Monday, August 20, 2012

A Taleo Tirade

Ahhh ... the lovely topic of Taleo.

Unfamiliar with what the heck Taleo is?

Then:

a) you've not been unemployed or a job seeker in this recent global economy debacle

or 

b) you've only applied to companies that are "old school" or "better" than the POS ones that use the stupid system.

In all fairness, let me back up and take a moment to enlighten some of you: Taleo is a software system that companies purchase to help them streamline their recruiting processes... it's a "Talent Management Software" company ... providing their customers with "improved recruiting so you can know more about your candidates and build a high performance workforce."

Ummm bullhonkey.

-OR-

That's a crock of shit.

I have never personally (knock on wood) had the unfortunate experience of going through the stupid process either from a recruiter standpoint OR as a job seeker, but the asinine system is still a thorn in my side for one main reason: I do my best to help my resume clients successfully get through the system. Or at least gear their resumes to get through the mess of it and give them pointers on how to maneuver it without becoming an alcoholic or resorting to outright violence on unsuspecting passersby.




This wonderful Taleo system that touts the ability to "provide a smooth and automated conversion experience from candidate to employee..." is usually one of the first topics of conversation I end up having with my new resume clientele. At least 95% of the time the poor souls that come to me have already been subjected to this incredibly cumbersome, redundant, piss poor, pile of rubbish software system and are angry beyond angry that they've spent so much time trapped in the database hell. 

Seeing as how the company that I recruit for (fortunately) doesn't use this system, I was personally unfamiliar both from the recruiter and job seeker standpoint as to just what specific "things" were happening to my honest and faithful clients, so I did a little investigating. 

To the point where I used an online fake resume I found and decided to apply as a fake job seeker. 

(Do you see the extent I go to in the name of research people?) 

What I found was not only appalling, but also right on target as to the complaints I'd been hearing.




Here are my observations... 

First thing I thought was incredibly stupid- they make you choose which country you are from in this HUMONGOUS list of countries, which included places like the Heard and McDonald Islands. 

Now, have you ever even HEARD of the HEARD or McDonald Islands? I didn't think so. That's more than likely because they are both uninhabited, barren Antarctic islands. 
That's right, uninhabited. 
As in zero, zip, nada actual humans living there.
And yet the option to choose that you LIVE there is in this system. 

Second thing: 
They are obsessed with rows. Picking "rows" of things, not normal job description names, rows. ?

Third: you're referred to as a "Data Subject" in their privacy policy. (Betcha didn't read that closely now did you?)

Fourth: you can't use the backspace arrow. Don't even think about it. You'll scream at the cat or the poor unsuspecting guinea pig trying to peacefully nap in the corner of your office. (This *may* or *may not* have happened.)

Fifth: The questions they ask you to answer don't even match the job description. This level of fun might be equated to having a root canal done.

Sixth: They ask for too much personal information... first it's social security numbers, then what? How about all my bank accounts and credit card information? Or my blood type, my house alarm code, and a list of all my darkest, deepest fears? 

Worst offense? Having to replicate your resume by bits and pieces into their data base, only to later attach your resume anyway. This is the biggest complaint I get from my job seekers, so here's a handy dandy tip: have a separate Word doc at the ready with everything broken apart, ready to copy paste. Sorry, there's really no other way around it.

Now that I've pointed out those obvious blundering system malfunctions, let's analyze this, shall we?

Taleo was already bad to begin with, but once Oracle purchased them? It only went downhill. The customer service is close to non-existent, the only thing they tend to do is ask you for (via email because you can rarely get a live person) a screenshot of the error message, and half the time you won't get an error message, it just takes you back to the beginning to start over completely, leaving you unsure of whether or not everything you've just spent hours on (literally) has been washed down the drain and it was all a futile endeavor. 

Then they (the customer service idiots) run away like scared little children, never to respond, leaving a large, vapid, gaping hole in your little job seeker soul. 






So why do hiring companies use this software?
That really is the pertinent question, now isn't it?

Let me just tell you that from a recruiter's perspective, I get it. 

