Andrew Bassett, the chief executive and co-founder of online jobs marketplace Seek (ASX: SEK), told the Australian Financial Review he intends to disrupt the business model of the online job advertisement business by investing in disruptive start-ups and ‘scale-up’ businesses.
This March, Seek, along with global recruitment firm Hudson, will serve as platinum sponsors of a 12-week accelerator program, called Human Capital, which will see Seek grant up to $50,000 AUD ($39,200 U.S.) to as many as a dozen workplace-related start-ups, in return for a 10-percent stake in each business.
Speaking to the Australian Financial Review, Bassett said: “[Seek’s] objective is to help people throughout their careers, and in a new world of work, that’s not always going to be finding them their next job at the next organization.”
Over the last 18 months that strategy has been reflected in many of the company’s recent investments, which includes job aggregator Jora, the Latin American freelance marketplace Workana, online employee rostering platform Ximble, and the online marketplace for temporary staff Sidekicker.
“There are a few we haven’t disclosed, because there’s no need to tell our competitors everything we’re doing,” Bassett told the Australian Financial Review, “but we’re confident we’re staying ahead of the transformation that’s taking place in work.”
Announcing the partnership with Seek as platinum sponsors of Human Capital, Mark Steyn, the Asia Pacific CEO of Hudson, said the company’s eagerness to collaborate with entrepreneurs who are passionate about improving the future of work, was due to the speed with which the workplace is changing.
“The ways in which we find jobs, organisations identify and engage talent, and the significant potential of talent analytics to boost business performance are all evolving at a breakneck pace,” Steyn said. “Technology can provide a powerful way to support this change.”
Commenting on Seek’s transformation from a start-up born out of disruption into the world’s largest employment marketplace with a market capitalization of $5 billion AUD ($3.8 billion U.S.), Bassett said the company “has much to offer the next generation of high growth companies”.
“Through this program, Seek will look to share its experience, and hopefully find opportunities to help “scale up” new businesses via our relationships with over 700,000 hirers and 150 million candidates,” he said.
Human Capital is run by Slingshot, a company that connects corporates with disruptive start-ups and entrepreneurs in need of finance and mentorship (site at Slingshotters.com), and is a first for the Australian HR-tech industry.