CareerBuilder continues to expand its international footprint with its first foray into northern Europe.
The Chicago-based online job board acquired Jobbguiden.se, a Swedish job board, and JobbingMall.nl, a longtime fixture in the Netherlands
’ online job-search industry. CareerBuilder has been pursuing an international expansion strategy for some time, allowing it to tap into new sources of revenue and enhance the services it provides for its global clients. Terms of the deals were not disclosed.
The characteristics of its northern European acquisitions vary, but they share two common denominators: Both companies hold strong market positions and both have a good corporate fit with CareerBuilder.
“Both of these players are poised to take the No. 1 position in their respective markets,” says Farhan Yasin, president of CareerBuilder.com’s international group. “We also liked them because their business philosophies mesh well with ours.”
Going forward, these are some the attributes that CareerBuilder will weigh when homing in on acquisition targets. Launched in 2004, Jobbguiden.se is one of Sweden’s largest job boards and has partnerships with a number of domestic sites, including both niche and general boards. Meanwhile, JobbingMall.nl, which was founded in 1997, offers access to general and specialized sites through a network of partners.
CareerBuilder made several high-profile pushes into the international arena in 2006, forging strategic partnerships with Naukri.com, India’s largest career site with more than 180 million page views per month, and with Lycos Canada, the decisive leader in Canada.
It appears that CareerBuilder has upped its interest in Europe.
“France is a very important market for us,” Yasin says. Eastern Europe—particularly Poland and the Czech Republic—are also tempting targets, given their strong economic growth potential, he says.
For its current acquisition, CareerBuilder chose Sweden and the Netherlands because of their strong Internet user rates. They are among the highest in all of Europe—75 percent and 66 percent, respectively, Yasin says.
“Logging on to the Internet is second nature in those countries,” he says.
In addition, the Swedish and Dutch economies are growing, bolstering the number of jobs being added. That translates into increased volume for job boards. Last year, the Netherlands created upwards of 45,000 jobs, Yasin says.
Both Sweden and the Netherlands have labor participation rates of more than 72 percent.