The Internet and SaaS technology companies have dramatically changed the process of recruiting new employees for companies of all sizes. This is a statement that, on its face, seems obvious given that most job seekers have used some form of website to find a job in the past 15 years.
What is fascinating to me is how unique and distinct this ecosystem is from the broader Internet media and enterprise SaaS worlds. Indeed is the de-facto search engine for jobs, not Google. LinkedIn is the de-facto social network and recruiting platform for jobs, not Facebook. Glassdoor is the de-facto employer review site, not Yelp. Success Factors and Taleo are the de-facto enterprise recruiting and human capital optimization platforms, not Salesforce.
I first really understood the power of Indeed during the early days of my investment in Sittercity. It was amazing to me how efficiently Sittercity was able to recruit sitters (both in terms of volume and price) as compared to all other sources of traffic. In 2008 Indeed was just in the early days of ramping their aggregated search for jobs and Sittercity had realized how powerful it could be for them to recruit sitters. Indeed went on to build a massive company that was acquired for $1.1 billion (by an even more massive company, Recruit Holdings, a $13 billion + company). Sittercity and many other labor marketplaces and employers continue to expand their use of Indeed’s cost-per-click platform for recruiting. By bringing aggregate scale and a better business model to customers, Indeed made recruiting more efficient and more cost effective with a single but profound innovation.
Similarly, LinkedIn created a massive innovation for all professionals by creating a single place to “post your resume” in a way that is very valuable for professionals (beyond just recruiters, it creates efficiency for sales people, senior business people seeking to partner with other companies, etc.). It also is an incredibly efficient place for high level corporate recruiters to find candidates that match their criteria.
However, there are still over 5 million unfilled jobs just in the US that recruiters are trying to fill so there remains substantial need for innovation in recruiting.
What new innovation might help solve the continued needs of the recruiter? We recently led an investment in Appcast, a company that is bringing yet another profound set of innovative solutions to recruiters. Imagine a solution that could source candidates from nearly every digital job source and take those candidates through an applicant process that resulted in them applying to your job and bringing them directly into your applicant tracking system. Imagine only paying for actual applicants to your job (not for posts or clicks, but actual applications) and being able to set the price and quantity of applicants you want. Imagine a software platform that would do this for you in an automated way so you don’t have to “watch” your budget spend or applicant flow. This is the innovation Appcast has brought to the market and in only a short time it has become a leading platform for hundreds of recruiters to recruit for hundreds of thousands of jobs across North America. This could be big.