Ben WoodsEurope Editor
Ben is a technology journalist with a specialism in mobile devices and a geeky love of mobile spectrum issues. Ben used to be a professional Ben is a technology journalist with a specialism in mobile devices and a geeky love of mobile spectrum issues. Ben used to be a professional online poker player. You can contact him via Twitter or on Google+.
People often say that finding a new job is a full-time job in itself, but with a wealth of different companies, agencies and platforms already focusing on the recruitment space, and LinkedIn working overtime to retain its crown of the defacto platform for professionals, is there really room for another entrant to the UK market? The Muse hopes so.
First launched in the US around three years ago, the company has attracted $2.8 million of investment to date and has been slowly building its brand to become an established career ‘one-stop-shop’ for the millennial generation.
“The Muse is aspiring to become the most respected career brand in the world, in particular, we are targeting a very savvy millennial type that is asking questions like ‘what do I want to do with my life and how do I get there?’,” founder and CEO Kathryn Minshew explained to TNW.
Now, it’s ready to bring its blend of career advice, editorial content and job listings to users in London.
Interestingly, even without actually launching in London, the capital was consistently in the company’s top three cities (by users), which is what ultimately led to its realization that it needed a formal presence. It’s not just aimed at people in London though, it’s also useful for people looking to relocate.
“[London] has a very unique status as a global draw for great talent, so you have all of these talented individuals across the world who would, I think, end up wanting to move to London if the right opportunity were to arise. We also want to help London companies attract talent from around the world,” Minshew said.
With many career-focused businesses and job boards already available to UK users, The Muse hopes to stand out from the crowd by providing a mix of career advice, professional development opportunities and training, job listings and behind-the-scenes videos and interviews with employees of the UKs best-known companies – ahead of this launch, it’s lined up content from the likes of Onefinestay and Uber.
Each day, it adds eight new pieces of original editorial content focused on things like negotiating a raise or being a better boss.
The company doesn’t do any recruitment or headhunting for the brands that use its platform; it simply provides the materials for users to peruse opportunities and then take things further, if they wish.
Minshew explained that users can browse by job or by company, which she says is useful because they want users who are as interested in the culture and environment as much as the role. “A lot of people save companies for later – so even if they aren’t hiring right now, they may be down the line,” she added.
As well as browsing via the Jobs tab, people can find jobs via the on-site content – so if there’s an article about working at the cutting edge of fashion, the team will highlight potential positions within that sector.
“Our editorial team highlights interesting opportunities people may not have heard of to help them understand what’s possible,” Minshew explained. “So many people are limited by the careers they know about – they know what their parents do or what they’ve seen on television – but there are so many different opportunities out there that we want people to know about and explore in a very content and image-focused way.”
Searching for a job is hard. Searching for a job that you don’t even know exists is virtually impossible. Minshew hopes that by taking a more all encompassing approach to recruitment and careers, people will be able to discover previously unconsidered possibilities for their future careers.
“The aspirations that most people hold for their careers don’t fit in a search bar. It’s very difficult to distill what you want to do with your life down into three keywords for a mass job search. I think many people prefer to browse and discover different opportunities, and be drawn in that way,” Minshew said.
Interestingly though, Minshew never wants active job seekers to be The Muse’s only audience, hence the focus on all the additional editorial content.
“People are thinking about their career even when they’re not looking to change jobs, they’re still thinking about how to be more effective, how to get ahead, how to get a raise, and that’s good – that’s the new normal,” she explained. “I never want us to be a site that only targets active job seekers.”
For users, all the content on the site is completely free; The Muse makes money by charging the companies looking to recruit new staff, which makes sense given that they’re the ones with big recruitment budgets. As part of the monthly subscription fee for businesses, The Muse also produces a mix of photo and/or video content, thereby promoting them more prominently to new talent.
Whether or not Londoners – or indeed, London-based businesses, which is more critical – will flock to The Muse is unknown, but with strong usage figures on the ground even ahead of the launch, it seems likely that officially opening for business can only help.
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