Anyone that has applied for a job knows about Indeed, but probably never knew Indeed was a fully owned subsidiary of Recruit Holdings (RH), a Japanese holding company founded in 1960 and based in Tokyo. RH started as media company, and throughout the 60’s distributed free guides to university students filled with paid content from companies looking to hire new talent. The offerings expanded to paid real estate listings with more accurate calculations of walk time to nearby train stations, travel brochures, and myriad other offerings in the job placement space.
Recruit Holdings in its modern iteration was born only 8 years ago, when RH began an aggressive series of acquisitions, including the 14th largest U.S. staffing firm Staffmark for $300M in 2011, the 11th largest global staffing firm Advantage Resourcing for $410M in 2012, and the #1 job website at the time, Indeed, for $1B, also in 2012. In 2014 the company listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. In May, 2018 RH completed its latest major acquisition, purchasing Glassdoor for $1.2B in cash. Today, RH owns 357 individual companies.
Recruit Holdings is structured as a holding company, with 3 subsidiaries: HR Technology, Media & Solutions, and Staffing.
- HR Technology (Indeed & Glassdoor): This business unit is synonymous with Indeed, and following the recent Glassdoor acquisition, is definitively the world’s largest job site. The combined Indeed / Glassdoor web properties will have ~260 million unique monthly visitors. Prior to acquiring Glassdoor, Indeed had ~$780M in revenue in FY 2017.
- Media & Solutions: Offers marketing and recruiting support to multiple business segments in Japan, such as wedding venues, restaurants, and beauty salons, with ~$6B in revenue in FY 2017.
- Staffing: Provides temporary staffing services in Japan and internationally, with ~$12B in revenue in FY 2017.
Indeed itself has a fascinating history from a startup perspective. The company was founded in 2005 by Rony Kahan and Paul Forster, who raised one and only one VC investment, led by Union Square Ventures for $5M. Rony and Paul had previously founded Jobsinthemoney.com, a job site for financing professionals that they exited to Financial News in 2003. The company was inspired by Google’s pay-per-click business model, Google itself having just gone public in 2004. Google inadvertently contributed to Indeed’s success, by indexing jobs listed on the site and oftentimes enabling Indeed’s job listings to be a top search result. In other words, Google became one of Indeeds largest source of organic (i.e. unpaid) web traffic.
Moving forward, I will be writing more about Indeed / Glassdoor, which today is one of four of the major players in the job listing / job search space. The other three, include Indeed’s oldest competitor, LinkedIn (now owned by Microsoft), and new (but formidable) entrants: Facebook Jobs and Google Jobs. In effect, while much larger today in scale than 10-15 years ago, the world of job listings is effectively dominated by tech companies that began as venture backed startups.