Senior Reporter- San Francisco Business Times
Bay Area tech employers see a silver lining in Zillow (NASDAQ: Z) cutting 350 jobs with its purchase of San Francisco-based Trulia. The Seattle company’s loss may be a local company’s gain. Last Friday more than 80 companies participated in job fairs held in San Francisco, Seattle and Denver for Trulia’s former employees.
“The financial industry has become increasingly tech driven, creating a tremendous need for great tech talent to help drive innovation, regulatory compliance, and more,” said Ed Donner, CEO of Untapt. The New York-based service uses an automated recruiting platform to connect financial tech companies with tech talent. (Those trying to recruit in the hottest fin-tech sectors, such as mobile payments, might feel a better description of their plight is “tapped out.”)
“Yet with more than 15 million technologists in the world, and over 400,000 tech jobs to fill in financial services, there has been no way to easily connect the two,” Donner said.
Recent job fairs for Trulia workers promised they would be packed with eager employers.
“This is an incredible opportunity to hit the ground running. Bring your resume, your ‘A’ game, and a firm handshake!” according to the Linkedin page for the Feb. 20 Awesome Trulia Job Fair. “It is going to be a great event with large, mid-sized and start-up companies hungry to meet you.”
About 40 companies, from AppAnnie to Zignal Labs, planned to participate in Trulia’s San Francisco job fair. Others looking at Trulia alumni as potential employees included Twitter, Salesforce, Electronic Arts, Lyft, Credit Karma, Yelp, Zenefits, ApartmentGuide, Nerdwallet and Docusign. Actually, a list of Bay Area tech companies with no interest in Trulia talent might make for a shorter roster.
Morgan Brown at Inman News speculates in a story today that the release of talent resulting from Zillow’s purchase of Trulia could have as much impact on fin-tech innovation as eBay’s 2002 purchase of PayPal had.
Of those leaving the combined Trulia-Zillow ranks, Brown writes, “Their diaspora now has an opportunity to improve the real estate industry, to reinvent what online real estate really means.
“They now get their chance to mark the next wave of real estate innovation. It’s no short order,” Brown said, noting that Trulia alum Eric Wu is CEO of Opendoor and alum Charis Moreno is vice president of sales at NextHome.
Another company setting its sights on those getting pink slips at Trulia is Sindeo, a San Francisco-based startup that aims to change how Americans take out mortgages.
There’s a lot of opportunity for those who contributed to Trulia’s success in real estate to now work at a startup focused on creating a marketplace to connect borrowers to mortgage lenders. Sindeo, which is more than doubling its workforce from 42 to 100 people by year-end, has already tapped Trulia for talent.
Chris Conway, senior vice president of product at Sindeo, was an early employee at Trulia, joining that startup in 2007. (Trulia was founded in 2004.)
Another executive coming over from Trulia is Ginger Wilcox, Sindeo’s chief industry officer, bringing extensive connections with the residential real estate industry. She spent almost four years at Trulia as marketing and communications manager for the company’s industry services division.
She’s not surprised to see the strong competition Sindeo faces in hiring those laid off from Trulia.
“I worked with a lot of amazing people at Trulia. That’s why the talent pool is interesting to so many companies,” Wilcox said.
So does Sindeo expect to lure more talent from Trulia’s former ranks?
“I can guarantee you that the answer is yes. We already have a few people on their way over,” Sindeo founder and CEO Nick Stamos said, with a big smile on his face.
Mark covers banking and finance.