The Cloud Recruiting Platform

Kyle Lagunas Software Advice

The end of 2011 and the beginning of 2012 have seen a lot of moving and shaking going on in HR and recruiting software. SAP acquired SuccessFactors, Salesforce acquired Rypple, and a couple of promising vendors—SmartRecruiters included—got some new VC funding. This activity is pumping new energy into the continued expansion of recruiting solutions into the Cloud, as well as, further integration of social media functionality within recruiting applications. But for all we’re hearing and reading about out-of-the-box, one-size-fits-all software solutions, what’s more exciting is the growing popularity of the open platform. If you ask me, I’d say this is where we’ll see the most innovation in 2012. Here’s why…

2012 is the Year of the Open Platform

Salesforce has seen significant organic growth over the years; plus, acquisition has certainly been a part of SalesForce growth strategy, although the acquisition of another application isn’t particularly novel in itself. But there’s more to it with Rypple. Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff is doing something very different from other legacy ERP vendors. Beyond the increase in social media functionality in business management software, the bigger picture here is very exciting.

As Ed Newman, Chief Analyst at Inside Talent Management Technology, explained to me, “SAP is trying to be all things to all people. And while legacy carriers may acquire any number of products, all too often these products aren’t fully integrated. They’re not running on the same platform.”

While Salesforce could certainly acquire other products in new application categories, what they’re focused on is building a platform–with a social core–upon which developers can build exactly what specific organizations need. SmartRecruiters is more focused on developing an open platform in recruiting and applicant tracking, Ternynck told TalentCulture, “This is really something we see happening across all markets. Big change in how you sell to enterprise.”

From recruiting to management talent to processing payroll—every organization runs these processes differently. Step back even further, and consider all of the functionality that runs across each area of an enterprise–an open platform would offer a level of customizability and choice of service provider for your entire organization that you don’t normally find in the Cloud.  (If that doesn’t get you going, I don’t know what will. This picture of a cat? )

Why HR Thrives in an Open Platform

Of course, Salesforce and SmartRecruiters aren’t the only vendors receiving new funding or expanding through acquisition in recent weeks. True, social media is integrating more deeply as more and more vendors move their software to the cloud. But the bigger trend here is the consumerization of enterprise technology—where technology that started in the consumer markets (app stores, social networks) are moving into enterprise technology. And this is very apparent in the HR Software market. There are a few reasons why:

HR and recruiting have historically been the first business sectors to adopt new communications tools. They’re the points in an organization often interacting most with people (inside and outside of an organization). It’s no wonder social media has become such a hot topic in this space— in recruiting, talent management, and as a social collaboration tool. But the increasingly diverse needs of organizations big and small demand myriad options in human resources and talent management software solutions—and an out-of-the-box human resources management suite isn’t always as flexible as you’d like it to be.

The cloud recruiting platform presents users with build-onto and pick-and-choose options. Whether they’ve compiled like an application marketplace (think iTunes App Store for recruiting software), or by offering an open API, the various complicated processes run in recruiting and HR can find solace in customizability.

Three HR Software Areas to Watch in 2012

All of that said, I believe there are three HR applications which are best positioned to see growth and innovation in 2012: talent management software, applicant tracking and recruiting software, as well as, analytics and reporting applications. I’ll break it down for you:

    •  Because business leaders increasingly see the value in a system for developing their workforce, Talent Management Software continues to experience rapid growth in the Cloud. This sector has also seen some movement, as large vendors acquire best-of-breeds, particularly in learning management and performance management.


    • Many of the core functions of Applicant Tracking and Recruiting Software thrive in the social media arena, and it makes sense that you’ll see more social capabilities evolving in this area first.  “We want to put jobseekers back at the center of recruiting software,” said Ternynck. “It should be much more enjoyable and much more social. We’re building features around a one-click apply and allowing candidates to express interest more easily.” And with SmartRecruiters’ Ternynck behind the wheel, things are bound to start looking up for end-users.


    • Your ability to identify and track trends in your retention rates, boosts in productivity, and benchmark performance will set your HR department apart from your competitors. And though HR has never had a problem with gathering data, HR software is recently making great strides in delivering technology that allows them to use that data. Recruiting Analytics and Reporting Tools will continue to drive innovation in HR software.


cloud recruiting platform As legacy vendors continue their age-old ERP battle, and as innovative companies like Salesforce continue to dazzle, the moves made by these (rather different) business management providers have certainly set the stage for an exciting 2012. Recruiters and industry analysts alike would be wise to pay attention to continued movement in the market in the coming months.

Kyle Lagunas is the HR Analyst at Software Advice—a resource for recruiting and talent management system selection.  For more of Kyle’s expert analysis, check out this forecast on “The HR Software Round Up: Setting the Stage for 2012.” Have your own thoughts? Join the discussion, and leave a comment.

