SMB - Microsoft buys into CareerBuilder

Job classifieds sites enters the MSN network

Microsoft announced that it has purchased a minority stake in while also extending its agreement with the job classifieds site to serve as an exclusive content provider for the MSN online network.

The Washington-based software maker did not specify the size of the investment it made in CareerBuilder, which is based in Sacramento, California, and is jointly controlled by a trio of media heavyweights: Gannett, the McClatchy, and the Tribune.

In a separate agreement, Microsoft announced that MSN and CareerBuilder have extended their strategic alliance, in place since 2004. Under the deal, CareerBuilder will serve as the exclusive jobs classifieds content provider to the MSN Careers channel in the United States through 2013, and also source content to some international MSN portals.

In return, CareerBuilder will pay MSN up to $US443 million over the course of the seven-year agreement.

Since CareerBuilder became MSN's provider of jobs content, the companies claim that the site's traffic has increased from approximately 10 million unique visits per month to over 21 million, with a significant volume of the page view coming via MSN users.

CareerBuilder posts an estimated 1.5 million job listings per month, and claims to have taken over the top spot in the niche in the U.S., where it competes closely with and HotJobs, which is operated by MSN rival Yahoo.

As part of the expanded alliance, CareerBuilder will get a chance to increase its European presence. The site launched operations in the U.K., Canada, and India in 2006, and announced the acquisitions of Jobbguiden in Sweden and JobbingMall in The Netherlands in April 2007.

MSN official said they plan to integrate CareerBuilder with its MSN sites in most European countries by the middle of 2008, with several launching before the end of 2007.

"MSN has had a strong relationship with CareerBuilder for over three years and helped it rise to the top of the industry," Joanne Bradford, corporate vice president and chief media officer for MSN at Microsoft, said in a statement.

"Taking an equity stake in the most prominent job site in the U.S. presents a unique opportunity to enhance our business relationship," Bradford said. "In addition, the agreement to share our global footprint with CareerBuilder unites our worldwide technology and information channels and gives users access to unmatched job search and job distribution resources."

In mid-April, CareerBuilder announced plans to launch a new video resume service, which is meant to help job seekers to bolster their online applications with videos highlighting that highlight any relevant qualifications or accomplishments.

In 2006, CareerBuilder introduced Video BrandBuilder, a service that is meant to allow employers to post videos of their workplace, employee experience and job opportunities to help attract stronger candidates.

In a survey conducted by Harris Interactive for CareerBuilder in late 2006, a reported 60 percent of more than 2,200 hiring managers and human resource professionals said they would be interested in viewing video resumes of potential candidates.

Some 49 percent of over 6,000 workers surveyed said they would consider posting a video resume of themselves online to lure prospective employers.

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