With the results in, the world has begun to celebrate the Nobel Prize winners and commend their ideas, accomplishments and findings. It’s great to recognize the people who are positively impacting the world as we know it. Congrats winners:
Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine - Robert G. Edwards
Nobel Prize in Physics - Andre Geim, Konstantin Novoselov
Nobel Prize in Chemistry - Richard F. Heck, Ei-ichi Negishi, Akira Suzuki
Nobel Prize in Literature - Mario Vargas Llosa
Nobel Peace Prize - Liu XiaoboNobel Prize in Economic Sciences - Peter A. Diamond, Dale T. Mortensen, Christopher A. Pissarides
What if there was a Nobel Prize in HR...who would win? Would it be one of 2009's 21 most influential HR leaders, someone in the HR Technology Industry or maybe even an up and coming industry thought leader?
For me to define a suitable candidate for this made-up award would be rather absurd. So, therefore I look to you. What qualities would an HR Professional have to have to be an appropriate Laureate? This year's winners displayed game changing observations, hard working ethics, influential communicative skills, and so on.
Who would you nominate for the Nobel Prize in Human Resources (if there was such a thing)? And, why do you think they would win it?
I can't wait to hear your responses!
On Friday, iCIMS competed in our third HRchitect Beauty Pageant for Talent Acquisition Systems. We've gotten fairly familiar with the HRchitect stage (and crown!)… back in November iCIMS won this pageant when we were competing with Authoria, ADP VirtualEdge, MrTed and Silkroad. In January, iCIMS won our 2nd pageant – this time for Mid-Market Talent Acquisition Systems. Competing for the mid-market crown: Click and Hire, nowHIRE, SmartRecruiters, SmartSearch, SonicRecruit and of course iCIMS.
We were really proud of both wins; we felt they showed that:
- iCIMS continues to dominate the mid-market, and
- the fundamentals that iCIMS has always focused on (system speed, ease of use, configurability and customer service) continue to be what matters most.
This time around, we were up against a (mostly) new group of competitors – Taleo, Silkroad, HRSmart and HodesIQ. While we didn’t take home the top prize (kudos to HodesIQ, who iCIMS both competes with and works alongside for some clients), we were really happy to be named first runner-up. While some may not be content with being 2nd or 3rd, we were proud of our performance and the overall results. This is a fierce group of competitors and iCIMS not only held our own; we rose against three of the four participants. Over the three pageants, we’ve come in first or second among a group of almost 15 unique players in an increasingly competitive industry. That feels great.
But enough about iCIMS. What did the pageant show us about the space itself? I walked away with a few key thoughts:
- It's not about the bells and whistles.We’ve always touted this concept, but it was confirmed on Friday. While a lot of technology providers are able to impress the audience with a flashy feature here and there, what matters most are the basics. A system demo can look incredible, but if it’s not true SaaS; if it requires a lot of technical assistance or additional software to run it; if it looks cool, but doesn’t solve an overarching business problem – the talent acquisition system just doesn’t come out on top.
- It's all about the experience. This doesn’t necessarily mean the years of experience of the vendor, although that’s important too. What almost all vendors displayed was a general understanding that as technology partners, it’s our responsibility to help provide a great user experience (for HR, recruiting and hiring managers) as well as to candidates. Sometimes it’s best to leverage third-party partners who specialize in this, but generally speaking – it’s important that candidates and end-users alike have a positive experience interacting with the technology and the people behind that technology. Web 2.0 may be a part of this, but I think what it really comes down to is whether the application process is cumbersome or candidate-friendly, whether the system is reliable, and whether there are service professionals available to help along the way. (Shout out to iCIMS; we provide support to all clients and even their candidates 24 hours a day, free of charge.)
- There are distinct points of view in the industry. Almost all the participants had a unique perspective on whether systems should be delivered as one platform vs. as modules (iCIMS sticks with the former); if there should be one scalable solution for small, mid-sized and Enterprise clients vs. different technologies (read: different interfaces and source codes) for different sized companies; and different models around customer support (unlimited service & training vs. paying for tiers of service). While I’m obviously biased to iCIMS’ point of view (one true SaaS platform that scales up and down without purchasing different modules for clients of all sizes…along with an unlimited service offering) the fact that there are different opinions and offerings on the market are part of what makes the space interesting and competitive.
While the pageant is a great way to get an overall read on how the industry feels about iCIMS’ story in the context of the entire landscape, direct customer and prospect feedback is what we really look at in determining iCIMS’ successes and areas for growth. We always say that our customers are our best engineers, which is why we rely on them for candid feedback. And trust me, with almost 800 customers, it’s a lot of feedback…whether through our surveys, user groups, online forums, annual Customer Advisory Council, tweets, or whatever other forms of communication sprouts up.
Huge thanks to Tiffany, Matt and the rest of the HRchitect team for producing another fantastic event. iCIMS was happy to participate and is looking forward to the next pageant!
Well, I guess it’s more like an Emmy nod and a People’s Choice award nomination. A finalist for two customer service and satisfaction awards, iCIMS is gearing up to walk the red carpet later this fall.
In September, the NY Enterprise Report will recognize iCIMS for best practices in customer service. “Who are you wearing!?” “Who’s your date!?” iCIMS is prepared to answer all the hard-hitting questions from the paparazzi as we step out of the limo.
Come October, Sift Media in the UK will announce who’s taking home the statue at the Software Satisfaction Awards in London. Gathering customer feedback to come up with the shortlist of nominees, users and buyers are the actual voters. Rest assured we will remember to thank our moms, dogs, and our fans (err, clients) in our acceptance speeches if we make it to up the podium. Serving over 750 companies worldwide, the on-stage music is sure to cut us off.