IBM Kenexa Review

The automation tools facilitate automation and reduce the manual workload on end users.

Valuable Features

As a system administrator, the automation tools via RAM are probably the biggest bonuses for us to facilitate automation and to reduce the manual workload on our end user internal customers.

We rely heavily on RAMs to automate activity in Brassring, including:

  • Autoupdating HR statuses based on form completion (e.g., update to HR status background passed when background check results post)
  • Autodelivering notifications to recruiters and candidates when specified milestones have been released (e.g., when a candidate completes onboarding, the recruiter can be notified to start first day prep)
  • Automoving candidates from evergreen folders to ‘real’ reqs as new jobs are opened

Improvements to My Organization

I think one of the biggest benefits that Kenexa brings is the scalability. As an organization, we are an extremely high-volume organization and what we found is Kenexa is one of the few platforms that can effectively manage the amount of concurrent sessions from both candidates and internal users and allow the flexibility to continue to scale up.

Room for Improvement

I think a lot of the things that are already on IBM's roadmap are what we're looking for: better candidate engagement tools, better social media tools, the responsive platforms, making the candidate experience that much better.

If there was one thing that I would love to see, it's improvement in the back-end tools, what the sys ads and the configuration leads engage with. Those seem to be trailing the front end development.

The reason I’m not rating it with five stars is because of its sheer size. Some of its time-to-market enhancements are slower than I would like, but that's the nature of the business I guess.

Stability Issues

By and large, IBM has maintained a tremendous stability record over time, both in terms of end-user access as well as candidate access.

Customer Service and Technical Support

We have used technical support quite often. We have a dedicated support team that is part of our overall master service agreement. We have had the luxury of developing a long-term business partnership with them so that they understand our setups, our processes, our operational execution of work.

Candidly, getting support from our dedicated help desk team is highly efficient. They also take a tremendous burden off of a very small system admin team to allow us to focus on improving the database, and allow them to triage and solve for the day to day issues.

Other Solutions Considered

I do not have any experience with other solutions on the scale of Kenexa, but I've worked with probably eight different ATS platforms over my career.

The most important criteria when I’m selecting a vendor is the people because, regardless of how well a tool works, it's going to fail sooner or later or the users are going to fail in how they engage with it. Being able to work effectively with both your account management team but also your support team and your day-to-day interactions really makes or breaks the relationship, my commitment to how we interact with those people and what my long-term goal is with any particular vendor. People come first, absolutely.

Again, I think my company switched to Kenexa based on scalability. This is the third organization I've worked with that leverages Kenexa as its primary ATS. Each of those organizations had a unique need in terms of stability and scalability. I think that's why we continue to engage with Kenexa and keep them as our ongoing partner. We don't tend to scan the marketplace regularly looking for the next best thing. Kenexa seems to be doing a real nice job of keeping current and delivering the solutions its customers are looking for.

Listening to the customer is probably also another reason why I appreciate IBM's partnership; they not only take the feedback but they give you actionable road maps against that feedback and/or explain why they don't. Your feedback doesn't go in a black hole, which I truly appreciate.

Most of the other applications I've used are mid-tier, so SilkRoad provides a pretty robust tool. It's not, in my opinion, as mature as Kenexa's product. There are some limitations in how much configuration access you have to it. Probably, one of the best things and worst things about Kenexa is it gives clients a lot of flexibility regarding how they customize the system. In other platforms, it's more off the shelf; use it as it's configured and you're not able to build your own workloads into it as robustly as we would like.

Other Advice

The best piece of advice I could give is understand what your users truly need and what they don't need. Don't buy the entire kitchen sink because it's hard to leverage all those tools until you've actually been able to test them in a sandbox environment and be able to do proof of concept. I think the product leads and the support staff at Kenexa are great at leading you down a path, so listening to that guidance as opposed to coming forth with your own vision and not wavering off of that is probably another piece of advice I'd give.

**Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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