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Taleo Version 7 – updates to my scorecard

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With Taleo’s next release, they regain my number one spot for Talent Acquisition vendors.  While they’ve always been at or near the top of my list, Taleo has been slipping for a few years due to their inability to execute on a web services strategy.  Basically they haven’t opened up their API’s to allow better access to the tables if you’re looking at a integrated HR web strategy.

Taleo has always been great for their incredibleflexibility, vast functionality, excellent user experience, and their pure ability to execute.  Now that they have a web services architecture built on XML (among other technological enhancements) they should easily be near the top of anyone’s list.

Taleo has also been pretty open about their product direction and plans to enter the Talent Management space.  Yes, they’ve been calling themselves TMS in broad terms for ages, but they really do expect to enter the performance and compensation space.  I’ll guess they are going to acquire the technology, but who knows?  It’s a bit late to the game for Taleo, but they have one of the best names in the business and they have proven over and over that they are one of the few who can execute.

While this is all happening, I see Recruitmax still struggling with the same problems.  The functionality and the broad talent management suite is in place, but their major data center issues hold me back from giving them higher ratings.  They really took an opposite approach to Taleo – first acquiring the TMS functionality and then working on the back end.  While Taleo’s issues were really around the integration of the product, Recruitmax has larger issues in how teir product is architected for deployment, and they have much further to go from a re-programming perspective.

All in all, no real changes to the list, but Taleo plants themselves more firmly in my top spot.

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2 responses to “Taleo Version 7 – updates to my scorecard”

  1. Romain Avatar

    In my opinion, Taleo’s reputation is overdone for the following reason:

    The Taleo value proposition is, for a large part, based on:
    – ACE ranking (a ranking system which sorts candidates on the Abilities, the Certifications and the Experience they hold)
    – Customizable weighting schemes which let you weight ACE elements
    – Distinctions made between ACE elements that are formal Requirements and simple “Nice to Haves”.

    ACE ranking is robust and is really powerful. If properly used, it really has the power to provide you with a ranking of the best candidates thereby reducing most of the sorting and screening time spent during the candidate pre-selection stage.

    The problem is that the ACE system is much too complex for recruiting professionals and hiring managers to understand and master. The large majority of Taleo’s clients do not (or cannot ) use ACE ranking properly because of it’s high upkeep and understanding requirements . This situation inevitably sends the original business case for the solution down the drain.

    The problem with this is that solutions that literally cost 10 times less but less sophisticated candidate ranking engines (like WorkStream for example) are getting beat-out simply because Taleo has a stronger sales and marketing division which does a good case on pitching ACE ranking amongst other things.

    Bottom line, Taleo is high end in functionality and in price. If the functionality is rarely if ever used, why pay so much more?

  2. Double Dubs Avatar
    Double Dubs

    I agree that Taleo has a high end functionality and pricetag that exceeds most others. However, I don’t agree that ACE ranking is the only or the major contributor to that price tag. The top systems (all similar in price) all provide 95% or more of required functionality necessary to run a large global recruiting business right out of the box. Major configurability make most customization unnecessary. Smaller domestic organizations may be able to use a solution that costs 10 times less. As they grow in their global capabilities, they will need to purchase additional software, and customize their current system. I’m generally talking about large organizations, perhaps with multiple countries to comply with legally, and with multiple languages.

    If I had 10,000 employees in 5 states, I wouldn’t pay for Taleo either. So it really depends on how you define the requirements, not the software.