Kevin Meynard set up his graduate recruitment company, Gradraft, in June this year, following his own experiences of the graduate recruitment process. In our latest Friday Five interview, Kevin explains what makes his business unique

1. Why did you start your business?

I was a graduate myself in 2012 and experienced the difficulties that many graduates have in applying for and getting a job. The model where students apply for listed vacancies seemed very inefficient. Desperate students would apply for dozens of jobs, meaning recruiters had hundreds of applications to wade through.

2. What makes your business different?

We’ve turned the usual model of graduates applying for jobs on its head. Instead, graduates create a profile and are added to our database of candidates who are then targeted by companies looking to recruit.

We were inspired by the process American Football teams use for selecting players, known as the draft system. Teams choose a player from a pool of eligible players and the selection will be based on the strategic factors and criteria set by the team.
We’ve developed an algorithm to enable us to search for suitable candidates. It incorporates a degree of flexibility, to ensure that the most suitable candidates are selected.

3. What challenges do you face in running your business?

We have two very different sets of customers; candidates and recruiters. And it can be a challenge to get the right mix of the two. It’s a bit of a chicken and egg situation. It can be particularly difficult to get students to sign up. We’ve done a fair bit of marketing, visiting careers fairs and we have reps placed around the country on campuses to recruit students.

4. Tell us about your work/life balance

We’re applying for an accelerator programme to help raise our profile and I had to work late to get that finished last night.

Generally, I work from home, so I can find it hard to leave work alone. There’s always another email to send or piece of work to finish.

But I don’t mind the long hours. Previously I worked in finance and construction. The hours were shorter and the pay good, but I would rather work long hours, for less pay, doing something I really enjoy.

5. Where would you like your business to be in 12 months’ time?

At the moment we’re working on improving the website and adding some more features. We’d like to give graduates the opportunity to upload video. We’ll be introducing some numeracy and verbal-reasoning tests, too.

We’d also like to expand into Europe and build an international network of top graduates, which has always been our goal since day one. Because we’re heavily technology based, the process should be relatively simple and not require extensive capital.