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New Bersin & Associates Study Shows Growth in Talent Acquisition Systems Market, Despite Recession

Some Vendors Seeing Surprising Growth Rates of 15 to 20%; Market Vitalized by Innovation and Value-Add Partnerships

Oakland, CA – September 17, 2009 -- Bersin & Associates, the only research and advisory firm focused solely on enterprise learning, talent management, and talent acquisition, today announced the release of its latest study, Talent Acquisition Systems 2010: Facts, Practical Analysis, Trends, and Provider Profiles. The study is the most comprehensive market review and buyers’ guide for talent acquisition software systems.

Bersin & Associates’ research finds that the talent acquisition systems market has actually grown in the last year by approximately 9 percent, despite record lows in hiring. Based on market data and information provided by vendors, Bersin & Associates projects that the market will expand by another 9 to 10 percent over the coming year. Among those companies experiencing high levels of growth are Taleo, StepStone, HRsmart, and iCIMS.

Vertical segments such as retail and hospitality, which have particularly high numbers of applicants as well as high turnover rates, are seeing high levels of adoption. Talent acquisition providers have capitalized on the needs of these segments by providing modules tailored to managing hourly workers, interview management tools, and tax and screening procedures.

“The talent acquisition market is astonishingly active,” said Josh Bersin, president. “Organizations are using these systems to help them sort through mountains of resumes and applications to find quality candidates for the relatively few openings most have available. Additionally, companies are finding value in using these systems to reassign and redeploy current employees. We anticipate that this growth will continue, given predictions for increased hiring in coming months and the ongoing market churn generated by new players, increased competition, and ongoing product enhancements.”

According to Madeline Laurano, a principal analyst for Bersin & Associates and primary author of the study, the talent acquisition market has also been marked by high levels of innovation in product offerings and partnerships. Vendors are responding to customer demand for support of video, social networking, CRM capabilities, RSS feeds, and other new options for connectivity, as well as job matching and employer branding. Taleo, Peopleclick, iCIMS, SonicRecruit, and Kenexa are among those solution providers which have brought new features and functionality to their offerings.

Another example of innovation is the use of complimentary products and services. One of the most notable examples is MrTed’s free talent acquisition offering, SmartRecruiters, which now has approximately 2,500 users, most of which are small to mid-sized companies – an historically underserved market. A second example is Taleo’s recently announced Talent Grid, a solution which lets employers share resumes through a standard interface.

“We are also seeing very interesting partnerships in this market,” said Laurano. “Taleo partners with more than 90 different companies. SilkRoad’s partnership with SimplyHired brings its offering major new functionality for social networking. And JobFox is partnering with a host of market players, including Oracle, Softscape, Kenexa, and SilkRoad.”

The 280-page study is based on detailed briefings and product demonstrations provided by 17 vendors and 320 completed surveys from talent acquisition professionals, HR practitioners, and recruiters. In addition to its market analysis, the study includes these and many other resources for prospective buyers and current system users:

  • Detailed sample RFPs for prospective buyers.
  • Sample pricing criteria, to ensure comprehensive and consistent consideration of all potential related costs.
  • Integration considerations for performance management, talent management, HRMSs, social networking, and Outlook.
  • Detailed recommendations and guidance for evaluation and selection, including discussion of RFP scoring, vendor demonstrations, and reference checks.
  • Implementation experiences and benchmarks.

Vendors profiled in the report are: ADP, Authoria, First Advantage, HRsmart, Hodes iQ, iCIMS, Kenexa, Kronos, MrTed, Oracle, Peopleclick, SAP, SilkRoad technology, Softscape, SonicRecruit (Cytiva), StepStone, and Taleo.

Each profile includes extensive information about the solution provider, including: company background, product family overview, core and advanced features offered (with a Bersin & Associates’ evaluation of level of support), top partners and resellers, service offerings, key differentiators, and a Bersin & Associates’ analysis.

The study also includes vendor comparative charts for revenue, growth, market share by customers, quality of user experience, HR and talent management application support, number of customers, delivery models supported, and industry segments best served.

Talent Acquisition Systems 2010: Facts, Practical Analysis, Trends, and Provider Profiles is available at no cost to all Bersin & Associates research members. Non-members can purchase the study for $995. For more details, including an executive summary and a table of contents, click here.

About Bersin & Associates

Bersin & Associates is the only research and advisory firm focused solely on research in enterprise learning, talent management, and talent acquisition. The company’s WhatWorks® membership program offers actionable guidance, improves operational effectiveness, and delivers business impact to companies in all industry segments.

Bersin & Associates research members gain access to a comprehensive library of best practices, case studies, benchmarks, and in-depth market analyses designed to assist professionals in making fast and confident decisions. Members also have direct access to analysts and a wide range of tested tools and models to address both strategic and day-to-day challenges.

More than 5,000 organizations worldwide have used Bersin & Associates’ research and advisory services to guide talent and corporate learning strategies. Research areas include planning and strategy, learning programs and delivery, talent management, leadership development and succession planning, talent acquisition, technology and infrastructure, informal learning, social networking, measurement and analytics.

For more information, go to or call 561 455 0622, extension 223.