Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Joshua Schachter at Google?

I know it's been a while since my last post. Gosh, it's been over 4 years. But I recently got an itch to revisit this thing, and it comes on the heels of a recent TechCrunch post that I saw about Delicious founder Joshua Schachter moving over to Google. I know Yahoo! has been through some tough years, but it seems that they are not doing much to keep the brilliant minds that have developed some of their greatest products. And to lose them to Google!? Are you kidding me?! That's exactly what Google needs - former Yahoo execs who are too big/smart/driven for Yahoo.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

I'm back.

I've been extremely busy - and many of you have been emailing your frustration - my deepest apologies for not being able to keep up the blog.

While I've been engaged in a number of assignments - getting deeper into so many of the solutions out there - a LOT has happened in our little market. We'll be catching up on all of the developments over the next few weeks, and I'm reformatting the Vendor Report Card, I'll be delivering them in installments. Part of the challenge for me has just been the workload to keep the blog going.

A taste of things to come in the next few weeks...

Learn more about Deploy - riddled with product problems and major issues in implementation, very slow sales, and low employee morale and lack of vision in leadership is wreaking havoc with their future. Does their management team have a clue? Notes from the field and a new report card will fill in some gaps on this vendor.

The latest on Taleo - they have begun to lose customers (Agilent and 2-3 more coming) in the face of an IPO that by all accounts should be postponed for a LONG LONG time. Learn about their continued troubles.

The skinny on Virtual Edge - Good people with a nice little business, but after one or two more larger customers will they have what it takes to scale to support you as a customer? Our experiences in the field will help you figure it out.

Get the latest on BrassRing - Sales are anemic, customer retention is way down, direction confused, narrow insight to the market, and an old school management style that rewards mediocrity. Is the finally the year that we say goodbye to BrassRing?

Is Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) going to be the death of a few of these vendors?

Is it just a matter of time before PeopleSoft takes over the Enterprise market anyhow?

All of this and the latest we've seen and heard on: PeopleClick, Hire.com, HRSmart, Workstream, ICIMS, HireDesk, and others...

Stay Tuned!

Its great to be back!


Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Vendor Report Card Schedule

This new batch of Vendor Report Cards are under way. We're almost ready to post our first of the year.

Based on your votes the current order follows:


Virtual Edge

Deploy Solutions


You can impact the order by emailing in your vote.

We're polishing up the report cards - but in the mean time, if you have a few minutes to waste and want a good laugh, you can go get a kick out of Hank Stringer's interview on HR.com here.

Hire.com's incredible lack of success is clearly based on their lack of vision. Its fitting that Hank uses a story about recruiting Unix Kernel Hackers just before the big e-commerce economic bubble, because that is where hire.com is stuck - in the 90s. I read this article and immediately started wondering if I had clicked on some interview from 1997 - the future that Hank is talking about, and that hire.com will sell you, passed us by a long time ago. Hire.com seemingly has nothing new to say - still selling the same old sourcing message - but without a searchable database - the old build up my strength to overcompensate for my HUGE weakness approach. The most depressing part about this is that hire.com has been trying to solve the same problem for the last 7 years and still can't get it right.

Thats all for now......


Monday, December 22, 2003

A few personal challenges have kept me away from my blog. Thanks to so many of you for your emails in support. Unfortunately, since I don't generate any advertising dollars here, while that keeps me unbiased, it sometimes means when things get tight the blog pays the price.

I am writing, I am updating the next vendor report card. A lot has been going on in the market, and I have a lot to say about it. Look for me again with another fairly steady rant very soon. I know... promises, promises.

Let me just put one or two rumours that came to my attention aside: I don't have any legal challenges. No one has "paid me off". You're not that lucky.

Thanks again.


Monday, November 10, 2003

Vendor Report Card

The next vendor report card will be posted tonight - I PROMISE. I've been a little distracted with all the emails of support after responding to HR.com's Debbie McGrath - thank you all for the support! I find it interesting that those Debbie is trying to support are actually the most vocal in their support in my InBox.

In the mean time I need some help planning the forthcoming report cards. Please let me know who you are interested in hearing about. I have a bit of tie between BrassRing, PeopleClick, Virtual Edge, and Deploy. email me here.



Thursday, October 23, 2003

One more distraction before the next Vendor Report Card!

We get a lot of email here. Most all of it is supportive. Today we received a very critical message from Debbie McGrath, CEO of hr.com. The email copied Derek Mercer, CEO of Recruitmax - Deb Besemer, CEO of BrassRing - Luis Tetu, CEO of Recruitsoft - "bill" from lrp.com, although when I replied it turns out Debbie had his email wrong (we think this is Bill Kutik of HRExec/HRTech - self proclaimed analyst) - Allan Schweyer of HR.com (we love his stuff!) - Jeanne Achille, of devonpr - and Mark Lange, VP of Marketing for PeopleSoft HCM. She asked that we share the email with our readers.

