This was kind of like the summer that never was, eh (at least in the Northern Hemisphere)? Yes, we were working, making deals, selling, buying – but we were also sitting in endless Zoom calls, masking up, and maybe staying inside more than usual. Nevertheless – as you’ve read in past posts, our industry continues to move forward. So what happened in the last month? Let’s see:
- Beamery sees growth: Beamery said it saw significant growth during the second quarter, despite the challenges faced by talent acquisition teams because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The number of new customers signed grew during the period, and includes organizations in the financial services, entertainment, technology, pharmaceuticals and defense sectors, the company said. In April, Beamery launched a virtual events service, joining a number of recruiting platforms in offering tools to help employers meet candidates in new ways. Interesting.
- Seek seeking new investors?: Seek Ltd is in talks with a number of parties on whether to bring new investors into its Chinese unit, it said after a report indicated that Alibaba was eyeing an investment. Seek said the discussions aimed “to assess whether the introduction of new investors could better support Zhaopin’s long term growth aspirations.” The discussions, just three years after Seek led a consortium to take the then New York-listed Zhaopin private, come as the firm’s underlying annual profit halved after the coronavirus pandemic put a freeze on corporate hiring plans. Hmm.
- LinkedIn opens up: LinkedIn announced the LinkedIn Fairness Toolkit, a suite of software tools to detect bias in data sets and algorithms. LiFT is based on research that LinkedIn started in 2017, and for the past year, the company’s used it to check its own work. This toolkit is now open source, making it available to any company. Very interesting. In other LinkedIn news, the company is launching a redesign that pushes engagement in other ways as it waits for the job economy to pick up. It is rolling out its own version of Stories — the popular, ephemeral video and photo narratives that have become a major engagement engine on Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook. It’s also updating its direct messaging service with several new features like video chat. And it’s rebuilt its search feature to net in a wider set of parameters.
- Grupa Pracuj lays off staff: Grupa Pracuj has laid off 8% of its workforce in Poland and 30% in Ukraine. The company has decided not to reduce wages for most employees and will also pay employees all bonuses for the past six months. Its recruitment site, Pracuj.pl, currently saw new listings drop around 10-15% year-on-year. Hmm. In other news, Grupa Pracuj‘s venture capital fund, Pracuj Ventures, has acquired a stake in the work-gamification company Gamfi for an undisclosed amount.
- Skilled labor network launches: Vancouver, Wash.-based ToolBelt, a digital network that connects contractors with skilled laborers, has launched. The online staffing marketplace has 9% of all residential contractors in Portland on its platform and is now live in the Seattle market. The company is seeing a huge uptick in project demand during the pandemic. ToolBelt has raised more than $1 million from investors including Elevate Capital, Bellingham Angel Group, Cascade Seed Fund, Portland Seed Fund, and Alliance of Angels. They hope to expand to the rest of the West Coast in 2021. Intriguing indeed.
- Turing.com gets funding: Turing.com, an automated platform that lets companies reduce the time it takes to hire software engineers, has landed a $14-million seed funding round led by Foundation Capital. Turing taps into a global pool of developers to help companies hire in markets such as San Francisco and New York, where it is challenging to hire and retain top software engineers. Turing currently has 160,000 developers from 140 countries signed up on its platform. Intriguing.
- Jobberman Nigeria acquires Ngcareers.com: Jobberman Nigeria and Ngcareers have reached into an agreement where Jobberman acquires 100% of Ngcareers.com. Ngcareers was founded in 2009 by Paul and Andrew Eze, and grew from a few hundred users to over 1 million users in Nigeria in 2019. Through this acquisition, ROAM Africa, the owner of Jobberman Nigeria, will further consolidate the Nigerian job marketplaces market. Big move.
- OLX makes moves: OLX Poland has launched candidate profiles that job seekers can use to apply for positions on the site. It is also increasing its ownership stake in blue-collar recruitment app Kiwi Jobs to 100% by purchasing the remaining shares from the company’s founders for an undisclosed amount. Through the acquisition, the horizontal planed to strengthen its position in the blue-collar recruitment segment together with the app’s developers. Until now, the app has worked separately from OLX, but now its employees will join the OLX Group’s jobs division. Busy!
- Mathison raises funds: Diverse talent platform Mathison, which aims to connect companies with workers coming from historically underrepresented communities, announced that it has raised a $2 million seed round led by Animo Ventures. Mathison, cofounded by Under 30 honoree Arthur Woods, sources its talent from a variety of nonprofit workforce development agencies and professional membership groups and serves as a marketplace where companies can search for specific types of potential employees coming from underrepresented or diverse backgrounds. Congrats!
- A new site for essential workers: Apis & Heritage Capital Partners (A&H) and the Democracy at Work Institute (DAWI) is launching the “Own Your Job” Job Board, an aggregated listing of open positions at employee-owned firms, with the goal of empowering job seekers to work at firms where they will have an ownership stake. The “Own Your Job” Job Board has more than 700 jobs from 95 employee-owned firms across 45 states and highlights jobs aligned with A&H and DAWI’s core mission of closing the racial wealth gap and empowering essential workers through employee ownership. Interesting.
- 51Job getting bought out?: 51Job, the China-based recruitment giant, has received a $5.3 billion U.S. buyout offer from a group led by DCP Capital Partners. The private equity firm is offering $79.05 per share, a 16% premium over 51Job’s closing price on September 16. The company tasked two of its independent directors, Li-Lan Cheng and Eric He, with evaluating the offer. Will be curious to see what happens.
- Bryq gets funding: Talent assessment platform Bryq announced the closing of its €1.2 million seed funding round by BigPi Ventures. Bryq offers a science-backed talent assessment platform to help companies remove bias from hiring and meet employer demand by enabling companies to hire for the specific skills required for each role. A chatbot-based assessment with a short 20-minute requirement, Bryq has a 91% completion rate. More anti-bias tech.
That’s it for this month. You know there will be more next month! Till then…
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