Bullhorn Acquires Erecruit — Is It Relevant to Contingent Workforce Managers? [PRO]

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Bullhorn, a leading provider of comprehensive software for staffing/recruiting agencies, recently announced its acquisition of its rival Erecruit. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, but the combined companies (each of which have acquired key competitors over the past several years) now serve about 11,000 staffing supplier customers, primarily in the U.S. and Europe. Note: Bullhorn has reported that 95% of its customers are temp staffing agencies vs. 5% placement agencies and executive search services; and we assume there was a similar ratio for Erecruit.

Bullhorn’s acquisition of Erecruit is in itself a significant event within the staffing industry. But it also led Spend Matters to ask some questions:

* Do contingent workforce managers take an interest in what is going on upstream in their supply chains? That is, beyond standard performance metrics (cost, speed, quality) which treat staffing suppliers mostly as black boxes that produce certain commodity outputs (submittals, candidates, quality hires, et al.).
* Do practitioners consider which technology providers that their staffing suppliers are using, how much they are investing in technology and digital transformation, or how they are innovating for the benefit of its business clients and workers?
* Finally, do those investments in technology, digital transformation and innovation put those suppliers in a better position to provide talent and service to a demand-side organization?
These seem like important questions with either a one-word answers (i.e., “no”) or multi-word answers (with potentially many viewpoints and long discussions that cannot take place within the boundaries of this brief).

Accordingly, in this brief, we are not going to delve into those questions as such, but rather focus on Bullhorn’s acquisition of Erecruit (what’s the context, what’s in it, what lies ahead). Then, contingent workforce managers can form their own thoughts about how important upstream supply chain (and specifically, technology) changes are and how much attention and consideration they merit.

So let’s look at this deal and how these two entities (once direct competitors, now a single business) stack up …

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