LinkedIn has made another acquisition to build out its big data recruitment business. It’sacquiredCareerify, a startup based out of Toronto, Canada, that focuses on software for businesses to hire people.
Two of Careerify’s products — an employer branding software product (intended to help companies appear more attractive to prospective candidates) and “internal mobility software” (fancy naming for internal hiring software) — are being closed down. But a third product — Careerify’s employee referral software — will remain open to existing customers. However, LinkedIn will not take on any new users.
LinkedIn is not providing any information about whether it plans to revive the first two products that have been sunset, or how it plans to evolve the one that is currently live.
This is an acquisition, not an acquihire, and the company already had some very well known large and small organizations using the product including Good Technology and SunGard.
The referral software developed by Careerify fits right into LinkedIn’s bigger strategy as a business, which parses and crunches data that people input into their profiles (or is otherwise associated with them) to come up with synergies with other users, potential jobs and other professional connections.
In the case of Careerify, it uses an employee’s social connections — these days via LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook — to figure out who in an individual’s network might be suitable for a job opening in that employee’s place of business.
The problem that Careerify is solving is fairly common, and possibly one that you have come across yourself: when job openings come up at your office, and you get that email asking if you have anyone to refer as a potential candidate, you may be too busy to answer, or just unable to think of anyone suitable. The software from Careerify essentially automates that process — not unlike how LinkedIn automates a lot of its reading and connection suggestions to you today.
But while Careerify may be solving a problem, it had a problem of its own: how to best position itself for future growth in a sea of social media companies and recruitment specialists that are growing bigger and bigger. That’s where LinkedIn comes in, CEO and founder Harpaul Sambhi wrote in a blog post announcing the deal:
“We decided to join LinkedIn due to what we lacked – massive scale,” he said. “More than 30,000 companies across the globe leverage LinkedIn for recruitment, and with more than 347 million members, LinkedIn offers an opportunity to make a much larger impact on job seeking and hiring.”
Three are people joining the company, Sambhi and two software engineers, Luthfur Chowdhury and Prashant Viswanathan, who will all become a part of LinkedIn’s Talent Solutions Team. (One other person is not joining.) The three are now working out of LinkedIn’s Toronto office, but they will soon be relocating to Mountain View.
Back on May 5, 2003, Reed Hoffman launched LinkedIn in his living room and asked several hundred of his friends and colleagues to join. Ten years later, the social network for professionals has more than 200 million users, 3,700 employees and 26 offices around the world.
Looking back, it almost seems inevitable that LinkedIn would become a huge hit, but it took awhile before the network really started to take off. On some days, as few as 20 people signed up to use the service.
“At the end of our first month, we had 4,500 members in the network,” Hoffman wrote in a post Sunday to commemorate the 10th anniversary of launching LinkedIn. “10 years later, we’re honored and humbled that so many of you have made LinkedIn a part of your daily professional lives.”
It’s an accomplishment for a startup in any industry to survive for a decade, but it’s particularly impressive for Internet companies to enjoy that kind of longevity. LinkedIn was founded in the aftermath of the Dot-Com bust, at a time when the biggest social networks were Friendster and MySpace.
LinkedIn launched before most of the social networks that are considered big players today. It’s about a year older than Facebook, three years older than Twitter and eight years older than Google+ — though it’s younger than Google itself, which launched in 1998.
Unlike some of its competitors, LinkedIn’s team focused early on creating a business model. In 2005, two years after launching, LinkedIn introduced job listings and tiered subscriptions to generate revenue. Now, LinkedIn is generating more than $300 million in revenue each quarter.
To celebrate its first decade as a company, LinkedIn put out a collection of pictures showing how the website has evolved over the years from a relatively static page with some basic information about your professional connections to a dynamic social network for businesses and individuals alike.
LinkedIn, the professional network people use to maintain an online resume, find jobs and job candidates, and network, is sending a clear message with its acquisition of news-reader Pulse: It’s a media company, and it’s not ashamed of that.
Pulse makes an app that allows readers to browse articles from a variety of online sources, including social networks. In that, it’s similar to Flipboard and Zite, though it has particularly nice features for saving items to read later. LinkedIn is paying $90 million, mostly in stock, to buy the company, which has 30 million users and serves up material from 750 publishers. Pulse was started in 2010 by Akshay Kothari and Ankit Gupta, who met as students at Stanford.
All The Business News That Fits, We Print
Where does that fit with LinkedIn? Increasingly, LinkedIn wants to broaden how users think of it beyond job-hunting. Already, LinkedIn publishes articles by high-profile business figures like Virgin chief Richard Branson and Buddy Media founder Michael Lazerow.
That means bringing in a wide variety of sources — a layer of original, exclusive, high-end articles on top; links to relevant business items from around the Web in LinkedIn Today; and user contributions in LinkedIn Groups and profile updates. The only problem LinkedIn has on its current website is that its tools for reading, saving, and sharing content leave something to be desired. That’s where Pulse comes in.