Other than Salesforce, no cloud SaaS provider handles more transactions than Taleo. The stats the company revealed to me about its 2011 are staggering. The Taleo talent and recruitment solution helped enterprises hire 3.1 million people, roughly 15% of the year’s US hires. It had 50 to 60 million visitors to the job listing sites and other services it powers. Bootstrapped but now publicly traded, Taleo serves 5,000 customers including half of the Fortune 100. When companies need to hire huge numbers of employees, they come to Taleo.
For example, Taleo helped Macy’s onboard around 80,000 hires in just 8 weeks to prepare for the holiday season. Thanks to Taleo’s infrastructure, Macy’s was able to quickly re-hire seasonal workers from last year because it already had verification and feedback for each person. Since founded in 1999, Taleo has led to more hires than the entire population of San Francisco.
The company breaks down into two core components. The Taleo Talent Exchange is a pool of over 250 million job candidate profiles where clients post over 260,000 new job openings per month. Clients source potential hires from the exchange and can then route them into the Taleo’s management solution.
The SaaS management solution helps businesses source candidates through job boards, recruit through referrals on social networks, assess a candidate’s potential, and track them through the hiring process. Once signed, employees can be efficiently onboarded, set up with goals, and monitored for performance. Development software lets employees learn new skills, and a succession planning system helps businesses determine who to promote. Finally, compensation planning and analytics systems let enterprises optimize their talent investments.
As an older, established business, Taleo is still a little shaky on mobile and social. It has been developing Taleo Radar, a location-based mobile recruiting app. It’s designed to show recruiters any job candidates who are nearby so they can connect with them for some spontaneous in-person networking. I doubt it will work, though, because the chances of a recruiter being nearby a logged in candidate with skills for the positions they’re looking for is low, and few candidates will want to randomly meet with a recruiter while out getting coffee.
The new Taleo Job Openings Facebook app is a little backwards too. Users can subscribe to listings of jobs that meet their criteria. However, the app doesn’t show bookmark jewels in the Facebook navigation menu to alert users when new matching openings have been posted. That means users could easily forget to check the app and might miss the listings they were waiting for.
In the coming years, Taleo hopes to use its legacy in the space to fend off competitors like Kenexa, and Success Factors which SAP is buying for $3.4 billion. Karl Ederle, Vice President of Product Management at Taleo tells me “You cant hire more engineers to build 10 years of interesting data.” It’s also been staying ahead by making a total of over $320 million in acquisitions.
While the ratio of unemployed workers to job openings is decreasing in the US, the unemployment rate is still high. For Taleo, that fact could actually help its revenues, which were $291 million for the 12 months preceding October 2011. More companies than ever are now looking for talent management solutions to make sure their HR departments don’t drown in applications.