Dutch HR firm Randstad to buy job site for $429 mn
Jacques van den Broek, CEO, Randstad

Dutch human resources services provider Randstad Holding NV has agreed to acquire US-based job portal Monster Worldwide Inc for $429 million in cash.

Monster will continue to function as an independent entity and a separate brand under Randstad, the companies said in a statement.

“Monster is a natural complement to Randstad,” said Jacques van den Broek, CEO of Randstad. “The transaction is aligned with our Tech and Touch growth strategy and reflects our commitment to bringing labor supply and demand closer together to better connect the right people to the right jobs.”

The deal will have implications also in India, where both companies have significant presence. Monster is a competitor to market leader, Timesjobs and Shine, and Randstad’s backing could help it better compete with rivals.

For Randstad, the deal will help build a comprehensive portfolio of HR services by leveraging Monster’s platform.

The deal also sets a precedent for similar mergers or acquisitions in the future in India, said Rituparna Chakraborty, co-founder and executive vice president at staffing company TeamLease Services Ltd.

She said that, while the deal itself should not worry Indian job portals, it should serve as a wake-up call. The job portals should introspect whether they are indeed evolving enough to add value for users.

“My biggest concern is that these job sites are not taking advantage or waking up to the reality that social media enhances the digital engagement of job-seeking individuals. In such a scenario, the existing professional-job matching methods are rendered insufficient and becomes irrelevant with changing times,” she said. “This is what the Naukris of the world should worry about more.”

Randstad entered India in 2005 and acquired staffing company Team4U the following year. In 2008, it announced the acquisition of Dutch company Vedior. That deal bolstered Randstad’s presence in India as Vedior controlled Chennai-based HR services provider Ma Foi Management Consultants Ltd. The combined company in India was initially called Ma Foi Randstad but was renamed as Randstad India in 2012.

In India, Randstad has 28 branches, about 60,000 contract employees and has placed more than 500,000 people over the past 24 years, according to information available on its website. Globally, Randstad has about 4,500 branches in 39 countries and generated revenue of €19.2 billion ($21.3 billion) in 2015.

Monster, founded in 1999, operates in more than 40 countries. It entered India in 2004 through the acquisition of then New Delhi-headquartered recruitment portal, which was founded by angel investor Alok Mittal and Puneet Dalmia. After the acquisition, the entity was renamed Monster India. Headquartered in Hyderabad, Monster India has presence in 11 other cities including Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru.

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