Microsoft is making moves in the recruiting world, a possible attempt to one-up Google in a human-resources era in which Internet search is becoming a more central tool for job seekers and recruiters.
On Wednesday, Microsoft announced that it acquired a minority stake in online recruiting hub CareerBuilder.com. CareerBuilder is the No. 1 online recruitment site, averaging more than 1.5 million job postings and more than 21 million unique visitors per month.
In a separate agreement, MSN and CareerBuilder have extended their alliance, making CareerBuilder the exclusive content provider to the MSN Careers channel in the U.S. through 2013. MSN and CareerBuilder also have broadened their alliance to include key MSN international sites.
Half Billion-Dollar Deal
Similar to the previous arrangement, the new agreement is performance-based with financial payments driven by the quality and quantity of traffic delivered. CareerBuilder will pay MSN up to $443 million over the course of seven years to serve as the exclusive job search engine on the MSN Careers channel.
Under the new international traffic agreement, MSN plans to launch CareerBuilder on MSN sites in most European countries by the middle of 2008 with several rolling out by the end of 2007. The agreement is also performance-based and will make CareerBuilder the exclusive job search engine on key international sites.
CareerBuilder, which is owned by Tribune Company, Gannett Co., and Knight Ridder, began building a more aggressive presence in international markets in 2006 by launching sites in the UK, Canada, and India. Last month, CareerBuilder announced its acquisition of Jobbguiden in Sweden and JobbingMall in the Netherlands. The Microsoft deal broadens the company's footprint in international markets.
Online Recruiting Hot
The online job board buzz is building, with the New York Times and Monster.com forming a strategic recruitment advertising alliance in March and staffing firm Bullhorn declaring that Internet job boards are the most productive source for candidates.
Total online job ads were 4,365,000 in April 2007, an increase of 610,600 or 16 percent from March, according to The Conference Board Help-Wanted OnLine Data Series. "Employers are actively looking for the right workers and a relatively tight labor market is forcing them to maintain aggressive advertising plans," Gad Levanon, an economist at The Conference Board, said in a statement.
Recruiters also search online for background information about candidates. The Association for Legal Career Professionals survey reported that they dial up job seekers on Google, MySpace, Facebook, or other online sites. Half the firms described the practice as "standard operating procedure." And about half of the respondents reported that the search results would "definitely" or "somewhat" affect the candidate's prospects of getting a job.
Boyd Peterson, an analyst at Yankee Group, said Google has been looking for a human resources angle and Microsoft might be moving to cover its own bases. "Recruiting and job hunting is an Internet search-oriented activity and that is on both ends," Peterson noted. "People are looking for people to fill roles, as well as people who are looking to find a job."
Peterson said recruiting and job hunting online is "very search-intensive" with a back end that has sophisticated information-gathering requirements. "Microsoft recognizes that," he said.
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