RALEIGH – EmployUs, which provides an employee referral software program to companies seeking to tap existing employee networks to add talent in a competitive talent market, has been acquired by the Chicago-headquartered Hireology, according to EmployUs cofounder and CEO Ryan O’Donnell.

“It’s official,” said O’Donnell on his Facebook page.  “After building EmployUs for the past 7 years, I’m thrilled to announce we’ve been acquired.”

O’Donnell also shared the news on LinkedIn, noting “this is a big day for me but this is really all because of lot of people working together over past 7 years.”

EmployUs was one of seven companies accepted into the Citrix Startup Accelerator Innovators Program in Raleigh.  “The vision is to let business professionals leverage their networks to serve as recruiters for hiring companies, and earn money when they make a match,” WRAL TechWire wrote about the company in 2014.  The company received $25,000 in grant money to participate in the program, as well as office space and mentoring. The company also won an NC IDEA grant for the concept, and O’Donnell joined eight other startup founders as a fellow in the ThinkHouse in 2015. The company followed all of this by raising $750,000 in late 2015, then an additional $230,000 in 2017.

O’Donnell launched the company while a student at North Carolina State University, following the launch of the nonprofit Pennies 4 Progress, that used a technology integration at point-of-sale to boost donations to local nonprofits.  O’Donnell is also the creator of the PledgeMyCheck campaign, which provided a simple web platform for those in strong financial positions to commit to donate their stimulus checks.

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Hireology adds the company and its software to its solutions offerings, and the company noted in a statement that the purchase will allow the company’s customers “to fill positions faster by converting fragmented processes into a valuable employee referral program and broader recruitment strategy.”

As employers continue to plan for economic recovery, and optimistically predict future growth, they’re also experiencing a talent market that has become highly competitive, at a time when hiring demand is increasing, stated Adam Robinson, CEO of Hireology.

“Employee referrals are hired faster, stay employed longer and are more engaged compared to employees hired through other sources,” said O’Donnell.

O’Donnell, who founded the company when he was 22, noted in a 2015 Q&A how he came to team up with cofounder Jeff Stocks, who had served as CEO of one of Manpower’s largest recruiting and staffing organizations.

“We were introduced while I was a student at NC State University’s Poole College of Management,” described O’Donnell.  “We instantly hit it off and started putting the pieces together for what would become EmployUs. We worked together for about six months to make sure the chemistry was right, then made it official by incorporating the company in late 2014.”