Profession.hu and the Hungarian Market

Ali Neill / June 24, 2019
Category : International recruitment, Interviews, Job board interviews
Caption: Profession.hu and the Hungarian Market

As the leading job board in Hungary, Profession.hu is bound to be a part of your next recruitment campaign in the country. The job site was founded in 2005 and it has seen major changes in the Hungarian market, which has made them the local experts. To learn more about Profession, I sat down with Varga Balázs, the Head of Marketing, and we discussed recruitment in Hungary.

The History of Profession.hu

Today, Profession.hu attracts over 3 million visits a month and has a large following on the three most popular social media platforms in Hungary: Facebook (380k+ followers on multiple pages), YouTube (802) and Instagram (3 325). However, before the social media had an impact or the traffic increased, Profession was just a local job board created by local people. The company grew as management changed:

  • First, the site was sold to a Finnish media company, Sanoma, 3 years after its launch. The company also acquired Jobmonitor.hu.
  • In 2014, Central Media, a financial investor, acquired Profession.hu.
  • The venture was short-lived: in 2015, Central Media was selling Profession.hu to Ringier Axel Springer.

Becoming a part of Ringier Axel Springer meant joining a portfolio in countries like Poland, Serbia, Slovakia and the Baltics. The company’s strategy to invest in more than just print, like classifieds job sites, affects job boards like Profession, in a good way. Ringier Axel Springer has acquired shares in other popular job boards across the region, like the CV Market/CV Keskus sites in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania and NoFluffJobs in Poland. In fact, the CEO of Profession.hu is also the portfolio director of CV Keskus, NoFulffJobs and StepStone Poland, so that helps put into perspective just how powerful the partnership actually is.

In addition to the Axel Springer Group, Profession also belongs to the Network, which enables recruiters to go through their local job boards to recruit on international job sites without the hassle. For example, Austrian recruiters looking to hire Hungarian workers can simply go through StepStone.at to do so, thanks to the Network. The products come from Profession, but the language barrier becomes negligible. All of these connections enable the Hungarian site to share and compare statistics on the market and improve their local recruitment strategies.

The Traffic since 2019

As some of you may remember, Monster.hu and Monster Polska said goodbye to the cruel world of recruitment media at the end of 2018. At the time of the news, many wondered, which job boards would take over the Monster customers and benefit from its disappearance. Workania officially took over the job listing, but Profession also saw its numbers rise.

We heard about Monster’s close, but many don’t know that Allas.hu, a local job board, which has only been around for a couple of years, also gave up on the job market at the end of 2018. Both closes led to a spite in traffic for other job sites. When comparing the activity to last year, there were 40% more users on Profession.hu. Furthermore, according to Varga Balázs, 70% of the new traffic came from Allas and Monster. This led to approximately 20% more sessions.

So where did the other 30% of new traffic come from? It most likely comes from the 10 000 job cuts in the government sector. The new jobseekers were from a wide range of career levels, from executives to entry-level employees. Luckily, Hungary has one of the lowest unemployment rates in Europe, so the workers are sure to find work, if they haven’t already.

Just in case though, Profession launched a new website to help jobseekers figure out their strengths and weaknesses. The site is called Palyamodositas, which means something similar to “reskilling”. It offers educational material and tests as well as access to new career opportunities.

The Hungarian job market

I asked Balázs about the language options on the Profession.hu site. Even if the site is available in English, some pages aren’t translated. Since most of the recruiters are local or the companies have local branches within Hungary, Varga told us English is not a priority for the site development, yet.

Balázs explained that the advertising model in recruiting differs greatly from, say, the US. In the US, many companies and recruiters opt for PPC (pay-per-click) campaigns, because you pay for what you get. However, most European countries continue to sell job slots at a fixed rate and don’t even offer different options. Allas.hu tried to introduce the PPC model but it failed. I guess Hungary just isn’t ready for the change yet.

Another recruitment media development, which hasn’t reached Hungary, is niche job boards. For now, the country prefers to rely on generalist sites, but who knows what the future holds.

This doesn’t mean that the technology is outdated. Profession uses AI for behaviour targeting, job alerts, multi-posting and match making, like any serious job board. It also offers its users a chatbot product to speed up the recruitment process and manage candidate interviews.

The biggest challenges for recruiters in Hungary remain the low unemployment rate and high GDP. With more companies looking to hire and fewer jobseekers to choose from, Hungarian recruiters sometimes struggle to attract enough candidates. Like in most countries, they resort to offering higher salaries and more benefits, which is why minimum wage has risen quickly over the past few years. Companies are becoming more human-focused and the all-round effects are positive for everyone. Hopefully, these changes will encourage more Hungarians to stay in the country. Currently, 5-8% of the active population left already, even though the numbers are significantly lower than some of the neighbouring countries, they affect the economy.

Conclusion

Only time will tell how the Hungarian market will handle the effects of politics and the economy on recruitment. The only thing we know for sure is that Profession.hu will be there to guide both recruiters and jobseekers through it all.

Author: Ali Neill

As the job board tester and blog editor for the Jobboard Finder, Ali works on job boards from all around the world and keeps a close eye on the recruitment trends thanks to a number of sources, including the website’s social media pages.

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