Back in the Old Time, before people considered toilet paper a scarce commodity, and before banks began requiring masks-before-entry, Jobvite took on $200 million in funding, and did some buying. Specifically, they added: Talemetry, a Vancouver-based recruitment CRM; RolePoint, a London/ San Francisco based employee referral tech; and (importantly for this article) Canvas, an Indianapolis-based SMS technology. This was in February of 2019, so over two years ago.
Jobvite had been early-in on the idea of using social networks for recruitment, and set up an ATS as part of that solution. They had a CRM offering, but struggled with it. As technology companies tend to do, they were leapfrogged by other vendors over time. Dominance can be a fleeting thing, particularly in business-solutions. The acquisitions were interesting. They indicated that the newly formed organization planned to stand up a much more robust - and integrated - solution, one which would allow clients to have one vendor for a variety of needs, from recruitment marketing and candidate engagement (Talemetry, Canvas, RolePoint), to applicant-level activities (Jobvite), to internal mobility and referrals (RolePoint). This covers a good chunk of the talent acquisition funnel. This is a, by the way, a bit of a brass-ring-level effort for the industry: to ideally provide a truly robust as well as best-in-class experience for end-users, who universally want the best solutions, and at the same time are frustrated by integrating multiple vendors who don't always play-nice with each other.
The jury is still out on the attempt. Integrating even two companies with different cultures and technologies is challenging. Four at the same time is exponentially more challenging. While all four offerings are listed on Jobvite's product page, it's worth noting that the SMS solution is referred to as a point solution. Talemetry is still called Talemetry, with the tag-line: "You bring the ATS and we'll bring the results". Jobvite's long-time CEO, Dan Finnigan, exited after the acquisition, and Canvas's CEO, Aman Brar, took the helm. There have not been significant announcements since that time.
Until now. Two interesting press releases have come out.
First: Jobvite is leaving its ancestral home in Silicon Valley, and heading for the heartland. This makes sense. The company had an office in the area prior to the merger, and Canvas (and, more importantly, the CEO) is based there. Creating a culture in a merger is challenging when people are dispersed, and - frankly - real estate is a heck of a lot cheaper in Indianapolis versus the Land of the Lotus Eaters. Indy also has a robust technology sector, so sourcing talent is a bit less strained than if they'd decided to HQ in Fargo.
According to the press release:
“Jobvite started expanding its presence in Indianapolis in 2019 after acquiring Canvas, the world’s first text-based interviewing platform, and many of our valued customers and team members are based here. This city is a natural place for global technology companies like us to establish our home base,” said Aman Brar, CEO of Jobvite. “We are excited to grow in Indianapolis while expanding our global customer footprint. I’m very appreciative of the collaboration and support we received from the offices of Gov. Eric J. Holcomb, Mayor Joe Hogsett, Indy Chamber, TechPoint, and the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC). We believe Indy’s robust talent and tech ecosystem will be advantageous to our continued growth.”
Second: blockchain. One of the most confusing buzzwords to emerge in the past few years, and something that a lot of smart people in the recruiting and human capital industries have been dying to prove its validity. Jobvite has announced they are joining the Velocity Network, a (supposed*) non-profit industry consortium developing a global blockchain focused on talent. The Foundation's stated aim is: "to be the world’s network for verifiable and trusted career credentials, designed for the digital age.It’s governed by a nonprofit foundation, set out to put people back in control and build a globally accessible, trustworthy utility layer that will underlie the global labor markets. Participants in the network are all equal, adhering to the same protocols. The network belongs to no one and is run by its members." Existing members include Aon, Cornerstone, Randstad, SAP, and others (mostly enterprise-focused, profit-driven global organizations, with a few exceptions such as HR Open Standards).
According to Jobvite's Andrew Cunsolo, Senior Director of Product Management: “We are strong supporters of consensus-based open data standards in HR. We believe these standards should be transported via an HR industry consortium blockchain that puts the power in the hands of the individual to control their own verified data. Jobvite is excited to collaborate with other industry leaders in shaping the Internet of Careers to benefit job seekers, employers, and society at large."
The jury is still out, but these are signs of potential life at Jobvite.
*Velocity makes claims at being a non-profit, but also runs "Velocity Labs", which sounds like a for-profit development shop.
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