Another newspaper publisher has swiped left on CareerBuilder. This time, McClatchy is doing the dumping.
This follows the news from June that CareerBuilder, who still counts McClatchy as a part owner, was selling a majority stake in the company to a private equity firm. “I’m also happy to say that TEGNA, Tribune, and McClatchy will maintain approximately 24 percent interest in CareerBulder,” said Jeff Ferguson, CareerBuilder’s CEO, in a letter to employees at the time.
The feeling may not be mutual, as McClatchy announced this week that it was replacing CareerBuilder with Recruitology, a white label solution for media companies. The deal was part of a recent announcement by McClatchy that it was selling off some real estate holdings to help improve the company’s financial footing.
The real estate deals, along with the sale of the majority of McClatchy’s stake in CareerBuilder, increase McClatchy’s cash position to $127 million, CEO Craig Forman said in a statement. It has also allowed the company to reduce its debt by more than $18 million.
In the same release, McClatchy announced Recruitology would be taking over the job section of its online portfolio. The job board will service 30 markets, powering career sections of newspapers like Miami Herald, The Kansas City Star, The Sacramento Bee, The Charlotte Observer, The (Raleigh) News & Observer, and the (Fort Worth) Star-Telegram..”Together McClatchy and Recruitology are providing employers with a one-stop solution that delivers results, while also growing McClatchy’s market share of local recruitment advertising,” the release said.
This is the second time CareerBuilder has seen a newspaper relationship go bye-bye. In July, Gannett, representing some 1.1 billion pageviews across their network each month, kicked them to curb in favor of RealMatch. “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 at Gannett when the deal was announced. “Employers and job seekers alike will have an improved user experience with the increased services we are able to provide.”
I doubt CareerBuilder is sulking though. The company has been moving away from its job board business for years, opting instead for a technology solutions strategy. The death of that business is being expedited as these partnerships fade away, however. “It certainly doesn’t help CareerBuilder as the loss of 30 sites will really impact their traffic,” said Chris Russell of RecTech Media.
Recruitology is a bit mysterious. There are no news releases online announcing its launch, and there are very few news items at all about the service. Even clicking “Learn more” on its homepage just opens up an email message window. Hardly a service that screams “Choose us over CareerBuilder.” A dive into its terms of service, however, reveals the origin of Recruitology resides in long-time college recruitment site AfterCollege. Existing relationships with AfterCollege, which highlights relationships with organizations like Hearst and CoxMedia on its site, are obviously the catalyst for newspapers like McClatchy choosing to do business with Recruitology.
The sites include employment-related articles that are replicated across their network of newspaper sites. The content is written by their editorial staff, which is no change from how content has been done historically. Recruitology contributes career content too. The sites include traditional banner ads, as well. These are sold by the media partners in their local markets.
Recruitology CEO Roberto Angulo wouldn’t get into specifics, but said his company has a subscription model for some of their services and a revenue share for other services. They also share common objectives with media partners. “If their revenue drops, so does ours, but as they grow revenue and market share, our revenue grows as well. I’m happy to say our revenue has been growing,” he said. Partners pay Recruitology to use their technology.
Checking out an example of one of the sites, it’s pretty standard issue. Search boxes, browse links, featured employers and jobs, articles and banner ads are all there. Posting a job takes you to a buying page for all classifieds. Some negatives include bad URL structures on job pages, which Google doesn’t like; a location search box that isn’t autopopulated with a location, which it should, considering these are local sites and geotargeting isn’t some fancy tech at this point; and users cannot search article content currently, which makes them way less helpful.
So why would McClatchy choose Recruitology over Realmatch? History is a big part of it. Angulo shared that his companies have been working with McClatchy and over 300 media partners for a number of years, mainly by powering niche networks where partners can have their employers’ jobs posted to niche sites and programmatically, using machine learning, to aggregators like Indeed, ZipRecruiter, and Nexxt. They have a good track record. Until recently, the one thing they haven’t offered is a job board component.
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“Most of our partners have had their own legacy job boards or have partnered exclusively with larger boards,” said Angulo. “They’ve been asking if we could provide the job board component to work seamlessly with the rest of our platform — niche targeting and programmatic. We recently launched our own and we are seeing more partners sign on to the platform. It’s no longer about employers posting on one site, no matter how big the site is. It’s about posting each job to the site that’s going to generate the best response.”
As job boards continue to get squeezed by the likes of Google and Indeed, searching for new streams of revenue and traffic are pushing them into the arms of publishers. Adding evolving technology is a component of the partnerships as well. McClatchy’s network of sites garners 66 million uniques monthly.
Angulo, however, is quick to downplay the traffic issue. “We’re not so much looking for traffic,” he said. “Yes, the job boards we’re powering for McClatchy will benefit from McClatchy’s vast audience across the U.S., but our goal is to help McClatchy leverage their existing traffic while also providing access to the traffic from job boards on our network in order to give their employers great results.”