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HR Market Analyst Kyle Lagunas Kyle Lagunas is the HR Analyst at Software Advice—a resource for recruiting and talent management system selection. For more of Kyle’s expert analysis, check out this forecast on “The HR Software Round Up: Setting the Stage for 2012.”
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Our First Hiring Success Client Roundtable!

We had the good fortune to spend a day last week with the recruiting leaders from a dozen of our customers.  Given our mission to “reinvent recruiting for candidates and companies”, it was reassuring to receive positive feedback that we are on our way and get amazing guidance on where we should focus next.

I have been in the software industry for 20 years and run hundreds of “advisory boards”, but have never experienced the level of “we are in this together-ness” that emanated from that room.  To a person and company – whether from centralized tech hiring models at, Atlassian, IAC, Informatica or Okta, or from decentralized field hiring models at Equinox and Skechers – the feedback was universal that everyone felt they had finally discovered, in their words, a recruiting platform that “doesn’t suck” and a vendor that “doesn’t disappear” post-sale.

Admittedly and somewhat unfortunately, the bar to jump over is not high. As I wrote in HR Deserves Great Software Too, the technology that has been peddled to HR and especially to recruiting has been abysmal. Even worse, the level of partnership post-sales is non-existent.  Our approach as a product-centric, user-centric and customer-centric company, is to enable Hiring Success. This only occurs when one combines a comprehensive platform with a talented post-sales team who is with the client every step of the way as they drive transformation across their organization. Why? client success picture  Simple. We are in the hero-making business.  If our champions don’t accomplish amazing “stand up and take notice” things, then we are no different than every other promising but ultimately “it’s all the just same” technology vendor.

Some of these clients have been with us less than six months and have already seen amazing results. My favorite quote of the day was “we received more candidates with SmartRecruiters in 2 months than we did with Taleo in 7 years”.  Almost as impressive were those echoing that “for the first time ever, our hiring managers not only log into our recruiting platform frequently but there is demand from new hiring managers to get set up on SmartRecruiters because they hear it’s terrific”.  Others raved about the candidate experience they now can provide, unlocking inbound channels that they had long ago given up on. Wow.  That is what’s all about.  Most reassuring was the level of intimacy and appreciation for our post-sales team – often the folks who go unnoticed in software companies. Literally every customer raved about their implementation and account management team, considering those folks as part of their ongoing team.

We had a very interactive day where we spent the first half receiving pointed feedback about our go-to-market strategies, especially “if they worked here”, how would they adjust our marketing, sales and support approaches. This isn’t a traditional question posed to customers but I have always felt your customers will guide you best. For the afternoon, we went deep into our product roadmap and allowed the customers to play “product manager”, prioritizing the areas we should focus on for the next six months (“needs”), along with what would be life-changing for them in a year (“dreams”). We then went deep into defining and prioritizing Hiring Success metrics, because our platform (where you have all the data from source to close, and where candidates, recruiters and hiring managers actually use the system) enables Recruiting leaders to access in real-time the key metrics around Quality, Speed and Costs –for what they need to present up to the C-level and what they need to better manage their teams.

Then we wrapped it up with a terrific meal – good food, good libations and good cheer all around.

What’s my take-away? We are on the right track for sure. This is a noisy and confusing industry, with literally hundreds of companies claiming to help customers “find-engage-hire” and literally thousands of customers dissatisfied with the actual results.  Our approach to hiring success is unique, and our approach to how we partner with our clients is special. Our clients, as evidenced by some of their comments below, will drive us forward to effect the change that they seek.

“I just feel so lucky to be with a vendor that cares so much about their clients. Honestly, SmartRecruiters is part of our culture now. This was simply amazing”.

“I think SmartRecruiters is at the point where we just see it as an extension of our team…A lot of that was validated when we heard similar feedback from the other clients”.

“Great to get some early insight into the process and hear all the success other clients have had. It is really important for us to have a highly engaged vendor. We have never had that before”.

“We’ve only just begun, but we already feel like our voice is being heard and we are part of the SmartRecruiters family”.

“We’re growing so fast and literally couldn’t ever imagine we’d find a partner like SmartRecruiters.”

“We never imagined there would be a tool out there that can amplify the quality of hires that we are forced to make in the way in which SmartRecruiters has”

Best 50 Niche Job Boards

Where to post job openings? Niche job boards attract top talent, giving you quality candidates with experience or interest in your specific industry (*Updated April 22, 2014). The best job search sites to post jobs include not only niche job boards, but also niche communities and publications.  SmartRecruiters has posted 400,000+ jobs for 65,000+ companies. We’ve found that 62% of open jobs are posted to niche job sites. Niches are just a good way to target whatever type of talent you are looking for.

Here are the Best 50 Niche Job Sites in alphabetical order: