Job Board Journalist: What You May Have Missed This Summer

Peter Weddle

It used to be that summers unfolded at a slower pace as people took holidays with their families and worked shorter weeks to enjoy the good weather. These days, however, there is no respite. New companies continue to be launched, partnerships among existing companies continue to be announced, and innovative products continue to be introduced – all while we’re lying on the beach or on a hammock in the mountains. So, to help make sure you didn’t miss anything, here’s a roundup of some of what made the news this summer.

Harver, an Amsterdam-based HR technology company, announced that it has raised $8.1 million to launch its TalentPitch product in the U.S. market. The product provides a series of games, video tours and real-life situational tests to help employers rapidly and accurately identify best-fit candidates when faced with high volume recruiting needs.

One outcome of the Google for Jobs launch may be significantly higher application rates, which would, in turn, transform every opening into a “high volume” situation. Recruiters already have trouble dealing with candidate flows, and Google’s omnipresent search capability could exacerbate that situation. While I have no brief for Harver, I think it and any other company with a product that can automate and accelerate pre-screening and assessment is well positioned for the impending tsunami of talent applications.

HiQ Labs won a big court victory against LinkedIn by convincing a federal judge to issue a preliminary injunction that forced LinkedIn to remove any technology which prevents HiQ from scrapping the public profiles of its members. HiQ uses the data to assign color codes of red, yellow or green indicating the likelihood a person will become a “flight risk” from their current employer, the assumption being that updating one’s profile is the first step on the path to looking for something new or better.

Indeed adds staff. I live in Stamford, CT, a small burg that is also the hometown of Paul Forster and Rony Kahan founded it here (with a tech hub in Austin) in 2005 in a couple of small offices in an industrial park east of the city. A week or two ago, the local newspaper arrived at the end of my driveway with this headline: Indeed plans to hire 500.

The story beneath the headline reported that the company was adding 500 telemarketers to the 1200 it already employs here. Much has been said about the SEO brawn of the site, and that’s certainly made them into the “Google for jobs” for those in transition (at least until recently). If you’re looking for the secret to their bottom line success, however, it’s been their unrelenting investment in that telemarketing operation.

Jobvite announced that it has earned SOC 2 certification, the highest level of security for a cloud-based application. Given the increasingly intrusive and costly nature of malicious hacker attacks and malware insertions, this focus on security may become the new norm in our industry. launched with $2.4 million in seed money. Its algorithm matches prospects to openings – nothing new there – but it adds “an endorsement that explains why the candidate is a great fit for the company and role.” It’s an interesting riff, but I’m not sure how it’s going to scale.

LinkedIn is testing a new feature for mentors and mentees, at least that’s the word from Fast Company. Described as a “career advice hub,” it will connect users looking for a mentor with those willing to serve as one, using the site’s matching algorithm as kind of an eHarmony for the working person.

It’s a rare example of an employment site providing genuine career assistance to its visitors. Job boards as well as corporate career pages have long offered career hubs for recent college graduates, veterans and diversity candidates, but very few have ever bothered to extend such resources to the general workforce … as if today’s working man and woman doesn’t also need the help. Ask the 20-year sales professional who finds their company is relocating to China or the thirtysomething woman who works for a bigoted boss or the Boomer who faces ageism from a twentysomething colleague, and you’ll see that career issues are THE big thing and, inexplicably, almost always ignored.

OnboardIQ (apparently now called Fountain) has closed more funding, bringing its total to date to $9.1 million. It competes with Snagajob in the hourly job market, but with one important difference – it’s a mobile first solution. It tracks sources, provides an applicant portal (where they can see their status in the process), schedules interviews, sends out background checking consent forms, tax documents and NDAs for signature as well as onboarding manuals and even training documents and videos, and collects social security numbers, driver license data and bank account information. Throw in a kitchen sink, and you can open a restaurant.

Textio announced that it has raised $20 million in new financing to expand its product line from a “writebot” that helps employers develop better job postings to recruiting emails and sales communications. It claims that “By analyzing the hiring outcomes of more than 10 million job posts a month, Textio predicts the performance of your listing and gives you real-time guidance on how to improve it.

As I’ve noted in previous posts, the need for such capabilities is obvious – job postings are the garbage dump of English literature. What’s less certain, however, is whether you can build a business with it. As they say, “You can lead a horse to water, but …” launched with the “original” declaration that it “aims to revolutionize [the] online jobs marketplace with [an] all-in-one platform.” Its press release goes on to note that “Among StartAJob’s most unique features is video functionality. People can upload clips of faulty appliances that need repair, rooms they want painted or household chores that require attention.” I guess it aims to be an Angie’s List for job seekers.

Vervoe introduced a “recruiting assistant,” launching it with $1 million in funding. It’s basically a platform for automated interviews and simulations for small and mid-sized businesses. Based in Australia, it will use the money to enter the U.S. market.

Yeah, there was just a little going on while you were on vacation, but now you know what happened so you can put it to work for your organization.

All the Best,

TAprose and The Job Board Journalist by Peter Weddle are brought to you by TAtech: The Association for Talent Acquisition Solutions.

Mark Your Calendars! TAtech’s 2017 events include:
• September 27-29, 2017 Denver: The TAtech Fall Congress & Deal Center, with The World Job Board Forum and the 2017 ReSI Awards Gala.
• March 13-14, 2018 Dublin, Ireland TAtechEurope 2018, The TAtech Industry Congress in Europe – the premier event for recruitment technology thought & business leaders worldwide.
• April, 2018 in Las Vegas: The TAtech Spring Congress & Deal Center. See the 2017 conference details here.
• June 5-6, 2018: The TAtech Leadership Summit on Programmatic Ad Buying. See the 2017 conference details here.

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