Startup Corner: Meet Adzuna

Interview with Doug Monro, co-founder of Adzuna.

Adzuna is a search engine for job ads. We aim to make it easier for you to find the right job locally – and soon properties and cars too. We search thousands of sites so you don’t have to, bring together millions of ads so you can find them all in one place, and organize them with useful features so that you can easily find what you need.

Hello Doug, how are you doing?

Great, thank you. I love your logo – do all talking dogs want to work in startups or just that one? We might have a role for him/her.

Can you please give us some information about your background? Did you start any other companies before Adzuna?

I’ve been lucky enough to be involved in some great web businesses for nearly 10 years. I started a consumer finance website called back in the late 90s, but had no idea what I was doing. Then I got a job at eBay as head of strategy a few years later, built up Gumtree for them after acquisition and then helped Alex, Simon & team build Zoopla pretty much from scratch as COO there for the last 3 years.

How did you come up with the idea of Adzuna?

Andrew (Hunter, my co-founder) and I had both worked together at Gumtree a few years ago. We knew the local classifieds market well and we saw the frustration consumers go through every day in searching lots and lots of different sites to try to catch all the relevant job ads on the market.

Search engines that bring all this content together aren’t new – but (after one too many beers) we realized that the current ones haven’t fulfilled their potential because none have built a product consumers truly love or taken advantage of new technologies in social, data and personalization that can take job search to the next level. Hence was born, a search engine that aims to list every job vacancy in the UK – and already comes pretty close.

How many people are currently behind Adzuna and how did the team evolve?

We’re currently at around 10 and that’s a great team size: lean, mean, focused and fast-moving. Initially it was just Andrew and I hatching a plan and working in our evenings and weekends – then we persuaded George our lead developer and then Angelos our front end guy to join us, raised some seed funding from some great investors, and started to build the team and product from there.

What can you tell us about your company culture? What do you do for fun?

We’re cheapskates: you have to be when you’re bootstrapping! But that doesn’t stop us taking the team out for lunch or to the pub for a drink to celebrate achievements or welcome a new staff member.

We’re totally informal, and believe that every idea is worthwhile, whoever it comes from. But we also set high standards and expectations.

We truly believe in virtual working and flexibility. Our tech team is in Athens, the rest of us in London, but even so we’re often out and about or working from home, so almost all of our business is conducted via tools like Skype, google docs, dropbox etc.

Can you describe the ideal employee for Adzuna? What are the essential qualities that would make her blend in?

Boundless energy, incredible capacity for hard work, an irrational belief in the Adzuna product and a passion to tell the world about it. Plus smarts, a great sense of humour and the kind of flexible attitude that finds the fast-changing world of a start-up energising rather than scary!

What job positions do you currently have available?

We’re currently looking for marketing interns to help tell the world about Adzuna via a range of online marketing channels – smarts and passion more important than lots of experience, as we have great folks in house who can teach you. We’re also looking to hire talented perl developers to help us expand and develop the cutting-edge technology behind the site.

A message for the candidates?

Take a risk on joining a start-up. It’s great experience (dog years?) and not as big a career risk as you might think. I wish I had done so earlier in my career. If you fit the profile above, come join Adzuna – we’ve got a great team, a good track record, a product that truly makes the job search experience better, and a website that’s growing every day. And if working at Adzuna isn’t your cup of tea or we don’t have an open vacancy that suits right now, please consider using our job search engine to check out other opportunities – we list almost every open job ad in the UK, including all those on Work In Startups.

Thank you for your time, Doug, and good luck with Adzuna!