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Seek, Fiverr, Google, and more: news of the recruitment marketing industry

SeekIt’s an interesting time in the job board and recruitment marketing industry. The pandemic has dampened demand for certain types of work, while creating additional demand for other types. The world’s economies are limping along, trying to make it to a post-pandemic world yet know that such a place is at least six to twelve months away. And our industry is simply trying to keep moving forward – expanding where there’s demand, acquiring when there’s opportunity, and – as always – raising more money! So what’s been happening in the past four weeks? Let’s take a look:

  • Eightfold AI raises moneyEightfold AI has raised a $125M Series D funding round. The funds will be used to expand and scale Eightfold’s  AI-powered Talent Intelligence Platform, a single solution for managing the entire talent lifecycle.The company’s single platform for the entire talent lifecycle brings together billions of anonymized data points, algorithms and domain expertise required to make a reliable, scalable impact for enterprise-scale organizations. Congrats, folks!
  • Fiverr makes big bucksFreelancer marketplace Fiverr reported third-quarter revenue rose 87.8%. Fiverr noted the number of active buyers rose to 3.1 million as of Sept. 30, an increase from 2.3 million during the same period last year. Spend per buyer also rose, reaching $195 as of Sept. 30 compared to $163 in the same period last year.  Fiverr had a market cap of $5.22 billion. Not bad.
  • SmashFlyX adds on-demand interviewingSymphony Talent has incorporated an on-demand interviewing module into its recruitment marketing platform, SmashFlyX. The new module allows talent acquisition teams to automate CRM workflows to prompt on-demand interview screening at specific times, such as after a virtual event, or to a specific pipeline. Recruiters can then access recorded interviews from within the CRM talent profile. Smart move.
  • Recruit revenue slidesRecruit Holdings reported revenue fell 6.2% in its fiscal second quarter ended Sept. 30. Revenue in Recruit’s “HR Technology” segment, which includes Indeed and Glassdoor, fell 3.1%. Revenue in the company’s HR Technology segment fell 3.1% year over year and was down 2.3% in US dollar terms. The revenue decline was primarily caused by decreased demand for sponsored job advertising, candidate sourcing and screening solutions, and employer branding products. The pandemic hits everyone.
  • 51Job sees revenue drop51Job, the China-based human resources company, saw net revenues decline 8.4% in the third quarter of 2020. The company said the losses were due to a Covid-related dip in recruitment.Overall, net revenues amounted to RMB 906.1 million ($133.5 million U.S.) compared to RMB 989 million in the same period last year. Gross profit came to RMB 584.4 million compared to RMB 682.3 million last year. Hmm.
  • Google hears a new complaintA group of 135 Internet companies, including job boards, and 30 industry groups today sent a letter to EU Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager raising concerns about Google and what they say are anti-competitive practices harming their businesses. Danish job board operator Jobindex said the letter is a follow-up to a separate letter last year sent to the Commissioner for Competition regarding Google for Jobs. Jobsites signing onto the letter include Adzuna, BestJobsOnline, Experteer, InfoJobs,, Jobartis,, and many others.
  • FurstPerson is acquired OutMatch acquired the assessment company FurstPerson (what a name!), which specializes in pre-hire simulations. The company said FurstPerson’s simulation tools complement its video interviewing capabilities. The company also launched a gamified culture assessment for OutMatch Assess. Interesting. In other Outmatch news, the company has also acquired Checkster. OutMatch said it will integrate Checkster’s reference-checking and post-hire analysis functionality into its Talent Decision Platform.
  • Does Seek have ‘toxic levels of debt’?Texas based activist short-seller Blue Orca has taken aim at Seek, claiming its prized Chinese business is inundated with false and fraudulent postings and that the company is carrying toxic levels of debt. Blue Orca said the $8.1 billion ASX listed company’s assertions that Chinese online recruitment platform Zhaopin, which accounts for 48 per cent of its revenue, was China’s number one player and growing rapidly were false. Blue Orca said Seek has historically paid a dividend giving the impression that its business produces healthy profits and cash flows but it claims this impression is false and the payments have been largely funded by debt. Seek said it strongly disagreed with the report’s assertions about Zhaopin and Seek’s use of “aggressive” accounting practices. “The fullness of Seek’s market disclosures ensures that market participants have a great deal of information against which to assess the merit, or lack thereof, of claims such as those in the report,” the company said in a statement to the ASX. I wonder how this ends….
  • Flown pushes ‘deep work’Flown is an online platform that will match knowledge workers with inspiring properties already set up for productive and ergonomic remote work, as well as providing an array of online tools and resources to help them – think “Airbnb-meets-Calm-as-a-service”. The company has now closed a $1.5 million pre-seed investment round from several noted and prolific angels and entrepreneurs. Flown will consist of two products: Flown Away: A highly curated list of homes, hotels and retreat spaces that are fully equipped for distraction-free, ergonomic and productive remote working; and Flown Here: An online platform of resources and interactive tools to help workers establish more effective “deep work” rituals — from virtual accountability groups to “perception-shifting creative challenges”. Hmm.
  • ZipRecruiter adds training marketplaceZipRecruiter has signed with a number of online training firms to market their courses while giving job seekers a way to boost their skills and credentials.  The program allows ZipRecruiter, the No. 3 U.S. jobs platform in terms of traffic, to offer a menu of 250 job-skills courses from vendors edX, Coursera, Skillshare, SkillSuccess, Udacity, and GoSkills.  The move takes a page out of LinkedIn’s playbook, which rolled out a “Learning” platform in 2016. Intriguing.
  • SmartRecruiters acquires JobPalSmartRecruiters has acquired jobpal, an enterprise-grade chatbot technology. “jobpal is where automation meets individualization,” shares Florian Schrodt, Head of Employer Branding at Zurich Public Transport. “The technology helps us improve thousands of candidate communications every month. With nearly 80% automated answers, our hiring teams are saving hundreds of hours that we can now dedicate to the most important task: relationship building and adding value to our candidates.” Interesting move.
  • wkrfrce launchesThe improbably-named wrkfrce has launched and will offer content, job postings and consulting services to help workers understand how to adapt and thrive in a remote-work environment. The site is starting with 60 articles and will post more information daily, on topics like how to adapt as a parent to the best way to ask for vacation time as a remote worker. In addition to its articles, the company is creating documentary-style video content in collaboration with a Los-Angeles based studio. The videos will cover the troves of buzzy enterprise remote work tools out there to add some clarity to the now noisy space. Beyond the content library, wrkfrce dedicates a portion of its site to job listings for remote-only gigs. Kinda sounds like a hub, doesn’t it?
  • HelloWork is #3: HelloWork has now become the No. 3 recruitment advertising business in the country by traffic. The site is only behind (the state-owned job board) and (the Recruit Holdings-owned, international giant) in recruitment, based on data from France-based online analytics provider MediaMetrie. One to watch.

Well, that was something! A lot can happen in 30 days, eh? More to come. In the meanwhile, stay safe!

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