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IBM Kenexa OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

IBM Kenexa is #3 ranked solution in best Applicant Tracking Systems, #10 ranked solution in top Benefits Administration tools, and #13 ranked solution in top Talent Management tools. IT Central Station users give IBM Kenexa an average rating of 8 out of 10. IBM Kenexa is most commonly compared to SAP SuccessFactors:IBM Kenexa vs SAP SuccessFactors. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a computer software company, accounting for 37% of all views.
What is IBM Kenexa?
Kenexa provides business solutions for human resources. We help global organizations multiply business success by identifying the best individuals for every job and fostering optimal work environments for every organization.

IBM Kenexa was previously known as IBM Smarter Workforce, Outstart.

Buyer's Guide

Download the Talent Management Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: November 2021

IBM Kenexa Customers
Sweet Spot International (SSI), Leo Burnett Worldwide (LBW), Sika AG, Legacy Health, Apollo Group Inc., Regeneron, Transurban Group, National Health Service, New Zealand Police, Overland Footwear, Yealands, Johnson Controls, Allscripts, Kerry Foods, Masterpet, AMD, Balfour Beatty
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Archived IBM Kenexa Reviews (more than two years old)

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it_user512976
Head Of Culture & Engagement at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
We liked the high-performance engagement model and the relationship between emotional engagement and rational engagement.

What is most valuable?

We chose Kenexa for a number of reasons. One was because of the science that sits behind our survey approach. What we liked specifically was the high-performance engagement model and then, over the course of the relationship, in helping us to understand much more than we've ever done before, the relationship between emotional engagement and rational engagement. This is where behavioral science and business psychology is really starting to play a much more important role in Lloyd's in helping us to be able to ask the right questions in the right way through the right channels.

How has it helped my organization?

Using Kenexa and the conversations I think that we have now had, we have focused and worked really hard with the team in London. They've been great. I think what they've done as well is they've really challenged the thinking. What we've benefited from is having a partner who challenges us, who is not afraid to call out stuff.

Basically you want a partner who makes you think. We don't need a partner who delivers surveys. There are numerous companies out there, suppliers, that will run a survey for us. It's about the ability for a partner to make a bank as complex and large as ours to really take stock and think about what it is we want, where it is we're going, and the progress we're making. I think that's really what we get from the IBM team.

What needs improvement?

Looking at IBM, it's working really well at the moment and we're just about to embark on another kind of agreement or contract with them as well that will take us up until the time at which the workplace would have changed again. It's right that we've got in place that kind of short-term contract as well. I think it keeps us and IBM on our toes in terms of making sure that we've got the best possible partner for where we are in our journey, but also understanding where we want to get to. I think IBM has taken a lot of time to really understand Lloyd's in a way that other providers possibly wouldn't have. We really, really value that.

In terms of where it can improve, as of late summer 2016, we had two large surveys running at the moment. We've got a culture survey, which we introduced in 2014, which enables us to be able to assess and measure company culture to the extent to which an individual is connected to the purpose, vision and values of the group. It's a big survey. It's almost like what you compare with an annual company-wide survey. Later in the autumn, we were about to launch our engagement survey back in the UK. That's also another big event as well. I think the challenge for us as well is that we know that the external market is changing. If we think about what's happening from a consumer or customer experience, we see that they are getting feedback at the moment. There's constant feedback, constant dialogue, and there's more transparency around the data.

The organizations are then having to respond back whether it be through social, through mobile or some other form of giving back, giving feedback or giving a response back as well. I think we've got these two main vehicles in our organization. I think they work really well. Where we need IBM's help is to understand. We don't need to identify. We understand the value of social, mobile and now cognitive. It's been really important for me to hear over the last few days what the era of cognitive will now look like; what are the opportunities that are now opening up for us.
I think the challenge for me is that we've got to use social more. We've got to use mobile more, but I need it to be connected. I think this is a challenge for IBM. These tools and products and solutions are great, but I think from a partner's perspective, we've got to make sure that we have that connected view because what we don't want to do is introduce, get more into the ecosystem. What I want to be able to do is look at what I've got so far, understand how I can move from data to insight, and I think I'm kind of getting there, but it's now from insight to answering the 'so what' questions that I get asked all the time. For me, it's about deriving even more value from what I've got already and then to be able to connect social, mobile and somewhere in there, build cognitive into it into creating a kind of connected environment which enables me to do data, analysis and insights in a more transformational way.

