The Australian online recruitment landscape is about to be seriously disrupted by the imminent arrival of Google for Jobs, underpinned by its prodigious search engine power.

It’s one reason why Seek’s price may be undergoing a correction.

But there’s a nano cap that is potentially a major beneficiary. It’s ApplyDirect (ASX:AD1), whose technology solutions revamp employer’s career pages to make them more discoverable by job seekers, to improve the candidate experience and hence also improve their engagement.

Watch tech expert Tim Knapton’s quick video profile of ApplyDirect:

The solution includes digital marketing capability to augment the organic candidate traffic that is driven to the employer’s job destination.

In January the company made a rather low key update about its agreement to collaborate with Google to incorporate the latter’s Cloud Job Discovery search engine into its solution.

The full integration won’t be complete for some time but word is that Google is already training its artificial intelligence on the vast numbers of postings on local job boards to optimise the accuracy of its job cataloguing in other words to be able to provide the most relevant job vacancies to each search.

About three quarters of job seekers already start their job search on Google and Google for Jobs will rank employer jobs (ie original content) ahead of that duplicated by the likes of Seek.

ApplyDirect will therefore enjoy powerful access to Google’s machine learning capacity and will in effect become an intermediary to allow Google access to its portfolio of employer’s job pages.

This will also improve the company’s margins because one of its largest costs to date is in search engine optimisation on behalf of its customers.

Because ApplyDirect connects into an array of Applicant Tracking Systems it will also being able to provide analytics on actual job finding success, ie completing the critical “last mile” of the recruitment process.

The company has been targeting customers in segments with large employee bases such as government, health, retail and professional services.

These verticals are also attractive from the perspective of their high turnover and high vacancy rates.

The NSW Government, the largest employer in the country, is currently Apply Direct’s biggest customer, for whom it hosts and maintains the iworkfornsw solution.

Australian employers spend about $12bn per annum on recruitment intermediaries and ApplyDirect’s value proposition is compelling because it removes significant costs from the recruitment process.

The company’s roll out is still in its infancy but its interim operating revenues grew by 104 per cent — albeit off a low base.

It surely faces continued strong growth and so its projected revenue multiples look very reasonable.

More importantly, by the end of next financial year the company could well have transitioned into profitability


Tim Knapton is the founder and CEO of online tech research and finance marketplace TechVoyage which enables investors to appraise listed and unlisted tech companies and for entrepreneurs to finance, acquire and exit them. Previously Tim was Head of Corporate Broking at Deutsche Australia and before that ran a research department for a leading broking house.  Tim has also been a freelance tech/finance journalist for more than 20 years and a columnist with The Australian Financial Review, The Bulletin, BRW, Shares and Australian Business.
This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.