Below, we share not only her email, but our reply. At first we found it interesting that Debbie was so compelled to take such a defensive stance for the vendors she copied on her email. Then we thought about how she puts bread on her table - via advertising and sponsorship revenue from the vendors. Next we thought of the vendors she chose not to copy. Why did she leave them off? Are Recruitmax, BrassRing, and Recruitsoft her current primary sources of revenue? Is she just defending these vendors alone hoping for added advertising revenue? Does she simply not respect the others in the space?

We added two emails to our cc line, Virtual Edge's VP of Corporate Development. He takes his time to email and inform us, so we copied him since we used his firm's name - and John Sumser from interbiznet because he really paved the way for sites like hr.com, ere, and all the blogs, and we thought he would enjoy it.

Below is the email thread, type-o's and all. My reply is first, followed by Debbie McGrath's email.

My email:

Thank you for your interest in the Talent Management Blog.

I appreciate your perspective and encourage you to provide more feedback as we continue to develop the blog. I will share your thoughts with my readers. I will share my thoughts with you - and also with my readers.

Here are my thoughts:

We get a lot of feedback here. Most all of it is encouraging and positive. Some challenging. Very little negative. Most of the encouragement comes from your peers in the media and from vendors in this space you seem to think you are defending. The Vendor report cards are controversial, but if they give one person out there in the industry a reason to pause and think about things we are successful. The emails I receive from executives at Recruitsoft, BrassRing, and the CEO of Recruitmax seem to suggest they are not quite as horrified with the blog as you may be.

Perhaps you need to read all of the posts on the blog, starting at the beginning - from November of 2002. You see, Debbie, I am not against this space. I believe it is a viable space. It has been viable since the days of Restrac and Resumix. It will remain viable. The fact is that while the space may be fragmented, and the economy just starting to, dare I say, open up a bit - several vendors have been emerging and eating the lunch of the vendors you are defending.

Recruitmax is one of those - they are the death of BrassRing and the first bullet to hit Recruitsoft. Virtual Edge has also made a huge dent in the market for these two stumbling giants. Deploy has started to emerge - winning several deals and about to close on several others, ripping most of them right out of Recruitsoft's hands. The question about these three vendors du jour is whether they can sustain (whether Deploy will get there for real at all), or are they just paving the way for the next generation in this fragmented space. You know our feelings on Recruitmax - you read our report card it seems, I actually hope I'm wrong about them. You'll see what we think of VE & Deploy very soon. BrassRing too.

Let me not forget PeopleSoft. You have seen small comments on the blog or in the newsletter about them and where they are today with their product, but through their market share alone - not their product, they have also been sucking up the Enterprise-level accounts. You'll see what I think about PeopleSoft's future in the Talent space soon, and it will surprise you. When I look five years down the road, and I factor in what they are working on for their product... well, you'll see in a few weeks on the blog.

All that being said Debbie, it's really been a matter of execution. Luis and Deb might not tell their boards that. But, those of us paying attention know that there were more than enough deals for both of your beloved Brassring and Recruitsoft to hit their numbers last year - Recruitmax, Virtual Edge, and Deploy just didn't let them win them.

I flat out disagree with your assertion that commenting on culture and egos isn't helpful. When the sales reps from these vendors you so proudly defend come and pitch me every last one of them have powerpoint slides about their culture and they all tell me how special they are. When they wheel their CEOs in front of me, Debbie, they wax poetic about their cultures. Their websites have pages dedicated to their cultures, selling us on them. Debbie, please, if they get to force feed us on culture and values in their pitch and on their sites, we get to comment on the contrast between the reality of our experience and what they preach.

Debbie, I know that you have never actually bought or used any of the systems you are defending, but in our world here we care about the people that we buy from. We care about who we do business with. So culture matters, and when they flaunt their ego and their arrogance in front of me along with their business card when they come to ask me to buy something, they need to be called on it. Many people have told me they didn't buy from some of the vendors you are defending because of their egos and their arrogance. It's an issue.

Your rhetoric blaming the clients and the business dimensions around their install for the systems not performing is right out of the Vendor Crisis Management Handbook - Chapter II I think it's the one Besemer wrote isn't it? When it doesn't work blame the customer. Really Debbie, you should be ashamed of yourself. Sure, there are cases when customers haven't done themselves favors, but there are far more situations that are caused by the vendors over committing, under-delivering, and not taking the time to scope the project that they should have.

