In January, I
about the launch of Evenbase, and what this might mean for the digital recruiting space. The Evenbase portfolio comprises of the market leading digital recruitment assets within the DMGT Group,including Oilcareers, Jobsite and 10 other niche, generalist and vertical sector job boards, the leading multi-poster and unified search provider Broadbean, and technology partnerships including NHS Jobs, Northcliffe Media and Johnston Press. Evenbase was created to encourage collaboration between the brands, and to spearhead global expansion. At the time, the Evenbase C.E.O. and Jobsite founder Keith Potts commented that each of the brands would remain independent with their own management team, and representation on the Evenbase board. Growth of the group would come about through a combination of organic growth wherever there is synergy, and strategic acquisitions that added to the capability of the group. I got the distinct impression that it wouldn’t be too long before further announcements to this effect would be forthcoming.
Today, Potts announced the acquisition of Milan based jobs aggregator Jobrapido for 30Mn Euros. Jobrapido were launched in 2006 by Vito Lamelle, who stays with the business as Chief Executive. Potts has spoken to me in the past of the importance of retaining the entrepreneurial individuals who built the businesses. This provides continuity, and expertise gained by building the business, whilst adding the additional knowledge and resources from the group. The Jobrapido acquisition follows this formula.
I first became aware of Jobrapido in June last year, when they launched the business in the U.S. following significant growth in Europe. The launch was promoted through a story told on video, of an Italian ,Daniel who had moved from Italy to LA 2 years previous, and was in danger of being dumped by his love for being workshy. Using Jobrapido to apply for jobs, he was able to get 14 jobs in a month, The video stood out because it was amusing and wacky, but more importantly, it showed the range of jobs on Jobrapido. The video proved to be very popular with U.S. jobseekers, driving significant traffic to the site.
Job aggregators provide job seekers with a single site to search all job boards for opportunities, and to sign up for e-mail alerts. They derive their income primarily by partnering with job boards, and from clients who want to promote their listings. Jobrapido do nothing but job aggregation, and having tested the site, they have an accurate algorithm behind the search screen that returns jobs to a job seekers criteria. The user interface is simple, through a single screen, with quick sign up for jobs by e-mail.
All of the job board research I’ve seen puts simple sign up and accurate jobs by e-mail as the top 2 requirements of job seekers. When job seekers log on to the home screen of Jobrapido, theres 3 search options: What? Where? (By country) and Distance. Each search returns the option to set returns by e-mail. It’s incredibly simple, and as a result leads to most of the visitors signing up for the jobs by e-mail option.
The benefit aggregators offer to job seekers is enabling them to be able to search all the job boards without the need to visit multiple sites. The challenge for the aggregators is getting the technology right to avoid job duplication when jobs are posted to multiple sites. You can imagine how irritating it would be to get an inbox full of the same job notifications. I have run 20 searches to test this in the UK, as well as signing up for jobs by e-mail, and they seem to have solved this. There will always be issues with agencies who are posting the same jobs, but this is not dissimilar to the problem on any other job board or media place. Applicants are redirected to the original job board, with the only data retained being the e-mail address and search parameters. The additional traffic Jobrapido bring is great for the job boards and their clients, and the convenience of being able to search and get updates from one source is great for the jobseekers.
When you look at the leading job aggregators across the globe, there is really only 2 names that feature, Indeed and Jobrapido, and the gap between 2 and 3 is significant. On the face of it, Jobrapido are much like any other aggregator, and there are plenty of them, but if you dig under the bonnet a bit, you see what the appeal is to Evenbase. For a start, they have a significant presence in 50 countries, bringing significant global reach to the group. The site is multi-lingual, currently operating in 15 languages. Jobs are syndicated from all of the domestic job boards, and are converted for advanced S.E.O., returning them to the top of all the local Google searches. Coming top in the rankings in most job types attracts the most unique visitors. I’m not sure how the Jobrapido technology achieves this, but whatever goes on under the hood definitely works. Comscore data ranks Evenbase in the top 5 (with the addition of Jobrapido) for traffic globally. It’s great to see a British company positioned at the top of the tree.
