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Asia online job posting industry- Emerging business models streaking towards “Convergence”

Asia online jobs posting industry – Emerging business models streaking towards “Convergence”

With the looming negative outlook of global economy, Asia stands at a unique place – between growing polarities of an increasing number of year-over-year “employable graduates” versus dwindling job opportunities. Especially the leading economies of Asia – both, China and India are witnessing increasing adoption of internet, eventually online job seekers as well.

India internet adoption vs online job seekers

India internet adoption vs online job seekers

China internet adoption vs online job seekers

China internet adoption vs online job seekers

Needless to mention, there is an impending need for newer, disruptive, integrated business models for online jobs that will deliver more than …just jobs!

2008 – Anything new about “new online job sites”?

In Asia, 2008, unofficial figures cite nearly 36 job site business plans were stacked up for potential venture capital funding. However, sources do indicate the absence of “compelling value proposition differentiation” across jobsites. Overall, there are a couple of news pointers of interest:

In early 2008, Chinese online jobs site received a $110 million round of mezzanine funding. Zhaopin is one of the top tier players in China online jobs market (expecting to float its IPO by 2010-11). Interestingly, SEEK a successful Australian job sites has acquired nearly 42.9% stake in this venture.

In India, early to mid 2008 was a period of dominance by the home grown that seems to be on an aggressive business expansion strategy. Entry of a new online job site, by Hindustan Times, a leading newspaper of the region confirmed the surging shift of newsprint player’s entry into online ventures.

In the U.S, 2008 was a period of acquisitions driven by,, including Jupiter media – they were the major players mopping up a host of job sites –all in vertical specializations:

There was no major venture funding in the online jobs space except for, (value proposition banking on look, feel, appeal and embedded videos in resume) funded by Hedrick & Struggles, Valhalla Partners and seed investors and ( value proposition is about a scoring mechanism for candidate profiles – to help recruiters job the most right fit for a job) funded by Rho Ventures and Sevin Rosen Funds.

Old School models of online jobs

While the basic concept of job search hasn’t changed much, the concept of what “online job seekers” want has drastically shifted beyond the standards of a mere user friendly website and of course.. jobs…

Old but not yet outdated….

Uni-theme-focused job sites: With the advent of professional networks – linkedin, xing, & social networking space – orkut/facebook, the concept of independent focused/specialized job sites – vertical, job function, experience, geography, company/college alum, are precariously placed and are “inches of years” away from being snapped up in the grand emerging convergence of themes.

Enhanced value added services – resume writing, premium placing of resumes, resume forwards to placement consultants, premium access to databases

Convergence….The next wave?

Weak economy resulting in dwindling job postings essentially means “lack of new content” from a job seekers perspective. Lack of content usually results in “disengagement from the brand/website” in the long run.

The need of the hour is constant user engagement and a push towards a more robust and “involved” job site. Convergence of “critical” themes from across professional networking, social media space does promise to “invent the future” of job sites.

Professional networking:

While sites such as Linkedin are not an absolute spoiler for online job sites, they could be one in the long run. With an emphasis on individual profiles and “connections” – professional networks have bought out the “passive job seeker” – an interesting trend that has vastly changed the game of recruiting.

Further, with subtle innovations – such as professional groups/alum groups or mutual interest groups created “by” the network – most of the uni-theme focused job sites stands to lose in the long run on two counts – 1) user generated content through discussion, topics, news keeps the community engaged; 2) allows head hunters/recruiters to “spot” or “mark” potential hires and overtly suppresses “job listing cost to a company”.

Social media:

Theme specific blog portals/groups in social media are reservoirs of user generated content. One of the recruiters in the tech space once quipped – her chances of attracting the right talent was more possible from tech crunch website than any online jobsite, coz she could keep track of blogs, discussion forums and single out a particular “tech topic” expert.

Online employees “cry boards” such as or the Indian version –offer immense internal knowledge about companies, salaries, work – culture and is more or less a quasi professional network with “user generated content – pretty confidential stuff” – engaging enough for users to flock and be a part.

Job counseling & advisory:

Career planning and counseling sites – will be one area of interest, especially with the growing number of unemployed executives, there is an innate need for alternate career options, re-skilling and counseling

Training & learning:

Training, learning websites – more oriented towards module based education and career enhancing skill sets advisory sites will give a holistic perspective to a user – who could have come for a job search.

Is there any online job site in the world which is taking a step in the “convergence direction” to optimize and cross pollinate opportunities?

Emerging convergence for online job posting sites in Asia

Emerging convergence for online job posting sites in Asia

Is there any online job site in the world which is taking a step in the “convergence direction” to optimize and cross pollinate opportunities? Some job sites in Asia seem to have taken the necessary innovative steps to meet the challenges of current times.

Damien Duhamel

Managing Director Asia Pacific


About Solidiance

Summary: Corporate strategist with extensive Asia-based management & operational experience. Manages the long-term strategic planning of the organization. Responsible for multi-country team management, PBIT and revenue growth, geographical expansion, business development, key staff recruitment, business unit strategy and processes. Speaks English, French, Vietnamese and "Survival" Japanese. In Asia Pacific for the past 21 years. Specialties: Disruptive innovation strategy & implementation, Expansion strategy, Benchmarking, Asia market entry strategy, Market research Asia, Market sizing, opportunity analysis & market feasibility, Sales & demand forecasting, Competitive intelligence and strategy, Customers acquisition & loyalty, New product development, Distribution & value-chain optimization, Industrial B2B branding, Partner evaluation & selection, M&A due diligence - valuation, Marketing & Corporate strategy, Emerging markets

2 comments on “Asia online job posting industry- Emerging business models streaking towards “Convergence”

  1. Mike
    March 17, 2009

    Some great information here and some intresting points, look forward to reading more

  2. Ravi Kannan
    May 13, 2009

    Good article. We have made an attempt to bring the convergence that you are talking about at The site was recently launched. It is a whole new way to look at the online job sites and a serious attempt to solve some of the problems faced by jobseekers, employers and recruiters.

    Check it out @ Would like to hear back from you.


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