David González Castro is a stalwart of the online classifieds industry. He began his career trajectory in 1987 when he co-founded the print classifieds business Anuntis, which evolved into a leading digital classifieds company.
Although Anuntis' print business was very successful, González Castro, a speaker at the Global Online Classifieds Summit, felt change was in the air and became more involved in the internet, founding the real estate site fotocasa.es in 1999.
After surviving the dot com crash, González Castro took a leap of faith and shut down Anuntis’ paper based production in 2008 in order to take the business into the digital age. The business model had been completely transformed to adapt to the new digital model and Anuntis became the leader in the online classified sector in Spain which included leading websites fotocasa.es segundamano.es (Miscellaneous), coches.net (cars) and Infojobs.net (Jobs).
“I am proud to say that this is one of the few cases of a successful business transformation from paper to online,” González Castro says of Anuntis’ transition from print to digital.
After watching the company transform over 30 years, González Castro sold his Anuntis shares in 2013 and founded Red Arbor – a company that invests in online businesses who specialise in jobs and real estate.
“After selling Anuntis, I focused more on jobs boards and real estate, with the specific goal to lead these two sectors, because it’s where I see classified businesses can evolve more in the future,” he says.
Red Arbor now has a presence in 26 countries and employs 265 people across eleven countries in Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa.
“After almost four years, Red Arbor has become the leader in job websites in Latin America with over 1 billion page views, more than 100 million visits and more than 38 million CVs,” González Castro says.
The company’s current project portfolio includes job sites: CompuTrabajo in Latin America; European site InfoJobs; BestJobs in South Africa and Philippines, and the Moroccan real estate portal, Mubawab.
So, what are the current trends shaping the job classifieds sector right now? González Castro says four spring to mind.
The big online players
Big online players such as Facebook, Google and Microsoft have entered the jobs classifieds business as pure “App Players” he says.
“They want to know all possible information of the users. Job boards have a lot of users and that’s very interesting for them. Time will tell if they will become important in the job board sector, but one thing is certain; they have to be taken into consideration.
The transition from Desktop, to mobile, to app
González Castro says Red Abor is currently witnessing a technology evolution which has seen some of the company's sites: Computrabajo, Infojobs and Bestjobs, almost exclusively being used on apps only. He says this is a clear trend in the market
“Our traffic through the apps is very high,” González Castro says. “Nevertheless, it’s interesting to highlight that we have observed that the time users spend is less then on the desktop. The future is apps. In some of the countries where we have websites, app traffic is higher than desktop or mobile Browser.
González Castro says Big Data has a lot of possible developments and is an area that his company is looking at right now.
“We are focusing now on Programmatic Advertising, Data Matching and People Analytic, among many other opportunities,” he says.
Moving through the Chain of Values
"Every sector has possible business diversifications," González Castro says. "A trend in job boards is to sell to potential clients, tools for recruitment and for Human Resources development in the company. It’s a way to cover the needs of every actor involved in the recruitment and work process."