Looking at the Jobsite figures, they achieve around 5million unique visitors a month, JobRapido have a massive 42 million, and the traffic has been doubling each year since their launch, with a current annual total of 660 Million visitors. In my opinion, it is the traffic volume that makes this such an interesting deal. When you combine the reach of JobRapido, Jobsite and associated job boards, Broadbean and the other partnerships like NHS jobs, and you are looking at accessibility to candidates on a global scale, and Evenbase as a leading name in digital talent acquisition, is really strengthened by this reach, combined with proven technology.
Hitwise, the recognised reference site for internet visitor numbers in the UK feature Jobrapido in the top 5 sites each month in the UK. They are ranked as number 1 in Italy, Spain and other European countries, and as the number 1 aggregator in the important German market. Given the restriction on social recruiting in Germany, reach in this market through traditional means is key to European coverage, as well as number 1 status in emerging economies like India and Mexico. In the U.S. they have achieved the number 2 status in a short space of time. It’s impressive growth that rivals any other site of its type.
Evenbase C.E.O. and Jobsite founder Keith Potts, told me that they have been looking closely at aggregators for the last decade, and JobRapido really stands out for their ability to attract traffic and to duplicate the model globally. Evenbase will add expertise and resources in expanding in to new territories, further developing the technology, as well as identifying opportunities to collaborate within the group, offering new products to the client base. It’s an exciting prospect.
Potts commented on the deal: ” There are significant opportunities for our existing portfolio of brands including economies of scale, entry to new markets, increased ability to capture CV’s, and attractiveness as a partner to international corporations. Take Jobsite, for example. These synergies will position that brand as the clear number one in the UK market.”
“Just as valuable to us are Vito Lomele and the Jobrapido team who are exactly the savvy, innovative and passionate people we love to work with. Their success in six short years speaks volumes.”
Commenting on the deal, Vito Lomele added:
“Our short and intense history has seen us grow from a self funded local operation to a successful international business ready for its next stage of growth.
“As Jobrapido enters this new phase, I am convinced we couldn’t find a better partner for consolidating our international reach than Evenbase with its global brand and client base.
With Evenbase we gain the backing of a global group such as DMGT, as well as the vivid entrepreneurial spirit and the deep industry knowledge of Keith Potts and his team. And to top it all off, there are market synergies that can be activated immediately.”
I spoke with Potts about how Evenbase has evolved since the launch in January, on his way back from having signed the deal in Italy. He is clearly excited by the prospect of what Jobrapido adds to the group. Potts is of the opinion that the future of job search will be centred on 5 channels:
Mobile. Social, Job boards, Referral and Aggregators.
The companies who perform best in digital recruiting will have a focus in each of these areas, rather than one or two exclusively. The addition of Jobrapido gives Evenbase a strong position in each in each. (Broadbean now operate a joint venture with referral technology company launching Broadbean Referral.) This range of coverage across each channel must put them in what I see as a unique position.
Further growth within Evenbase will come from a mix of organic growth, further acquisition and joint ventures, with a global focus, In particular,I’m interested in the prospect of the joint ventures that could emerge from the group. A great example of this is what has been achieved by the Jobsite brand, who now provide the technology powering the job advertising for 55 of the U.K.’s local newspapers, as well as all the on-line recruiting for the N.H.S, the U.K.’s largest employer.
What I think defines Evenbase in my dealings with them is that everything starts from the job seekers perspective. Their website describes them as a digital recruitment group, set up with the aim of revolutionising the matching of talent to opportunity, making the recruitment process better for everyone involved. When you consider the synergies within the group, the expert knowledge and experience within each of it’s component parts and the entrepreneurs who make up the board, then it is going to be interesting in seeing what evolves. Potts will be joining the Jobrapido board as Chief Executive, along with Ray Duggins, who heads up new ventures within Evenbase. Jobrapido will be integrated in to this part of the group.
I wish Keith and all at Evenbase all the best with the new addition to the group. They’ve always been good people to work with, and have an attitude to job seekers I admire, Jobrapido adds to the 5 channel approach, and as the first acquisition, provides the foundation for growth. It will be interesting to see what comes next on the Evenbase journey.