I'm overwhelmed every day with just the list of tasks and responsibilities I've been given on a daily basis--- and that's in my little corner of the world, where I'm only in charge of about 4 different types of positions to recruit for. I can only imagine what other recruiters and HR peeps are going through if they are receiving hundreds of thousands of applicants applying to a list of multiple jobs being offered. This software system is (to my knowledge) one of the very few being offered up to companies to help corral the incredible demand they cannot keep up with. And I mean CANNOT keep up with. It's insane people. Looking at one resume after another by hand takes TIME people, a lot of TIME. The kind of time Flavor Flav-used-to-wear-around-his-neck kind of time. 




So hiring bodies to *correctly* sift through the unbelievable piles of resumes costs money. And mo' money means that company's product cost goes up as we KNOW that the cash outlay has to go somewhere, so best and most likely scenario? 
To the end consumer.

It's kind of a vicious cycle, dontcha think? It's like the basic "do we send it overseas to make it cheaper or keep all the jobs here in America but the price will go up" decades-long debate if you think about it. Do we pay for a more expensive product so more people can be hired and not only that but more *qualified* people can be hired? This is the ultimate question, no? Is it possible that America's job situation is possibly being "hindranced" by this POS system? Is it? (Boy I'm getting deep today aren't I? Whew!)

I have a close girlfriend that was explaining her experience with Taleo to me a few weeks ago. She found a company that she really stood behind as far as their mission statement, customer service standards etc., so she decided to apply to a great position they had available 10 minutes from her home base. What went down in the next hour an a half in her little apartment was what one would possibly classify as commonplace across America today- she ended up drowning in the Taleo nightmare and screaming at her screen while her poor little pets were hiding under the bed until mommy logged off. 

She told me she finally said "Fuck you _______! (insert name of company there) I'm not going to work for you! Why? Because you're using this stupid system and I don't like it! It means you're trying to weed out the smart, creative ones and looking for the dumb and dumber compliant applicants that are totally docile and have no common sense or any type of ACTUAL personality! YOUR LOSS _________!"

And I would say, I might just agree with her. 

While I see it from the company/recruiting perspective that it's supposed to be a time saver, is it really accomplishing the ultimate goal? Which SHOULD be to get the most qualified candidates? 

Some would argue that yes, in fact, if they can't be compliant, they won't be good employees. I think this is true *a little bit*. I like the think outside the box kinds personally, and usually go after them when I'm recruiting, vs. a wall flower. But that's just me and my style, and the particular jobs I'm trying to fill.

So what do you think? Do you think saying "Fuck you!" to a company that utilizes this garbage software is worth limiting your job options? Or in this economy is the risk too high, you need to be patient and take every opportunity you can grab, regardless of how grueling it might be?

What horrible Taleo-type stories and tirades do you have that you'd be willing to share with me/us? 

As an added bonus here, I'm putting this link up, to give you a heads-up as to what companies use this software. And... you're welcome: http://www.taleo.com/customers

Because as Flavor Flav would say, "We're keepin' it real, yeah boy!"











28 comments:

  1. *Deeeeply inhales*

    I went through a similar ordeal with the Employment Security Commission just yesterday. Sheesh... All I was told @ the front desk was, "the 3rd icon down on the left. It looks like a flag. Just follow the instructions." OK, well, being the good, obedient lil job candidate that I am, I did just that... & top of the list... Create a profile... OK... Logical, rite? So I spend 2 hours creating this profile, picking apart my resume and painstakingly hand entering the mind-numbing crap line by line and then entering, in months (I had to do math here), my job experience for every single pre-selected (retarded) facet of each of my 5 "job titles." (in just 2 different categories really). But my profile is complete, accurate (well according to THAT system), & DONE... Only THEN am I told though that I COULD have done a jobsearch without creating the profile, but it's good I'm in the system, rite?... So I find 5 or 6 jobs I could totally rock and wait my turn to be called back... SURPRISE!!!!! You have to go to these companies websites and directly apply on your own anyway. The database *may* match me to jobs posted (based on all that bullshit criteria), but... The "recruiter" (for lack of a lesser term. I apologize for the insult, Steph) admitted, very few companies even use the ESC!!!!!

    I would have been better served by just going to the library (since I am technologically deficient).

    And then what??? I was sent to a computer in their "Technology Center" to print my (iron-clad, Stephanie Pimped) resume that will be kept in some pointless file...

