T3 – Fastest Growing Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) on the Market

I’m going to share some data today because it’s the single most requested question I get in my life, professionally. Here it is:

“Tim, what ATS do you use and what ATS do you recommend?”

This got me thinking that one day people will stop asking this question, but they don’t, every month, every year, for probably the past five years! I find that fascinating, the longevity and frequency of this question.

It tells me a few of things:

  1. ATS vendors have done an awful job at positioning themselves in the market (there are an estimated 1,200 ATS systems in the world!)
  2. An average ATS system could dominate the market with some exceptional marketing.
  3. TA Leaders can’t tell the difference between ATS systems.
  4. TA Leaders have no idea how many choices they actually have to choose from.

Interesting enough another talent acquisition software, an employment branding play, Ongig, actually runs a poll (The Top 70 ATSs) and publishes the results a few times per year around the ATS market. The poll has about 3,300 participants, most in the U.S., and it’s pretty straightforward – what ATS do you use?

From this poll, they can estimate market share and growth change. Here are some of the results:

Top ATS by Marketshare:

ATS 2015 Share
Taleo 36.43%
Homegrown 11.10%
Jobvite 8.58%
Kenexa – Brassring 7.56%
iCims 6.39%
ADP 4.79%
SAP-SuccessFactors 3.72%
PeopleFluent (Formerly PeopleClick) 2.52%
Silkroad 2.27%
iRecruitment/PeopleSoft 1.74%
Ultipro 1.67%
Greenhouse 1.67%
HRDepartment 1.28%
Newton Software 0.78%
Jobscore 0.50%
Lumesse 0.50%
WorkDay 0.46%
Lever 0.46%

Top ATS by % Growth:

ATS % Increase
WorkDay 570.52%
Kronos 467.36%
HRDepartment 209.47%
ApplicantPro 209.47%
ATS OnDemand 209.47%
eRecruiting 157.89%
Cornerstone OnDemand 157.89%
Lever 123.51%
PeopleAnswers 123.51%
Ultipro (UltimateHCM) 120.38%
ADP 111.00%
HireBridge 106.31%
PCRecruiter.com 106.31%
CATS ATS 106.31%
SmartSearch 106.31%
Greenhouse 102.02%

What do these two charts tell us? 

– Taleo is dominate in the market, but not growing at the rate of most others. Taleo got that growth not by being the best ATS but because Oracle bought them and then in large organizations IT forced TA to use Taleo. Welcome to corporate politics.

– Workday must be awesome because they’re growing so fast! See the first bullet! Workday is winning huge HRIS RFPs and corporate IT is twisting some arms in TA to use the Workday recruiting platform. Workday isn’t sold a separate ATS point solution, so the only way you use is it, is if you’re the core Workday HRIS product.

– Kronos – see the bullets above! They’re not an ATS, in terms of what people think of when you think of the best ATS technology.

– Homegrown systems are always big because the ATS industry does an awful job showing us why we should pay for something we can basically build on our own. Now, the best ATSs on the market are clearly light years ahead of anything you built in-house.

– In the market share list I can basically put them into three buckets: Bucket #1 – Giant Enterprise plays with average and below average ATS technology, Bucket #2 – Super cheap SMB and Mid-market plays, bought by TA leaders who don’t really know what they’re doing; Bucket #3 – True best of breed ATS technology that should be leading the market.

It’s somewhat sad that so many giant enterprise level HRIS systems are dominating the ATS market, but it speaks to how HR and Recruiting were lead ten years ago. “We need everything to talk to each other so we can get all the data!” Yeah, you can still get that with a best of breed solution and open APIs. Too many great organizations are settling for below average technology and vanilla solutions while failing in recruiting.

This data also speaks to the fact that most ATSs today are not bought, they’re sold.  TA leaders have no idea which one to select, what the differences are, and what their choices are. So, you sell them on the fact your ATS is ‘by far’ the best one and ‘unlike’ anything else on the market. The data says different. It says that basically all of these ATSs are the same, otherwise you would see a few grab most of the market.

I Hate Buying HR Software!

