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Legal woes and lots of growth: news of the job board industry

As summer slips into fall (at least in the Northern hemisphere), the pace of announcements, acquisitions, and fund raising has failed to slacken in our industry. Google Hire is going away, SEEK continues to grow, and LinkedIn loses in the legal realm, at least for now. Let’s take a closer look:

  • Recruit – and Indeed – are up: Recruit reported revenue rose 5.1% in its fiscal first quarter ended June 30 with the fastest revenue growth happening in its “HR Technology” segment that includes Indeed and Glassdoor – revenue rose 47.5% in the HR Technology segment, and the increase on a US-dollar basis was 46.3%. Impressive by anyone’s count.
  • NewWork revenue rises New Work SE (formerly known as Xing SE) today reported an 18% increase in group revenue, which rose to €128 million ($143 million U.S.) during the first six months of the year. The company’s business-to-business e-recruiting revenue jumped by 31% to €65 million ($73 million U.S.) while the business-to-consumer arm reported a 4% increase in sales that totalled €51 million ($57 million U.S.). Xing is one of the largest online business networks in German-speaking countries, counting more than 16 million members. Also impressive.
  • Nursefly is acquired: NurseFly, a travel nurse staffing site that connects nurses with staffing firms, was acquired for $15M by IAC, the owner of Match.com, as well as other websites including human cloud platforms Handy, Angie’s List and Bluecrew. NurseFly, founded in 2017, is a two-sided platform. One side aggregates an index of travel nursing jobs and enables nurses to post reviews of healthcare staffing agencies. The other side, serving the healthcare staffing agencies, enables the firms to recruit and chat with nurses.
  • Google’s job search gets complaint in EuropeIn a letter to be sent to European Union competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager, 23 job search websites in Europe called on her to temporarily order Google to stop playing unfairly while she investigates. Some rivals allege that positioning is illegal because Google is using its dominance to attract users to its specialized search offering without the traditional marketing investments they have to make. Lack of action could spur the signatories, which include UK site Best Jobs Online to German peers Intermedia and Jobindex, to follow with formal complaints against Google to Vestager, a person familiar with the matter said. StepStone GmbH, which operates 30 job websites globally, and another German search service already have taken that step, another person said. Hmm. In other Google news – of course – Google announced that it was shutting down Hire in 2020. Why? See previous news…
  • LinkedIn takes a legal hit: In a decision that applies to a single dispute, but which has wide implications for recruiters, sourcers and the HR vendors who serve them, a federal appeals court signaled this week that web scraping of public information does not violate a decades-old anti-hacking law.The ruling in hiQ Labs v. LinkedIn upheld the granting of an injunction by a lower court, which ordered LinkedIn to stop blocking hiQ. We’ll be hearing more of this, I’m sure.
  • JobTeaser gets major money: JobTeaser, a graduate recruitment, and career guidance platform has brought $55.47 Million up in new financing. The venture is driven by Highland Europe, and it brings the aggregate sum raised to $75.22 million since the organization was established right in 2008. JobTeaser says the financing will be utilized to extend JobTeaser’s accomplice system of schools and colleges over the U.K. what’s more, Ireland. I’m impressed.
  • Stepstone up, Axel Springer down: Axel Springer on Wednesday reported a 23% decline in net earnings, which dropped to €78 million ($87 million U.S.) during the second quarter of the year due to weaker economic conditions. The company reported a slight increase in sales for its classifieds media segment, which includes jobsite Stepstone. Here second quarter revenues rose by 1.3% to €299 million ($334 million U.S.), making it one of Springer’s strongest performing business segments. Double hmm.
  • SEEK’s revenue up 18%Revenue rose 18% at Seek Ltd. in its fiscal year ended June 30, the Australia-based company reported. Revenue grew organically amid a backdrop of easing macro-economic conditions. Full-year revenue at Seek has topped $1 billion U.S. for the first time, driven by strong growth at Chinese job site Zhaopin and sustained investment in product and technology development. Seek expects revenue in its 2020 fiscal year to increase by between 15% and 18%. Notice all the similar job board results this time around? Not dead yet, I guess.
  • RippleMatch raises fundsRippleMatch, a recruitment platform to help organizations specifically to connect with recent graduates from more diverse backgrounds that match their needs, has announced a Series A of $6 million. The platform takes a potential candidate through a set of questions about his/her career and geographical ambitions, interests and so on, along with a copy of the candidate’s resume. It then combines these with basic information about a candidate’s GPA and test scores, plus more information sources outside of the candidate’s own input, ending up with some 300 data points that it crunches together to match candidates with job and internship opportunities. Interesting.
  • Upward.net acquires Proven Upward.net, a job site in Newark, CA, announced that it has acquired Proven, expanding their offering to serve small and medium businesses in the U.S. Proven is a job site focused on small businesses. It was started in 2009 by Pablo Fuentes, Joe Mellin and Sean Falconer while they were graduate students at Stanford. Good fit.
  • Gig worker bill passes in CaliforniaAssembly Bill 5, the gig worker bill opposed by the likes of Uber, Lyft and DoorDash, has passed in the California State Senate. This comes shortly after California Governor Gavin Newsom officially put his support behind AB-5 in an op-ed. AB-5 would ensure gig economy workers are entitled to minimum wage, workers’ compensation and other benefits. Uber  and Lyft, two of the main targets of this legislation, are adamantly against it. Last month, Uber, Lyft and DoorDash amped up their efforts to do whatever they can to prevent it from happening. That’s in part due to the fact that the companies cost of operating would increase. Things are getting interesting.

Wow. On a much sadder note, industry pioneer Bill Warren died. He created OCC, the first modern job board, in 1992 – and went on to merge it with Monster. Later he founded DirectEmployers. The industry will be less without him.

PS: Have you taken the 2019-20 Recruiting Site Trends survey? No? Then give it a whirl now!

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