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The year in review: what happened with job boards and recruitment marketing

2019 year in review2019 has been an impressive year for the job board and recruitment marketing world: lots of buying (can we say ‘programmatic’?), lots of selling, and the continued expansion of both small and large sites – not to mention a raft of startups. It also marked the 10th anniversary of JobBoardDoctor, for what it’s worth! So let’s take a trip down memory lane and see what happened this year:

  • January: The year started out with the resurrection of Jobbird, some management changes at Crowded, and acquisitions by OLX, Outmatch, and Stepstone. A strong start?
  • FebruaryDespite the cold weather, several sites launched, including Woven and Chief. For not the last time in 2019, CareerBuilder made the news – acquiring TextKernel and opening a call center in Virginia. Craigslist cracked the $1B in revenue mark (which hasn’t happened here at JobBoardDoctor yet!), and Monster made its first appearance with an announcement of layoffs. Vangst raised money for its weed-focused staffing service, and MyNavi, Jobijoba, and Hired all made various acquisitions.
  • MarchThis month started strong, with Mideast powerhouse Bayt considering an IPO and expansion into the US. Stepstone planned to move into Poland, even as it acquired Australian site GradConnection. Recruit reported revenue increases, including a rise of 48% for their HR division, which included Indeed and Glassdoor. Jobcase, Fairygodboss, and Malt all raised funds, and Jobvite went on an acquisition spree.
  • AprilXing got busy, buying Honeypost and changing its name to ‘New Work’. JobAndTalent saw its annual revenues rise to an impressive $154M. Triplebyte raised cash and said it was moving toward becoming a ‘unicorn’. Hmm.
  • MayThe Russian government filed anti-trust cases against HeadHunter, Superjob, and UpWork’s revenue went up, DHI’s revenue went down, and Axel Springer’s revenue rose (it’s the corporate parent of Stepstone, fyi). Ladders (formerly TheLadders, ahem) managed to expose 13.7M user records, and SEEK continued to invest in new and growing startups.
  • JuneMonster decided to start investing in television, while Google for Jobs moved into the French market with its job search service. Money-losing Fiverr decided to go public, while both AllyO and Karat raised funding. Rounding out the news, Recruit reports Q4 revenue increases.
  • JulyThe month kicked off the programmatic feeding frenzy with Stepstone’s majority investment in Appcast. iCIMS decided to acquire Jibe, and OLX Poland acquired a majority stake in KiwiJobs. Finally, both and expertlead landed additional funding.
  • AugustThe programmatic selloff continued, with Indeed acquiring ClickIQ, TMP buying Perengo, and Recruitics acquiring KRT Marketing. Wow. Funding continued, with both Wanted and Harver raising cash. JobAndTalent also added to its pile, acquiring another $50M.
  • SeptemberGoogle started getting legal heat from 23 European job boards, who complained to the EU about Google for Jobs. LinkedIn took a legal hit re: the HiQ scraping case, and a big gig worker bill passed in California. Acquisitions continued, with both Nursefly and Proven being purchased. SEEK saw its revenue rise by 18%, as did New Work (formerly Xing). Finally – again – Recruit’s revenue was up.
  • OctoberIndeed rebranded its Prime service as ‘Seen’. On the funding side, Neuvoo landed CA$53M, as did DouPin. Russmedia took a majority interest in job board software vendor Jobiqo. The video site Vimeo launched a hiring site; Drum launched its sales-focused site.
  • NovemberThe acquisitions continued, with Smashfly being purchased by Symphony Talent. Funding also continued, with VONQ, Fountain, Rigup, Coople, and Elpha landing investments. In financials, DHI saw its earning rise even as revenue dropped. Upwork, however, saw its revenue and margins grow significantly in Q3.
  • DecemberRounding out the year, Indeed turned out to be testing a gig site. CareerBuilder was sued by former employees for sales compensation changes. Peter Harrison, formerly of Snag, reemerged at PandoLogic. Jobiak raised funds for expansion, as did Convoy, an ‘Uber for trucking’. Finally, in a nod to Indeed, YourMembership added ‘panes’ to its job search results.

Pretty amazing, eh? It seems obvious (to me, at least) that the industry continues to grow and change, and that there are opportunities for all businesses, large and small. Enjoy your holidays, and see you in 2020!

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