My comments on the HR Tech show being under whelming only mirror what every single vendor you defend has told me. Don't over react to one comment on a website. And how dare you turn an under whelming trade show into another opportunity to say the vendor is right and the customer is wrong. A balanced look at the problem would do you some good.

And finally Debbie, I am not in the media. I am a blogger. I write what I write as much for myself as I do for anyone that reads it. Somehow people started reading what I was writing, a community formed around my thoughts, and it motivates me to write more.

I do what I can when I can in the market to help move the industry in the right direction. I try to have this kind of impact on everyone that I touch as I go about my business. I do not solicit advertising so I hold no allegiance to any vendor, advertiser, or professional organization. You however do consult for, accept advertising dollars from, and sell the heck out of your speaking engagements, trade show booths, etc. to these vendors that you represent. How unbiased can you really be? Your buyers guide is even a revenue stream. Your site is helpful, I like it. But please don't question my intentions, when you are driven by the dollar.

A blog is a place for opinions, thoughts, and personal ideas. If you don't like mine don't list it on your favorites in your browser.

Please do continue to provide feedback. I appreciate it.

See you at the next Masters Symposium.


----Original Message Follows----
From: "Debbie McGrath"
CC: ,,,,"Allan Schweyer" ,"Jeanne Achille" ,
Subject: Comments on your blog
Date: Thu, 23 Oct 2003 12:11:35 -0400
I would like you to share my information with your readers.

First of all I find this type of Blog very amusing but very
unconstructive. Your opinions and low grading on some or all of the
vendors in this space does nothing to elevate or help grow the space.
This is a viable space, it just happens to be too fragmented, over
capitalized in the glory days and in a market that automates a process
that frankly not a lot of people are investing in right now -
Recruitment. Mark my word, if we were still in the hot recruitment days
of the 2000, we would have had even more vendors in the space , all
still building out their platforms and growing at exponential rates.

Commenting on people egos, religion, culture are all amusing but not a
reflection on the quality of the product or service these vendors offer.

As media , which we both are we really need to help grow the industry in
a constructive and positive way. We need to help buyers understand the
potential of the software and articulate samples of their best users. As
well we all know, all of these products work- yet in many of the
cases it is the business dimensions around a clients install that affect
the value they get out of the systems.

Finally the HR Tech Show run by LRP is a first class event that
continues to draw more interested buyers than any other HR technology
event in the US market. It is not from lack of trying from LRP and the
gang that attendance is stagnate. In fact, this event should be on the
schedule for every single HR-IT person whether they are making a major
purchase decision or not. It is a lack of education and awareness of the
technology and business opportunities of senior HR people and HR - IT
people that is slowing the automation of HR processes, not the vendors
capable of supplying these solutions. Until HR automates the
administration they will continually struggle to work on the alignment
and strategic part of their role.

Debbie McGrath
HR.com Inc.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Virtual Edge keeps a promise.

I know - I know, you are all emailing me wondering when the next Vendor Report Card is. It's on its way. But, in the mean time, it's very unusual in this day and age that someone keeps a promise. When it happens it's good to reflect on it. That very thing happened today.

Virtual Edge's VP of Corporate Development emailed today, "closing the loop" on a communication thread he started several weeks ago when he alluded to 6 new accounts that he was hoping to announce at this year's under whelming HRTech show. VE didn't have the time or "bandwidth" (I hate that term) to get the announcements out for HRTech, but they were able to find the time to share their new customers with me today. For this I am grateful, and I'm taking the time to share the details with all of you.

Virtual Edge reports that they have closed on an impressive 15 new accounts year-to-date. Scanning the new customer list, we put 8 of them at the Enterprise level - without any supporting data, except our knowledge of the scope of the deal based on previous market information - or a previous understanding of the size of the customer organization. The rest of their new customers look to be larger mid-market deals or divisions of larger companies. This is all good - Most of the players at the Enterprise level have only closed 2-4 true enterprise level deals year-to-date. Some, like BrassRing, have only closed 1.

This does reflect, however, our perception of Virtual Edge. A vendor caught in the middle as they attempt to transverse the move from mid-market vendor to enterprise player and tackle all of the challenges associated. But, this isn't VE's report card - that's coming in a couple of weeks.

They also report that their product is operational in 9 languages, spanning the recruiting function over 80 countries for two of their larger existing customers. We don't know how deep the internationalization of their product extends - is it just user interface? but nonetheless, this is somewhat impressive given the track record of the vendors in market today with regards to multi-language capabilities.

When we get to VE's report card, we'll share a lot more about what we know about them.