Online Recruiting Market Set to Heat Up in 2019 as Key Players Expand

Online Recruiting Market Set to Heat Up in 2019 as Key Players Expand

The marketplace of online recruiting platforms has become increasingly competitive over the past few years, as both big tech companies and startups alike have sought to establish themselves as the platform of choice for both candidates and employers. This week brought news that three of the most-watched competitors in this field are growing, adding new features, or expanding their geographical reach.

LinkedIn announced on Tuesday that it was moving all of its core talent solutions — Jobs, Recruiter, and Pipeline Builder — onto one platform, which it calls the intelligent hiring experience. This consolidation will enable recruiters to “to see all their candidates … in one unified pipeline,” no matter which of these three tools they came from, John Jersin, VP of Product Management at LinkedIn Talent Solutions, explained in a blog post on Tuesday. The company is also “releasing more than 15 new product enhancements for LinkedIn Recruiter and Jobs over the next few quarters,” Jersin added.

In addition to the single pipeline, LinkedIn’s new features include new AI capabilities, which will enable its tools “to talk to one another and leverage machine learning to simplify the hiring process”:

The more you interact with candidates within a project, the more our tools learn about what you like — and don’t like — and then we can surface better candidates for your open role. Based on the applicants, leads, and search results you interact with, the intelligent hiring experience automatically builds a list of recommended candidates for you to consider reaching out to.

The platform is also adding a shared messaging system that will show all candidate communications in one place, a slide-in profile view to more easily look at candidate profiles in the middle of a search, and a feature called “Closing the Loop,” which makes it easier for employers to send rejection messages to applicants, either individually or in bulk. This functionality is meant to address the lack of communication that adversely affects candidate experience and can discourage rejected candidates from applying to other jobs at the same organization for which they might be more qualified. LinkedIn’s mobile app is also getting a call-to-action feature that will enable anyone at an organization to quickly let their LinkedIn network know about a job opening there.

Google, meanwhile, is taking its applicant tracking system Google Hire outside the US for the first time, expanding to the UK and Canada, TechCrunch reported on Tuesday. Hire, launched in 2017 as part of Google’s G Suite of enterprise software for small and mid-sized companies, also leverages machine learning and automation to help these smaller employers experience some of the same efficiencies as a big company with its own custom ATS (or maybe even more). Dmitri Krakovsky, the Google VP in charge of Hire, tells TechCrunch‘s Ingrid Lunden that expanding to these countries was a logical next step as they are both English-speaking and therefore easier to penetrate, while expanding into the UK will provide an opportunity for the search giant to ensure that its platform complies with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (while the UK is scheduled to exit the EU at the end of March, it plans to continue to uphold GDPR, at least for the time being, and companies there will still have to comply with the rule when doing business in EU member states).

Google Hire isn’t currently a leader among applicant tracking systems, but has a lot of growth potential, owing to Google’s resources, brand recognition, and massive investments in AI and other cutting-edge technologies, Lunden notes:

Currently, Hire ranks only at number 23 among the top 100 applicant tracking systems globally, according to research from OnGig, but it also singles it out for its potential because it is, after all, Google. For now, Krakovsky said it’s not taking on large enterprises or even tiny mom-and-pop shops, but the very large opportunity of between 10 and a couple of thousand employees.

The bigger opportunity for Google is on a couple of levels. First, it sells Hire as a paid product that helps bolster the company’s wider offering of Google Cloud Platform software and services. These prices range from $100/month to $400/month depending on company size (and you work directly with Google on pricing if your organization is over 100 employees). Second, it bolsters the company’s wider ambitions in recruitment, which also include the API-based Cloud Talent Solutions and its vertical search job boards. It’s a quiet but huge strategy, considering the size of the market that is being tackled.

TechCrunch also reported on Monday that Jobvite, a much smaller company that has nonetheless become a major player in the online recruiting space, had raised a $200 million investment from the private equity firm K1, which it was using to acquire three smaller startups: Talemetry, a recruitment marketing platform; RolePoint, which specializes in employee referrals and internal mobility; and Canvas, an automated, text-based bot that sources candidate information using natural language processing. Similar to how LinkedIn is consolidating its tools into a one-stop shop, TechCrunch’s Lunden writes that Jobvite is positioning itself to become a full-service recruiting platform, responding to recent changes in the shape of the HR function and in the market for recruiting technology:

While a lot of recruitment software (and the recruitment process) has traditionally been quite fragmented, a move to cloud solutions has provided an avenue for consolidating the process and using one platform to manage it. (Google’s launch of Hire, which lets users manage job applicants using G Suite apps; LinkedIn’s recruitment platform; Zoho and SmartRecruiter are all prime examples of how cloud platforms are being used to build more complete sourcing and tracking services.)

Coupled with this is a rising use of technology like machine learning to remove some of the more mechanical aspects of a recruiter’s job to speed up processes. Jobvite’s three acquisitions all play into both of these trends.

The internet has already become the primary tool candidates use to connect with prospective employers: A recent survey by the B2B market research firm Clutch found that among 507 people who began a new job within the past six months, 41 percent had found their job through an online job board, 25 percent through networking, and 14 percent through social media. Of course, the lines between these different methods are becoming blurrier as social media platforms expand into the job search space and more of our professional networking is digitally mediated, but that just underscores the point: Online recruiting is big business, and only getting bigger.