Zip, DHI, Recruit, and Freelancer down: news of the job board industry

Zip dhi recruitZip, DHI, Recruiter, and Free­lancer down? Is this news roundup going to be a total bum­mer? Not exact­ly. As you’ll see, oth­ers like Crowd­Works, Upwork, Fiverr, and Hel­loWork are doing just fine. A tale of two job board indus­tries? Per­haps. Let’s take a clos­er look:

  • Q4 down: Rand­stad nv report­ed chal­leng­ing macro­eco­nom­ic con­di­tions in the fourth quar­ter result­ed in decreased by clients. Rev­enue in the quar­ter fell 8.6% year over year per work­ing day on an organ­ic basis. US rev­enue fell 15% year over year, while Cana­di­an rev­enue declined 11%. Rev­enue in Rand­stad’s “glob­al busi­ness­es” seg­ment fell 18% year over year on an organ­ic basis. Glob­al busi­ness­es include Rand­stad Sourceright (RPO, MSP and total tal­ent solu­tions), Rand­stad Ris­eS­mart (out­place­ment) and twa­go (a free­lance mar­ket­place) as well as the job board Mon­ster. Yow.
  • merges brands in the Philip­pines: The Philip­pines-based divi­sion of employ­ment mar­ket­place Seek, which owns Job­Street and Job­s­DB, has merged with its two recruit­ment sub­sidiaries to cre­ate a new HRtech com­pa­ny. The uni­fi­ca­tion comes 10 years after Seek ini­tial­ly acquired Job­Street and Job­s­DB, and fol­lows three years of expan­sion and an esti­mat­ed cost of $116 mil­lion U.S. Seek’s AI tech­nol­o­gy will keep its brand­ing, and through the merg­er the com­pa­ny will try to bring togeth­er work­ers and employ­ers across the Asia-Pacif­ic region under the same umbrel­la. Inter­est­ing. In oth­er news, Seek’s H1 rev­enue fell 6%, dri­ven by low­er job ad vol­ume. How­ev­er, it did see a 32% increase in paid job ads in Asia.
  • DHI Group rev­enue and book­ings drop: Fourth-quar­ter rev­enue fell 6.2% year over year at DHI Group, which oper­ates the Dice and Clear­ance­Jobs web­sites. The decline occurred in its Dice oper­a­tions, where rev­enue fell 12.5%. Clear­ance­Jobs rev­enue rose 9.1%. Book­ings were down 4% year over year to $36.1 mil­lion in the fourth quar­ter. How­ev­er, DHI Group saw signs of improve­ment in book­ings dur­ing the quar­ter. Hmm.
  • ZipRecruiter rev­enue down: ZipRecruiter cit­ed “one of the slow­est hir­ing mar­kets in recent mem­o­ry” and top-line head­winds in 2023 as chal­lenges for fourth-quar­ter and full-year earn­ings. Fourth-quar­ter rev­enue at the jobs web­site oper­a­tor fell 35.4% to $135.92 mil­lion. The num­ber of quar­ter­ly paid employ­ers fell 35% year over year to 70,700 at the end of the fourth quar­ter, pri­mar­i­ly reflect­ing weak­ness among small to mid­size busi­ness­es, which com­prise the vast major­i­ty of ZipRecruiter’s paid employ­ees. Rev­enue per paid also edged down 1% to $1,922. Ouch!
  • Crowd­Works sales jump: Japan-based Crowd­Works Inc., which runs — the world’s largest free­lancer mar­ket­place — post­ed 37.0% year-on-year (y‑o-y) growth in net sales to JPY4.0 bil­lion ($27.2 mil­lion U.S.) in the three months to Decem­ber 2023 (Q1 FY204). Found­ed in 2011, Crowd­Works also runs CrowdLinks for side jobs and IT-focused job site TechDi­rect, in addi­tion to an HRtech offer­ing. The bulk of its rev­enue in Q1 FY2024 was gen­er­at­ed by its match­ing busi­ness­es, which charges fees of between 5% and 20% of the val­ue of a free­lance con­tract, as well as ad place­ment fees. Con­grats!
  • Col­lege Recruiter launch­es PPA chat­bot: Col­lege Recruiter has launched a new chat­bot to pro­vide bench­mark data on pay-per- (PPA) adver­tis­ing. The com­pa­ny said the chat­bot would pro­vide users with infor­ma­tion on how many appli­cants it would take them to reach their hir­ing goals and the asso­ci­at­ed costs. The ser­vice is avail­able through three‑, six- and 12-month options. Con­grats!