    All of this after waiting for someone to get their lazy ass out of bed & come help me jump my POS, beater, mommy-mobile, minivan off because the only reason my ass was even home from my horribly miserable, dead-end, minimum wage job was b/c my teenage son left my keys in my ignition running my battery dead after charging my past-its-warranty, uninsured, on-its-last-leg smartphone. alskdjfhfg!!!!!!!!!!

    Whew..... I feel much better now...

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  2. Whenever a company submits me to apply via Taleo, I pretty much know everything I need to know about their hiring process - they want to be as hands-off with their HR as possible and don't really care about who they hire. I have applied for at least 100+ jobs via Taleo, and never hear back from the companies that use that service. It is impersonal and cold; I'd rather have 5 minutes of a hiring manager's time to shake their hand in person than have to spend 30 minutes filling out a redundant submission form that no one will see. 123taleo.net, you need to go the way of the dodo.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Whenever a company submits me to apply via Taleo, I pretty much know everything I need to know about their hiring process - they want to be as hands-off with their HR as possible and don't really care about who they hire. I have applied for at least 100+ jobs via Taleo, and never hear back from the companies that use that service. It is impersonal and cold; I'd rather have 5 minutes of a hiring manager's time to shake their hand in person than have to spend 30 minutes filling out a redundant submission form that no one will see. 123taleo.net, you need to go the way of the dodo.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I harass their on-line sales team at least once per day...I'm unemployed, so why not? :)
    ------------------------------------------
    Trevor:
    Hi, my name is Trevor. I am a pre-sales consultant for North America. How can I help you?
    Niall:
    Hello Trevor...I have a lot of people applying for jobs with my firm and I need to cut down the flow of applicants. Can you tell me how Taleo can help restrict the number of candidates that get in touch with me?
    Trevor:
    We do have applicant tracking solutions and I can get you in touch with an account manager who can go over the different options with you
    Trevor:
    I will have to collect some contact info and have the account manager reach out
    Niall:
    I basically just need a place I can send applicants to get them off my back so they will quit applying due to a lengthy online application.
    Trevor:
    Unfortunately we do not have any products like that
    Niall:
    Oh...I thought thats what Taleo was.
    Niall:
    Thanks though!

    ReplyDelete
  5. OK, I am one of the few who managed to wade through the process (and yes, I scared my cat by yelling at the computer), but to cut-to-the-chase, I actually got an interview and a job offer. Then discovered/noticed that the NEXT Taleo site (part of the hiring paperwork) was not showing up as SECURE, in fact, non of the sites are showing secure. I ended up, at a stale-mate with the employer because I did not want to give them my other personal identification numbers on a page that did not show secure, on my browser. Later, I went back and read their PRIVACY POLICY and discovered that it was a policy of NON-PRIVACY, they were retaining the right to save your personal information into perpetuity, right to sell it and right to share with ALL of their Global Holdings. (It was a very large company). I am still furious about this and now even 4+ months later still occasionally do searches to see if anyone else has had this experience, or even noticed.

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  6. OK, I actually made it through the whole Taleo process (and laughing, because I actually yelled so much my cat was crying). I got an interview, and a job offer...that is when it got really ugly. Back to a Taleo page to enter all of the hiring data, you know information we are all still used to supplying on paper documents, the kind that banks collect for a mortgage. That is when I noticed that there was no security encryption/certificates. I contacted the employer and the end result was that I refused a much needed job with a very large company. That was nearly 5 months ago and I am still FURIOUS about this. Turns out that the Privacy statement indicated that all personal information would be saved into perpetuity, shared with ALL of their global holdings, and possibly sold. I still regularly receive recruitment emails which is salt-in-the-wound to a still unemployed, over 50 worker. BE CAREFUL OUT THERE, and if anyone can confirm or explain this lack of security regarding Taleo, please set me straight, because the employer did not deny this as an issue, only reiterated that in order to be employed by them I needed to do it their way.

