IBM acquires Kenexa: What it means for Talent Acquisition


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IBM acquires Kenexa: What it means for Talent Acquisition

  1. 1. 08 Fall 5 August 27 2012 StrategicIBM Acquires Kenexa: TrendsImpact on Talent Acquisition MarketIn TalentBy: Sarah White, Industry Analyst AcquisitiThe August 2012 announcement by IBM to purchase the Talent Acquisition/Management Technology &RPO firm, Kenexa creates the end of the early, big players in Talent Acquisition to still be standing.Virtual Edge, Taleo, SuccessFactors. All acquired and taking along with them went a host of othersolutions they had acquired out of marketshare in the Talent Acquisition Space – Recruitmax, Vurv,Jobs2Web,, Cytiva, WetFeet, JobPartners…the list goes on.While the Virtual Edge/ADP play seemed to push VE down market and  be more for the relationshipexisting with SAP at the time and less for the success of the Virtual Edge Solution (Which, at one time,was the far superior solution in a lot of ways), the  Taleo and SuccessFactors acquisition’s were far morestrategic to either complete a HCM offering or round out a solid enterprise business solution. Sarah White & Associates, LLC Leading Talent Acquisition Strategy & Advisory Firm
  2. 2. Part 1: Impact on Vendors In the enterprise business market, the Winter of 2011/2012 announcements of talent acquisition products by Oracle (acquired Taleo) and SAP (acquired SuccessFactors) as well as the clearly announced focus my to move into the space, squarely placed human capital’s talent management market at the most fundamental levels of enterprise business product strategy…and left a gap in another major competitors offering. IBM. Building a solution and rolling it out would likely not be enough of a PR win for IBM, neither would a highly innovative, but smaller player. To compete on both a product and press level within HCM, they needed the last big player on the market - Kenexa.  In addition to already being deeply integrated into the F500 market, the bonus to IBM for the Kenexa purchase appears to the be outside of the technology Kenexa offers in their consulting and services group. In addition to a large survey and industry research department, they have a solid RPO solution that could build additional service depth for what IBM already has in the BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) marketplace. For vendors like Silkroad and iCIMS, it would appear that the focus on brand awareness, product innovation and social strategy they have been developing the last few years will2 become more noticed as the other products fade into their respective new owners. Other key players in the talent management market that have been skirting the sides of the talent acquisition segment have a real opportunity to move in and take over the gap that will be created by the replacement and new buyers in the space. Five Strategic Trends in Talent Acquisition of Kenexa: Impact on Talent Acquisition 2012 IBM purchase Copyright Copyright 2012 Sarah White & Associates, LLC Written by: Sarah White, Industry Analyst & Strategy Advisory Licensed for Distribution by Talent Technology Corporation2 @ImSoSarah
  3. 3. Trend 2: Impact on Buyers For buyers in the space the “suite” of products they were pushed to purchase when point solution shopping – will now include more business process and outsourcing components than ever before.    Its also going to limit options for a number of companies when they start down the path of selection – if you already have X in your business process, it would make sense to extend that same solution into human resources – regardless if it is the best product for your organization. For buyers with some flexibility, expect three things: 1. More add on solutions will continue to pop up and fill in the gaps where products are lacking around social, sourcing and onboarding.   2. More companies will a look at solutions that don’t tend to get as much PR/ Analyst coverage, but have a number of enterprise clients and competitive solutions. 3. More point solutions will release their own “lite” or even full functioning ATS that plays nicely and can just sit in front of the “big” solutions. Most importantly, if the heavy acquisition phase of the early 2000′s taught us anything, it is that for buyers – this stuff always works out better in the long run.  People will always pop in to replace the vendors that are gone.  Innovation increases, prices decrease and overall the market is forced to become more competitive with its self. This last old Tier 1 talent acquisition solution marks the end of an era and the beginning of a new, social, innovative driven one the likes of which we haven’t seen for nearly a decade.  Five Strategic Trends in Talent Acquisition IBM purchase of Kenexa: Copyright 2012 Impact on Talent Acquisition Copyright 2012 Sarah White & Associates, LLC3 Licensed for Distribution byWhite, Industry Analyst & Corporation Written by: Sarah Talent Technology Strategy Advisory @ImSoSarah
  4. 4. About The Author: Talent acquisition technology analyst & strategy advisor,  Sarah White, is the Founder & CEO of Sarah White & Associates, LLC, a strategic consulting and advisory firm focused on integration of technology and human capital working with both corporate human resources and service & solution providers selling into that space.  Prior to starting her own firm, Sarah was Principal Analyst, Talent Acquisition at Bersin & Associates. White, partners with HR Vendors in a strategic advisory role.   In her career she has worked with angel stage start-up to global leading vendors.  Currently, she focuses on industry research and working with vendors on improving product and marketing strategy to enhance market share, sales and innovation.  Looking at existing functionality and product road maps, along with business goals (grow, sell, acquire) – she helps you identify gaps, set strategy & find resources to implement change to create a better overall technology solution and buyer experience.  This includes product development planning, sales process improvements, marketing strategy (including social media & events), moving into new markets, influencer & partner introductions and thought leadership (whitepapers, panel facilitation, webinars). With more than a decade in this space, White has built an exceptionally strong team of human capital experts with whom to partner.  The firm’s OnDemand business model provides clients access to former CMO’s of global brands, HR community-building experts, social media strategists, corporate employment branding experts, HR tech sales leaders, writers, editors and industry influencers. On the corporate side, her team works with start-up to global 10 talent acquisition & corporate hr teams teams on candidate experience & messaging audits as well as determining the right tools (Video Interviewing, Social Media, ATS, TMS, CRM, etc) for their process, budget & goals – typically, improving candidate experience, reducing overhead expenses or streamlining the recruiting process. Sarah White has been an industry writer since 2006 and published close to 500 pages of research in 2011.  She has been featured in national media such as NBC News, US World Report, Bloomberg, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, FOX, ABC and has spoken all over the world on branding (SMART by Mashable, London, UK), technology (SxSW Interactive, Austin, TX) and recruiting (OnRec, TNL, NIBA, SHRM) related topics.  She was named a Top 11 to watch in 2011, Fast Company Magazines Top 50 online influencers in 2010 and is a board member for the Candidate Experience Awards.  Sarah White is founder of HRTechBlog, co founder of the WomenofHR blog and  a contributing analyst.  Previously she blogged under Gen Y’d on ERE and You can find her this fall speaking at HR Technology Conference in Chicago as well as HR Tech Europe in Amsterdam. Sarah White & Associates, LLC Twitter: @ImSoSarah IBM purchase of Kenexa: Impact on Talent Acquisition Copyright 2012 Five Strategic Trends in Talent Acquisition Written by: Sarah White, Industry Analyst & Strategy Advisory Copyright 2012 Sarah White & Associates, LLC Licensed for Distribution by Talent Technology Corporation4 @ImSoSarah