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Inside The Lackluster War Of Online Job Portals In Bangladesh

Online recruitment or job portal business is relatively a new business in Bangladesh. The very early example of such business can be traced back to the year 1999-2000. The only big success story in this space is BDjobs, founded in 2000. BDjobs enjoyed the first mover advantage and has remained the dominant player despite competitions from a host of new entrants.

Like many other trendy sectors in Bangladesh that attract an unexpected torrent of new companies, online job portal has largely been over populated with amateur companies. Till date, none of these companies was able to build something commendable that could threaten the position of BDjobs. Contrarily, most of these competitors seemed rather bounty hunters looking for an easy opening and entered job portal market mistakenly.

Prothom Alo Jobs to Chakri.com

The first formidable player after BDjobs in this space came from Prothom alo, the leading daily newspaper of the country. It launched Prothom-alo jobs with fanfare. Despite having a relative advantage over many other small players, it failed to draw any solid lead against the market leader BDjobs. It recently rebranded to Chakri.com and doing pretty well in terms of attracting eyeballs compared to its previous existence. It certainly has upped its game.

An analysis of its growth shows that Chakri has been seeing a consistent growth. According to SimilarWeb data, it attracted around 200k traffic in May. Although, it is far from BDjobs 2 million monthly users, but it is gaining steadily. Below is a comparison of traffic growth of Chakri.com vs BDjobs.com.

Rocket’s lackluster entry

To add further steam to the game, German-based startup factory Rocket Internet launched its job portal Everjobs in June, last year. It was quite a launch program. The company started with one thousand companies/employers on board with around two thousand openings. However, despite a variety of promotional efforts, the company failed to achieve much in last one year. It lagged way behind Chakri.com, and far from BDjobs. The platform attracted around 90k users in May 2016. See a growth comparison of Chakri.com vs Everjobs.com.bd below.

Despite its slow growth, everjobs is a formidable competitor in this space. It has the backup from Rocket Internet, often unpredictable, though, and has experience of operating in similar markets like Bangladesh.

A tough call

BDjobs has recently invested heavily in its platform. It has changed its platform three sixty degree, launched new UX and added new features for both employers and employees. It also added new fuel to its promotion engine.

The company clearly understands the growing competition in the market. It has enjoyed a relatively easy market domination for a quite long period of time without any serious competition. Until recently, the company never invested heavily in its technology. However, things are different now. It has invested heavily in technology since its partnership with Seek International. Seek now owns a 25% stake in BDjobs.

This means it will be difficult for anyone to replicate the success of BDjobs. However, it does not mean that it will be impossible to surface BDjobs. There is a demand for better service in recruitment space. It is still hard to find talent for most companies.

The service that BDjobs and others offering is largely similar. The downside of this kind of service is that it does not completely solve your recruitment problem. It does help find candidates but not the right ones. It deals with quantity of CVs that can be collected for a particular job regardless of right match. It is not good at soliciting candidates and employees. It means there is the option for service innovation.

The question remains who is going to try a new approach. It seems, another success story in this space is not in copying BDjobs but in taking a bold risk and going beyond BDjobs.

Ruhul Kader is a technology and business analyst based in Dhaka, Bangladesh. He is also the co-founder and CEO of Future Startup and author of Rethinking Failure: A short guide to living an entrepreneurial life. He writes about internet business, strategy, technology, technology policy, and society. He can be reached at [email protected]

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