I argue that we're doing that already, but I think we've got loads more to do. Where I'm looking is, for example, retailers; how they work and the extent to which retailers know about their customers and their customer behaviors. It comes back to the science behind it as well. I'd argue that they are light years ahead. I get a real sense of frustration when you see the kind of customer insight teams and what they can do and then you look at the colleague insights teams, which I'm leading on as well, and seeing there's a gap and we need to close that gap. What I don't need are more solutions. What I need is more of a connected view and have an ecosystem that enables me to be able to measure the colleague experience at the key moments of truth, but to join those dots up to then answer the 'so what' stuff.

For how long have I used the solution?

We took a decision in 2011 following the appointment of the new CEO, to take a step back from what we were always doing. At that point, we had a survey in place which was deemed to be more of an HR instrument. It was 13 questions and the feedback that we got from the business was that they bore very little resemblance to the strategy that we were trying to operate as a group. You had this kind of disconnect between a series of HR-related type questions and a business strategy. In 2011, following the CEO's appointment, we took a decision to stop doing that. We'd run it on a quarterly basis, so we were very good at running surveys and getting good response rates, but the challenge was how can we close the gap between the survey instrument that we had and the business strategy.

What we decided to do is - at the time the CEO was appointed, he undertook a group strategic review, and what that enabled us to do is - to identify the key questions that would help us to measure the progress that we're making in developing and embedding and delivering on the group strategy. That's where we saw our fundamental change. At that point, we went into the market. What we were also keen to do is to move the focus of the survey from being an HR instrument to being a business instrument and providing the business with real intelligence and helping it to drive up performance and deliver better outcomes for our customers.

As a result of that, we worked very closely with Kenexa.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

When we first moved to Kenexa in 2011, at that point they were Kenexa and there was a certain type of culture and a way of working. I think since then, they're coming together with IBM. We've seen that at our own organization as well. You see the culture change, but for us I think it's going to change for the better. I think what we're now seeing is the ability to be able to look at IBM, who are a much bigger organization who are offering us the leadership and the insights that we never had before. It enables us to share that information with leaders, line managers, and HR professionals, all of whom are learning from a partner as well. That's a real benefit for us as well. That's where it's working very well.

From a survey perspective as well, obviously, learning the survey on day one, when we launch it, that's the moment of truth. Colleagues, leaders, line managers, even HR professionals would not be aware of the amount of work that goes on behind the scenes in order to be able to get to that day. I'm pleased to say that on every single occasion, we've been able to land the survey in the right way at the right time. It's been an increasingly positive experience for colleagues as well, and that's reflected in the huge amount of people, typically one out of five people in our organization of 80,000, are responding on day one. I think that's testament to the work that goes on behind the scenes.

For that to happen, you've got to have good project managers. I think what we've found over the last few years, since being with Kenexa, is a really strong project management team. They work with us very closely, we're having regular calls with them, regular meetings, specifically about the projects. I want to have an ongoing dialogue with IBM. For me, that's very different to the conversations we need to have with the project team. We have been working with the project managers, who have done a brilliant job in really getting to know us and to know how we work. The PM may have a project plan of 10 or 100 actions, but understanding the time it takes us to turn things around in our own organization as well has been really important. That's been very good. If there have been any issues, not with the downtime, but in terms of the project management, IBM have been willing to have an open conversation about what we can do to improve it.

