One of the largest networks of company-owned job boards in the world has just grown a little bigger. Beyond.com announced this morning it acquired Human Capital Solutions, parent company of JobCircle.com, for an undisclosed amount.
JobCircle, like Beyond itself, operates in dozens of regional areas, primarily in the mid-Atlantic states from Virginia to New York, though it serves parts of other states, including California, Alaska, Texas, and Hawaii.
The Beyond network — some 2,500 niche and regional sites, and national specialty sites — also covers these areas. With 12 million unique visitors a month, the network is several times larger than JobCircle, and ranks, says CEO Rich Milgram, as the fourth-most trafficked in the careers category, according to ComScore.
It’s the first major acquisition by Beyond.com since acquiring social platform Orbius in 2010. Before that, the company bought Mathews Career Centers, adding several hundred geographically oriented sites to its network.
In 2007, Beyond.com got a $13.5 million investment from equity fund Safeguard Scientifics of Boston.
What set JobCircle apart from other job board operators was its strong career fairs component. JobCircle annually organizes a dozen or more in-person career fairs. Milgram said he was particularly impressed by a show JobCircle organized in September at Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Ballpark attended by 3,000 job seekers and dozens of employers.
After experiencing the event first hand, Milgram said it was something “we wanted to add to our arsenal.” Besides the new line of business it would bring, JobCircle’s online sweet spot has been with the SMB employer market. “Their penetration is not our penetration,” he said. Folding in JobCircle would help Beyond.com reach the smaller employer market.
Plus, he said, the acquisition adds additional depth to the Beyond team, especially, Milgram said, the expertise of JobCircle CEO and co-founder, Joe Stubblebine.
“It’s a great acquisition with a great team,” Milgram said.
The two companies were located just outside Philadelphia, only miles from each other. Milgram said all the JobCircle employees were given jobs with Beyond and will move into its offices in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. Stubblebine becomes vice president of corporate outreach, and will lead job fair development for Beyond.
Milgram said he wants to expand the job fairs outside the Mid-Atlantic area, to other parts of the country where Beyond is strong. “While employers and job seekers are increasingly interacting through our online channels, we recognize that a large part of the hiring process takes place face-to-face,” Milgram said in the announcement of the acquisition.
He also expects that meetups and tweetups — something he says JobCircle was expert at — will also become part of Beyond’s product offerings, as will virtual career fairs.
The future of the JobCircle brand is uncertain. In the coming months, the jobs and regional sites will be integrated with Beyond.com. What happens next? Said Milgram, “We’re going to look at that thoughtfully.”