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New Bersin & Associates Research Shows Customer Success and Satisfaction with Talent Management Systems Strongly Linked to Vendors’ Capabilities as Strategic Business Partners

Survey Identifies Halogen, SuccessFactors and Technomedia as Customer Satisfaction Leaders

Oakland, CA – December 7, 2010 – Bersin & Associates, a world-class research and consulting firm that empowers HR organizations to drive bottom-line impact, today announced the results of a comprehensive study that shows customer satisfaction with talent management systems is highly correlated to vendors’ capabilities as strategic business partners. The findings are included in Bersin & Associates’Talent Management Systems Customer Satisfaction 2011: Executive Summary. Preliminary findings were released at the 13th Annual HR Technology Conference in September. The full report will be released in late December.

Bersin & Associates expects the talent management market – one of the fastest-growing areas of HR software with more than $3 billion in software and services – to grow more than 12 percent next year as organizations continue to invest in integrated talent technology to drive business performance. Bersin & Associates anticipates technology providers will continue the flurry of consolidations begun in 2010, adding features and functionality, services and market share through additional acquisitions and mergers. The market’s rapid growth and volatility creates challenges for buyers who seek a vendor solution which is complete, proven, and supportable.

“HR organizations are under intense pressure to deliver new strategies to globalize their workforce, drive collaboration and innovation, and integrate the hiring and career management process in their companies,” said Josh Bersin, president and chief executive officer, Bersin & Associates. “To support these needs, HR buyers now want technology providers who offer more than advanced features – they want a provider who delivers excellent support, service, and deep understanding of their industry’s HR needs. Vendors vary widely in their ability to deliver this level of true business partnership.”

To provide insight and help its members get smart fast about this rapidly-changing market, Bersin & Associates analyzed survey responses from more than 700 customers of the top-talent technology providers.

The research found that customers are no longer interested in point solutions, and instead seek fully integrated talent management platforms that manage recruiting, performance and succession, compensation, and learning management. More than a third of all respondents stated that they are now willing to sacrifice advanced features to be able to purchase an end-to-end talent management system from a single vendor (up from only 14% last year).

Bersin’s customer satisfaction methodology – now in its second year of publishing – measures four key service dimensions: product quality, implementation, service, and business partnership.

Halogen earned a top score to secure the leading position in the fastest-growing segment for integrated talent management -- the midmarket (organizations with fewer than 5,000 employees and less than $1 billion in revenues). SuccessFactors emerged as a leader in the enterprise market (organizations with ore than 5,000 employees and/or more than $1 billion in revenues), and Technomedia emerged as clear global enterprise leader (organizations with more than 5,000 employees and/or more than $1 billion in revenues with highly-distributed and complex customers). These companies were leaders in the four major customer satisfaction dimensions measured.

Outperformers, those earning the next-highest level of customer satisfaction, are Learn.com in the mid-market, iCIMS and StepStone in the enterprise market, and Plateau and Taleo in the global enterprise market.

Bersin & Associates also conducted qualitative interviews with more than 30 buyers, owners and implementers of talent management systems. These qualitative discussions validated the following findings:

  • Overall satisfaction with these important systems is moderate (3.79 out of 5), and customer satisfaction has not risen since last year.
  • Ease of use, configurability, and integration are the satisfaction areas that ranked lowest, demonstrating the fact that these systems have hundreds of features which must be carefully integrated into an easy-to-use employee solution.
  • Vendors vary widely in their overall satisfaction levels, with no real relationship between satisfaction and vendor size or growth rate.
  • Vendors who acquire other companies have markedly lower satisfaction ratings than companies who built all their own software internally, demonstrating the challenges of integrating acquired companies and products.
  • Smaller companies on average are more satisfied than large companies with their systems, often because their implementation needs are simpler.
  • Satisfaction based on functionality is lowest with learning management software. These systems typically are older and less able to keep up with demands for collaboration, social learning, and new media used in modern training. The second-lowest area of satisfaction for functionality is with recruiting software – another market that is undergoing rapid change and now must integrate with social networks and hundreds of third-party recruitment providers.
  • The areas of satisfaction that are most highly linked to overall success and a willingness to recommend the solution to others are service, support, and measures of business partnership. Product features, while important, are not primary drivers of overall system satisfaction – demonstrating how this market has shifted from one of early adopters to one of mainstream buyers.

To download a complimentary copy of Talent Management Systems Customer Satisfaction 2011: Executive Summary, go to: http://marketing.bersin.com/CSat2011.html. The full report Talent Management Systems Customer Satisfaction 2011: A Comprehensive Study of Customer Experience with Talent Management Systems will be available for $595 for a PDF ($725 for a printed hard-copy) at the end of this month.  Those who purchase the full customer satisfaction study by January 31st, 2011, will gain a $300 credit toward purchase of the Talent Management Systems 2011 industry study, slated for release by March 31st, 2011. For more details, go to http://www.bersin.com/Store/details.aspx?docid=103313482

For media queries, email laura.evenson@bersin.com or call (415) 465-2711.

About Bersin & Associates

Bersin & Associates empowers HR and learning organizations to drive bottom-line impact through world-class research and consulting. The company’s WhatWorks® membership is designed to give HR and learning professionals the tools they need to succeed in their organizations as full business partners.

Bersin & Associates members use our insights and tools to benchmark themselves against best practices, design and implement programs across the HR and learning spectrum and select and implement systems.  More than 5,000 organizations worldwide have used Bersin & Associates research and consulting to guide their learning and talent strategies.