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StepStone, an Axel Springer SE Company, Completes the Acquisition of Universum

By Universum on 07/05/2018

Stockholm, May 7th2018. The e-recruitment firm StepStone, an Axel Springer SE company, has completed the acquisition of Universum, the Swedish employer branding specialist. The relevant competition authorities have already approved the transaction.
Founded in Stockholm more than 30 years ago, Universum has expanded beyond its core Swedish market to become a global player. By offering innovative and data-driven employer branding services, the company now helps around 2,000 customers all over the world with the quantitative measurement, development, and communication of their employer brands. Universum will continue to operate as an independent, global company. As part of the StepStone group of companies, in the future, it will offer all StepStone customers even better and more customized solutions for attracting the right employees. Employing around 160 people, Universum has its headquarters in Stockholm and another eleven offices located throughout the world.

“Anybody who wishes to secure the services of the right employees in times of increasing competition must be able to conduct objective measurements and assessments of their employer brands based on facts and figures,” says Ralf Baumann, CEO of StepStone. “The approach of most companies in this area, however, is not yet professional enough, because in most cases the employer branding analysis is based on subjective perception rather than verifiable facts. By carrying out structured data collection and evaluation, Universum, provides the foundation for objectively measuring, assessing and developing the employer brand and communicating it in a way that is geared towards the target group. Large companies such as Unilever, Siemens, and PwC are already benefiting from these innovative services – and soon StepStone customers will also be able to take advantage of these services.”
“With the acquisition of Universum, StepStone has taken the next step towards becoming the leading international e-recruitment company,” says Dr. Andreas Wiele, President Classifieds Media at Axel Springer SE. “We warmly welcome the employees of Universum to the Axel Springer family.”
“We are delighted to be part of the Axel Springer and StepStone family,” says Petter Nylander, CEO of Universum. “For our customers, employees, and partners, this acquisition represents a unique opportunity to shape a future together in the analysis, development, and communication of employer brands. We are looking forward to strengthening our position, especially in Germany, Belgium, France and the UK, where StepStone is so successful.”

Lars-Henrik Friis Molin, founder of Universum: “I am very pleased to place Universum in the hands of Axel Springer and StepStone. For me, the time since the company was founded 30 years ago has been a fantastic journey. The fact that this journey has been such a success is mainly due to all of our talented employees. Together with Universum’s clients, can look forward to an exciting future with an even greater global presence. I have always been Universum’s biggest fan – and that will remain the case in future and will also serve on the Board of Directors for Universum in the years to come.”

Click here to read more about Axel Springer and its acquisition of Universum.
About Universum:
ACCESS THE NEW WORLD OF TALENT. Universum is a global leader in employer branding. Over the past 30 years, we have established ourselves in 50 markets globally and our diverse workforce is physically present in 20 countries. Our services include actionable research, strategic consulting, and data-driven communications and social media solutions for talent branding, sourcing, and analytics. We are a trusted partner to over 1,700 clients, including many Fortune 500 companies, as well as to global media partners that publish our annual rankings and trend reports. We work with over 2,000 universities, alumni groups, and professional organizations to gather insights from students and professionals in order to advise employers on how to attract and retain talent that fits their culture and purpose. On an annual basis, Universum surveys over 1,500,000 students and professionals worldwide. Find out more at
Universum press contact
Jonas Barck
Tel.: +46 (0)70 6933388
About StepStone
People find their dream job with StepStone. With more than 18 million visits in March 2018, the StepStone platform is used more than any other in the competitive environment (source: IVW). StepStone employs more than 2,500 people and operates online job sites in other countries in addition to in Germany. The company was founded in 1996 and is an Axel Springer SE subsidiary.
Axel Springer SE press contact
Jorg Keller
Tel.: +49 (0)30 259177617
StepStone press contact
André Schaefer
Tel.: +49 (0)211 934935529