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  7. Taleo is the absolute best defense against finding really good employees. Anybody with even one or two brain cells firing will be so fed up with Taleo by the time they get to their third or fourth redundant screen full of irrelevant questions that they will have already logged out and looked elsewhere. When I see that a company is using Taleo, I'm not only incredibly annoyed, almost to the point of anger, that I have to use the system, but I also immediately become suspicious that the company is an awful place to work. Why else would they want to complicate a process instead of simplifying it? Taleo actually acts more like an applicant deterrent than an applicant screen. It's tagline should be "the program 9 out of 10 bad companies recommend." I've learned by now that if they're using Taleo, I probably don't want to work for them.

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  8. Taleo is the absolute best defense against finding really good employees. Anybody with even one or two brain cells firing will be so fed up with Taleo by the time they get to their third or fourth redundant screen full of irrelevant questions that they will have already logged out and looked elsewhere. When I see that a company is using Taleo, I'm not only incredibly annoyed, almost to the point of anger, that I have to use the system, but I also immediately become suspicious that the company is an awful place to work. Why else would they want to complicate a process instead of simplifying it? Taleo actually acts more like an applicant deterrent than an applicant screen. It's tagline should be "the program 9 out of 10 bad companies recommend." I've learned by now that if they're using Taleo, I probably don't want to work for them.

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  9. Unfortunately, due to unemployment we are giving into big corporations. People wants to work, and they sometime lie -hide to truth- for many good reasons. They were in prison, sexual orientation, divorced, medical problem, unemployed, had a problem with last boss etc. We are becoming such a puritan society. Companies now do background checks using 3rd party, and not hiring for one flaw in our lives. Private companies now has 100 times more information about us. If you want to screw up someone, just get an email using their names and visit all porno blog sites. Let him explain themselves to the rest of the world.

    One should get a job for single reason "can he/she do the job. period". You have a better chance to get a job as a first time employee or Indian. Hope, you will write to your congressman/senator about the privacy and employment laws.

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  10. Thank you for the great post about that evil piece of sewage Taleo. Indeed has some rants about it too. Here's one:

    http://www.indeed.com/forum/gen/Career-Advice/Taleo-carefully-recruits-HR-departments-into-it-s-war/t468259

    It really is abusive as you describe. I know many job seekers that simply don't bother applying when they see Taleo, they just move on to the next job.

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  11. Fuck Taleo, and fuck any company that uses this piece of garbage.

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  12. I feel a whole lot better now. Or maybe not. I just applied for my dream job this weekend. I spent hours crafting a resume, reflecting the right words, praying that the person at the 'dream job company' would see it. I log on. Taleo. Hmmm...so I applied. And at the end, I got questions pertaining to designing computer systems which was not even close to my dream job. I even emailed the company to say, hey, these questions aren't right, care to ask me some other question? No response. Gone are the days you can send a resume by mail on off white paper so it stands out in the pile. Now we are just some weird electronic data in a cyberspace circular file :( Good bye dream job.

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  13. I agree wholeheartedly! Taleo is Bullshit!

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  14. I work in HR in at a company that is considering the Taleo system. Unlike some of the depictions here, we really do want to hire quality candidates. Our recruiters currently evaluate resumes manually for anyone who meets the minimum qualifications, and we don't expect that to change after Taleo. Mainly we want to do a better job integrating the recruiting process into the long-term talent management process. So what feedback (other than to not use Taleo) would you have for our HR department? The Taleo system is very configurable, so some of the problems exist because companies do a poor job setting up the system, so we don't want to make the same mistakes. I hope that we will still be able to get creative, outside the box thinkers post-Taleo if we do this right. Any ideas?

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    Replies
    1. My advice is to NOT use Taleo. I know you don't want to hear it, but I'll be blunt. If I see Taleo, I'm not applying.

      Delete
    2. With Taleo, there is no way to "do this right" for recruiting. There is no customization which can be done to improve the experience. The product is trash and should be replaced from the design board and very first line of code.

      Job applicants hate it, recruiters hate it, support staff hate it. The only people who love it are the consultants who come in to configure it, and possibly the senior managers who want to run reports only because they need to run reports.

      There are dozens and dozens of better recruiting systems to use (including many low-cost SaaS). If you absolutely must use Taleo because someone upstairs loves Oracle, use it exclusively as a hazing ritual during on-boarding.

