The Silicon Review
There are very few Internet companies that can claim they’ve been in business for 24 years. Between the dot.com bust and the continuous onslaught of new technologies being released each day, it’s almost inconceivable to consider a company that started on the “World Wide Web” in 1994 could still be around – and still relevant–after two and half decades.
This company’s software sits between HCM (Human Capital Management) tools such as Oracle, Workday, SAP, IBM, Google, and Ultipro (to name a few) and every known career site, social media site, college, or, for that matter, anywhere a job can be posted in more than 180 countries. Literally thousands of companies using these HCM tools around the globe can access eQuest and post their open job positions to any career destination from a single page.
It’s Like a FedEx for Job Posting
Offering a single point for companies to post jobs, eQuest continues to be the most selected job distribution service within the global Fortune 1000, as well as the go-to software partner for HCM companies. Recently Google, which is now entering the HCM market, selected eQuest as its exclusive job posting vendor.
Andy Lampe and Chris Flores are eQuest’s key executives who play a vital role in the company’s ongoing success. Lampe is in charge of putting new ideas into action, while Flores makes sure those projects get completed. The constant “create and build” formula enables eQuest to expand and out-develop their competitors, increase services, and as a result, deliver millions of job posting transactions each year– making it the hands-down winner in the market segment.
The mission is simple: eQuest wants to connect people and empower recruiters by enabling them to reach thousands of candidates around the world through its network of job boards. The company has a passion for diversity in its people, products, technology, and markets. It is committed to developing the diverse talents of all employees, and that’s why eQuest is now the leader in global job distribution.
The Long and Winding Road
Prior to 2000, there was little desire for companies to build a unique integration to job boards, much less having their HCM vendors build one. Hence, eQuest felt that, if it could standardize the connections to all of the jobs boards through a single connection (or software program), it could build a potential business model upon that.
Both Lampe and Flores agree that HCM vendors were objectionable to writing their own job board connections. One reason was that it was not in its financial interest as a company. The tricky part of job distribution is the vast amount of job boards around the world that need to be continually maintained. You don’t write the code to the board and call it done. Changes continually occur, and HCM vendors don’t have or want the bandwidth to support such effort. This is as true today as it was 20 years ago.
Moving from “Nice to Have” to “Must Have” Software
During eQuest’s first 10 years of operations, its business model was considered a “nice to have” tool, primarily used in the technology sector; used by enormous companies such as Hewlett Packard, Dell, Yahoo, and Amdahl; serving up thousands of jobs to the few job boards in existence at the time, such as OCC, HotJobs, and Headhunter.net; and competing for engineering talent in Cobol (remember Y2K?), Fortran, and the newly developed Java by Sun Microsystems. Companies spent significant amounts of money to compete for talent. Today, as more and more companies of all sizes are taking advantage of HCM software and pricing for that software has come down, eQuest now distributes for companies across all market groups, of all sizes, and has become a “must have” software.
The company’s business also grew dynamically at the requests of its users. In the beginning, eQuest delivered jobs only to career sites located in the U.S. Today, eQuest services job deliveries in hundreds of countries and has added new services to keep up with the needs of its customers, including social media, colleges and university postings, global diversity programs, and special posting for the U.S. and foreign companies that have certain federal mandates.
The Continuing Transformation
eQuest surely has had a huge transition from 1994 to the present time.
In the initial years, eQuest faced some major hurdles that most start-ups today have– one being consistent cash flow. It was mostly a “roller coaster ride” of incoming revenue that resulted in big revenue months, small revenue months, and some times zero-revenue months. Boot strapped with no signs of help from investors, eQuest solved this problem by providing customers with different financial payment schedules, as well as pursuing licensing options. With those in place, revenue became much more consistent and dependable.
The company also concentrated on several other key aspects: planning, customer service, retaining a competitive edge through technology, and most importantly, profit. eQuest refused to provide services to a company unless it was profitable from the start. Too many start-ups give away products or lower prices in hopes they can recoup it in later years. eQuest never travelled that road. Secondly, eQuest is the only privately owned company in the distribution market. Without the pressures from outside financial sources, eQuest had the flexibility to create its own path.
From a product offering perspective, the company has come a long way. Its newly developed AutoPost software eliminates the need for a recruiter or other user to directly interact with eQuest to post jobs. In fact, more than 50% of eQuest’s job deliveries today are originated by preset rules set up by customers at the beginning of the month or quarter. From that point onwards, the job distribution is supported automatically. A basic “…set it and forget it…” scenario.
Making a Difference
Through the years, eQuest has delivered more than a billion jobs to career sites around the world. It’s unknown how many people were hired over the past 24 years as a result of an eQuest delivered job. However, the company is proud of the way it has helped connect the recruitment world and grow the industry. And in some small way, it feels good to have a part in the hiring of hundreds of thousands of people on a global scale over so many years.
The Future for eQuest
eQuest’s goals include obtaining a larger percentage of market share, along with its continued pursuit of developing new products and services. This means working faster and smarter. Sharing these technologies with partners is another important aspect. One such example is the forth coming eQuest product/service called “eQuestXpress.” This enables smaller customers without job board contracts to receive substantial single transaction discounts on job boards and paying with a credit card online – all from a single one-page interface. It’s a win-win for all parties involved.
The Key Executives
Andy Lampe, Director of Information Technology: Andy oversees all eQuest IT activity and leads development on all new product, service, and support projects. He has 20 years of experience developing groundbreaking software in the HCM space.
Chris Flores, Lead Operations Manager: Chris oversees all eQuest operations and handles day-to-day relationships with technology partners and job boards globally. He has 17 years of experience in product, process, and people management.