Details of Indeed’s Acquisition of Canada’s Workopolis Are Coming to Light

When Indeed announced it had purchased Workopolis, a well-known job board in Canada on April 4, the reasoning behind such a move was a mystery. By most metrics, Indeed.ca was already the most-trafficked job site north of the border, and Workopolis was far from a growing enterprise in a relatively small market.

As recent as 2015, AIM Group reported Workopolis “was a recruitment classified leader both in terms of traffic and listings (30,000 to 50,000 jobs posted at any one time). Half of its traffic comes from mobile. It has a database of 9 million resumes.”

I speculated the move was a way for Indeed to strengthen its moat against the impending move by Google to launch its job search feature in Canada, where it currently was absent. According to a former Workopolis employee who spoke to me on the condition of anonymity, the move was triggered by a competitor looking to move into Canada, but it wasn’t Google specifically.

According to my source, ZipRecruiter was the competitor looking to gain a foothold in Canada, leveraging the Workopolis brand and existing assets. “The fear of ZipRecruiter making a play in Canada didn’t sit well with Indeed,” my source said. A ZipRecruiter executive, however, would not confirm this statement.

When asked if the move was a defensive tactic against ZipRecruiter, Tara Lambropoulos, senior manager, North America corporate communications, said “Workopolis is a trusted brand and leading Canadian job site for both job seekers and employers. With millions of loyal users that rely on the site, this acquisition allows us to expand our commitment to providing Canadian job seekers with a superior job search experience.”

My source said Workopolis’ annual revenues were likely in the $17 million ballpark and estimated that Indeed had paid approximately $25 million for the business. Lambropoulos said financial terms of the transaction will not be disclosed.

Acquisition specifics and speculation aside, my source said layoffs were especially depressing. “We were told to come in at 9:30 a.m. for a company-wide meeting. An Indeed representative called in, but didn’t say anything. We were told it would be our last day and to turn in all our equipment. Everyone stood in a line to get their walking papers from Workopolis executives.”

According to my source, there were about 50 Workopolis employees affected by the closing, and that everyone was given three weeks’ pay for every year they had worked. “It was a pretty fair deal, I guess. A handful of coworkers will be around for another month or so to help Indeed with the transition,” my source added.

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Recruit Holdings simply bought the assets of Workopolis.com and is not involved in making any decisions about its employees,” said Lambropoulos.

Indeed has already integrated its jobs into the Workopolis look-and-feel. This is also what it did after acquiring SimplyHired last year. Indeed said Workopolis users will continue to receive any job alerts they have previously set up.

Joel Cheesman

Joel Cheesman has over 20 years experience in the online recruitment space. He worked for both international and local job boards in the late ‘90s and early ‘00s. In 2005, Cheesman founded HRSEO, a search engine marketing company for HR, as well as launching an award-winning industry blog called Cheezhead. He has been featured in Fast Company and US News and World Report. He sold his company in 2009 to Jobing.com. He was employed by EmployeeScreenIQ, a background check company. He is the founder of Ratedly, an app that monitors anonymous employee reviews. He is married and the father of three children. He lives in Indianapolis.