Recently, according to TechCrunch a small online recruitment operation, called Pursuit was acquired by Facebook. What interest has Facebook in this company? If this is what I think it is, this transaction may signal that the online recruitment business is starting to heat-up, mutating into something else and getting a new face and a new hair style.
LinkedIn is ramping up their service offerings by adding more features designed for job seekers and prospective employers. Almost by stealth, LinkedIn increased the tempo in their attempt to become the central station for their members when it comes to career building opportunities. LinkedIn has an excellent database and it is attractive to professionals with its clean aspect and business focus. The next natural step is to use its large database to create new services for individual members to help them liaise with prospective employers. This starts to look like recruitment services. The move should make the established players such as Monster and Seek very nervous because while the latter have a good brand name in recruitment industry they are focused on advertising and their data is centred around job ad placement as opposed to professional profiling and career management. LinkedIn has rich data which appeals also to the end business users who want to bypass the recruitment agencies.
Recently online recruitment agencies started to offer an extension of their traditional services to the job seeking members encouraging them to place their CV online. Seek.com.au offers self-promotion to their members which looks a bit like LinkedIn user profile. I tend to think it is too late. LinkedIn has a winning position and it will go from strength to strength threatening to make the traditional ad placement players irrelevant. However, Facebook’s move will make things more interesting now. As a consolation prize for job ad placement business crowd, the online recruiters that are a side business for large online newspapers will have a tough time and I believe they will become a cost centre difficult to justify in the long run.