StepStone Solutions Buys MrTed

Recruitment tech vendor MrTed is being acquired by StepStone Solutions, a global talent management provider based in the United Kingdom.

The sale gives StepStone Solutions a stronger presence in the U.S., where London headquartered MrTed has been gaining brand awareness and growing its foothold, especially  in the SMB market since introducing the free ATS, SmartRecruiters, two years ago. StepStone also acquires MrTed’s global customers using its SaaS talent acquisition product, MrTedTalentLink.

Consultant Naomi Bloom, who works closely with StepStone Solutions, blogged this morning that she believes the driver behind the acquisition was MrTed’s SaaS architecture, and its customer base.

“These true SaaS capabilities, and MrTed’s very desireable customer base of about 100 large, global enterprises, may well explain StepStone’s interest in MrTed,” she wrote.

Today’s announcement, which carries the curious dateline of London and Texas (MrTed’s U.S. office is in San Francisco), says little about plans for the future of the MrTed product line. No doubt StepStone Solutions will integrate MrTed’s technical approach and its recruiting platform into its own talent management line. Whether it will continue the free SmartRecruiters service isn’t known.

There’s no word on the fate of StepStone’s own recruiting product or how the integration will be handled.  However, in the announcement on the MrTed site, co-founder and CEO Jerome Ternynck says, “Our aim is to ensure that the integration of MrTed into StepStone Solutions has only positive results for our customers and employees, and I am personally delighted to be continuing to work with StepStone Solutions in an advisory capacity.”

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I emailed a StepStone spokesman asking about the future of SmartRecruiters and about the integreation, but with an eight-hour time difference between us, it may be tomorrow before I get a response.

StepStone has its roots in talent acquisition, starting as a job board in the U.K. in 1996. It began offering technical solutions several years ago, developing a line of talent management components that includes comp, performance, e-learning, etc. The company also has a separate talent acquisition solution that integrates with the TM suite.

StepStone was acquired by German publisher Axel Springer last year. In May, it sold off the software division, StepStone Solutions for EUR110 million ($144.9 million U.S.) to equity investor HG Capital LLC. Axel Springer retained the job board business.

The announcement of the MrTed acquisition was made today. Financial details were not disclosed.

John Zappe is the editor of and a contributing editor of John was a newspaper reporter and editor until his geek gene lead him to launch his first website in 1994. He developed and managed online newspaper employment sites and sold advertising services to recruiters and employers. Before joining ERE Media in 2006, John was a senior consultant and analyst with Advanced Interactive Media and previously was Vice President of Digital Media for the Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

Besides writing for ERE, John consults with staffing firms and employment agencies, providing content and managing their social media programs. He also works with organizations and businesses to assist with audience development and marketing. In his spare time  he can be found hiking in the California mountains or competing in canine agility and obedience competitions.

You can contact him here.


9 Comments on “StepStone Solutions Buys MrTed

  1. John, thanks for sharing the news with the ERE community – we are really excited about the acquisition of MrTed, which adds fantastic people and a great product to the StepStone Solutions’ portfolio.

    In answer to your question about the “curious dateline” – our US operations are head quartered in Austin, hence the reference to Texas.

    We’re certainly going to be sharing more details in the coming weeks as progress is made on integrating the two businesses. In the meantime you may be interested in Matthew Parker’s recent post to our blog:

  2. John, Jason Corsello, Knowledge Infusion, noted on an HR Technology group on Linkedin that the SmartRecruiter product was carved out of the deal and that Mr. Ted’s founder will continue to develop that [free] product.

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