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Ladders’ oops! and Zip’s questionable hire: news of the job board industry

It’s May, which means a flurry of Q1 financial reports (see DHI, Upwork, and Axel Springer, below), and – depending on where you live – something resembling warm weather. Despite the length of this roundup, I actually left out several announcements of new ventures and funding rounds (sorry!) – which I guess tells you that the job board industry is still going strong. Note too the global reach of these notices – reports from Russia, Germany, Australia, the U.K., and more. So without further ado, let’s get to it!:

  • Antitrust action against Russian job boards: Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service has filed antitrust cases against job boards HeadHunter, Superjob, and Rabota.ru. The FAS said the terms of use for the three job boards’ services contain clauses banning the use of automated recruitment software when working with the firms. The FAS added that, “at the same time, these resources occupy a dominant position in the job search market on the Internet” and “dominate the market of information exchange between jobseekers, employers, and staffing agencies in the Internet.” Very interesting. In related news, HeadHunter.ru’s valuation has crossed half a billion dollars ahead of its initial public offering (IPO) scheduled in May or June, according to a report in the Moscow Times.
  • Upwork revenue up: First-quarter revenue at Upwork rose 16.4%, and gross margin improved. The staffing platform also reported gross services volume increased 21.1% year over year to $487 million — gross service volume represents the total amount that clients spend on platform offerings and managed services as well as additional fees to clients and freelancers. Upwork reported a net loss of $4.7 million in the first quarter, a smaller loss than the $6.8 million loss in the first quarter of last year. Very interesting.
  • Hireology raises cash Hireology, a recruitment management platform for the automotive and healthcare sectors, closed $27 million in Series D financing. Funds will be used to accelerate the company’s growth in new market verticals and to create features that further differentiate its product offering. This latest round of investment brings Hireology’s total capital raised to $60.5 million. Impressive!
  • Dice revenues downDHI’s Q1 report revealed that Dice revenues were $23.1 million, down 1% compared to the prior year period, marking a sustained trend of improvement. eFinancialCareers revenues were $8.2 million, in line year over year, excluding foreign exchange, and ClearanceJobs revenues were $5.8 million, up 20% year over year, the thirteenth consecutive quarter of at least 20% year over year revenue growth. The company also has a new CMO, Chris Henderson. Slow and steady.
  • Axel Springer up: Axel Springer, the German corporate parent of Stepstone, saw revenue growth of 3.2% in Q1 2019. the Classifieds Media segment was expanded through two strategic acquisitions of job portals. At the beginning of the year, StepStone took over Studydrive, the leading digital platform for students in Europe. This was followed in March by the acquisition of PersonalMarkt Services GmbH (PMSG), one of Germany’s largest compensation analysts. Impressive.
  • Facebook adds to its jobs platformFacebook announced new partnerships it is forming with HR tech firms like SAP SuccessFactors to enhance its Jobs on Facebook platform. According to the social media giant, the partners’ technology will enable employers to post job listings and track applicants easily and conveniently. Employers can create job posts and manage applications through the ATSs. Smart, but baby steps.
  • A new blockchain-powered freelance marketplaceNodal Labs, a blockchain-powered freelance marketplace, launched in the UK recently. The site gives employers access to a talent pool of freelancers, with skills verified by others in the industry. As work and skills are continuously validated and recorded each time an action is performed, the platform says it creates a trust-building positive feedback loop. OK.
  • A resignation at ZipRecruiter Eyal Gutentag, the chief marketing officer of the employment job site ZipRecruiter, has left the company following a BuzzFeed News story containing new details of alleged sexual misconduct at a previous job. The announcement follows a BuzzFeed News report on Tuesday that revealed details about an alleged sexual battery incident involving Gutentag in 2015 when he worked for Uber. ZipRecruiter did not respond to multiple requests for comment. Gutentag also did not respond. Interesting.
  • SEEK keeps investingSEEK, the Australian job board giant, is investing around $140 million for stakes in two different “high growth” global online education business. It will spend $90 million to acquire a 50% stake in FutureLearn and another $50 million to acquire a “minority interest” in Coursera. More smart moves.
  • ShiftGig shifts againShiftGig, which was once a gig economy platform for the hospitality industry, has sold its staffing and national events business lines; the firm will now focus on providing software to staffing firms. It had ranked as one of the largest B2B human cloud firms, according to Staffing Industry Analysts research. Its online staffing business matched workers with hirers as both as employees and independent contractors. The company will now market its “Deploy” and “BookedOut” online staffing software directly to staffing firms.
  • Face and voice recognition recruiting is coming San Francisco-based startup VCV.AI announced Thursday that it raised $1.7 million from investors — including angel investor Masahiro Takeshima of Indeed — to continue developing its face and voice recognition technology powered by artificial intelligence (AI). VCV said it aims to develop AI-powered tech that can automatically screen job candidates.  The company said that the technology is an example of “robo-recruitment” that can eliminate bias in hiring and make the process “more fair and efficient for everyone involved.”  I’ve heard that before.
  • Oops! Ladders, the long-lasting U.S. job board, exposed more than 13.7 million user records following a security lapse. The New York-based company left an Amazon -hosted Elasticsearch database exposed without a password, allowing anyone to access the data. Each record included names, email addresses and their employment histories, such as their employer and job title. The user profiles also contain information about the industry they’re seeking a job in and their current compensation in U.S. dollars. All I can say is, oops!

Well…lots going on. I suspect there will be even more next month – so see you then!

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