White Knight Rescue – Broadbean Arbita Deal

On January 16, 2012, in HRExaminer, by John Sumser

Broadbean takes over customer contracts for failed Arbita business

Broadbean has neither acquired any of Arbita's assets nor assumed any of its debt. The agreement is simply to provide customers with service continuation.

Broadbean Steps In To Ease Arbita Customer Transition

It’s the end of an era.

Arbita, in its current incarnation and as the artist formerly known as RecruitUSA, was a fixture on the electronic Recruiting landscape from the very beginning. Built out of the ashes of one of the original America Online job ad publishing businesses, the firm rode the highs and lows of our ridiculously cyclical industry. Investment came in the dot com run up (from the Washington Post).

Arbita, like a number of other firms, made its way as a Job Advertising Distribution company. They offered software that allowed customers to distribute their job postings to an enormous number of outlets, mostly job boards. The industry needs operations like this to act as the go between among a kajillion systems with conflicting requirements.

Arbita is shuttering its operations.

According to CEO Don Ramer, in a letter to customers,

As many of you know, Arbita has experienced technical challenges with our posting platform over the last few years and, despite our best efforts, has been unable to fully resolve them.  The technical complexity of the posting business is growing each year and Arbita does not have the resources to sustain the high quality of service [we] pride ourselves on delivering.  Accordingly, I have decided to close the Arbita posting platform and assist clients in migration to a more robust posting platform.

Broadbean, a competitor, agreed to take the Arbita customer base and fulfill the remainder of their contract with Arbita for posting services. CEO Kelly Robinson said,

Broadbean recognizes that Arbita is unable to keep up with the tech changes necessary for the continual evolution that must take place in order for a technology-based company to maintain a market presence and, in this particular case, assist clients through the job posting process – all of which is part of the greater process:  sourcing candidates.  The responsibility we take from Arbita is the tech and time they owe to their current clients.

We see it as the right thing to do, when a customer is using a posting distributor, no matter who that distributor – no matterwhat the technology – if that customer’s needs are not being met, this affects the industry, the job distribution market where we reside.

Please know that while Arbita’s business has failed and their doors have closed, with their technical operations ceasing, Broadbean is here to assist clients by offering to fulfill the service obligation owed to OnePost clients. The greater good is realized.  We understand that these clients may not choose to continue on with Broadbean at the time of their contract renewal.  This is not our current concern.  Our direct concern lies in the immediate needs of Arbita clients being met.

Robinson went on to say,

Broadbean was founded by a recruiter for recruiters.  We are on this journey to make the job of hiring quality employees easier, less frustrating, less time-consuming and more affordable.  The heart of the recruitment industry is important to us.  What the rest of the world thinks about recruiters is important to us.  What the recruitment industry thinks about our market – candidate sourcing technology – is important to us.  Understanding and engaging with the community we serve is the right thing to do.

Like DMGT, our holding company, our long-term strategy is to be the market leader in the sectors we serve. The only way to do that is to serve.  We will fulfill Arbita’s Obligation of Service with the responsibility we feel for our industry.

Broadbean may be a new name to some of this audience. With 33,000 users around the world, the company is the world’s leading job posting provider. The company is committed to providing its customers with sustainable tools for sourcing that work year in and year out. The company is backed by the UK’s DMGT.

Broadbean has neither acquired any of Arbita’s assets nor assumed any of its debt. The agreement is simply to provide customers with service continuation. The Broadbean team hopes to minimize the internal disruption that customers could experience as Arbita ceases operations.

The industry will certainly be ‘atwitter’ with this news today. Arbita was bootcamp and testing grounds for many of our industry’s key players. Over the years, the Arbita diaspora has filled the trade show halls with old friends who shared character shaping experiences.

This is precisely the end of the first era of Electronic Recruiting. The second is well underway and we’re seeing glimpses of the third.

So long, Arbita. and Thank you, Kelly Robinson and Broadbean.



 
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Heather Bussing is an employment attorney and is the Editorial Advisory Board editor at HR Examiner.
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