memorable moment has been watching our membership graph increasing every other second after the day we’ve launched our pre-registration page. We teamed up with Jim Eastwood (BBC Apprentice 2011) who promoted our website on his Facebook page with 70k + fans.
What is your worst moment?
So far, the journey has been very enjoyable – although if I had to choose the worst moment, it would be having to prepare for many long back-breaking formal meetings! haha
What’s your DON’T do for budding student entrepreneurs?
If you have a great idea, don’t just sit there and do nothing about it. Make it happen, go out there do some market research, if you thing there is a need for it, do it! Make a design, prototype and trial test it. Don’t be afraid to take risks while you are young, start young and you’ll have an added advantage amongst your peers. Work hard and don’t give up, talk to people to get advise or motivation – don’t be afraid to share your ideas, the chances are that someone will want to hear about it and help you.
What can we look forward to?
We have plans to introduce an iPhone app early 2012, this will enable students to find job and discount opportunities on the go. So to walk you through the jobs:
1. Tom has the TSJ iPhone app
2. He goes shopping with his friends on Oxford Street, he walks pass a job location i.e. a location that has a job listing on thestudentjob.com
3. A push notification will appear on his phone saying “Bob’s Sandwich bar is looking for 2 students for this Saturday, Click here to view more”
4. Tom applies for the job, gets accepted and turns up for the shift this weekend
Further to this I will continue to do great things, innovate and bring great ideas to life. I see myself running thestudentjob.com successfully after university and continue with this to help thousands of students on a daily basis to find work, help students to make money and be able to fund themselves through university without leaving with a huge debt for life.
How can we find out more about the business?