Jobs2Web Acquired by SuccessFactors

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Dec 7, 2011
This article is part of a series called News & Trends.

Yesterday, three days after the news that SAP is acquiring SuccessFactors, came the announcement that SuccessFactors is buying recruitment marketer Jobs2Web for $110 million.

SuccessFactors says it will combine its “social, mobile, and collaborative recruiting management solution with Jobs2web’s leading recruiting marketing platform, creating an end-to-end recruiting system.”

Saturday’s SAP SuccessFactors acquisition touched off a rally Monday among the publicly traded HR tech vendors, as well as speculation about further consolidation in the industry. However, no mention was made of Jobs2Web.

Based just outside Minneapolis, Jobs2Web specializes in enhancing employer job postings to boost their findability by job seekers. The company optimizes job listings to improve their position on search results pages by, among other things, building micro-sites for each listing. Listings are also redistributed to multiple job boards, aggregation sites, and other places, with codes inserted for each listing so recruiters can identify the most effective marketing channels.

Jobs2Web has grown quickly since its founding in 2003. It has been named to the Inc. 500 list of fastest-growing companies for the last three years. It ranked 419 on the 2011 list, reporting 2010 revenue of $9.9 million and a three-year growth of 824 percent.

When the deal closes, which is expected to occur before the end of the month, SuccessFactors said customers will have the option of buying Jobs2Web services as they have, or buying an integrated solution with SuccessFactors Recruiting Management. The integrated solution is being branded as a Recruiting Execution Platform. Pricing for the products will remain the same, SuccessFactors said.

In an interview, Doug Berg, founder of Jobs2Web, and Susan Van Klink, VP product sales and strategy with SuccessFactors, said the integrated product will leverage the data collected by the recruitment management platform to refine the job marketing piece to more perfectly target high performers.

SAP’s acquisition of SuccessFactors may have been all about the cloud. But the Jobs2Web acquisition seems more centered on improving candidate attraction. Berg said that with the SuccessFactors data, Jobs2Web will “have the ability to identify what the highest-performing candidate looks like.” That will allow Jobs2Web to refine the positioning and even the language of listings to attract those high-performing candidates.

Besides pushing out ads and optimizing them, Jobs2Web also simplifies building talent communities, which, Berg added, will also benefit from the SuccessFactors data by providing better job matches. He wouldn’t go into detail, but Berg said Jobs2Web has a LinkedIn toolset coming that will automate much of the candidate identification and targeting.

That customers will be able to continue using Jobs2Web without having to move onto the SuccessFactors platform isn’t unheard of, though it is relatively rare. Typically, in an acquisition, the acquiring company will integrate the new product line and compel customers to switch.

Van Klink said “forcing (customers to switch) is not in the SuccessFactors’ DNA.” So Jobs2Web will continue to support customers regardless of what ATS they use.

Down the road, if SAP can make the SuccessFactors integration work, its experience with big data gathered via its enterprise solutions may well make targeting of candidates so effective that messaging can be sent to just high-potentials and a high percentage of them can be expected to respond. It’s an interesting, if elusive, goal that’s been pursued by many companies, including Yahoo when it owned HotJobs.

In an FAQ-style discussion on the SuccessFactors site, the company said that most of the Jobs2Web team will make the transition, with the company operating as a separate unit. When the SAP deal closes, SuccessFactors will become an independent unit of the German firm.

There was no mention of the Jobs2Web acquisition Saturday when SAP and SuccessFactors held a conference call to discuss that $3.4 billion purchase. According to Bloomberg, that was because the deal wasn’t completed then. Berg said he was unaware of those acquisition discussions, but fully embraced the deal.

This article is part of a series called News & Trends.
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