  • Recruit rev­enue falls: Third-quar­ter rev­enue fell 4.5% in con­stant cur­ren­cy at Recruit Hold­ings. Job post­ings fell at Indeed and Glass­door, and rev­enue also fell at the com­pa­ny’s match­ing and solu­tions seg­ment in the fis­cal third quar­ter end­ed Dec. 31, 2023. Job post­ings, both and paid, fell year over year in the US and oth­er coun­tries even as to the increased. The num­ber of unique vis­i­tors per month on Indeed was more than 350 mil­lion glob­al­ly. Recruit expects fourth-quar­ter rev­enue to rise 0.3% year over year. I guess we’ll see…
  • Free­lancer rev­enue down: Free­lancer report­ed yes­ter­day net rev­enue decreased by 3.5% in the fourth quar­ter of 2023 when com­pared to Q4 2022. Over­all costs were 18% low­er than FY22 and as a result the group was EBITDA pos­i­tive for FY23. The group now has a struc­tural­ly low­er cost base, which has it well placed to achieve sus­tain­able prof­itabil­i­ty in FY24 and beyond, it added. Inter­est­ing.
  • Hand­shake copies Tik­Tok: Hand­shake  is launch­ing a “feed”-like inter­face and new video fea­tures it hopes will give com­pa­nies a more direct line to com­mu­ni­cat­ing with Gen Z can­di­dates in the style they pre­fer. While full-time job posts on Hand­shake, like many job boards, were down 24% in 2023 thanks in part to the tech sec­tor’s slow­down, and rev­enues were just above $120 million—up 10% from 2022—CEO Gar­ret Lord says he’s con­tin­u­ing to see “an incred­i­ble amount of demand” for col­lege stu­dents. Hand­shake’s new fea­tures include a redesigned app—which only adver­tised job post­ings and recruit­ing events before—that now acts as a scrol­lable feed sim­i­lar to oth­er social media plat­forms. Back to the future.
  • Hel­loWork rev­enue up: Rev­enue at France-based job board oper­a­tor Hel­loWork rose by 15.9% year on year to €109 mil­lion ($117 mil­lion U.S.) in 2023, accord­ing to the com­pa­ny. The group’s job boards, such as Hel­loWork and Jobi­Jo­ba, account­ed for 70% of rev­enue in 2023, with EdTech sites MaFor­ma­tion and Diplomeo account­ing for 20% and HRTech ini­tia­tives like employ­ee-refer­ral ser­vice Basile and job-dat­ing site Seekube the remain­ing 10%. The com­pa­ny had pre­vi­ous­ly said that it had ear­marked a min­i­mum of $55 mil­lion for between 2023 and 2026, with the aim of solid­i­fy­ing its posi­tion as a top-five com­pa­ny in the recruit­ment sec­tor in Europe. Con­grats!
  • NetJobs rev­enue drops: Swedish job board NetJobs report­ed rev­enue today for the fourth quar­ter end­ing 31 Decem­ber 2023 of SEK 3.5 mil­lion (€0.3 mil­lion), a fall of 46.7% com­pared with the same peri­od last year. For the full year peri­od, the group report­ed rev­enue of SEK 16.8 mil­lion (€1.5 mil­lion), a decrease of 31.1% over the pri­or year. EBITDA mar­gin stood at 6.7% in Q4 2023 com­pared to 7.9% the year pri­or. Hmm.
  • Upwork rev­enue ris­es: Upwork post­ed a 14% year-on-year rise in rev­enue to reach $184 mil­lion in the fourth quar­ter of 2023. Of that sum, mar­ket­place rev­enue com­prised $157 mil­lion, and enter­prise rev­enue $26.4 mil­lion. Full-year rev­enue in 2023 was up by 11% to stand at $689 mil­lion. AI tools and cus­tomer expe­ri­ence inno­va­tions launched last year includ­ed Upwork chat pro, job post gen­er­a­tor and pro­pos­al tips. Doing alright.
  • Fiverr rev­enue going up: Fiverr report­ed rev­enue in the fourth quar­ter of 2023 stood at $91.5 mil­lion, com­pared to $83.1 mil­lion in the fourth quar­ter of 2022, an increase of 10.1% year over year. djust­ed EBITDA in the fourth quar­ter of 2023 was $16.1 mil­lion, up 71.2% com­pared to $9.4 mil­lion in the fourth quar­ter of 2022. Rev­enue for Q1 2024 is fore­cast­ed to be in the range of $91.5 – $93.5 mil­lion (4–6% annu­al growth). Also doing alright.

Inter­est­ing, eh? It kind of looks like if you’re an old school job board (and pub­lic), you’ve had a tough last quar­ter – but if you’re a mar­ket­place (and pub­lic), you’re doing pret­ty good. The news from Hand­shake is also intrigu­ing. Well, I for one will be curi­ous what things look like in 4 weeks! Until then…

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