Economy

Monster and News create giant online employment company to take on SEEK

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Giant online employment site Monster.com has returned for another go at the Australian marketplace, this time announcing a joint venture with News Ltd employment site CareerOne.com.au to take on market leader SEEK.

Giant online employment site Monster.com has returned for another go at the Australian marketplace, this time announcing a joint venture with News Ltd employment site CareerOne.com.au to take on market leader SEEK.

Chairman and chief executive of News, John Hartigan, and the chairman, president and chief executive of Monster Worldwide, Sal Iannuzzi, today announced that the two companies are entering into a joint venture to offer combined online and print recruitment services.

Monster Worldwide, the parent company of Monster.com, will purchase 50% of CareerOne.com.au. The joint venture, which will initially carry the CareerOne and Monster brands, will continue to operate from its existing headquarters in Sydney. Monster has over 5200 employees in 36 countries but pulled out of Australia several years ago after a failed tilt at the Australian online employment marketplace.

Hartigan says the combination of News sales and marketing strength together with Monster’s technology and expertise would make a powerful combination.

“This deal cements CareerOne’s position as Australia’s second largest digital employment brand and signals an intensifying of our challenge to SEEK,” he says.

“Monster led the world in creating the online jobs market, and a decade later its expertise and technology is unrivalled. They bring enormous value to the business.”

CareerOne’s chief executive officer Stephen Hollings and chief operating officer Michael Harvey have been appointed to the same positions in the new joint venture.

Hartigan claims that CareerOne overtook Fairfax’s myCareer for the first time in January this year, and since then has posted a succession of record monthly traffic figures.

However taking on SEEK, which has an estimated 60% to 70% market share, will be a more difficult challenge than knocking off Fairfax, which has fought News for second place in the online recruitment wars.

SEEK founder Andrew Bassett says while the deal was news to him this morning, he is “not massively concerned and the company won’t be changing strategy in response to today’s news.

“It is unclear how far reaching the operation will be,” he says. “The (joint venture) might make News a more formidable competitor, but with JVs, you can sometimes go backwards, so only time will tell. We don’t think Monster tech is earth shattering, but it is good and does solve the problem for News Corp.”

He says there is still a major gap between News and SEEK. He also points out that Monster has been here before. “We were a lot smaller then and we competed successfully enough.

“Fairfax has been a formidable competitor and Fairfax and News have battled hard for the number two spot. It will be interesting to see how Fairfax responds, whether it gets more aggressive.”

He also says there will be growing consolidation in the next few years as many smaller online recruitment sites are struggling with revenue and are unable to raise capital.

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