Well, I missed it.
Back in April 2021, StackOverflow announced that it was "moving away from job slots and direct hiring". This was the oldest part of their various revenue streams, and also one of the most successful. Why would Stack do such a thing? They wanted to "focus more on customer employer branding and company awareness needs". As they summed up, "At the end of the day, this change unlocks greater value for our users and helps our customers better achieve success."
Hmm. This never made it on my radar, nor did I hear it from any others in the industry. Did you know? Well, why didn't you tell me??
Fast forward to now. The latest from Stack says: "While Talent & Jobs helped us get to where we are over the past decade, the talent acquisition space is not one where we have a strong competitive advantage. Developers, as you all know, don’t have a hard time finding job opportunities. The problem is often finding the right opportunity and job boards and sourcing are ineffective solutions. The effort it would take us to truly differentiate in this space is not one we could justify."
So what is Stack cutting?
- Jobs – including job search, saved searches, applications, messages, recommended job matches, and job ads
- Developer Story and any saved resumes
- Salary Calculator
- All emails, settings, and data associated with these features
- All employer-facing features related to Jobs and Developer Story
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It must also be noted that in June 2021, Prosus purchased Stack for a reported $1.8 billion. Stack's comment at the time: "Prosus is an investment and holding company, which means that the most important part of this announcement is that Stack Overflow will continue to operate independently, with the exact same team in place that has been operating it, according to the exact same plan and the exact same business practices."
So...First of all I must applaud Stack for its transparency (although it really should have sent me a personal notice of the changes!!). And if you read the answers to the most recent announcement, it's obvious that users are sad and unhappy that Jobs is going away. A typical comment: "I'm sad to see SO Jobs go. It was one of my favorite places to search and apply to jobs."
It's obvious that Stack (and its new owner) believe it can make more money by eliminating Jobs and Developer Story. They seem certain that candidate engagement with employers will increase, and that employers will be happy to pay more for that engagement and branding. I guess only time will tell.
I can say two things with certainty:
- Stack now joins the many sites such as GlassDoor, FairyGodBoss, TheMuse, etc. who are 'employer-branding-forward'. This type of site has been a trend for a while. Is Stack a sign of increasing momentum - or just a blip?
- There is now a crater-sized hole in the tech recruiting site market. Is it a Dice-sized hole? A Toptal-sized hole? Or an opportunity for some as-yet unknown site? As I said before, only time will tell. It's going to be an opportunity for someone!
Here's hoping I don't miss the next 'big thing' :-)
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