Monday, 15 September 2008

Why did JobJourney Fail?

OK - need to say the following things before giving my opinion

  • i have utmost respect for Totaljobs management and the way they have launched successful verticals/niche sites (retailchoice CWjobs etc)while continuing to grow the core product
  • The people i knew who were involved in it were also top drawer
  • its easy to sit on the sidelines and comment - doing it is much tougher

I also have no inside knowledge of the actual figures but take a wild leap of logic and assume it was not making a profit and presumably was showing very little sign that it would produce the requisite margin for the company going forward.

So my view is

1. Never liked the JobJourneyNorthWest geographical position. If its a local site then it needs to be local and most recruitment is city/county based. The region stretched from Cheshire to Cumbria and was up against strong Manchester, Liverpool, Preston competition. A North West job board had the feel of something invented from London. (to me anyway)

2. Connected to the point above - but Manchester has just about become the most competitive territory in online this year and this amount of competition affects yields and client retention rate as people go from one trail to another to another.

3. What does a network of local sites add up to? Answer: A big national site like.......TotalJobs. And what tends to happen in many companies is that someone from the outside (or inside) looks at the numbers and thinks - Blimey we are having to put this amount of resource and effort in to make not a lot of money - what would be the result of diverting all (or some of) this resource to our successful highly profitable national Job Board? Coincidentally there are now TotalJobs sales staff in all key regions which i guess made the situation even more striking.

4. its the economy stupid - lets not be naive - its tough out there - and launching a site is twice as hard in these delicate economic conditions. Patience and long term investment can be thin on the ground in harsher economic times.

5. RBI sell off - i believe that as the company is made ready for sell off that they have conducted a purge of products that do not minimum contribution levels. Not sure about this point - it made be a convenient excuse as if a product showed enough profit potential - it would add value to any acquisition.

Anyway - it did not work out - no shame in that and i applaud their efforts.

Good Luck to all involved in the future.

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