Indeed layoffs and Recruit’s revenue — markers for the industry?

Indeed layoffs and recruit's revenueBy now you’ve prob­a­bly heard of the Indeed lay­offs and Recruit’s rev­enue decline

Hmm.

And Recruit? Well, the com­pa­ny that owns Indeed reports a drop of 4% in rev­enue for the 4th end­ing March 31. The com­pa­ny point­ed to drops in job post­ings on Indeed. It was­n’t all bad news for the com­pa­ny – rev­enue rose 2.5% in their oper­at­ing seg­ment focused on match­ing and solu­tions., which includes HR con­sult­ing and recruit­ment.

OK.

So what does it mean when the biggest job board in the world and one of the biggest staffing and recruit­ing com­pa­nies in the world have not-so-good news? Hyams in par­tic­u­lar focused on ‘sus­tain­able growth’: “Despite our efforts so far, our orga­ni­za­tion is still too , we still have sig­nif­i­cant dupli­ca­tion of effort and too many orga­ni­za­tion­al lay­ers that slow down deci­sion-. ” In oth­er words, the com­pa­ny is too damn big and com­pli­cat­ed. Does that mean more rounds of lay­offs are on the hori­zon? It of sounds like it. And Recruit is not fore­cast­ing sig­nif­i­cant growth over­all, either. For the full year 2024 they are fore­cast­ing any­where from down 3.4% to up 2.4%.

What are the iden­ti­fied (by Indeed and Recruit) fac­tors to these issues? Too many employ­ees. Too much orga­ni­za­tion­al com­plex­i­ty. A down­ward hir­ing mar­ket.  Why am I break­ing these out? Because I’m try­ing to if what is hap­pen­ing to Indeed and Recruit is going to hap­pen to the rest of the job board world.

Here’s what I think (for what it’s worth!). The only fac­tor that affects the rest of the mar­ket is a down­ward hir­ing mar­ket. It can be argued that in what we have is an uneven hir­ing mar­ket – still more than peo­ple, but a con­tin­ued mis­match (both in skills and geo­graph­ic loca­tion) between peo­ple and jobs. That’s why some job boards are hav­ing a great year, and some are not.

Notice what Indeed and Recruit aren’t men­tion­ing? They aren’t men­tion­ing AI, or any oth­er kind of tech­nol­o­gy chal­lenges. They aren’t men­tion­ing com­peti­tors (you can do that when you’re the biggest!). And they aren’t men­tion­ing past mis­steps (such as PPA and price increas­es). Oth­er job boards, large and small, have man­aged to embrace AI, com­pete effec­tive­ly, and avoid mis­steps. No one’s per­fect, of course, but it seems to me that for the past decade Indeed has been dri­ven to grow at all . Some­where along the way it mor­phed from the lean, effec­tive com­peti­tor it was pre-Recruit, to a typ­i­cal very large com­pa­ny, with all the foibles that entails. They’ve been suc­cess­ful enough to cov­er oth­er fail­ures at Recruit – the of being the shin­ing sub­sidiary.

To their cred­it, they seem to be address­ing their fail­ures – so hats off to the man­age­ment. Is it too lit­tle, too late? Hard to say. LinkedIn con­tin­ues to grow, as does Seek, Step­stone, and upstarts like Upwork. Is being part of Recruit still a ben­e­fit – or a chal­lenge? Again, hard for me to say.

But I’m pret­ty con­fi­dent that Indeed lay­offs and Recruit’s rev­enue woes are not an indi­ca­tor of a job board implo­sion. Instead, they are pro­vid­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties for com­peti­tors to grow and take mar­ket share. It should be fun to watch!

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