I’m your typical HR buyer.  Each year I negotiate contracts on a number of products, from ATS, HRMS, Recruiting Tools, Selection Tools, etc.   I usually demo and look at 6-10 new products each year.  Okay, I’m not typical that way, I love new stuff and what it can do, so I like to check it out.  Beyond that, I’m very much your typical HR buyer.

Every single time I go through a buying decision I feel like I’m buying an expensive car or a house.  Hell, that’s usually the cost of the contract of whatever product I’m buying!  Therein lies the problem.  I hate buying cars and houses.  It’s stressful and I always have this deep feeling I’m getting taken!  You know the feeling.  The feeling like you paid too much, and someone else buying the same exact product as you paid less!

I hate that feeling!!!

I don’t mind paying what everyone else is paying for a product.  I feel like a failure, as a HR Pro, when I find out I paid more than someone else, and I check!  That’s the one cool thing about writing for talent and HR blogs, I have a Big network (that’s what she said)!  This allows me to connect with other HR and Talent Pros and ask them what they paid.  I have a deep urge to know whether or not I got a good deal and a bad deal.  And, I’ll be honest, if I got a bad deal, it really affects how I think about the company.

Because these decisions are so stressful for me, I decided to do something about it.  I called the one guy that knows more about HR Technology and industry more than anyone else I know, Steve Boese!  Steve is the co-chair of the annual HR Technology Conference (want $500 off? Use the code: SACKETT14 when you register), which is the 2nd largest HR conference to SHRM national, but arguably becoming the must-see HR conference of the year.  HR Tech has all the players in one spot and all the HR decision makers, it’s a very cool place to see the future of HR unfold in front of you!

I asked Steve to help me put on a webinar, that would not only educate me on how I should be buying HR Tech, but also uncover all those tips and tricks to make sure I don’t ever again have that bad feeling I have when I buy!  The webinar title: Buyer’s Remorse: A 1st Timers FOT Guide To Buying HR Technology and High Priced Handbags!  You see, I feel buying HR Tech, should be as easy as buying a handbag without the buyer’s remorse!

This one is personal to me!  I think all HR Pros can learn from all the mistakes I’ve made in buying HR technology and from Steve’s brilliance!

Come join us on August 28th at Noon EST for this FREE webinar:

SHRM’s New Certification Is A Money Grab!

Okay, let’s get real HR geeky for a few minutes.  Last week SHRM announced it was for all intensive purposes taking it’s toys and going home, leaving HRCI out of a viable business model.  The leadership at SHRM woke up and said, “hey, wait a minute, why don’t we just run our own certification program and make all that cash that HRCI is making off all of our members!”  So, that’s what they did.

I don’t think anyone should be mad at SHRM.  In HR we’ve pushed to make ourselves better business pros for the past 10 years, plus.  Now, SHRM decides to make a business decision that’s better for their organization and membership, I can’t blame them for doing that.  This isn’t Show Friends, this is Show Business!

Let’s not confuse the issue, either though.  This isn’t about SHRM thinking they can deliver a better certification program than HRCI.  HRCI has been doing this for years.  SHRM has been doing this for days.  This is about money.  You’re making good money off us, we want that money.  Welcome to America.  I. Love. This. Country!

Here’s where SHRM could potentially have this backfire:

1. People have worked for years to get and maintain their HRCI certifications.  They’ve spent money and time.  If SHRM tries and goes for a money grab on these folks, instead of just grandfathering them in, they’ll have this blow up on them.  I have my SPHR for 13 years, I just re-certified for 3 years.  If SHRM CEO Henry Jackson tells me I know have to pay him more money to get the SHRM certification, him and I will have words! Just give me the letters Henry, and then collect my check when I go to recert the next time.  That’s good faith, plain and simple.

2. HR knows better than anyone that people don’t like change.  SHRM and HRCI have spent years getting the world to believe in PHR, SPHR and GPHR are really, really important to have.  Now, SHRM wants us to believe that PHR, SPHR and GPHR are worthless, but their new certification SHRP (Senior HR Professional) is somehow better (BTW – I have no idea is SHRM will use those letters, I’m just guessing!).  Don’t treat us like idiots.

