For us in particular, I love how configurable the system is; I can use the same technology for different parts of my business. I can run a unique process for store hourly hiring as I do, and then create a different and separate process to use for corporate applicants as well. If you design it, you can build it.
The level of configurability and the partnership are huge for me. I’m not in it alone. If I'm trying to nail down a business process, if I'm trying to build something, they're there, no matter what. If something happens with the system – it's technology; stuff happens – they certainly are there to help us get on board as fast as we can.
Improvements to My Organization:
It has given us the ability to have a unified platform. Previously, we had more than one technology that we used for applicant tracking, so it's given us the ability to have one technology, ensure that we're compliant, consistent and repeatable on everything that we do. It gives us great flexibility to do that, and being in the cloud gives us great flexibility. We have 1,750 locations, and it gives us great flexibility to ensure that they all have a great experience as well.
Room for Improvement:
I think additional features or improvements will be all about mobile and responsive design, continuing to see what the possibilities are there and anticipating what could be next. I don't know what's next, and it's great because they help us try to all get together and brainstorm about what could be next.
Maybe there's some room for improvement in the functionality around the actual tools that we build with. I'm looking forward to them continuing to make improvements on that, on the back end of the house, where we use it most of our time. I’m looking forward to process improvements with that and with ease of functionality; I think we'll look forward to those as well.
Use of Solution:
We have been live with Kenexa for seven years.
I had been using this system for five years, and very rarely – you can probably count on one hand the number of times – there would be a significant impact to down time in the system, which is huge for a company like us. If the system is down, because of our volume, every minute counts. If something does happen, they're always extremely reactive. When things happen, we've been on the phone late at night not just with tech support, but with engineers and some heavy duty hitters, which is huge.
We are in the middle of growing and using it in new parts of our business. We have some allied businesses that we've purchased, so we are in the process of looking at adding them on. You can develop because of that configurability that I’ve mentioned. I can make a very branded process for other parts of my business; on that same system, but it can be specifically for that particular business.
I was not involved in the implementation, which was just before I came to Lowe's. We've done lots of significant projects since then, but I wasn't on the direct implementation.
Other Solutions Considered:
When we renewed our contract, that gave me the ability to look at competitors that are out there and confirm our decision that, yes we are with who exactly we need to be with. We looked at SuccessFactors and Taleo. By far, the system with Kenexa was worth us continuing down the path that we were on. We chose to continue with IBM because there aren't a lot of people that can truly handle our volume, so you wouldn't want to test the limits with just anybody. One of the key things is the partnership that you have with them, and it is very much of a partnership and being involved with them directly. That makes a great reason to continue the relationship with them.
The most important criteria for me when selecting a vendor to work with are support, partnership and scalability. Can we use it? Can they handle our volume? Is there system up? Whether it is configurable is huge for us, to be able to have custom fields is something that I've taken for granted. I realize that not all companies have something simple such as custom fields to be able to import in your process. We all like to think we do it differently than everybody else.
Know what you want, because when you are taking a look at a whole bunch of different companies, it all starts to look the same. You have to be able to ask those in-depth questions, and be able to probe and better understand what they're presenting to you, because it's a shiny object. Even with our other business partners, as we were going through this, they were distracted by the shiny objects. You have to dig behind those and understand. There have been people in the past that have said, “Oh, this looks like a great system. Here is the PowerPoint.” Unless I can actually look at a live demo of something, I'm not really interested. It's interesting how some people still use sales and use PowerPoint slides.