Job Board Journalist: TA Investments Are Hot – Will They Burn You?

Peter Weddle

Money is pouring into the talent acquisition technology industry. This tsunami of investments and acquisitions is driven both by the growing desperation of employers who can’t find the talent they need and by the advancing capabilities of the technology itself. The War for Talent has spawned a War for Technological Hegemony – if Amazon can dominate with books (and legions of other products), there’s every likelihood someone else will do the same in talent acquisition solutions.

Of course, Google, Facebook, and Microsoft have a huge head start right now. They have both the inhouse talent and the deep pockets necessary to establish themselves at the cutting edge of new TA solutions. What’s not yet certain, however, is whether they can (and will) maintain that lead. Given the historical record of changing fortunes and interests among companies in our industry, there are plenty of angel investors, venture capitalists and private equity firms betting that they won’t.

As you’ve probably noted in TAtech’s weekly Global News Bulletin (if you aren’t receiving this aggregation of industry news, let me know and I’ll sign you up), the last three or four months have seen all kinds of investments in a wide range of TA technologies and companies. Here’s a small sample:
• Gemspring Capital announced that an affiliate partnered with the management team of TMP Worldwide (“TMP” or the “Company”) to acquire the Company, a global provider of recruitment marketing software and digital services.
Fairygodboss, a Glassdoor for women, announced that it raised $3 million in venture capital.
Pared, an on-demand tool for restaurant workers applying for and juggling multiple shifts or even restaurants, closed a $10 million financing round., one of the leading job sites in Egypt, raised $6 million U.S. in a Series B funding round.
• French startup Welcome to the Jungle closed a funding round of $8.4 million (€7 million) from XAnge, Bpifrance and Kima Ventures, as well as existing investors.
• San Francisco-based software company Homebase launched Homebase Hiring, with $20M in Series B funding.
Workday announced it was buying Rallyteam, a San Francisco startup that helps companies keep talented employees by matching them with more challenging opportunities in-house.

Based on published reports, these and other investments are primarily intended to:
• Finish the development of a new product or upgrade a current one;
• Support entry into a new geographic or functional market;
• Acquire a new capability or take out a competitor; or
• Seed the exploration of a new technology.

Equally as important, the underlying goal in almost every case is to avoid being made irrelevant by other new products, competitors or customer behaviors. Said another way, investments aren’t for every company, but for many, they are the only way to keep up and stay in the game.

The downside, of course, is that money always comes with strings attached, whether those strings cause a loss of some control over company decision-making, a different or greater set of expectations in terms of performance or the loss of momentum in a company’s core business. Investments can be enablers, but they can be restraints too.

Knowing whether or not the time and reasoning are right for the acceptance of outside funding is one of the key challenges facing talent acquisition technology companies today. To help them think through the pros and cons of that decision, the TAtech Fall Congress & World Job Board Forum will include a presentation by George LaRocque, one of the smartest guys on the planet when it comes to who’s investing, where and why in talent acquisition technology. It’s just one of the reasons you should be sure to attend this important conference.

Food for Thought,

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

Mark Your Calendars! TAtech’s 2018 events include:

• February 12-13, 2018 Scottsdale, Arizona USA: The TAtech Leadership Summit on AI/Machine Learning in Talent Acquisition – the only conference totally focused on the capabilities and impact of AI/ML/NLP in recruitment. See you next year!

• March 13-14, 2018 Dublin, Ireland: TAtechEurope 2018 – the premier event for recruitment advertising and technology thought & business leaders in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. See you next year!

• April 18-19, 2018 Las Vegas, Nevada USA: The TAtech Spring Congress & Meetup – a unique conference designed to maximize opportunities for B2B networking, trending topic discussions and the exploration of partnerships and business opportunities. See you next year!

• June 5-6, 2018 Minneapolis, Minnesota USA: The TAtech Leadership Summit on Programmatic Ad Buying – the only conference totally focused on the technology and applications of programmatic ad buying by both publishers and advertisers. See you next year!

• September 26-27, 2018 Bourbon Street New Orleans, Louisiana USA: The TAtech Fall Congress & World Job Board Forum – the Global Economic Forum of recruiting, this event brings together thought & business leaders from job boards and all other talent acquisition technology solutions companies around the world.


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