Before and after: that’s how I (and many people I’ve spoken with) think about the global pandemic. Suffice it to say that my most recent 3 posts since the last news round up have focused relentlessly on how COVID-19 is roiling our world. Before, we were trying to find candidates for our employers in a world of record low unemployment. After, we’re looking at the biggest and fastest jump in unemployment since…well, ever. So it only seems appropriate that this post will reflect the same division. First, let’s look at the early part of March:
- NAS Recruitment is acquired: Stone-Goff Partners sold NAS Recruitment Innovation to M3 USA, which provides healthcare digital solutions for hospitals, health systems, and physicians. NAS provides recruitment advertising, marketing, and digital services, and has a proprietary technology platform, ACTIVATE™. NAS also provides Media Services including employment branding, programmatic buying, social outreach, and digital marketing.
- Hired launches Hired Flex: For startups operating with under 30 employees, Hired now offers Hired Flex, which allows recruiters and hiring managers to get immediate access to Hired’s marketplace without formal onboarding. Hired Flex costs $249/month with a success fee of $15,000 per hire, which can be lower than traditional recruiter fees.
- Landing.jobs lands funding: Portuguese startup Landing.Jobs, the marketplace that provides matches for tech talent, raised €2 million from the Portuguese investment group LC Ventures and the private German investor Jacobo UG Investment. So far, the startup has helped over 3000 people in the tech market land a job, and is operating in Portugal, Germany, Spain, and the Netherlands.
- GazetaPraca.pl shuts down: Polish media group Agora has shut down job board GazetaPraca.pl. The company plans to instead focus on developing its other recruitment site, GoldenLine.pl. In recent years, Gazetapraca.pl has been a victim of low traffic. GazetaPraca now redirects to GoldenLine. Agora first invested in GoldenLine in 2011 when it purchased 36% of its shares for PLN 11.5 million.
- Werk is acquired: The Mom Project has acquired Werk, a people analytics platform that puts flexibility insights and data into the hands of companies to help them work smarter. The Mom Project’s existing insights division (MP Labs) will expand its employee experience and workplace productivity analytics offering under the newly formed WerkLabs.
- Mya gets cash: Hiring chatbot Mya Systems — which uses a conversational AI to grease the recruitment pipeline by automating sourcing for agencies and large enterprises needing to fill lots of vacancies in areas such as retail and warehouse jobs — has closed an $18.75 million Series C. Mya said it saw 3x customer subscription growth in 2019. In all it says it now has more than 460 brands using its tools — including six of the eight largest staffing agencies.
Then, around mid-March, things changed.
- 51Job sees a downturn: Citing a country-wide economic downturn, Chinese job site 51Job said its revenue from recruitment decreased 5% year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2019. The estimated number of unique employers utilizing the Company’s online services decreased 13.1% to 298,462 in the fourth quarter of 2019 compared with 343,405 for the same quarter of the prior year, primarily due to reduced recruitment need or inactivity expressed by employers.
- UnderPinned crowdfunds: UnderPinned, a London-based startup creating a career platform for freelancers, has raised £500,000 in a three-week campaign on Crowdcube. In exchange, the company offered up a total of 8 percent equity to the 232 backers. To support a fast-growing and underprotected UK workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic and an expected economic recession, the startup is offering free basic access to the SaaS platform until September.
- ZipRecruiter slashes staff: ZipRecruiter has slashed nearly 40% of its own staff as the economy buckles in the fallout of the coronavirus crisis that’s upended both Wall Street and Main Street. The Santa Monica-based company cut 492 employees, with about 49 of them furloughed with only their healthcare benefits and the hope that the company will make good on its intention to bring them back. The biggest hit was at ZipRecruiter’s office in Tempe, from its sales team. Company executives have kept close watch of internal data to guide their reaction. Most alarming was the rapid decline in new business signups, which have plummeted below half the normal rate. Job postings have fallen, too, by 40% compared to “pre-COVID levels”, particularly among non-essential businesses like retail, restaurants and automakers.
- Firms offer recruitment ad funds: Appcast has set up a $100,000 fund to pay for recruitment advertising to help any governmental agency, NGO, healthcare system, or organization in the U.S. or Canada that needs to emergently recruit staff to slow and/or treat the COVID-19 pandemic. It has been joined by Adzuna, Careerbliss, CareerBuilder, Directly Apply, iHire, Lensa, MyJobHelper, Results Generation, and Upward, who have offered their financial support and the fund now stands at $337,000.
- Talroo offers free marketing automation: Talroo is offering free marketing automation to healthcare companies to boost interest and attendance in online interviews and events. Talroo aims to use its automated communication module from its Talroo Events product to support the healthcare market’s most time-sensitive and vital hires.
- Monster offers free healthcare job ads: Monster is offering free job listings to all frontline healthcare providers to help companies connect with eligible workers.
It’s not all bleak for the industry. GlassDoor says that “the number of job postings in government, biotech and pharmaceuticals, health care and the nonprofit industry tripled in the U.S. as a direct response to the virus outbreak.” Amazon and WalMart are hiring tens of thousands of new employees, and of course any remote job is a hot commodity.
Let’s see where we are next month. Until then, stay safe – and well!
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