Monster officially acquired HotJobs from Yahoo last week, paying $225 million for the third largest U.S. job board, and setting in motion what may be a new chapter in the race for market share with Careerbuilder.
Even with the acquisition, Careerbuilder is still larger in terms of traffic and exposure to newspapers and other media outlets. But, as part of the acquisition of HotJobs, Monster negotiated a high profile spot on Yahoo’s navigation bar, which they speculate will even the playing field.
Should be interesting to watch. Clients of both Monster and Careerbuilder seem to prefer one or the other...kind of like Coke and Pepsi.
So who’s bigger now?
Well, depends on who you ask and in what area.
In terms of Traffic...
Careerbuilder has been the traffic leader for several years. They claim 21 million unique visitors monthly. According to Compete.com, for the past 3 months, Careerbuilder has shown roughly 13-14 million unique visitors, while Monster has had about 10 million unique visitors. In any case, Careerbuilder has been consistently 30-40% stronger in traffic than Monster.
Monster will add potentially another 5 million uniques from HotJobs. So, depending on who you ask, Careerbuilder's traffic advantage could be reduced - but to what degree?
In terms of Revenue...
CareerBuilder’s North American revenue in 2009 was $542 million, including both US and Canadian revenue. Monster tracks U.S. revenue separately at $407 million for 2009, and includes Canada in the category of “International.”
Internationally, Monster shows $905 million in revenue for 2009.
Estimates of HotJobs revenue are in the $80 to $100 million range. That would certainly bring Monster in a lot closer to Careerbuilder's North American revenue – especially considering the Canadian factor.
Careerbuilder doesn’t disclose international sales.
So basically, you can make a few assessments from that but at the end of the day, this looks like a good old American competition that may continue to ebb and flow – kind of like Coke and Pepsi!
Good Deal or Fixer-upper?
Yahoo acquired HotJobs in 2002 for roughly $445 million in cash and stock. Now, 8 years later, Monster is buying HotJobs for nearly half of that at $225 million.
Monster will also be spending an extra $20 to $30 million a year for three years for great exposure on Yahoo as their official job board and a redirect from the Yahoo navigation bar.
Multiples for Job board acquisitions typically run 4 to 5 times sales. So, if HotJobs was doing $80 to $100 million in sales, an acquisition price of $340 to as high as $500 million may have once been realistic. But considering the recession, the current economic climate, and the additional revenue Yahoo will get from Monster's three year advertising deal, it seems like a win win for both Monster and Yahoo.
Will it be enough to catch Careerbuilder traffic?
Maybe not, but it buys Monster some time to come up with something more interesting...like...say...integrating with social media?
Hmmmm. Wonder how that might work...