Germany’s Absolventa buys market research partner

16 May 2017

Funke Media Group announced that its subsidiary Absolventa GmbH, which operates career websites for young job seekers, had acquired a 100-percent stake in Trendence, a market research firm based in Berlin. The selling price was not disclosed.

Until the sale last week, Trendence was part of GTI Media Group.

Trendence calls itself Europe’s leading research institute specializing in employer branding, personnel marketing and recruiting. It conducts surveys on school and university graduates, and young professionals, measuring their career interests and views of employers to provide employer branding services to companies.

Trendence now belongs to Funke Media Group

In a news release (here in German), Funke Media said Trendence will continue to operate independently and under its own name. Founder and CEO Holger Koch remains on board.

The two firms will combine their specialties in digital recruitment and the provision of detailed target group data, it stated.

The two companies have already worked in partnership for years. Trendence regularly uses Absolventa’s four career sites to conduct surveys on its target audiences: secondary school graduates, university students, and entry-level professionals.

Now officially joined up, Absolventa and Trendence have started their first joint project, the prototype “Trendence Analytics.” This is software for recruiters that provides them a detailed analysis of the digital channels of their job applicants.

In an interview on Saatkorn.com, Absolventa managing director Christoph Jost explained that combining data on users (Trendence) with direct contact to users (Absolventa) will allow it to develop better products for job seekers on its job sites. It will also improve its current employer branding and recruiting products for employers, and help it create new products.

Koch added that Trendence has up to this point focused on job applicants, but the union will enable it to better understand the perspectives of employees as well.

Absolventa’s strategic acquisition of Trendence mimics that of its main rival Territory Embrace GmbH (formerly Employour). And it shows the voracious demand in the career industry for user data on which to build out products.

In 2015, the same year Funke Media acquired Absolventa, Territory CTR bought Employour. Territory is a German employer branding and personnel marketing consultancy owned by publishing giant Gruner+Jahr. It oversees a suite of career sites for students and young workers, including Ausbildung.de (Germany’s No. 1 site for school graduates), MeinPraktikum.de (for paid internships), MeineUni.de (for school graduates choosing a course of study) and CareerLoft.de (for entry-level job seekers).

Altogether, Territory’s sites have two million registered users (its own figure). It presumably uses the enormous amount of data gathered from them to feed into its employer branding consulting business.

Trendence tracks the career interests of more than three million students and young workers worldwide, according to the Saatkorn.com article.

Germany’s career market continues to be an employees’ market, especially for under-30 workers, who are too few in number to fill all the openings for traineeships and entry-level jobs. This makes data on the interests and preferences of this target group extremely valuable to companies trying to attract them, and, by extension, the consulting services that help them do this.

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Kate Rodriguez

Kate Rodriguez covers the German market for AIM Group. She is a freelance business writer with an extensive background in public policy, business consulting and marketing. Originally from the U.S., Kate is now based in Munich.