Performance and Recruiting Management Shootout – Who Won?

Industry’s First Integrated Performance and Recruiting Shootout

This year’s shootout focused on the powerful integration (but not well understood or adopted) between performance management and recruiting including the coveted, and often elusive measure of “quality of hire. Four leading talent management suite vendors were included; Authoria, HRsmart, SuccessFactors, and Vurv had 75 minutes to demonstrate how their products support meaningful integration using the same three scenarios.   Our principal analyst in Talent Management Systems, Leighanne Levensaler had the great pleasure of assisting Conference Co-Chair Bill Kutik in the development of these scenarios which served as the script for the vendor to demonstrate:

(Note, these are important scripts for you to consider in your talent management systems strategy.  Read more in our talent management suites research.  For more details on the HR Technology Conference, read our in-depth review of the show.)

1. How an HR generalist identifies the attributes of a top performer (experience, competencies, and performance feedback) to create a position description/job profile, initiates a requisition for a new position, and communicates it to the recruiter;

2. How a recruiting specialist reviews a pool of internal and external candidates, determines which sources provide the best talent (as measured by performance ratings and quality-of-hire metrics), and conducts a search for additional candidates; and

3. How a hiring manager creates a personalized development plan for a new employee, based on the valuable candidate information captured during the recruiting process, and how the talent management solution tracks and provides analytics on the employee’s performance to drive ongoing recruiting of high-quality talent.

Participants in the audience voted after all four vendors demonstrated a scenario. At the end of the third scenario, the votes were tallied and Bill announced that Authoria captured the most votes in all three scenarios and was named the overall winner.

Why did Authoria Win? 
Process Understanding and Excellent User Interface Design.

Is Authoria’s solution that much better than their formidable opponents? As much as we respect and admire the Authoria team and consider their solution to be a leading talent management suite, the other vendors participating in the Shootout also have strong solutions for this integration. From Leighanne Levensaler’s perspective, Authoria won for two reasons.

First, Tod Loofbourrow, their CEO is a fantastic presenter and storyteller. The “story” is important because he told a story of the frustrations HR specialists have today and a story of opportunities that we have with integrated solutions. Tod was easy to follow, particularly if you could not follow what was happening at the speed of light on the jumbo screens.

The second, and more significant reason for their clean sweep, was Authoria’s “sexy, value-add” not “sexy-gratuitous” user interface (available in the new Authoria Talent Management release). Tod and team used the scenarios to showcase how Authoria’s user experience supports meaningful information experiences and decision support including, easy wizards, intuitive visual indicators, embedded analytics, one-click options, drill down options, embedded and contextual performance support, enhanced search, and side-by-side comparisons.

What Can You Learn from this Process?

First, there are many advanced capabilities now becoming available in talent management suites.  Our research details these capabilities across each vendor in the market.  Rather than try to cost-justify your system based on savings in time or paper, we urge you to think about these “cross-functional” capabilities which drive much greater impact.

Second, the user experience is now paramount.  HR systems are used by line managers and employees – often on an occasional basis.  If they are not easy and intuitive to use, they are not used.  Vendors which have not yet focused on easy-to-use, simple user interfaces (it is far harder to make a user-experience simple than it is to make it functional) deliver higher value solutions for you.

Third, the functionality required in these applications is quite complex and continually changing.  Authoria’s acquisition of (the source of the company’s recruiting product) brought the company a rich and complete product offering.  Kenexa, Oracle, PeopleSoft, SuccessFactors, Taleo, Vurv (formerly Recruitmax) and many other companies now offer integrated performance and recruiting systems – so you, as a buyer, should shop carefully and evaluate the level of integration, ease of use, and experience of your selected vendor.

Congratulations to each of the vendors that participated in the Shootout.  We look forward to a more exciting contest in 2008!