For example, in my team, the number of people isn't increasing. The amount of work that we've got, however, is. We need to be much more efficient and much more effective in how we're delivering these. One of our ambitions is to run more research and to have more continuous-listening type dialogues with the business. If we spend that amount of time and use all our resources focusing on these huge surveys that we have in the organization, we're going to leave ourselves with little or no time to really focus on building that continuous listening program out into the wider business. We're constantly looking at how we can make the process, how we can make the project management, more efficient. IBM and the Kenexa team have done a brilliant job in helping us to do that.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Since 2011, we've never had an issue with scalability. We have been able to survey. At the time we first used Kenexa to run the group survey in 2011, we had an audience of around 110,000 people. We ran it in 4 different languages. We did that across 32 different countries. Now, as the strategy has changed to become more UK-centric, the number of countries has reduced significantly from 32 down to 6. We've also seen the number of languages that we use reduce, as well, based on the information and insight that we get back from IBM, helping us to simplify the way that we do colleague research in Lloyd's. So, scalability has never been a problem.

Interesting to me as well is that they work very well with us in terms of producing the group outputs, which obviously is really important for our CEO and his team and the board. Equally important is the individual report that goes to the local line manager as well. I would say scalability works both ways. In terms of running a survey across a group as complex and large as ours made up of multi-brands, across several different locations, different businesses with different cultures of their own, it's worked really well. Equally, the local line manager who's interested in receiving his or her report absolutely get that on the day that we promise it to them.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is interesting. Like many organizations, we've found value in looking at structured and unstructured data. Over the past few years, we've been increasingly using open-ended questions to collect the base comments. We've been quite successful at it as well, to the point where we have received 67,000 or even 80,000 comments, as well. We get those comments, which is great. What we've been doing over the last few years, as we see an increasing number of comments coming through, we're having to think differently about how we're going to analyze all this information and remove the bias and the personal interpretation out of the process to really get to the insight.

Up until last year, we basically pulled together a group of willing HR graduates to work with us for a certain period. We got some fantastic insights. What that showed us is the power of really looking at this data in a different way, not just allowing 80,000 comments to kind of go out and dissolve into the business because you'll never really understand the collective value and insight that can provide.

What we've been doing over the last 2 or 3 cycles is to use the verbatim analysis tool. It's still a learning process for us as well. What we have found is the ability to be able to analyze the data in no time. If we're asked a specific question, and what we've found as well is that the more specific the question can be, the better the outputs from the survey tool. We are now at a point where we don't use any extra resource.

We don't use anything at all so we've been able to stand those HR graduates down from the process. We can stand leaders and line managers who are enabled to read all their comments. What we get is, what are the questions you want to answer out of the structured data? We'll go down the structured data and find out the answer. What we're doing increasingly is linking them together. How do people feel through the numbers they give us? What is it they think and say in terms of the words? Drawing that together has been incredibly powerful for us.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We had used another survey provider, a great survey provider, Willis Tales Watsons. We'd used them for several years and they provided an excellent service to us as well. In 2011, with the appointment of a new CEO, with a slightly different focus, with a very clear vision of becoming the best bank for customers, with a very clear strategy and a series of values, it just kind of opened up our minds to saying, "We need to think about science, so we need to think about engagement or research in a much more scientific way than we've done before." Therefore, and it was not a decision that we took very lightly, we really challenged ourselves to make sure that we got the right partner. That was a change as well.

For us, I think in the past, so many organizations you speak to today, have got a supplier relationship going with someone. This is what we want. I think with a partnership, it enables us to be able to develop a two-way dialogue. A survey partner, whether it's IBM today or another provider in the future, that really challenges the way we think about, the way we conduct research. However many surveys we run, whether we go out to new joiners, whether we go out to leavers or somewhere in between, we've just got to make sure we've got a survey, a really robust process, and we go out and ask the right questions to really get the truth.

What you want is for people to be open and honest. You want the truth and you want to be able to understand the reality of what it looks like and what it feels like to work in an organization.

How was the initial setup?

