Recruitment Applications From EMSI and JobMagic Acquired
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By Micah Fairchild
Recruitment Software Market Sees More Consolidation and Changes
Of the numerous areas of HCM technology that have seen market play this year (and there have been many), perhaps none have gotten as much attention as recruitment software. It’s one of the critical pieces of the talent management puzzle that Workday has been vilified for missing; and SAP was lauded for when they purchased SuccessFactors. And many of us within the HR technology space speculated that Oracle’s acquisition of Taleo was entirely based on gaining a cloud recruitment partner.
Of course all of this attention that recruitment applications have been receiving is for good reason. After all, at no other time in the history of the workforce has the attraction and retention of skilled employees but so important. So much so in fact, that even the Harvard Business Review recently ran an article for their blog (An Unlikely Partnership: When HR and Marketing Join Forces) detailing how an ever-increasing amount of organizational time and energy is being spent “selling” talent on the benefits of working (and staying) at a specific company. So it comes as no surprise to us when we see M&A movement within the recruitment software market. Companies (and therefore vendors) are clamoring for the best tools, the best advice, and the best data to help them inform their practices and capture the best talent. Just look at the Corporate Executive Board’s recent buy-out of SHL—this was an acquisition entirely built around tapping into a recruitment data stream; and one that CEB paid some big bucks for.
The latest news in the recruitment software market is that iCIMS has acquired JobMagic and that CareerBuilder has acquired EMSI—purchases that (while small) bring with them implications for the industry as a whole as well as further proof that (for now at least) recruitment is the process everyone wants to shore up.
A solution playing in the talent management SaaS world, iCIMS’s acquisition of its social media partner JobMagic is only the first in what we can expect to be coming out of the parent company’s doors within the next several months. Yes, they’re beefing up their comprehensive recruitment application strategy with this purchase, but perhaps the biggest news is that this is the first purchase for the company after receiving $35M in venture capital from Susquehanna Growth Equity (SGE). And after digging a bit further into this seemingly small vendor announcement, it became clear that this is a company that is looking to make some serious waves in the talent management market. Take some of the other industry news about iCIMS for example...
Experienced explosive 2011 growth (adding on average one new customer every day);
Expects to increase staff by an additional 30% by the end of 2012;
Ranked for six years running as one of the fastest growing private companies on Inc.’s 500/500 list; as well as Deloitte’s fastest growing North American technology companies;
Recognized as a “champion” in the Info-Tech Research Group’s Vendor Landscape Report for Talent Acquisition Systems and tied for the highest overall rating within both product and vendor evaluations; and
Prior to securing monies from SGE grew solely organically at 43% CAGR since 2003.
What’s interesting though about iCIMS is that their focus seems to be mainly on talent acquisition for now; which we’ll have to watch to see whether this most recent investment influx changes. They do have performance and succession management, as well as profile and competency management, but pre-hire offerings are definitely the company’s bread-and-butter. Though the financial details of this latest purchase have not been disclosed, we can assume that iCIMS still has quite a bit left over to play with; and they’ve gone on record to say that acquisitions are definitely a part of their spending plan.
As for what they achieved functionality-wise by acquiring JobMagic, the answer is not much. For instance, we know that iCIMS’s flagship package Talent Platform had already established a strategic partnership with JobMagic to deliver social recruiting capabilities. Sure, acquiring JobMagic will potentially lead to tighter integration, but all-in-all this seems like a “buy” disguised as a “build” rather than the other way around. That said, JobMagic will remain a standalone app, which is good considering how strong it is at social. For instance, JobMagic provides recruiters (and employment marketers) with the capabilities to: integrate videos and blogs into postings; link candidates directly with recruiters for Q&A; and post to 300+ social sites automatically. What additional functionality they’ll bring to the table now that they’re officially part of the iCIMS team is yet to be determined. What is clear though is that we should all be looking forward to more news from iCIMS in the near future.
The next piece of news in the ever-changing recruitment software market is that CareerBuilder has purchased Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI), and much like CEB’s purchase of SHL not that long ago, the impetus behind this buy seems to be on getting ahold of EMSI’s precious data. In fact, as CareerBuilder’s CEO Matt Ferguson said himself, “Big Data has become an integral part of the recruitment process and EMSI brings a great competitive advantage to CareerBuilder and our clients”. More specifically…
EMSI is a solution that plays to clients’ needs for employment data and labor market analysis—an offering that will now allow CareerBuilder to expand its database but little else.
EMSI’s data insights into trends for both current and future employment, skills development, and recruitment strategies bolster CareerBuilder’s latest work-in-progress on a Workforce Analytics platform; which (while positive) in reality don’t yield all that much more than what CareerBuilder had already.
All that said, there can be no doubt that these companies have an established working partnership together which if leveraged properly could turn out to be quite synergistic. And while we’re dubious of Ferguson’s claim that, “No One else in the industry can offer this breadth of information”; the fact of the matter is that this acquisition does put CareerBuilder in a much better position than they were previously. With many within the HR software industry signaling that job boards are on a significant downward track, CareerBuilder needed a new offering to help stem the tide; and with EMSI they most certainly got it.
Final Thoughts on Recent Recruitment Software Acquisitions
To be sure, the size of these latest acquisitions from iCIMS and CareerBuilder are far from huge; and as such aren’t likely to have a major impact on the HR technology industry as a whole. That said, the consolidation that keeps occurring in the recruitment software space sheds light on the fact that as the Harvard Business Review puts it, “talent attraction, engagement and retention is now recognized as the foundation to organizational success”. Indeed, given the fact that both large and small vendors alike are honing their strategies in this arena, it’s hard to argue that recruitment of top talent is top of mind for today’s businesses. And in the ever-escalating war on talent, having the right information may just be the key to winning.
It comes as no surprise to us when we see M&A movement within the recruitment software market; because companies (and therefore vendors) are clamoring for the best tools, the best advice, and the best data to help them inform their practices and capture the best talent.