According to a report by Global Industry Analysts, Inc. the global recruitment software market is estimated to be worth $2 billion by 2018. Growth in the market is driven by increasing demand for cloud-based recruitment software and the evolution of solutions that help to increase efficiency to reduce employee turnover.
Boston-based Bullhorn was founded in 1999 by Arthur Papas to become a provider of technology solutions for international recruitment firms. The company was originally created as an online marketplace where artists and creative professionals could search for contract work. Soon, it aligned itself with recruiting firms and became a pioneer in the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model for staffing and recruiting software. Bullhorn today caters to more than 130,000 organizations across 150 countries.
Bullhorn has kept itself abreast with market developments through innovations within the mobile and social recruiting segment. Bullhorn earns revenues through selling applicant tracking software (ATS) and its CRM services. Its products include features such as applicant tracking, candidate sourcing, and time and expense management. Further, its mobile apps let recruiters search for candidate resumes, view suitable candidates, contact them, track and email hiring activity, and maintain notes while on the go. The mobile app is currently available for iOS- and Android-based devices. Bullhorn’s social recruiting tools help businesses post jobs and find candidates through social sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Bullhorn also has an impressive business intelligence tool that offers both standard, customized, and ad hoc trend and data reports that provide insight into recruiting activities.
Bullhorn’s basic version products are free to use. However, most of its premium features are available on a subscription model. According to management, last year Bullhorn generated $33 million in revenues compared with $23 million in 2010. The company aims for revenues of more than $40 million this year. It also claims to be profitable.
Till early this year, Bullhorn had received $27.5 million in venture funding from investors that included General Electric Pension Trust, Charter Ventures, Highland Capital Partners, Austin Investment Management, Elmrock Capital, GE Asset Management, and General Catalyst Partners. In June 2012, it was acquired by a private equity firm, Vista Equity Partners, for an undisclosed low nine-digit sum. Details of the transaction are not publicly available, but analysts believe that the acquisition was a precursor to Bullhor’s IPO.
Under the private equity banner, Bullhorn recently added to its cloud offerings by acquiring two recruitment solutions providers. Last month, it acquired Vancouver-based MaxHire Solutions and St. Louis–based Sendouts. Both of these vendors focus on recruitment software offerings on the SaaS model. The merger will give Bullhorn the capability to mine prospect data from sites like Data.com and Hoover’s. The terms of the deals were not disclosed. In addition, Bullhorn will be able to leverage the talented teams and customer bases of these companies. The acquisition will help Bullhorn grow to 250 employees, with access to more than 5,000 staffing and recruitment agencies on its customer list. Analysts believe that the merger will help the company to beat its revenue target to reach more than $70 million this year.
The recruitment SaaS market as a whole has been seeing big acquisitions. Last year, SAP announced the acquisition of SuccessFactors for $3.4 billion, followed by Oracle’s acquisition of Taleo for $1.9 billion. Earlier last quarter, IBM entered the space by acquiring Kenexa Corporation for $1.3 billion. Bullhorn may be the next potential target with similar valuations. En route, it could also acquire a few smaller players like TalentCircles to incorporate social recruiting functions.