Case Study: TheJobCrowd.com
In this case study, Natasha Freeman shares her experience using crowdsourcing. Natasha and her business partner, Keren Mitchell, won a Shell LiveWIRE Grand Ideas Award in December 2010.
Natasha and Keren are co-founders of TheJobCrowd.com, a careers resource that tells students, graduates and jobseekers what different careers, jobs and companies are really like by providing job reviews written by the employees themselves.
Keren and I both graduated in the last few years and, when setting out on our graduate career paths, felt frustrated by the information that was available on different graduate jobs. All of the information seemed to either be very top level and general, or was provided by the companies themselves and so was overly rosy. We found the questions that we most wanted answering weren't truthfully answered anywhere: 'What will I be doing on a day-to-day basis?!', 'What are the people like at the company?, etc. We wanted to know what different jobs would really involve before starting, but found it impossible to know without actually starting! We soon found that other graduates felt the same.
We were convinced that we could leverage the power of the Internet to gain scale and accessibility to allow a relatively small team to shake up the graduate recruitment industry and help people find better-suited jobs by greatly improving the quality of information available.
There is no question that we have only been able to turn TheJobCrowd into a leading source of graduate careers information because of the power of croudsourcing and the accessibility of information on the site:
1. Using a 'crowdsourced' approach to content creation
It would take an inordinately large amount of time and resources to find out what it's really like to work in every single job out there. Sites like TripAdvisor and Wikipedia have shown the incredible breadth of coverage and scale that can be achieved by asking users to provide the content. For our site, asking employees to write the reviews of their jobs and companies has the added benefit that they are the experts - no one knows what it is like to do a job better than the person doing it!
2. Accessibility for Users
Perhaps more importantly, the 'insider' careers information that we are collecting is instantly available for everyone, for free. Previously, if you wanted to know what it was really like to be a lawyer, you would need to sit down and have a coffee with a lawyer yourself. But not everyone is fortunate enough to have the contacts to know someone working in every job out there, so access to the crucial 'insider' career information is limited to those with the contacts. The great thing about TheJobCrowd is that we are collecting that same information that you might get by sitting down and having a coffee with a lawyer and putting it online - where everyone can access it!
More on Crowdsourcing
If you have any more questions on crowdsourcing, the Shell LiveWIRE Discussion Forum is the perfect place to ask. You can get great advice from your fellow entrepreneurs, business experts and the Shell LiveWIRE staff.