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The job board industry year in review: 2022 was interesting!

job board industry year in reviewIf 2020 was the year of collapse and rebirth, then 2021 was the year of bounce-back. So what was 2023? For many job boards, it was the best year ever. Combine labor shortages, continuing demand for goods and services, a major land war in Europe, and an economy that didn’t seem to realize that there was a recession going on, and you have a year that was expansionary, challenging, and profitable for the job board and recruitment marketing industry. Look back at some of the key events of the past year:

  • JanuaryZipRecruiter issued its first ever junk bonds with the intention of raising $500 million in fast cash. Paradox closed a Series C investment of $200 million.  SnagAJob secured a $65 million loan (in the first of several Snagajob developments in 2022). And Seattle-area startup SeekOut landed an additional $115 million to propel its valuation past $1 billion, earning it the coveted unicorn label. Ok, a pretty good start to the year.
  • FebruaryMicrosoft Corp. reported revenue at LinkedIn rose 37% year over year to $3.53 billion in the company’s fiscal second quarter ended Dec. 31. UpWork posted a 29% year-over-year increase in total revenue in Q4, taking the total figure to $137 million. Student-focused recruitment site Handshake closed a third major funding round in 16 months and claimed a valuation of $3.5 billion, more than double what it had last year. And finally, DHI Group, which runs Dice and ClearanceJobs, had total revenue of $33.7 million, up 10% sequentially and 25% year over year. Quite a change from 2020.
  • MarchThe war in Ukraine had an immediate effect on the industry: Jooble suspended its services in Russia and Belarus; Adzuna and Talent.com suspended services in Russia; and the stock price for the leading recruitment marketplace in Russia, HeadHunter Group, lost about two-thirds of its value. Recruit’s HR technology segment, including Indeed.com and Glassdoor.com, saw revenue surge 81.3% year-on-year to $2.0 billion U.S. in Q3.  Job.com announced the acquisition of QCI Healthcare, and Jobcase announced the acquisition of recruitment marketing platform Recruitology.  Seek’s group revenue increased 59% to A$517.2 million ($369 million U.S.). Lots of changes.
  • AprilStepStone, the leading European recruitment marketplace, pulled out of France. Job board software provider ForceFinder announced that it is shutting down as of May 31, 2022. European virtual and hybrid recruiting platform Talentspace was acquired by talent network Handshake. Recruit Holdings announced its operating companies had suspended business in Russia. Talent.com raised $120 million.  iCims acquired Candidate.ID. Finally, Austin unicorn Workrise laid off an unspecified number of employees as it exited several verticals and seeks to divest parts of its business. Ups and downs.
  • MayIn a landmark ruling by the U.S. Ninth Circuit of Appeals, the court held that scraping publicly accessible data is legal. Recruit Holdings’ HR division revenue reached $6.2B, and Indeed monthly visits broke 600M.  ZipRecruiter reported first-quarter revenue rose 81.3% to $227.3 million. Grupa Pracuj saw revenue increase by 58.7% and net profit by 139.2% in FY2021. Freelance.com has posted €502 million ($532 million U.S.) in 2021 revenue, a rise of 55% from €324 million the previous year. And finally, Upwork reported gross services volume rose 27% year over year in the first quarter to reach $1 billion. Those are some big numbers.
  • June: Adzuna expanded their presence in North America with the acquisition of GetWork. Nigeria-based concierge services startup Eden Life acquired Lynk, a Kenya-based leading blue-collar jobs site. CleverConnect and Talentry merged their companies. Russia-based recruitment vertical HeadHunter bought out the stakes of leading Kyrgyz recruitment classified Job.kg. Grupa Pracuj acquired German HR software management firm softgarden. Lots of buying and selling!
  • JulyIntern placement company InternMatch raised $10 million in a Series A.  JobGet landed $52 million in funding for building a go-to hub for waged or hourly workers.  JobAndTalent acquired UK-based Jump, a developer of artificial intelligence for job matching. In big legal news, Denmark’s JobIndex filed a formal complaint to the EU Commission requesting that an EU case be initiated against Google and its parent company Alphabet Inc. for abusing its dominant market position. Gloat, an internal marketplace for corporate talent, announced that it raised $90 million in a Series D round. Wonder how that Google complaint is going now?
  • AugustUpskls, a firm that provides on-demand work, acquired Work Simplr Ltd, a UK-based firm that built a virtual internship hosting and management solution. ZipRecruiter reported a 31.1% year-over-year increase in second-quarter revenue. Revenue at global staffing firm Recruit Holdings Co. Ltd. reported signs of a slowdown in hiring when reporting results for its fiscal first quarter ended June 30.  Seek revenue reached $773 million U.S. in FY22, a growth of 47%. And of course, another unicorn: Incredible Health, a U.S.-based job-matching platform for nurses, closed an $80 million Series B funding round and announced hitting a $1.65 billion unicorn valuation. Another unicorn every month.
  • SeptemberDigital recruitment company Harver acquired Pymetrics. China’s  Boss Zhipin, also known as Kanzhun Limited, posted a 4.8% year-over-year decline in revenue in the second quarter of 2022. Glints, one of Southeast Asia’s largest talent development and recruitment platforms, raised $50 million in an oversubscribed Series D. And finally, Snagajob laid off about 40 employees. Bummer.
  • OctoberTheMuse announced that it acquired Fairygodboss. Canadian job board CareerBeacon acquired Ruutly, an employer branding platform. CV-Library acquired Brilliant Jobs. Paycor acquired Talenya. B2B talent platforms in 2021 reached $13.8 billion in gross spend volume, according to Staffing Industry Analysts. Acquisitions can’t stop.
  • NovemberDHI Group reported third-quarter revenue rose 25.3% year over year to $38.5 million. Microsoft Corp. reported that LinkedIn revenue rose 17% to $3.66 billion in the company’s fiscal first quarter ended Sept. 30. Alma Career’s revenue amounted to €82.4 million ($80.5 million U.S.) during the period Q1-Q3 FY 2022. Jobandtalent raised $500 million at a valuation of $2.35 billion. Fiverr reported third-quarter revenue rose 11.1% year over year to $82.5 million. Not to be outdone, Upwork reported revenue rose 23.8% year over year to $158.6 million. Lotsa earnings.
  • December: Beamery became the latest SaaS unicorn as it takes in new funding and reaches the coveted milestone of over €1 billion in valuation. Glints laid off around 18% of its over 1,100 employees. Hunt Club, a Chicago-based talent platform that utilizes referrals, announced a $40 million series B funding round. Info Edge India Ltd., the parent company of Naukri and 99Acres, posted $66 million U.S. in revenues for Q2 FY22-23. Snagajob hired a new CEO. And in a fitting end to the year,  LinkedIn VP of legal Sarah Wright said HiQ Labs, which no longer operates, had agreed to destroy all source code, data, and algorithms created when it scraped LinkedIn member profiles in violation of the networking site’s user agreement. A fitting end, indeed.

Another year, come and gone. I fervently hope that we see an end to conflict in Ukraine during 2023, as well as continued good fortune for the job board industry, job seekers everywhere, and those who serve them! Happy new year to you!

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