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Zip, DHI, Recruit, and Freelancer down: news of the job board industry

Zip DHI RecruitZip, DHI, Recruiter, and Freelancer down? Is this news roundup going to be a total bummer? Not exactly. As you’ll see, others like CrowdWorks, Upwork, Fiverr, and HelloWork are doing just fine. A tale of two job board industries? Perhaps. Let’s take a closer look:

  • Randstad Q4 revenue downRandstad nv reported challenging macroeconomic conditions in the fourth quarter resulted in decreased hiring by clients. Revenue in the quarter fell 8.6% year over year per working day on an organic basis. US revenue fell 15% year over year, while Canadian revenue declined 11%. Revenue in Randstad’s “global businesses” segment fell 18% year over year on an organic basis. Global businesses include Randstad Sourceright (RPO, MSP and total talent solutions), Randstad RiseSmart (outplacement) and twago (a freelance marketplace) as well as the job board Monster. Yow.
  • Seek merges brands in the PhilippinesThe Philippines-based division of employment marketplace Seek, which owns JobStreet and JobsDB, has merged with its two recruitment subsidiaries to create a new HRtech company. The unification comes 10 years after Seek initially acquired JobStreet and JobsDB, and follows three years of expansion and an estimated cost of $116 million U.S. Seek’s AI technology will keep its branding, and through the merger the company will try to bring together workers and employers across the Asia-Pacific region under the same umbrella. Interesting. In other news, Seek’s H1 revenue fell 6%, driven by lower job ad volume. However, it did see a 32% increase in paid job ads in Asia.
  • DHI Group revenue and bookings dropFourth-quarter revenue fell 6.2% year over year at DHI Group, which operates the Dice and ClearanceJobs websites. The decline occurred in its Dice operations, where revenue fell 12.5%. ClearanceJobs revenue rose 9.1%. Bookings were down 4% year over year to $36.1 million in the fourth quarter. However, DHI Group saw signs of improvement in bookings during the quarter. Hmm.
  • ZipRecruiter revenue downZipRecruiter cited “one of the slowest hiring markets in recent memory” and top-line headwinds in 2023 as challenges for fourth-quarter and full-year earnings. Fourth-quarter revenue at the jobs website operator fell 35.4% to $135.92 million. The number of quarterly paid employers fell 35% year over year to 70,700 at the end of the fourth quarter, primarily reflecting weakness among small to midsize businesses, which comprise the vast majority of ZipRecruiter’s paid employees. Revenue per paid employer also edged down 1% to $1,922. Ouch!
  • CrowdWorks sales jump: Japan-based CrowdWorks Inc., which runs — the world’s largest freelancer marketplace — posted 37.0% year-on-year (y-o-y) growth in net sales to JPY4.0 billion ($27.2 million U.S.) in the three months to December 2023 (Q1 FY204). Founded in 2011, CrowdWorks also runs CrowdLinks for side jobs and IT-focused job site TechDirect, in addition to an HRtech offering. The bulk of its revenue in Q1 FY2024 was generated by its matching businesses, which charges fees of between 5% and 20% of the value of a freelance contract, as well as ad placement fees. Congrats!
  • College Recruiter launches PPA chatbotCollege Recruiter has launched a new chatbot to provide benchmark data on pay-per-application (PPA) advertising. The company said the chatbot would provide users with information on how many applicants it would take them to reach their hiring goals and the associated costs. The service is available through three-, six- and 12-month options. Congrats!
  • Recruit revenue fallsThird-quarter revenue fell 4.5% in constant currency at Recruit Holdings. Job postings fell at Indeed and Glassdoor, and revenue also fell at the company’s matching and solutions segment in the fiscal third quarter ended Dec. 31, 2023. Job postings, both free and paid, fell year over year in the US and other countries even as traffic to the sites increased. The number of unique visitors per month on Indeed was more than 350 million globally. Recruit expects fourth-quarter revenue to rise 0.3% year over year. I guess we’ll see…
  • Freelancer revenue downFreelancer reported yesterday net revenue decreased by 3.5% in the fourth quarter of 2023 when compared to Q4 2022. Overall costs were 18% lower than FY22 and as a result the group was EBITDA positive for FY23. The group now has a structurally lower cost base, which has it well placed to achieve sustainable profitability in FY24 and beyond, it added. Interesting.
  • Handshake copies TikTokHandshake  is launching a “feed”-like interface and new video features it hopes will give companies a more direct line to communicating with Gen Z candidates in the style they prefer. While full-time job posts on Handshake, like many job boards, were down 24% in 2023 thanks in part to the tech sector’s slowdown, and revenues were just above $120 million—up 10% from 2022—CEO Garret Lord says he’s continuing to see “an incredible amount of demand” for college students. Handshake’s new features include a redesigned app—which only advertised job postings and recruiting events before—that now acts as a scrollable feed similar to other social media platforms. Back to the future.
  • HelloWork revenue upRevenue at France-based job board operator HelloWork rose by 15.9% year on year to €109 million ($117 million U.S.) in 2023, according to the company. The group’s job boards, such as HelloWork and JobiJoba, accounted for 70% of revenue in 2023, with EdTech sites MaFormation and Diplomeo accounting for 20% and HRTech initiatives like employee-referral service Basile and job-dating site Seekube the remaining 10%. The company had previously said that it had earmarked a minimum of $55 million for acquisitions between 2023 and 2026, with the aim of solidifying its position as a top-five company in the recruitment sector in Europe. Congrats!
  • NetJobs revenue dropsSwedish job board NetJobs reported revenue today for the fourth quarter ending 31 December 2023 of SEK 3.5 million (€0.3 million), a fall of 46.7% compared with the same period last year. For the full year period, the group reported revenue of SEK 16.8 million (€1.5 million), a decrease of 31.1% over the prior year. EBITDA margin stood at 6.7% in Q4 2023 compared to 7.9% the year prior. Hmm.
  • Upwork revenue risesUpwork posted a 14% year-on-year rise in revenue to reach $184 million in the fourth quarter of 2023. Of that sum, marketplace revenue comprised $157 million, and enterprise revenue $26.4 million. Full-year revenue in 2023 was up by 11% to stand at $689 million. AI tools and customer experience innovations launched last year included Upwork chat pro, job post generator and proposal tips. Doing alright.
  • Fiverr revenue going upFiverr reported revenue in the fourth quarter of 2023 stood at $91.5 million, compared to $83.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2022, an increase of 10.1% year over year. djusted EBITDA in the fourth quarter of 2023 was $16.1 million, up 71.2% compared to $9.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2022. Revenue for Q1 2024 is forecasted to be in the range of $91.5 – $93.5 million (4-6% annual growth). Also doing alright.

Interesting, eh? It kind of looks like if you’re an old school job board (and public), you’ve had a tough last quarter – but if you’re a marketplace (and public), you’re doing pretty good. The news from Handshake is also intriguing. Well, I for one will be curious what things look like in 4 weeks! Until then…

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