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Smart or desperate moves by X, Glassdoor, and Kununu

smart or desperate movesSo today I present to you what are either smart or desperate moves by X, Glassdoor, and Kununu. Let me preface this by saying that X – Twitter to those of us who have been around more than a week – has managed to deep-six more brand equity in a single move than any company I’ve ever seen. What had been a household name, an obsession to many, and whose function – ‘tweeting’ – had entered the world lexicon, dumped every bit of their market power by a single boneheaded move by owner Elon Musk. You could saw it was awe inspiring. Or you could say it was stupid. Anyway…

What have these three companies been doing, you ask? Each has, in their own way, done something that could: a) change their business forever; b) disappear in a few weeks; or c) hang on, but with the relevancy of Facebook Jobs. Let’s take a look:

  • X (the company formerly known as Twitter): Among the many things that Elon Musk and team are throwing against the proverbial wall to see if it will stick is job postings – specifically, a feature that allows verified organizations on the platform to post job listings on their profiles. As of July 20 the company was referring to this feature as ‘Twitter Hiring‘, but we shall see if that changes (somehow, ‘X hiring’ doesn’t seem to have the same positive connotations).  Now, don’t forget that Twitter purchased Laskie, a job matching startup, just a few months ago. Is this another frantic search for revenue? Maybe not – it appears that verified organizations won’t have to pay extra to access the job postings feature. Instead, it seems – at this time – to be a value-add for organizations that pay for the ‘verified’ feature, to the tune of $1000 per month. Will Twitter/X Hiring become a player in the recruitment marketing world? I would be shocked if that happened. In fact, all data seems to point to a slow but steady decline in the usage and value of Twitter/X for companies in general.  Verdict: desperate move.
  • Kununu adds job postings: Kununu, the company rating platform owned by New Work SE, is now letting job seekers view and respond to job postings. Through a tie-in with OnlyFy One, a talent acquisition platform for enterprises also owned by New Work SE, job ads from OnlyFy are automatically displayed on Kununu. So what else does New Work run? Well, Xing – a direct competitor (in Europe) to LinkedIn, just as Kununu is a direct competitor to Glassdoor. Kununu has grown in recent years, to about 8 million visitors per month, so I suspect it makes good sense to monetize those visits via the job postings. At least from the outside, this move makes lots of sense for New Work, with the two properties reinforcing each other. Verdict: smart move.
  • Glassdoor adds Bowls: No, Glassdoor is not getting into pot throwing! Instead, the company rating platform and job board has added a community chat feature that looks more than a bit like Blind. Glassdoor bought an anonymous work-talk app called Fishbowl back in 2021; the app had groups of users called ‘bowls’. Guess what Glassdoor is calling its ‘new’ chat feature? Uh huh – Bowls. Users can pick their preferred level of anonymity (‘doctor’ vs. ‘job board doctor’, for instance) in order to discuss sensitive subjects, such as salary, work culture, or the nefarious things that their bosses are up to. Why is Glassdoor doing this? One number – 55 million. That’s the number of users the site has been stuck at for the past two years. The site wants to increase activity and size. Will Bowls help? Probably. Will it push Glassdoor to the #1 job site slot over its sister site Indeed? Unlikely. Verdict: kinda-smart move. 

Notice something about the above smart or desperate moves? Just because the move isn’t a big, splashy one – like Kununu’s relatively low-key addition of jobs – doesn’t mean that it isn’t smart. In fact, small, well-thought-out and executed moves can be the smartest moves. String a bunch of those small, smart moves together, and you end up successful. It’s what Indeed and ZipRecruiter used to do – and what LinkedIn still does. However…all of the smart moves in the world won’t help you if the company is a dumpster fire – like Twitter/X. They seem to be in self-imposed flameout mode, and so moves that might be logical for another company just seem desperate for Twitter/X.

We’ll see what these smart or desperate moves have produced a year from now, right?

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