What’s Going on in Recruiting Land at the Moment? Indeed, CareerOne, Monster, Randstad et al.

Imagine if you’d taken a short sabbatical, or even a holiday, three weeks ago. On return you’d wonder what the heck has happened to the recruitment industry. Who owns who, who’s sold to who and why are suppliers now competitors and vice versa?

Yep I’m referring to the now highly publicised strategic moves made by Indeed, CareerOne and Monster/Randstad.

In case you’ve missed it, here’s who’s done what:

Randstad/Monster

Randstad bought job board/people aggregator Monster (yep, so what, Monster’s not even in APAC – but still an off move).

Randstad will pay $US429 million ($A558.7m) in cash, or $US3.40 (%A4.43) per outstanding Monster share (a 22.7% premium on Monday’s closing price) using its own credit facilities. – Shortlist

CareerOne

Well nobody really knows, but the evidence points to them trying to move away from being a job board, or at the very least to get a piece of the recruitment pie.

CareerOne has launched a new offering that it says will provide a full recruitment service for the same cost as advertising a job online. – Shortlist

Indeed

Probably the oddest of the bunch. Already owned by recruitment mega company Recruit Holdings (Japan), a Senior US Exec told a recruitment journalist at Shortlist (yep, the news service for recruitment agencies) that they were going to launch an offering in the US aimed at entering the recruitment market. Worse, when asked by Shortlist about this happening in Asia Pacific, the exec confirmed if the US trial went well then this would be on the cards.

Indeed has begun A/B testing its Hire service in the US market only for now, where it charges a fee equivalent to 10% of the candidate’s salary, “with the ultimate goal of making these global products in the long term”, Wolfe says. – Shortlist

I’m not sure what exactly is going on, but what I do know is that the APAC Indeed office (which is still in its relative infancy) must have been fuming at this statement. I’ve already had two of our clients ask me why they should continue paying to advertise with what is now a competitor. Sure enough, two days later, Shortlist publishes a short damage control statement via the RCSA from the MD of Indeed AU:

Indeed ANZ managing director Chris McDonald has told the RCSA the job board has no current plans to bring its pilot recruitment service, Indeed Hire, to Australia. – Shortlist

Before we put all the pins into these four companies, bear in mind that Seek has been working on something that’s not all that different, Talent Search. This tool whilst definitely helpful for recruiters, effectively offers employers easy access to the same database as us. In regards to Indeed, the parent company Recruit Holdings isn’t new to the recruitment game either, as they own plenty of recruitment agencies alongside the job aggregation giant.

So recruiters, what do we think to all these? Surely the ongoing trend of acquisitions and new revenue streams is simply an inevitable business truth. Take a look at the FMCG industry. This is one of my favourite charts that shows just how many day to day brands are owned by just 10 global mega-corporations. Why should our industry be any different?

 

My Predictions

In the future, we’ll see more large-scale mergers and takeovers, going both ways. We’re in a buoyant market and one of the quickest ways to boost share prices is to buy something.

I doubt we’ll see a mass exodus from Indeed. It seems like a way off before the new model makes its way here and it would take a brave recruiter to be the first to leave, and leave their competitors with access to the Indeed candidates.

For decades people have been predicting the end of job boards, this clearly hasn’t happened. If anything they’ve increased their presence in the market, and are continuing to do so with strategy pivots as they seek to cover their risk.

Over to you, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

Chris South

As Director of Prominence, Chris is the first-person recruiters speak to when trying to get a handle on their marketing activity. He is also highly involved in the day to day delivery on all client accounts, but is slowly learning to let his fantastic team take care of business and to only interfere when needed! Based in Auckland, Chris travels to Australia monthly, meaning he has a lot of air miles and has also seen every new film. However, he is the first to tell you that the life of a frequent traveller isn’t quite as glamorous as it seems! Chris is inspired by people that break the mould and try to make things better.

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