RealTime IT News

It Takes Two to Buy Dice

Online job site company Dice, a major player in the online recruitment market, announced it was bought by two private equity firms.

Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

General Atlantic LLC and Quadrangle Group LLC, Dice's new owners, said the current management team will continue to lead the company and remain "significant equity holders" in it. According to the Wall Street Journal the purchase price was approximately $200 million.

Dice, which specializes in technology-related jobs, runs several sites, including Dice.com, Clearancejobs.com for positions that require government security clearance and MeasureUp.com for IT certification practice tests, assessments and online courses.

Dice was formerly called EarthWeb, which sold most of its assets, including Developer.com, Datamation, and CrossNodes, to internet.com (now Jupitermedia, the parent company of this Web site) in 2000. Dice.com was not included in the sale.

Patricia Hedley, a senior vice president at General Atlantic, told internetnews.com there won't be significant changes to the business operations at Dice. Hedley emphasized her company's standing as a global private equity firm, adding that she expects Dice to expand both geographically and into other vertical markets complementary to its current technology focus.

Peter Ezersky, managing principal of Quadrangle, believes the Internet has emerged as the ideal job-search medium and that the online employment sector is poised for continued growth. Those comments were echoed by Anton Levy, principal of General Atlantic.

"The online environment will continue to replace offline advertising as the preferred venue for skilled professionals and thriving employers to find each other."

Even as specialized players like Dice look to expand, the top three job sites, HotJobs (a division of Yahoo), Monster.com and Careerbuilder, have been expanding and refining their offerings. HotJobs for example, recently announced it will increase the number of job listings it offers by copying off the Web sites of employers.

The process, known as scraping, gives job seekers more to choose from but could potentially hurt HotJobs revenue, as the company historically has relied on employers paying to be listed on the site. Yahoo bought Hotjobs for over $400 million in late 2001.

Traditionally a bread-and-butter revenue source for local newspapers, recruitment or help-wanted listings have largely moved online, both nationally and locally. In the San Francisco area, a company called BAJobs.com, which launched in 1995, has carved out a successful niche, according to its founder, Andrew Gardiner.

"We have maintained relationships with really marquee employers that have real jobs and keep coming back to us because it works," he told internetnews.com. That's the measure of success for any job board."