I was involved in the setup. As part of that relationship as well, I was really keen for us not to agree to a long-term contract or a long-term relationship without really understanding what the benefit and value was to Lloyd's. What we decided to do is to put in place an agreement for a period of time. What that enabled me to do is to take stock again. I think what one thing that we've maybe struggled with in the past is the ability to challenge the provider or the partner to say what you're going to do for us now, because we got into a cycle with a previous provider where it was working well, but I think what we wanted to do with this relationship with Kenexa is to push it harder. We knew we had to go harder and faster than before and to be much more dynamic as well. We wanted that science element. There were lots of different facets, so we decided on a short-term arrangement which would be regularly reviewed. We've kept that kind of approach alive today, and it's working well.

I think what's working well for Lloyd's Banking Group is that we get the opportunity to regularly look around the external market to see what's out there. It's a changing marketplace and there are some great providers out there with some great tools. We're constantly speaking and talking to other providers to understand what the emerging trends are out there. At the same time, we want to be able to have good, honest conversations with Kenexa and IBM about where we want to take this in the future and really challenge them, but at the same time allowing them to challenge us and our thinking as well. It works as a partnership and hopefully it will continue for some time to come. At the same time, we've got in place now another agreement for several years, but again we'll be looking both now and also in the future to make sure that the partnership is still the right partnership for Lloyd's Banking Group. I think that's important.

The implementation or the transfer from one provider to another, I think the providers did a brilliant job. If we moved from one provider today to another tomorrow, I think they'd do an excellent job. I think they are getting better at being able to take on new clients and to help them make that transition. We're a large organization and a very complex organization as well. At the time of moving across to IBM, to Kenexa at the time, we were also going through a huge transformation program of bringing together two large banks, which added to the complexity as well.

Within the group, it is complex, and I think we needed a strong partner who really understood us, understood where we were in our own journey and then helping us with our stakeholders to make sure that we put in place the right building blocks to create a great experience for colleagues come the day the survey goes live, which, for us, is always the key moment of truth.

What was our ROI?

We are a large, complex organization. First and foremost, I think in terms of identifying the right vendor for us, it's a vendor that has the availability and the ability to be able to operate in that environment. It's not just one size fits all and so understanding how a large organization works is really important. Kenexa were able to do that in the discussions we had with them. That's number one.

Their ability to work with us and to develop an efficient and effective process, is also important. We don't have huge amounts of resources to be able to run this, so what we're looking for is an organization that understands us and is willing to work with us as well. We need an organization that's very structured, that's strong on project management, that's strong on stakeholder engagement, that understands the IT environment in which we operate as much as them and understanding and providing workarounds so that the colleague experience, the leader or line manager experience is the best it can possibly be. They're typically the kind of criteria that we're looking at. It's about understanding us not as a client but as a partner. That's what really came through in the conversations we've been having with the IBM team recently.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

It's part of the formal tenure process. We would've considered several different providers and both the large players that all of us, the suppliers that you would typically expect a large bank such as Lloyd's Banking Group to consider, but also a number of players that were slightly new to the market as well because everyone comes with a different model. It was understanding at that point in time which is the right model for us and the high-performance engagement model and the kind of connection between emotional engagement and rational engagement made it a very difficult decision for us, but in the end it was the right decision for the group.

What other advice do I have?

When I'm speaking to my peers and other organizations, what's interesting is that I get asked, "Can I see a copy of your survey questions?" As if that's the absolute answer that they kind of need. I always challenge them to say, "Well, not really. I don't really see that you're going to get much value from that. It's not about designing the perfect question. For us, you take a step back. It's, what do you want to know? The questions that I've got in my organization are aligned to my strategy, my objectives, my purpose, my vision and my values. They may or may not be right and relevant for your business."

What I would say first of all is, understand the framework in which you're going to operate, how are you going to construct and design research that's relevant for you? There's no perfect answer. I don't think there's another company out there that's got my perfect survey. I think I've got it within our team and my business to be able to develop that. What IBM bring is the framework, so that the high-performance engagement model is really important and the tools that help us to understand the relationship between emotional and rational engagement are really important, a portal that enables line managers to prepare for the conversations they're having with colleagues that provide sample action sets and focus existing questions.

