TAtech Global News Bulletin: GDPR lawsuits begin & Adzuna, Phenom People and Vervoe raise money

Peter Weddle

A weekly summary of trending news & commentary for busy talent acquisition technology execs and professionals.

Don’t miss The TAtech Leadership Summit on Programmatic Ad Buying on June 5-6 in Minneapolis, Minnesota USA – the only conference for both publishers and advertisers that is totally focused on the technology and applications of programmatic ad buying for talent acquisition.


When former Google CEO Eric Schmidt was asked about Elon Musk’s warnings about AI, he had a succinct answer: “I think Elon is exactly wrong.”

“He doesn’t understand the benefits that this technology will provide to making every human being smarter,” Schmidt said. “The fact of the matter is that AI and machine learning are so fundamentally good for humanity.”

He acknowledged that there are risks around how the technology might be misused, but he said they’re outweighed by the benefits: “The example I would offer is, would you not invent the telephone because of the possible misuse of the telephone by evil people? No, you would build the telephone and you would try to find a way to police the misuse of the telephone.”

Schmidt, who has pushed back in the past against AI-related concerns from Musk and scientist Stephen Hawking, was interviewed on-stage today at the VivaTech conference in Paris.

TechCrunch, May 25, 2018

Movers & Shakers

Doug Stone has been named Head of Data at ExecThread, Inc., a premium job-sharing network and job aggregator for executives. He was most recently on the Maps Team at Apple.

Armand Saramount has been named Head of Growth Marketing at ExecThread. Previously, he worked in leadership positions at high-growth startups, including Saige and Hirewire.

Job Boards, Social Media Sites & Recruitment Advertising

On the first day of GDPR enforcement, Facebook and Google have been hit with a raft of lawsuits accusing the companies of coercing users into sharing personal data. The lawsuits, which seek to fine Facebook 3.9 billion and Google 3.7 billion euro (roughly $8.8 billion in dollars), were filed by Austrian privacy activist Max Schrems, a longtime critic of the companies’ data collection practices. GDPR requires clear consent and justification for any personal data collected from users, and these guidelines have pushed companies across the internet to revise their privacy policies and collection practices. But there is still widespread uncertainty over how European regulators will treat the requirements, and many companies are still unprepared for enforcement. Both Google and Facebook have rolled out new policies and products to comply with GDPR, but Schrems’ complaints argue those policies don’t go far enough. Source: The Verge

Sourcing, Matching, Assessing, Communicating (SMAC) Technology

Job search engine, Adzuna announced that it has raised £8m from Smedvig Capital. The Series C funding round sees Smedvig join backers Index Ventures, Passion Capital, LocalGlobe and over 400 Crowdcube investors and takes the company’s total funding to £12m. Founded in 2011 by the team behind Gumtree, Zoopla and Qype, Adzuna has also launched Find a job. Previously known as Universal Jobmatch, the service is one of the UK government’s largest websites, connecting millions of jobseekers with thousands of employers online and through job centres around the country. Source: Media Release

Phenom People announced a $22 million series B funding round. The Ambler, Pa.-based company previously raised $9 million, and the latest funding round brings the total amount raised to $31 million. It plans to use the funding for growth, including international expansion. TechCrunch reported the company keeps tabs on who visits employment application pages on company recruiting websites and builds personalized experiences; for example, a person viewing a marketing role may be shown other, related roles he or she may not have considered when visiting the site again. The latest, series B funding round was led by AXA Venture Partners with participation from existing investors Sierra Ventures, Sigma Prime Ventures and Omidyar ventures. Source: Staffing Industry Analysts

Australian-based Vervoe is an interview platform which touts “Hire the right people in 4 days, not 40” and is focused on SMBs. Now, the company has raised $3.5 million to keep on keepin’ on. To further support the business model, fellow Aussies Seek, a publicly owned job platform, spearheaded the check-writing to the tune of $2 million. Additional investors include Jesse Hertzberg, former COO of Etsy and Squarespace; Zachary Lewy, Founder of Arrow Global Limited; and Ruslan Kogan and David Shafer of Kogan.com. In addition to the investment, Vervoe and SEEK are in discussions surrounding a strategic partnership. Source: Joel Cheesman, ERE.

AI & Machine Learning

Sneak Preview: Circa 2118: What Will Humans Do When Machines Take Over due out in July 2018. Evoking the clarion call of the 21st century – if you see something, say something – Peter Weddle has penned a stunningly provocative portrait of the rise of super-C machines in the American workplace. Animated by ultra-intelligent, ultra-intuitive, ultra-empathetic technology, these byte-collar workers will cause near universal unemployment among Americans within the next one hundred years.

Weddle, however, doesn’t agree with Hollywood. He acknowledges that the period between now and circa 2118 will test the nation’s character – in fact he calls it a Second Middle Ages – but he believes America will not be dominated by machines, but instead be liberated by them. He argues that super-C machines will free Americans from the handcuffs of paid employment and open the door to a new and profoundly rewarding era – the Neonaissance or The Age of Ennoblement.

Industry Standards & Best Practices

Led by Co-Chairs, Thad Price and Richard Collins, TAtech is launching the next phase of the International Working Group on Traffic Quality. Click here to see the Declaration on Traffic Quality produced by the first phase. If you’d like to be a part of this unique group that is setting definitions and standards for online recruitment advertising, please contact Peter Weddle at peterweddle@tatech.org. The Group is open to all publishers worldwide.

TAprose and TAtech Global News Bulletin 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 for both publishers and advertisers that is totally focused on the technology and applications of programmatic ad buying for talent acquisition.

• 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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