Online recruiters shrug off entry of new Australian player

Seek general manager Janet Faulding said there was nothing new in a SaaS model.

The dominant players in New Zealand's online recruitment market say they're not worried about losing market share following today's launch in this country of CareerOne, the number two Australian online job search company.

CareerOne chief executive Ben Foote said he wants the company to become the leading transtasman job search company, given job seekers and companies increasingly see Australia and New Zealand as one market.

He said the company's point of difference to competitors will be firms being able to place job ads that will run on both its New Zealand and Australian websites simultaneously.

The move comes as the latest Hudson report, which measures employer hiring intentions, shows intent to hire has reached a six-year high in New Zealand with 92.5%  of employers surveyed planning to increase or maintain headcount in the first half of this year.

Mr Foote said current recruitment sites are out of step because candidates are looking for more than just a searchable jobs board, even though CareerOne still offers that as an option.

CareerOne has had 40%  growth since March, he said, after launching a monthly software-as-a-service model in May that allows employers to tell a story about their company and culture on a micro-site similar to a blog and to list an unlimited number of jobs.

Subscriptions range from $A6000 a month for larger corporates to $A500 for small to medium enterprises compared to $A200 for a listed job ad for 30 days.

Seek, the dominant online recruitment site in both markets, said it was confident it would continue to lead the market in New Zealand, despite CareerOne's move across the Tasman.

General manager Janet Faulding said there was nothing new in a SaaS model which both Seek and Trade Me already offer employers. Under its "premium" model, employers can also pay extra to search its databases in New Zealand and Australia for suitable candidates.

Seek has also recently introduced Company Reviews, which allows employees to anonymously share and rate their views on employers, an offering that will be introduced in New Zealand within six months, Ms Faulding said.

Seek supplied Hitwise figures that show it has a 49%  market share or 21.3 million monthly recruitment visits online in Australia compared to 3.3 million visits or 8%  for CareerOne, which has been in that market for the past 14 years. In New Zealand, Seek claims a 36%  market share or 2.7 million visits compared to Trade Me's 28%  or 2.1 million.

Ms Faulding said the key metric Seek chased was placements rather than visits but she couldn't provide a figure on that for New Zealand, though the company makes 32%  of all job placements in Australia.

Trade Me head of commercial Jimmy McGee said that, like any good business, it was keeping an eye on competition in its sector.

"In saying that, we're not going to lose sleep about a new player in our market," he said. "We'll be sticking to our goals – making sure we continually improve Trade Me Jobs to provide our clients and our jobseekers the best experience we can."

He said Trade Me Jobs had on average 57,000 unique users daily and 15,000 listings at any one time.

CareerOne cites Nielsen metrics showing it has one million users monthly in Australia compared to Seek's 2.5 million while Omniture, based on different online sources, says the website has an average 1.6 million users monthly compared to Seek's 5 million.

CareerOne is majority-owned by Australian private educator Acquire Learning which bought a 65%  interest in the former loss-making site last year while existing shareholders Monster Inc and News Corp Australia retained minority stakes. It then relaunched the platform in May, shedding many of its former digital offerings and returning to its core business of job search.

In Australia Acquire also uses the job search platform to sell education courses to users but Foote said there were no plans to do so on the New Zealand site given Acquire doesn't operate on this side of the Tasman.