3. HR pros and the HR vendor community finally figured out how to register events for re-certification credits, and the system was working really well.  It’s all another game to get money, but it was working just fine.  If SHRM screws this up, they’ll have a backlash from a number of sides, including HR vendors who pay millions to sponsor their events.  This wouldn’t be good.  I have a feeling Hank and his team haven’t really thought about this.  HRCI screwed this up for years before getting it right.  My guess is SHRM will do the same.

4. It looks decades for SHRM and the HR profession to get employers to believe that the HRCI certifications were important and meaningful.  Now they have to get industry to believe the HRCI certifications we told you were so great, are now crap, but the new SHRM certification is where it’s at.  No, really, believe us, it’s not like we’ll change the certification, this is the gold standard ‘forever’…

The SHRM National Conference this year will be great because it’s going to be like the old Soviet Union trying to make people believe all of a sudden this is where it’s really at!  All the propaganda, HRCI trying to sell that they are still relevant, when they aren’t, and HR Pros taking sides. Welcome to the Cold HR War!

 

 

The 1 Thing That Can Make Your Corporate Recruiters Better Overnight

I’ve had 3 opportunities in my career to step into traditional corporate recruiting departments and make changes that would ‘turn’ these departments around so that the organization would see them as a positive producing department, where previously that had not been viewed as this.  As you can imagine there are numerous changes that can be made to do this.  You could go out and hire more talented recruiters.  You could redesign and launch a new employment brand.  You can redesign your processes.  You can launch a new career website.  Add in recruiter specific training.  Get hiring managers and leadership involved in ‘owning’ their talent in their individual departments.  All great stuff.  All things that I eventually did – all which take considerable time and resources!

When you are stepping into a new organization and taking over, those who hired you expect instant miracles.  Why?  Because that’s what you told them you could do when you interviewed.  One problem.  You told them this without truly knowing what you were going to find when you started opening up closet doors in the department and skeletons began falling out all over the place.  You didn’t realize your staff of recruiters were really just HR admins in disguise.  That your ATS was an advance spreadsheet, and nothing more.  Your hiring managers believed the only way to get talent was to wait for you to deliver it to them on a silver platter, just so they could say “I don’t like that kind – bring me another platter!”  You didn’t know your major vendor was the CEO’s cousin who had no clue and no sense of urgency – but was entitled all the same.

Doesn’t matter now – deliver the miracle!

There is really only one thing I know that works in recruiting.  Doesn’t matter if you’re an agency or corporate.  Doesn’t matter the industry.  Doesn’t matter the recruiting experience level you have on your staff.  It’s been the one miracle that in good times and bad has always sets recruiters apart – at all levels.  Activity.  Outgoing phone calls, number of candidates interviewed, number of resumes sent to hiring managers, etc.  Higher activity level = higher recruiting department satisfaction and results, 100% of the time.  It’s a simple miracle.

So – how do you do this tomorrow?

Step 1:  Instantly track the number of ‘outgoing’ phone calls made per recruiter.  If you don’t have technology to track this – develop a simple call sheet that tracks candidate name, phone number, position called for and result.  Track calls for 2 weeks. (outgoing calls only – keep it simple, establish a habit – great recruiters call candidates)

Step 2: On week 3 – set daily outgoing call goal 25% higher than the two week daily average.  (don’t let on you will do this on week 3 or you’ll have low numbers your first two weeks)

Step 3:  Hold those recruiters accountable who aren’t reaching their call goal.

You’ll hear every single excuse in the world – you have to stay strong.  “I have too many meetings” – tell them you are giving them permission to no longer attend those meetings.  “I have to much paperwork” – stop doing paperwork – that’s for after 5pm and on weekends (recruiting isn’t a 40 hr per week job). Only concentrate on calls.  Calls. Calls. Calls.

Miracle, delivered, almost instantly.

Want to hear some more?  Call me – I’ve got more miracles. Sackett.tim@hru-tech.com; 517-908-3156 or @TimSackett  – my company delivers staffing miracles every freaking day!

