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2017: the year that was in recruitment marketing

2017 1751381 960 720It ain’t over yet – but it’s pretty near done. As I did last year, it’s time to take a look at how 2017 was for recruitment marketing – the trends, events, and surprises that made the last 12 months, well, kind of interesting. I mean, really: Google AND Facebook – you could call 2017 ‘the year that household names invaded recruitment marketing‘. So let’s dig in:

  • Bought and sold: By my own (possibly incomplete) count, there were 24 ‘purchasing events’ in 2017, starting with the sale of AuthenticJobs to BuySellAds back on January 12th, and ending last week with the sale of to ZipRecruiter (and yes, I realize the year still has 14 days to go!). In particular, Germany’s Xing and the U.K.’s MyJobMatcher went on sprees, with each buying not 1 but 2 properties. DHI is working away at divesting itself of non-tech sites (HealthECareers went a couple of weeks ago). In general, most activity happened outside the U.S.
  • Folks got money: The river of cash continued to flow into the recruitment marketing industry – in my monthly industry roundups, there were always several announcements of funding. Gig sites continued to garner money: Comet, Gigster,, and Expert 360, to name a few. And if you said you had anything to do with AI, there were VCs lining up with their checkbooks. Just ask Mya, MyLittleJob, and WEMPLOY how their bank accounts are doing now.
  • Monster finally got sold: Sure, it took several years and (I suspect) a deep discount in price, but Monster finally found a buyer in the staffing firm Randstad. If at first you don’t succeed…
  • DHI had a tough year: The stock is not doing well, the CEO is on the way out, a lawsuit and counter-suit are raging, and the company – after being unable to find a buyer – decided that it would ‘refocus on tech’. In other words, sell off assets (see: HealthECareers). I’m betting the folks at DHI are hoping Santa brings some good news for 2018.
  • 2016-17 Recruiting Site Global Trends Survey was releasedHey, it’s true! And a little data never hurt anyone, right?
  • Indeed romped: What can I say? The world’s biggest job board made boatloads of money for its parent company, Recruit. It rolled out a new pricing scheme for its resumes product. It continued to enter new markets. And let’s not forget their foray into tech and healthcare staffing! (Helpful hint to job boards: when Indeed enters your market and offers to ‘partner’, give a quick call to former ‘partners’ in the U.S.; you’ll get an earful!).
  • The big 2 move in: Facebook and Google both decided that recruitment marketing was generating too much revenue to leave alone, so they began offering their own solutions. Both seem to target small-to-medium sized business – now – and both seem to have made great strides in a matter of months. Where will it end? Don’t ask me!
  • CareerBuilder was also sold: Unwilling to let Monster hog the spotlight, CareerBuilder was purchased by Apollo Global. The company – which has morphed from a traditional job board into a ‘cradle to grave’ HR services firm – still has multiple minority owners, including McClatchey and Tribune.
  • Some sites stumble: DHI was not alone in their 2017 troubles. Both ShiftGig and StackOverflow let a significant portion of their workforce go. I expect to see more of this in 2018 as some of the VC-funded sites reach the end of the gravy train…but can’t produce adequate revenue.
  • TATech became a conference machine: TATech, the for-profit trade association for the recruitment marketing industry, has always had a couple of conferences a year – but over the past few years, new special topic conferences have emerged. For 2018, the association is offering 5 conferences. I guess you’ll really need those frequent flyer miles!

So let’s say adieu to 2017 – and hope that 2018 is profitable, entertaining, and…fun!

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