Andrew Hunter 2003

Course studied:
Business and Finance

Co-founder of Adzuna.co.uk, Europe’s fastest-growing job search engine.

Andrew has created a new free tool for students called Value my Degree - the tool enables students to find how much their degree is worth and the top professions that graduates move into.

 

What made you choose Brookes as a place to study?

Oxford is an amazing university town and I had heard good things from friends who were 1 to 2 years ahead of me. I also chose Brookes as I ‘thought’ I wanted to join the travel industry (and the university has a much-revered tourism/hospitality department). It turned out the travel industry wasn’t for me, so I'm pleased I opted for a broader business degree! I look back on my time at Oxford Brookes very fondly. I enjoyed it so much, I managed to persuade my little brother to go too!

After graduating from Brookes what were the next steps for your career?

When I left Brookes, I wanted to gain as much experience as I could, so I started a role as a Graduate Trainee at Thomas Cook. Grad schemes are brilliant (if you can get on one!). From there, I have run search marketing for the Thomas Cook group, headed up the marketing department for Gumtree and became the VP Marketing and General Manager of local review site Qype, where I grew the site from 0 to 17m monthly unique visitors in 2 years. In 2011, my co-founder, Doug and I saw an opportunity to create a next-generation vertical search engine, so Adzuna was born. We now support over 10 million job seekers in 16 different markets and growing!

What was your inspiration to move into your current profession?

My Co-founder, Doug and I spotted a gap in the market after seeing how fragmented the job market is and how difficult it is for job seekers to find the right job at the right time, so we had a clear goal - create a ridiculously high performing search engine that in its Google-esque manner would crawl the web, raking in thousands of jobs from every single search facility going. We knew that by providing smarter search options and powerful data about the job market, we would give jobseekers the information they need to take control of their careers.

What success stories/achievements have you had in your role?

I’m happy to say there have been quite a few. A big one for me is powering the Number 10 Dashboard with our job market data. Our data allow the Prime Minister and senior officials to keep track of economic growth on a daily basis. It’s pretty incredible to know that our data is influencing decisions made at the highest level of government.
One of the most high-profile accomplishments we have achieved as a company is acquiring the Department of Work and Pension’s (DWP) ‘Find a Job’ Universal Jobmatch contract. This was called one of the smoothest go-lives seen for a service by DWP personnel.

We raised £8m in series-C funding from Smedvig Capital, which has fuelled expansion and reinvestment within the company. This included over 20 new hires and expansion to include offices on 3 continents (including a new registered office in the USA).

We also acquired the startup job board - Work in Startups - and aim to grow the site to £1m revenue by 2020. We have also been included in The Sunday Times Maserati 100, in April of 2018, which recognises 100 innovative entrepreneurs who are making waves within the tech and business world.

What is the best advice someone has given you?
If you are an entrepreneur and want to build something amazing, get something small out there that people can use and play around with as soon as possible. Don't be precious about the first version, it's not going to be perfect. Getting early feedback from real people is absolutely critical.

What advice would you give to others?
For those thinking about setting up their own business, I would say buckle up. The entrepreneurial lifestyle can be stressful and overwhelming and not for everyone. You need to be prepared for a tough journey, find a way to stay sane and make sure you don’t get distracted from the big picture. Make sure you find a mentor or product expert that you trust to help turn your vision into a reality. It will be the best investment of time and money you will ever make if you get it right.

I often get asked to give advice to people thinking of building a start-up, so my advice to students and graduates would be to do something you believe in. If you stop believing in it, it’s time to do something else. If you do something with someone you like that will also make it more enjoyable. We have seen thousands of new graduate and start-up positions on Adzuna for graduates looking for their next opportunity, so there are plenty of options out there!