HR – It’s You or it’s Me

I love ‘end of days’ type posts and articles.  The end of Job Boards!  The end of HR!  Here’s another one great one over at ERE by Dr. John Sullivan called: The End of Sourcing Is Near…, which talks about how eventually (in John’s opinion) most sourcing information will be readily available to almost everyone.  This makes really the only thing left to do in recruiting is to sell the candidate on your job and your organization.  Sullivan explains the importance of this very critical step in recruiting – the sell:

“Recruiting leaders should begin focusing on these selling aspects because, as previously stated, “finding” is becoming so easy, and there is little push for change in candidate assessment because most recruiters and hiring managers are comfortable with the existing process of assessing candidates through interviews.

Once you realize that the selling aspect of recruiting is almost universally under researched, underfunded, and it is almost always executed in an unscripted manner, you’ll see that it’s ripe for significant improvement and change. If you review the recruiting literature you will find very little written about the science of selling and the importance of using data-driven selling approaches within the recruiting function. The pressure is increasing on recruiting leaders to make a decision to shift resources away from sourcing by recruiters and toward the remaining big challenge: selling.”

Like most ‘end of days’ type posts, Sullivan’s end of sourcing post is probably a little over the top, but he makes a great point.  HR Pros don’t recruit well for one simple fact – HR Pros didn’t get into HR to sell – they got into HR to do HRy things like: build processes, improve processes, administer people practices within an organization, training, problem solving, etc.   They didn’t go – “Oh boy! I can’t wait to get into the Fortune 500 HR shop so I can sell our company like a a life insurance salesman trying to make quota!”

That’s where I come in.  I don’t hire HR pros to work in recruiting.  I don’t sell the recruiting position as an HR position.  I don’t go over to Michigan State’s HR program and speak to students about ‘getting their start’ in HR by coming to work for me.  99% of those folks, while great people, would fail in my environment.  They want to be in HR – Recruiting is not HR.  There in lies the problem for most HR shops.   Most HR folks – probably 70-80% – have to do some ‘recruiting’ in their organizations.  They don’t have a recruiting department or a sourcing group to do all the heavy lifting.  Most HR Managers, if they’re lucky, have a full time recruiter, but this still means, when it’s busy, they still have to recruit.

That’s why so many HR pros engage recruiting agencies.  We offer a skill set they don’t, necessarily, have on their staff.  We sell.  We sell the crap out of a position and your company.  We can make an average company look like the Best Place to Work and a really bad company look like the next big opportunity.  No power steering – No problem – manual steering builds up great arm muscles!  Want tinted windows?  Yeah, we can get those installed.  Recruiting is selling.  In fact, Recruiting is double selling.  You sell the candidate on the position, then you sell the hiring manager on the candidate.  Good recruiters can work in any industry – because selling skills are transferable to any product or service.

So – do you want your HR Pros to sell, or do you want me to sell?  By the way – I don’t hire HR Pros, I hire closers.

Let my company do some selling for you – let’s connect: sackett.tim@HRU-Tech.com; 517-908-3156 or @TimSackett.

 

3 Ways Contract Staffing Fails

Contract technical staffing is what I do for a living – so I know exactly where it falls down.  I spend every day trying to talk people into why they should use contract staffing and why it makes sense.  In 13 years of being in this business, I’ve never had anyone ask me why it doesn’t work.  That might be kind of odd.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve talked to hundreds of corporate HR and Recruiting Pros who HATE contract staffing – but 99% don’t know why they hate it.  Most believe they hate contract staffing because it’s taking their job away.  Nothing makes me smile more than to hear a really good HR Pro say “if I hire your company ‘they’ll’ have no reason to keep me around”.  It makes me smile because I know they have no idea about what we do – and I can probably convince them to use our services!

To be honest, though, there are some reasons when contract staffing fails.  If you deal with contract staffing firms, you might find that shocking to hear, because we are trained from birth not to ever say anything negative about our service.  ‘Everyone’ can use us for any recruiting need you might have!  Well, no not really.  Let me give you 3 Ways Contract Staffing Fails:

1. To Attract your competitions talent when you are equal or trailing in market compensation.  I always like to say there is no one I can’t recruit.  Given enough time and money – I could get President Obama to quit the Presidency.  But if you think a contract staffing firm is going to get your competitions best developer to leave their direct job for a contract job, for the same money or less – you’re crazy.

2. When you fall in love with the talent.  Every once in a while I a client who gets upset.  They bring on a high priced contractor, that person does great work, and the client falls in love and wants to hire them.  The problem is many contractors are contractors because they like moving from project to project.  They like you, they just don’t like-like you.  Contract staffing works really well when it’s a win-win. We have a project, you nail project – we both got what we wanted.  It fails when one party falls in love, and the other doesn’t feel the same!

3. When You Think I’m Magical. Recruiting is recruiting.  I don’t have a magical stable of candidates waiting to come to work for you. Well, I might have one or two, but not a stable. When you tell me you need something – I, usually, have to go out and find the right talent, fit, etc.  Just like you would, if you were looking to hire a direct position.  I’m not magic, I’m just good at finding technical talent.  There’s a difference.

I get why some new clients get put off by contract staffing.  I call you, tell you how amazing we are and how good we are at what we do and then you expect I’m going to have 5 perfectly screened ready to work Controls Engineers in your inbox the next morning – when you’ve been searching for 6 months and don’t have one.  Expectations are a huge issue we all face in recruiting – no matter what kind of recruiting we do.  I have to manage my clients expectations, just like you have to manage your hiring managers expectations.  Contract staffing works really well when you find a partner that makes sure your expectations and their deliverables all line up.

Want to discuss?  Contact me: sackett.tim@HRU-TECH.com, 517-908-3156 or send me a tweet @TimSackett.   I promise to under promise and over deliver.

Sales Pitch Tuesday – The Test Drive

You know what car dealers know that they’ll never tell you?  They know that if they can get you to test drive a car, there’s a great chance they can talk you into buying a car.  That’s why you see all of these test drive special offers!  Come on in for a test drive and you’ll automatically get 2 free tickets to a Piston’s game. The best ones are the ones when it’s for a charity or non-profit school organization – “we’ll donate $20 per test drive this Saturday to the little league!”  They know that we are stupid and we are addicted to new car smell – get enough folks to come in and test drive, and they’ll be moving some cars that day!

Hiring really isn’t to awful different.

In my business, contract staffing, I know that if I can get you to hire some on contract, engineers or IT professionals – you’re going to eventually want to hire them.  You’re basically test driving talent!  The one rejection I get the most from corporate HR/Talent Pros is that we don’t want “contract” we want to hire direct.  So, I ask the most obvious question – why?   And I’ll get a range of answers that mainly stay around the theme of: “we want someone ‘permanently’ to come and work here”.

Here’s what I know about hiring.

1. No matter what hiring/screening/interviewing process that you have – you’re going to make some really bad hiring decisions.

2. Once you hire someone ‘direct’ – it’s highly unlikely you will be quick to terminate that person. (2 reasons for this: A. As a HR Pro you don’t want to admit that your process failed;  B.Your hiring managers are bad at performance management and it takes them forever to get to a point to fire.)

3. You’ll fire a contractor without a 2nd thought. (HR Pros are great – because the exact things they would never fire a ‘direct’ employee over – they’ll ‘can’ a contractor over in a heartbeat! “Yeah, Tim, Johnny keeps wearing Capri pants, he doesn’t fit in here, we want to end the contract.”)

I always tease my clients that contract staffing a little like ‘Crack’ – once you start, you don’t want to stop.  Here’s why you need to try crack contract staffing:

1. You hire faster.  (You still screen, but you don’t have to get all HR crazy with it!  Hiring managers love this because you get people in fast, determine if they are a good organizational fit and Bam – it works.  I can’t tell you how many times on the corporate side we took months to make the ‘right’ decision, only to have the person come in and find out they really weren’t that great of a personality fit with the hiring manager.  Such a complete waste of time and resources.)

2. Ultimately, when you decide to hire direct – you’re hiring a completely known talent.  There are no surprises.  You’ve test driven your candidate for an extended period!

3. You might find out you don’t need someone on direct.  I can’t tell you how many times a year a client comes to us saying they need someone, ultimately for a direct position, but 6-9 months into it they’ll lose a project, or have another resource internally come available.  99% of HR/Talent Pros have no idea what percentage of their workforce should be contingent – with many ‘truly’ believing that percentage should be zero!  If the recession has taught us anything, it’s we need to have at least a little flexibility to our workforce.  Our European HR counterparts get this much more than we do.

Want to know more?  Want us to find you some contract Tech Pros? Want me to come take you to lunch to discuss? (I’ll buy)  Want to tell me I’m an idiot?  Contact me directly at: sackett.tim@hru-tech.com; 517-908-3156 or @TimSackett on the Twitters!

 

Sales Pitch Tuesday – Why Us?

It’s really the only question I have to answer when I call on a potential client to try and get their staffing business.

Why should you work with HRU vs. the thousands of other choices you have?

It’s not a cost issue for 99% of the business development calls I make.  If a company has decided we need to engage a staffing firm – whether it’s for direct search or contract staffing – cost has very little to do with their final decision.  Everyone likes to get the ‘best’ price – but in staffing you’re talking about talent.  I’ve never met an HR executive or operational executive that wouldn’t in a heartbeat pay thousands of dollars more for a more talented candidate versus a candidate that fits the requirements but seems like a “B” level player.  Corporate HR/Talent Pros constantly get frustrated with staffing firms for doing this!  They tell us they want “X” candidate for $80K and we send over “X” candidate for $90K.  They say they aren’t interested. So, we send over a $80K candidate.  They interview $80K candidate.  They they call us and say “Can we interview $90K candidate?”  It happens constantly.  Don’t hate the staffing company, hate the game.

It’s not a talent issue, either.  What!?  It’s not.  The reality of staffing is that all companies have the exact same access to talent.  Some companies are just faster at uncovering that talent versus others.  In my 20 years of staffing – I’ve really seen very little difference in the quality of talent good staffing firms offer up to their clients (and remember, I’ve been on both sides of the fence on this – corporate and agency).  Don’t get me wrong – bad staffing firms do very little vetting of candidates and just flow paper to you.  Good staffing firms should be sending you fully vetted candidates.  I like to tell my recruiters – “We are the sure thing!”  When a company wants to interview or hire one of our candidates, the only thing they should hear is: “When would you like them to start?”

So, what is it?  It’s a relationship issue.  When I worked with a staffing firm, I needed to have trust in the people I was working with.  I didn’t care about their brand or their process.  I cared about how much do I trust this company is going to represent us as a company to the talent base that is out there.  Period.  Don’t get wrong – they better deliver great talent – but I’m assuming that is a given – if I decided to work with them!  Trust.  Part of that trust comes with full disclosure as well.  Most staffing companies hate this!  But I came from their world – I knew the game.  So, if you wanted to play with me – I wanted to know everything.  I was going to let you make money – but I wanted to know where it was being made.  That helps me sharpen up my internal process.  If a staffing firm really wanted to be a partner with me – then this wasn’t an issue.  I wanted to see them succeed, just as they wanted to see our organization succeed.  Most corporate HR/Talent Pros don’t have this mindset. They feel staffing firms are ‘out to get them’ and not a partner.  They need to cut those relationships.

It works both ways.  I stopped doing business with a really good paying client in 2012. Why? Because they were a pain to work with and didn’t get that this relationship should work for both parties.  I want to work with people I truly like.  People I would go on vacation with.  Right now – every single one of our clients at HRU – I would go on vacation with.  I would invite them to my house for dinner.  I would look forward to having a drink with after work.  That is why I love coming to work.  It’s not stressful on either side – the way it should be.  I understand their challenges and they understand my challenges and we can have ‘real’ conversations about each other – and provide feedback.

That is pretty rare in this industry.

Want to be apart of this?  Contact me: sackett.tim@hru-tech.com; call 517-908-3156 or tweet me @TimSackett – I look forward to the conversation! Also check out my staff – I’d definitely go on vacation with any of these good looking people!