Trinity Mirror snaps up secretarial jobs website for £3.5m

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The Independent Online

Trinity Mirror, the newspaper publisher, has continued its push into web-based classified advertising by acquiring a jobs site for secretarial recruitment.

The company has paid up to £3.5m in cash to buy SecsintheCity.com, which was set up in 2001 and has just three employees. Newspaper groups have rushed to buy websites, especially in the recruitment and property areas, as more classified advertising moves from papers to the internet.

Jon Grocott, 35, the director and founder of SecsintheCity.com, said he worked alone for the first three-and-a-half years of the website's existence. It was run from his living room in Southfields, south London.

Mr Grocott quit his job in the City, where he worked for Schroders, when he spotted a gap in the market. "I had an idea for a niche site, believing niche sites would be the way it would go in recruitment," he said. "I knew that no one was serving the secretarial market but I had no experience in it. So I was thrown in at the deep end."

Mr Grocott, who owned almost the entire equity of the website with his family, said it offers 4,000 jobs at any one time, mostly in London. Recruiters pay to advertise vacancies, which attract 200,000 visits per month.

Although there are a number of websites for general jobs, such as monster.com, totaljobs.com and fish4jobs.com, specialised sites can often offer vacancies that are more relevant for a particular candidate.

Trinity Mirror paid £50.5m for hotgroup, a general recruitment web business, this year and £13m for GAAPweb.com, a jobs' site for the accountancy and finance sector. It has also bought a property sales website. Other newspaper groups, notably Daily Mail & General and Rupert Murdoch's News International, have also spent heavily on buying classified advertising sites. Mr Murdoch said this month: "I don't know anybody under 30 who has ever looked at a classified advertisement in a newspaper."

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