Named “Best Recruitment Start up” at the Europa Awards last year, Intern Avenue is a multi-award-winning recruitment platform designed to connect the thousands of employers who collectively expend huge annual budgets sourcing and selecting from the large pool of potential student and graduate candidates (“interns”).
The Technology - The platform acquires and standardises candidate data using proprietary algorithms and processes to create an automated candidate recommendation and matching engine. In short, we play match-maker helping the best fit candidates connect with the right employers.
For Employers - Intern Avenue finds and differentiates quickly between candidates who match open positions, aiming to reduce the time and expense of the traditional recruitment process.
For Candidates - Intern Avenue automatically matched them with position which suit their skills and markets them in a secure and private environment to the employers most likely to hire them.
With the cost of graduate recruitment reaching anything up to £3bn each year for UK companies (ILM 2011), Human Capital (even at entry-level) is important business. Increasingly, companies are investing in talent early using internships and placement schemes. In fact they are becoming the established transition between academic and professional life; in some industries it is now expected that a third of their entry-level intake will come from such programs (HighFliers 2013).
Despite demand for this talent, we see the lack of adequate recruitment support and affordable hiring options as a major factor in the high rate of graduate unemployment (currently 7.3% as of January 2014), causing long-term employment issues for candidates. Even short periods of not being in education, employment or training at early age can lead to a £50k lifetime wage loss, costing UK an estimated £77bn/yr (Impetus, 2014). While candidates struggle to stand out, employers (particularly SMEs) have increasing problems finding the right talent. By way of example, skills shortage vacancies nearly doubled since 2009 even though employers receive 85 applications per graduate job advertised (UKCES, 2014).
In our view, currently most employers must settle for very limited exposure to the potential market. And that many HR offerings are expensive, labour intensive or mass market solutions designed to provide interested applicants (irrespective of relevance or suitability). These include: campus recruiting, job boards, vacancy posting on the company’s own website, using agencies, accepting speculative applications, CV databases, or social networks; all of which we consider having the potential to be slow, undifferentiated, time-consuming and expensive.
Intern Avenue’s competitive advantage is in technology and approach. Our system is built on Primary Predictive Profiling. The site’s candidate recommendation engine is designed to act like a talent aggregator, job post, candidate screen and applicant manager in one. It has been built to allow our clients to be able to assess and hire good quality talent within days rather than months.
Substantial accomplishments to date
Intern Avenue launched in late 2012. Its brand is a registered trademark and the business has a international patent pending for its matching technology.
Press and Recognition:- Intern Avenue has attracted some high profile features include articles in the Financial Times and Evening Standard, and successfully pitching on Dragons Den. In addition, Intern Avenue has won a number of awards including:-
· Winner – BBC Dragons Den 2013
· Winner – Europa Award 2013 - Best Recruitment Start Up
· Winner – Business of Software 2013 - Avangate Scholarship
· Semi-Finalist – CISCO BIG Award 2013
· Winner – Blackbox Accelerator Program - Silicon Valley 2014
· Finalist – We Own It Global Venture Competition - USA 2014
· Commissioner – Future of Work Government Project 2014
Traction:- The site is generating early revenues.Our clients include AOL UK, Carphone Warehouse, and Gymbox.
Intern Avenue is free for candidates to join. We also offers prospective employers the opportunity to preview the talent pool for free providing a ‘best-fit’ list of candidates for certain roles.
"All you can hire" basic packages start from as little as £26 per week.
Intern Avenue charges employers a simple subscription that offers unmetered platform access for a defined period of time. . We aim to offer a range of options for businesses of all sizes.
The value for SMEs is that cyclical and ad hoc intern support can be in their office in a matter of days even for unknown employer brands. The value for blue chips is that they can target their hiring process towards desirable qualified candidates who they might not otherwise capture.
Use of proceeds
Intern Avenue seeks capital for further development, sales, and marketing. This capital will be used to grow its FT team and hire additional dedicated sales and marketing people to handle the enquiries we are receiving.
We see a large and identifiable group of companies who have recruitment practices and needs that provide a strong product/market fit with our service. Intern Avenue will initially target employers located in high demand locations, SMEs and large sized businesses and/or key graduate sectors. We think this group is likely to be the most valuable for our company and will be targeted over the next two years. The size of the business will determine the sales and targeting approach that is taken to acquire them as a customer and the lead cost associated with acquired the customers.
We will look initially at two groups of business customer who we believe could benefit from using our service:-
Small Businesses (Under 50 Staff):
Business leader is hiring leader
Unlikely to have formal application process
Wants high applicant quality
No Formal HR function / structure
No time to filter
No Career Site
Not well known to students
At risk of offering “illegal” unpaid internships
Require guidance and possibly paperwork
Looking for no-hassle online solution
Medium and Large Businesses (Over 50 Staff):
Has HR function
Actively target less than 15 universities
Wants to target specific candidates types
Spend a fortune on advertising for talent
Has some careers site / information
May have an identifiable brand
Has larger or more structured hiring need
Has dedicated HR Budget
Our value for SMEs is that cyclical and ad hoc intern support can be in their office in a matter of days even for unknown employer brands. Our value for larger organisations is that they can target their hiring process towards desirable qualified candidates who they might not otherwise capture.
Characteristics of target market
UK employers are amongst the largest consumers of flexible labour in Europe. Graduates offer businesses exceptional value for money and provide an average return of £5 for every £1 spent on them. It is therefore unsurprising that most of the “recruiting employers” recruited at least one young person and overall 44 per cent of all employers recruited a young person in the last two to three years. This represents an increase of 14% from the preceding two years. There is a growing market of UK companies looking to hire from a large motivated population of 2.3 million students and 1.6m recent graduates annually. The majority of recruiters (96%) use online promotions for vacancies. A recent Highfliers survey revealed that candidates with no work experience are unlikely to get a permanent graduate job so both sides of the market are eager to connect.
We see our proposition resonating with SMEs seeking year round talent hires and enterprise customers who wish to target demographics not usually captured by their traditional hiring cycles.
The company has identified the most appropriate on-line and off-line marketing channels to engage users and will use funding to build its market exposure.
There is a well thought out and coherent “go to market” plan which will include a combination of direct sales, targeted email marketing, PR, telemarketing, Linkedin and Professional Affiliations and/or partnerships. We have begun identifying marketing channels which are ROI positive and are refining our sales and marketing approach.
Using this data, the sales team can create a targeted approach to the sectors where we believe there is likely to be highest success and also ensure that we have candidates who are likely to be able to serve them.
In our view, job boards (general or niche specific advertising), recruitment agencies (temporary or permanent), campus / careers services, video and CV libraries (general or specific), and even social media platforms do little to automate and simplify the process of targeting the most qualified individuals quickly without hassle. Intern Avenue uses its technology to automate much of this process reducing the time, cost, and hassle involved in acquiring high quality junior talent.
Intern Avenue’s proprietary technology is designed to differentiate itself in three ways: -
1. Profiling – By automatically ranks candidate suitability for key business roles based on their qualifications and skills.
2. Product – By providing a user-friendly interface designed to make finding good candidates fast and easy.
3. Predictive Selection – By automating the matching and filtering process to provide higher applicant quality. We continually profile each candidate across a number of variables to assess evidence of basic competencies for different sectors. We will refine this process over time but some of our initial customers have found that they are able to hire within a matter of days.