      Anon is on point: job applicants recognize Taleo immediately, regardless of the custom branding and templating, and many of the best talent will refuse on principle. Those who don't will still judge your company more poorly than if you only accepted resumes by facsimile.

      Delete
    3. A) Don't use Taleo. Sorry, couldn't resist. But this is very good advice, actually.

      B) Absolutely do NOT collect sensitive information like SSN and birthdate via Taleo. This will put the wind up an applicant's back, and he's very likely to abandon the application and generate negative word of mouth about you, telling his friends to stay away because your security practices are terrible.

      C) Do NOT use Taleo to generate emails demanding additional information. Everyone is concerned about phishing attempts these days, and these Taleo emails look just like Phishing emails. If you want to ask the applicant a question, ask him yourself, using your company email, so he knows you're a real person connected to the company.

      D) Whatever you do, do NOT put any sort of log-in link in your emails. Just tell the person to log in at the URL he got when he signed up and update his information. Or, better, have him email it directly to you. It's much safer.

      E) When you've already interviewed someone and you want to hire them contingent on a drug screen and background check (for example), invite them to your actual office and get the permissions forms signed on paper. Don't do this through Taleo. Nobody wants to put their SSN and other information on some third-party website. Nobody smart enough to work for you, anyway.

      I hope this was helpful. But really, you should just not use Taleo.

      Delete
  15. You are right : Taleo is such a pain in the ass .. they supply many companies but you have to fill the same forms every time again.
    Their web sites are also not compatible with Linux browsers (Firefox / Chromium).

    Such a pain .. straight from the beginning you have the feeling that applying to / working for the company will be a nightmare.

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  16. Taleo can be easy to implement SQL injection. Basically, you submit a malformed sql query at the login page and bypass the actual login verification. Once in, delete the several hundred apps in front of you. The only way to beat a cheat is with a cheat...and I'm damned serious, too.

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  17. Could someone please get the message out that "merit" hiring is the best way to select candidates, not country of origin, not age or address, not skin color, but good old ability to get the job done properly. I long for merit based employer selections.

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  18. fuck taleo and oracle even more!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amen! Thank you!
      Fuck every company that employs piece-of-shit software.

      Delete
  19. What a great read... and hear I thought that I was the only person losing my mind and closing out of companies that utilized this horrible product. Oh, yes, they say it's all about what it does for the recruiter, but it's awful for all customers.

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  20. I applied to two companies via Taleo the other day, and went through the initial "set up an account, go through all sorts of nonsense, and finally post your resume" stages. The very next day, one of the two company sites sent me an email from "invalidemail.com". Originally I figured it was a phishing attempt... It said the company required additional information.

    I tried to log directly into their Taleo site to add the required information, but it wasn't reachable from the jobs tab! In fact it wasn't reachable at *all*. Finally, I had no choice but to click the link in the email -- and this is a HORRIBLE security practice! -- and when a new browser tab appeared, it demanded my SSN and birth date!!!

    I almost complied. I stared at the screen for a couple of minutes, my hand hovering over the mouse. Then, I closed the browser tab without entering my data. I withdrew my application and tried to cancel my taleo account -- but this particular company had hidden the "deactivate" tool somehow. I checked to make sure nothing sensitive was associated with my profile, and I updated the cover letter to explain to them how bad their hiring practices are.

    I logged into the other company's taleo site to withdraw from that one too. At least they left the "deactivate" tool enabled.

    Now I have a rule: if I see Taleo, I refuse to apply to the company, period. I won't work with this nonsense. And nobody gets an SSN or birthdate until I get an offer letter!

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  21. have a good weekend

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  22. After filling a stupid list of questions for like 20 minutes, click submit, it complained I have an invalid character in my password, and guess what the stuff I wrote over the 20 minutes all lost. Yeah, using this system is sign of their own in competence especially for an IT company.

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  23. Taleo is SHIT software, used by SHIT companies that don't care about people. I encourage all candidates to simply REFUSE to apply to any company that partners with Taleo.

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  24. The only time I ever got a call back from a company using Taleo was when I literally wrote the software they needed to have maintained. I guess I had the right keywords for a change.

    It's pretty much a case study on how successful civilizations end.

    ReplyDelete