Simply Hired is a job search engine and recruitment network — a service that is, not surprisingly, much in demand at the moment. It searches thousands of job sites and companies and consolidates the information on its own site so that users can filter through it and conduct a search using keywords, company names, job titles and other variables. The company gathers postings from The Wall Street Journal, CareerBuilder, HotJobs, Monster.com and thousands of other sites including company sites, and categorizes this information so that users can find ads which meet their needs.
Simply Hired was founded by Gautam Godhwani, CEO, an entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience building start-up organizations. In 2000, AtWeb, an online services company he created, was acquired by Netscape. After a few more years at the company, Gautam and his brother researched the Indian community and opened the India Community Center in Silicon Valley. This 40,000 square foot, $17 million facility supports over 1,000 programs annually, including programs for kids, teens, adults and seniors, as well as free legal and medical services. In 2004, Gautam began to focus on the $100 billion employment industry when he noticed that although Americans spent a lot on the hiring process, often neither employers nor employees were consistently happy with the results. So, in March 2005, Simply Hired was founded ‘to help people find jobs they love’. The founding team, made up of Gautam Godhwani, Anil Godhwani and Peter Weck, was passionate about making the job search process a better experience for both employers and employees. For more on the company’s story, see my interview series with Gautam from April of last year.
Simply Hired has raised $22.3 million in funding to date, including its latest round, a $4.6 million Series C from IDG Ventures and Foundation Capital, which was announced yesterday. The company will leverage the new financing to support future domestic growth, increase its staff from 50 to 80 in 2009, and accelerate international expansion. The founders raised their seed financing of $1.2 million in 2004 from their own funds and individual investor Jerry Crowley. This was followed by a $3 million Series A from Garage Technology Investors and several individual investors in August 2005 and a $13.5 million Series B from Foundation Capital and Fox Interactive Media in March 2006 Investments from these previous rounds were used to help the company reach profitability.
Simply Hired aims to operate a comprehensive database of job listings online and syndicates these jobs to its network of 5,000 partner sites, including LinkedIn, CNNMoney, BusinessWeek, Plaxo, The Washington Post and over 3,000 blog and niche sites. Its network reaches more than 23 million active and passive candidates each month globally. It operates global sites in 13 countries and seven languages including the US, Canada, the UK, Australia, India, Germany, Spain, France, Ireland, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and Brazil.
The online job market is $10 billion, while the US employment market is over $100 billion. Simply Hired uses a pay-per-click (PPC) advertising model which allows advertisers to only pay when a job seeker clicks on a job. It does not require a job to be posted, and there are no annual contracts or flat fees for each job listing. Advertisers can also scale up or scale down their campaigns depending on need. This aim of this PPC model is to allow advertisers to measure their results and maximize their ROI.
Simply Hired targets both active and passive candidates, who make up a pool of over 130 million people. Twenty-four million job seekers have visited the network globally. In the past year, and the average time job seekers spent on the Simply Hired website has increased 75%. In addition, job seekers are making repeat visits to Simply Hired 175% more often than in past years. Although this could in part be due to Simply Hired’s filtering capabilities, I feel as though it is likely due to the current economy. Sites such as Simply Hired are seeing boom times due to the high number of laid-off employees seeking jobs, including those who have jobs but are on the lookout for something new. Due to an increased workload and lower pay and benefits, 54% of employed Americans plan to look for a new job when the economy rebounds, according to a survey from the Adecco Group. Simply Hired has seen 16 consecutive quarters of revenue growth, and recently crossed the profitability milestone.
The company aims to differentiate itself from its competitors by delivering better job content, more traffic (derived from SEO assets and a large network or partners), products such as comprehensive advertising networks and sponsorship packages, and a global presence. It is one of the only sites in the job search market to offer specific lifestyle filters for older workers, veterans, dog owners, moms, etc and is also the first to use the LinkedIn API.
Main competitors include Indeed, Google Base and Oodle. Other similar sites are Workcircle, Careerjet, Recruit.net, and Vast, but some are focused solely on the US market. In the near future aggregated classified players will most likely enter the market. Another site, Hound.com, lists jobs directly from employers’ sites, which is similar to what Simply Hired does, but on a narrower scale.
In the past four years, Simply Hired has grown, ranking among the US top 75 websites and one of the top five job sites in North America. The company was the fastest-growing job site in 2008, according to both comScore and Nielsen Media. It has been lauded as one of the ‘50 Coolest Websites’ by Time magazine, a ‘Top 100 Website in 2009’ by PC Magazine and the ‘Best of the Web’ by BusinessWeek.
The future looks bright for this company, especially with their new capital and in the current economic situation. “We will consider opportunities as they arise,” says Gautam. The site mirrors ‘community’, an issue that has always been important to Gautam, and he is completely focused on building an enduring company.
This segment is a part in the series : Deal Radar 2009