Mr. Grob-selbeck, an important pillar for xing is the business with personnel services for companies. Do they get to feel the euro debt crisis there?
Grob-selbeck: "what we are noticing is that our corporate customers are feeling a greater sense of uncertainty than they did a year ago. This is reflected in the fact that they are a little more hesitant when it comes to purchasing job advertisements. They want more time to use their packages of 50 or 100 job ads – because they don’t know how many employees they want to hire in the next few months."
So no good time for the geschaft with personnel search?
Grob-selbeck: "we have seen in the past that, especially in economically bad times, people resort to social networks in order to be ready for possible changes. We gained 436,000 new members in the german-speaking world alone in the first half of the year, which is the strongest first half in three years. I do believe that in times of uncertainty, relationships – also in social networks – play a special role."
Xing concentrates on the german-speaking region. While this helps the company avoid economic turbulence in other regions, isn’t it also a relatively limited market in which they are active??
Grob-selbeck: "it will take quite a long time to cover the german-speaking region. We now have 5.7 million members here, and the german-speaking region has a population of around 100 million, so we have a market penetration of just under six percent. In the USA or the netherlands, this figure for comparable services is 10-15 percent. I believe that we still have considerable growth potential in our core business. I’m not worried about growth. It is important to me that we do this solidly, that we work with profit and invest sensibly and thoughtfully."