As you may have noticed, last week Gartner published its annual E-Recruitment Magic Quadrant. With every Magic Quadrant comes the press releases from vendors telling people how great Gartner thinks they are, other vendor quietly complaining about their precise positioning in the graph, and the myriads of “influencers” challenging Gartner’s vendor rankings due to their perceived conflict of interest since many of those vendors are also Gartner clients.
Let me be particularly clear to the HR industry — the Magic Quadrant is a great tool to assist in the decision-making process. The key word being, “assist”. Jim Holincheck and Thomas Otter conduct significant due diligence, vendor briefings and customer reference calls to make their conclusions in the quadrant. They are two of the brightest and most knowledgeable guys in the industry that ooze credibility.
E-Recruitment Magic Quadrant – 2006, 2009
Source: Taleo Blog
I haven’t gone through the 2009 report in detail yet but simply looking at the “money chart”, I come way with the following thoughts…
- E-recruitment, better known as talent acquisition or event applicant tracking systems (ATS), continues to be a dynamic market with vendors still coming and going. Just looking at the 2006 Magic Quadrant and it easily highlights this fact.
- Taleo has clearly established themselves as the market leader in the eyes of Gartner and they are continuing to extend their leadership position
- Peopleclick has been newly recognized as a “leader” for its deep recruitment capabilities
- Thomas Otter’s European presence has definitely influenced this years quadrant with vendors from Norway, UK, France, Australia and Switzerland
- ERP vendors are evolving albeit slowly in recruitment
- Some smaller vendors like iCIMS and SilkRoad are making great strides and improving their market position
- A few vendors are noticeably absent like Ultimate Software and SuccessFactors because presumably they don’t meet the methodology standards.
Ultimately the question becomes, though, “what do we do with this information?” Here are a few of my recommendations…
- For those that are not Gartner clients, you can likely get your hands on the Magic Quadrant report by visiting one of the “leaders” websites shortly. They often license the report for republishing to customers and prospects. Use it for educational purposes to better understand the vendors that serve the market and the capabilities that are being added by each respective vendor. Of course, you can also become a Gartner client or just buy the report off their website!
- For current Gartner clients, read the report but schedule an advisory call with Jim or Thomas to get the color commentary. I can guarantee you their advice is just as valuable if not more valuable than the written research.
- Do NOT use the Magic Quadrant to put together a “short-list”. I often get asked by CIOs to tell them why they should include a vendor in their selection process when they don’t show up on the “MQ”. This is often frustrating because the MQ fill specialized verticals (ie. government) or certain industry segments (ie. SMB) and can biased a decision. The Magic Quadrant should NOT be the sole determiner of a short-list but one of many “inputs”.
- Use the Magic Quadrant to shape the decision-making process and criteria. The Magic Quadrant should help create the dialogue of vendors that may be a good fit and help to create the criteria to assess the vendors. All too often decision-makers, and tools like the Magic Quadrant, can focus too heavily on functionality. While product functionality is always an important factor, other key factors, such as technology foundation, vendor stability, service and support, total cost of ownership, etc., should highly influence a decision.
- Seek third-party, non-biased expertise to assist with the vendor evaluation and selection. Third party consultants, like Knowledge Infusion (apologies for the shameless plug) can help objectively identify the key business outcomes and align those outcomes with requirements and scenarios to best showcase the respective software solutions.