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There is no better company to look at to get a sense of the future of technology in business and society than Zuora. This might surprise many people, because companies like Oracle, Microsoft and Salesforce might come to mind more readily. To one degree or another, those companies feature their products and services, which are very important, but Zuora talks about business models — and today, that’s even more important. It’s the business model that will determine the products and services companies will be able to provide.

HR Tech starr conspiracyThis week, we’re talking cool. Maybe it’s because Fall starts Sunday or maybe it’s because the coolest show in HR — HR Tech — starts a week after that. Mostly, though, it’s because this PR email came in about the coolest offices in the world, which really isn’t about the whole world, but the offices are, well, not like yours and mine.

First, though, is this advice from The Starr Conspiracy to the vendors who will be exhibiting at the HR Tech show in Las Vegas:

Don’t get caught with a pile of stress balls and a profoundly vapid event strategy.

The Starr Conspiracy is a cool marketing firm that works only for HR vendors and which had an Airstream trailer for a booth at one HR Tech show. It put together a show guide: “Burn After Reading: The Vendor’s HR Technology Conference & Exposition Manual.” It offers bits of wisdom about the four essentials of the show: (more…)

Mike Hard

Mike Hard

2012 was one of the biggest M&A years for recruiting technology: Kenexa bought by IBM, Taleo by Oracle, SuccessFactors by SAP, etc. With all the consolidation and innovation, however, it’s ironic that one major source of talent acquisition remains stubbornly resistant to change: the way companies find, communicate, and work with search firms.

The oversight certainly isn’t due to a decline in the relevance of third party recruiters. Despite the emergence of LinkedIn, recruiting agency usage is exploding. Staffing Industry Analysts’ most recent report predicts that agency spend will hit $8B in 2014 (not including retained search), more than double what was spent as recently as five years ago. CareerXroads, in its 2013 Sources of Hire report, found agencies were responsible for 3.1% of all hires in 2012. Since agencies account for some of the most critical hires any recruiting team will make, one would think of this as an area corporations have locked up and tightly managed. (more…)

About the author: Mike Hard is the CEO of BountyJobs, the Enterprise Agency Management company. Companies use BountyJobs to consolidate their existing recruiting agencies into one cloud-based system, centralize spend and administration, and improve their agency performance. BountyJobs is the contingent search solution for more than one-third of the Fortune 500, and has a private marketplace featuring more than 10,000 approved third-party recruiting agencies. Prior to BountyJobs, Mike was an executive with Microsoft for 17 years. He received his BA from Yale, his MBA from Harvard, and was a member of the US National Rowing team. He lives with his wife and family in New York City. More information is available on BountyJobs.

SmartRecruiters new“The ATS has to die,” says the man who built a business and made a name on that earliest technological breakthrough for recruiters, the applicant tracking system.

What’s especially ironic is that it’s on the strength of the market’s acceptance of SmartRecruiters, his free ATS, and his vision for how to evolve it, that Rembrandt Venture Partners and others are giving Jerome Ternynck $10 million.

The B series funding was announced today and follows a $5.5 million A round just a bit more than 18 months earlier. (more…)

About the author: John has been writing about recruiting and employment for nearly a decade,and has worked in the field for almost twice as long. He traces his connection to the employment industry back to the beginning of the commercial Internet when he managed some of the earliest news oriented websites. These offered job boards, which became highly popular with users. John worked with agencies and large employers on job postings, resume search, and campaigns, before consulting with media companies on audience development and online advertising sales.

SmartRecruiters new“The ATS has to die,” says the man who built a business and made a name on that earliest technological breakthrough for recruiters, the applicant tracking system.

What’s especially ironic is that it’s on the strength of the market’s acceptance of SmartRecruiters, his free ATS, and his vision for how to evolve it, that Rembrandt Venture Partners and others are giving Jerome Ternynck $10 million.

The B series funding was announced today and follows a $5.5 million A round just a bit more than 18 months earlier. (more…)

Bullhorn logoUntil now, Bullhorn’s staffing firm customers who wanted a complete front and back office solution had to work with a third party to get those all-important time and billing services.

Bullhorn eased the pain by partnering with other vendors for back office services, as well as other add-ons to provide other functions such as reporting and analytics, automated telephony, and payroll.

Now, Bullhorn has acquired Easy Software Solutions, maker of timeshEASY, its time and billing partner. The sales price was not disclosed.

Announcing the acquisition today, Bullhorn CEO Art Papas called the deal a “game changer.” “Staffing firms have always wanted both front and back office solutions from a single, trusted provider. Now, Bullhorn can offer a fully integrated, end-to-end solution.” (more…)


Sage Summit, held in Washington, D.C., this week, was a more upbeat event than it has been over the last two years. During that interval, the company has had the thankless task of telling its customers and partners that it was making big changes and that things would be better. The news was not always welcomed for all the reasons you can imagine. This year, with so much of the change behind it — including products in the market, a reorganized company, and a leaner product line — everyone seemed to be breathing a little easier.


Sugar CRM took its annual customer and partner show on the road this week and brought what had been a Bay Area extravaganza to the Big Apple — the better to attract a sizable population of customers and partners from Europe and other points beyond North America. It seems to have worked, because even though New York is one of the most cosmopolitan of cities, I heard a lot of European languages in the corridors, and I met many people from countries across the Pacific. Sugar is a happening thing, at least in part because of all the CRM vendors.

I recently got one of those year-end surveys asking about the significant developments in recruitment in 2012 and trends and predictions for next year.

My inclination was to ignore it; I’ve got enough to do keeping track of today, let alone trying to figure out what next year will bring. As for 2012, without the perspective of time, it’s hard to tell tell what will turn out to be significant in the long run. A few developments, though, will undoubtedly make the survey.

Social media for recruitment will be there, as will the drive to mobile. My list includes growing buzz over “big data,” even though it’s nowhere near clear how it will eventually make a difference in hiring and workforce management.

Vendor consolidation also makes my list. So too does the changing composition of the traditional workforce composition. By that I mean specifically the use of temps and contractors as a strategic component of the workforce, coupled with the growing cadre of professionals who, having turned to contract work (consulting, to put it politely) out of necessity are finding it suits them and provides a work/life balance companies mostly just talk about.

However, after thinking about my list, I realized that it’s the mergers and acquisitions that will have the biggest impact and will come to be seen as one of the more significant industry developments since the recession forced all of us to completely rethink and restructure what we do.

Much of what went on in 2012 was evolutionary, rather than revolutionary. And this is certainly true of the consolidation of the talent acquisition and HR management system vendors. It has been going on for some time now, though the setting was on simmer. But then SAP’s acquisition of SuccessFactors, technically a late 2011 event, turned up the heat. In short order Kenexa and  Taleo got bought up. And later, Bullhorn picked up Sendouts and MaxHire. There were also smaller deals that kept the pot boiling throughout the year.

The significance here isn’t the transactions themselves; it’s what’s behind them and, even more so, what it means for the future. (more…)

HR technology is evolving rapidly, with huge advancements in social, cloud, and mobile solutions this year. We’re excited for what 2013 will bring and how the latest technology will transform the way hiring managers, recruiters, and candidates engage with each other in the hiring process. (more…)