In 2019 there were dozens of mergers and acquisitions in the world of HR technology. This represents a vibrant industry full of continuous innovation and providers striving to serve the needs of the HR buyer. It also helps to highlight certain trends and shifts in how the market operates.
For instance, several assessment and video interview firms came together over the course of the year, which (from our research) indicates that buyers want more than just an automated interview to decide who to hire–they also want an objective assessment/perspective of candidates to make the right, unbiased choice. See below for more of these types of market insights.
Our team watches these announcements to keep tabs on the market as part of our ongoing research and coverage, and we have included some of the larger and/or more exciting transactions that will impact the market in the coming year. If you have questions or know of a transaction that isn’t on our list, please let us know!
- Combination of talent acquisition assessments with automated screening tools to create an unbiased way to select the best fit candidates. Employers are less comfortable with AI making hiring decisions and want an additional layer of “comfort” or objectivity in the data (which can be provided by an assessment) to protect their decisions and avoid bias.
- Several announcements allowed enterprise-focused firms to move downstream. Our SMB focused research in 2019 showed that 99+% of all firms in the US have fewer than 1,000 employees, which means a large (and growing) market for HCM products and services.
- Combination of service and technology. Several technology firms acquired service providers in various industries to create stronger customer pipelines and greater opportunities to serve customers in a deep, customized manner through both scalable technology and tailored services.
- Many, if not all, of these announcements led to better and more comprehensive data. In the world of AI and machine learning, data is king. As we shared in our post-HR Tech report last fall, this is increasingly one of the conversations buyers want to explore.
2019 HR Technology Mergers and Acquisitions
- Outmatch, a global assessment provider, acquires WePow, a video interview provider. Source
- CareerBuilder, a well-known job board, acquires TextKernel, an AI-powered matching tool. Source
- CultureAmp, a culture-focused survey tool, acquires Zugata, a privacy-focused performance platform. Source
- Ultimate Software is acquired by an investment firm, taking the public firm private again. Source
- K-1 invests $200 million into Jobvite and they announce acquisitions of Talemetry, Rolepoint, and Canvas, combining the firms into a powerful recruiting technology stack. Source
- Ceridian, a global HCM player, acquires Clearview Logix and Paysa, which focus on analytics and compensation data. Source
- Edcast, a learning experience platform, acquires Leapest, a corporate training marketplace for high-tech upskilling. Source
- PrismHR, a key provider of HCM technology for HR outsourcing providers, acquires AgileHR, a talent management technology solution. Source
- 2U, an online university degree provider, acquires Trilogy Education, a technical reskilling bootcamp provider. Source
- LTG, a global portfolio of learning and talent-focused companies, acquires BreezyHR, an SMB HCM recruiting solution. Source
- Shaker, a global assessment tool that evaluates a candidate’s job proficiency, and Montage Talent, an automated interviewing platform, merge together into Modern Hire. Source
- PayScale, one of several key providers covered in our 2019 Compensation Technology Landscape Report (contact us for the report), is purchased by Francisco Partners Private Equity. Source
- Salesforce, a global sales and CRM technology provider, acquires Tableau, arguably the world’s best known data visualization and business intelligence tool. Source
- SAP, a global HCM platform, finalized its acquisition of Qualtrics, an analytics-focused survey firm. Source
- iCIMS, a leading talent acquisition platform, acquires Jibe, a sourcing and candidate engagement tool. Source
- Alexander Mann Solutions, an industry RPO leader, acquires KarenHR, an AI-focused hiring system. Source
- Recruitics, a leading recruiting analytics provider, acquires KRT Marketing, a talent acquisition service provider. Source
- ThinkHR and Mammoth HR, two key players in the HR compliance and training space, joined forces. Source
- SmashFly, a recruitment marketing powerhouse, is acquired by Symphony Talent, a provider of employer branding and candidate experience solutions. Source
- Clinch, a recruitment marketing technology platform, is acquired by PageUp People, a talent management system. Source
- Workday, a global HCM platform, acquires Scout RFP, a cloud-based system for sourcing and supplier engagement. Source
- Degreed, a learning experience platform, acquires Adepto, a platform that enables visibility into employee skill sets. Source
2020 has already seen some interesting announcements on this front, and we expect this to be an even bigger year with record-high levels of venture capital running through the industry.
Ben Eubanks is the Chief Research Officer at Lighthouse Research & Advisory. He is an author, speaker, and researcher with a passion for telling stories and making complex topics easy to understand.
His latest book Talent Scarcity answers the question every business leader has asked in recent years: “Where are all the people, and how do we get them back to work?” It shares practical and strategic recruiting and retention ideas and case studies for every employer.
His first book, Artificial Intelligence for HR, is the world’s most-cited resource on AI applications for hiring, development, and employee experience.
Ben has more than 10 years of experience both as an HR/recruiting executive as well as a researcher on workplace topics. His work is practical, relevant, and valued by practitioners from F100 firms to SMB organizations across the globe.
He has spoken to tens of thousands of HR professionals across the globe and enjoys sharing about technology, talent practices, and more. His speaking credits include the SHRM Annual Conference, Seminarium International, PeopleMatters Dubai and India, and over 100 other notable events.