€30m boost for ChinaHR on eastern trade mission
Recruitment firm ChinaHR has announced a €30m investment as part of a major Irish trade mission to the region.
The company's core Chinese business is forecast to grow by 60pc this year, having already helped place more than one million people in jobs.
The latest investment will be largely in its technology, which is being ramped up to target the growing smartphone and tablet recruitment market as jobseekers in China change their search habits.
Funds will also be used to expand staffing levels at the company.
"We are delivering cutting-edge technology solutions to the Chinese market and are putting a team in place that will drive the company's growth," said Andrew North, chief executive at ChinaHR.
ChinaHR, formerly Saon, sold its European operations to Stepstone for around €76m last year.
Businessman Denis O'Brien owns 75pc of the recruiter and Leslie Buckley the other 25pc.
"The Chinese economy is still strong, growing at approximately 7pc per annum," said Mr Buckley, chairman of the company. Mr Buckley is also the chairman of Independent News & Media, which owns the Irish Independent.
"This is good news for ChinaHR, as we continue to develop the future growth of the business," he said.
"Our latest investment will continue to strengthen Ireland's business relationship with China as well as contributing to the further development of a leading edge online recruitment offering for China," he added.
Enterprise and Jobs Minister Richard Bruton said: "At the heart of our strategy for jobs and growth is supporting innovative Irish companies selling their goods and services in high-growth foreign markets like China.
"Today's announcement by ChinaHR that it is investing €30m in its operations in China is very welcome news."
The company employs 2,600 staff in 26 cities across China, and has a reach into 180 cities.
The acquisition of rival Monster.com in early 2013 catapulted ChinaHR into one of the top three slots in the competitive Chinese recruitment market.
While further buyouts may be on the cards, the sheer size of the Chinese jobs market means that there are enormous opportunities for organic growth.
ChinaHR also offers turnkey services for recruiters seeking graduates or specially targeted recruitment.
A number of Irish companies have travelled to China as part of the trade mission, which is being headed up by Mr Bruton.