Gannett Divorces CareerBuilder After 15 Long Years in Favor of RealMatch Relationship

For the last 15 years, CareerBuilder has powered the career section of Gannett’s network of newspaper sites, which include names like USA Today, Detroit Free Press, The Arizona Republic and The Indianapolis Star. Starting Aug. 1, however, RealMatch will be taking over.

“In the new era of online recruitment, performance and quality determine where recruitment budgets are spent. We welcome Gannett to TheJobNetwork and look forward to bringing the next-generation recruitment advertising solution to its markets to grow their recruitment market share,” said Terry Baker, president, RealMatch.

New era, indeed. If you’re not acquainted with RealMatch, the company prides itself on being able to programmatically connect job seekers with employers. Its website touts a matching “secret sauce” with an “accuracy rate so high, that matched candidates are 14X more likely to apply compared to traditional keyword searching that returns so many irrelevant results.”

The news is further indication that CareerBuilder is moving away from traditional job postings and focusing on its software businesses. Previous moves by CareerBuilder, such as changing its brand and logo, as well as handing over its job search technology to Google’s API supports this trend.

“Programmatic models are disrupting the legacy job board market, because they offer the ability to target job seekers across multiple platforms all around the Internet,” said Baker. “Job seekers are now targeted on a slew of metrics, such as location and behavior.”

To get an idea of what this will look like before launch, check out USA Today, where RealMatch has already taken over the job search real estate. In addition to job search, RealMatch will provide original content, hoping to drive social shares and engagement. The Money section is a destination in which this content can be accessed.

“We’re focused on integrating quality content,” said Chris Atkins, CMO at RealMatch. “Newspapers’ sites have huge audiences. The challenge is getting that audience to click on a jobs link. Leveraging career content will help us capture more of their editorial audience.”

An example of readers being able to access job content is an above-the-fold banner ad that RealMatch powers when someone does a job search on their network. For example, a trucker who searches for trucking jobs and then finds an article about trucking might end up seeing a listing of trucking opportunities next to the content. This kind of targeting will be familiar with most readers, but RealMatch brings actual job search queries to visitors.

“RealMatch’s solutions will offer tremendous opportunities for recruitment advertisers on the USA Today Network by connecting them with the talent they seek through our ability to leverage data from our local communities,” said John Zidich, president of domestic publishing, Gannett. “Employers and job seekers alike will have an improved user experience with the increased services we are able to provide.”

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It’s easy to discount the decline of print and think these kinds of partnerships aren’t that valuable. Such criticism may be fair. Newspaper partnerships a decade or two ago were the holy grail for job boards. Publishers who didn’t outright own the job site could charge big dollars just for the privilege to set up shop on a newspaper’s online real estate.

Of course, it’s not 2005 anymore. “This is a performance-based relationship,” Baker said. “RealMatch didn’t write a check.” That said, Gannett’s network touts 110 million monthly readers and 1.1 billion page views, so the deal is pretty sweet for a relative lightweight like RealMatch. Leveraging Gannett’s brands in sales pitches, particularly in markets they operate, is nice too.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Baker hinted the deal was long term. If RealMatch is lucky, newspapers might even come back in style before the agreement expires.

Joel Cheesman

Joel Cheesman has over 20 years experience in the online recruitment space. He worked for both international and local job boards in the late ‘90s and early ‘00s. In 2005, Cheesman founded HRSEO, a search engine marketing company for HR, as well as launching an award-winning industry blog called Cheezhead. He has been featured in Fast Company and US News and World Report. He sold his company in 2009 to Jobing.com. He was employed by EmployeeScreenIQ, a background check company. He is the founder of Ratedly, an app that monitors anonymous employee reviews. He is married and the father of three children. He lives in Indianapolis.