On the one hand, they encourage the conversation. Secondly, they help drive the right actions in the right way. I think having a framework is about applying the science, but most importantly it's about developing an approach that absolutely supports your strategy and your business objectives. That would be my biggest advice. Talk to another person, another company tomorrow, it would be, "Where's your strategy? Where's your vision? Where are your values? What behaviors underpin them? Right, let's get to work. We've got a high-performance engagement model. We've got the relationship." Who's to say that Kenexa or IBM are right for them? I think whatever your strategy, you'll need to find the partner that best reflects where you are in your journey and can help you as well.

As I said, IBM are doing a great job with us at the moment, but we're always looking and speaking and open to having conversations with other people because the market's changing and IBM are aware of that. It's an increasingly competitive market, particularly as the solutions become more technology-focused.

I think in the past, the relationship organizations had with survey partners or research partners would be based more around the relationship you have with that particular team, but now it's much more in the solutions. It's the same as banking. The banking industry or the banking sector has got new and emerging players. People in our space now, with Apple Pay and PayPal, they're not typically what you would kind of call the traditional banks. I think the same is going to happen in the survey space as well. I think you're going to see new and emerging players who have got better, stronger technology solutions and that's what I'm really excited about as well because that's going to push IBM and Kenexa. It's going to push others as well. More importantly, it's going to open up spaces for me to play in. It's going to help me get from that analysis to insight to the so what much quicker.

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.
it_user687192
Experienced Full Cycle Remote at a healthcare company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Vendor
I like how we can copy a req as we have many duplicates.

What is most valuable?

I like how we can copy a req as we have many duplicates. That saved a lot of time when opening reqs.

What needs improvement?

I felt like we could have customized it better for our business.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used Kenexa for two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Here and there we did have stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There were functions we couldn't customize and needed to.

How are customer service and technical support?

I would give technical support a rating of 7/10.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We used ATS and switched to Kenexa to update to a web interface. Our company then switched to Taleo. We are switching to Workday.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was straightforward. I liked how we had teams and everyone could help build out product.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Customize as much as you can upfront, as it would be worth it in the long run to have what you need now, instead of waiting or trying to get that later.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at PeopleSoft.

What other advice do I have?

Customize it and then it is a good product.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Find out what your peers are saying about IBM, SAP, Oracle and others in Talent Management. Updated: November 2021.
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JB
Assoc. Specialist Talent Acquisition Solutions at a consumer goods company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
The support that we get from the CSMs is the most valuable for me right now. We're looking forward to using Responsive Apply.

What is most valuable?

I'm just taking over the account, so I'm still pretty new to the whole system. I would say the support that we get from the CSMs is the most valuable for me right now, because I'm still leaning on them pretty heavily to understand everything that I'm doing within the system.

How has it helped my organization?

I haven't dealt with it that long, but the obvious improvement is that the Applicant Tracking System has provided us a system to provide a better candidate experience as opposed to other systems. However, I'm not really sure regarding long-term impact, because I haven't been working with it for very long.

What needs improvement?

We're still on a pretty old version of it. I'm looking forward to using the mobile - the Responsive Apply – and upgrading to the Talent Suite. I think that's what I'm looking forward to mostly. I’m unable to really comment further without actually trying that out first, because that's mostly what we're aiming towards: getting that Responsive Apply, some of those more mobile friendly options.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It seems stable. I don't have any concerns about it.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I think it definitely has the potential to scale to more offerings and a larger scale within our business.

How is customer service and technical support?

Technical support has been pretty responsive. It's been helpful.

What other advice do I have?

Definitely get onboard with the newest released versions, to stay current with all the different offerings.

The most important criteria for me when selecting a vendor to work with are data security and ease of contracting. Those are our two big pain points.

My rating reflects the fact that I am still learning about the system and what it's capable of doing.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user501270
Director of HR Operations and HRIS at a tech company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Configuring it is difficult. Changing the initial setup is even more difficult after you go live.

What is most valuable?

It has the ability to manage international postings. You can also move the candidate through the selection process. Kenexa does an extremely adequate job with this.

How has it helped my organization?

It allowed for truly global listing for all open positions. That is about it.

What needs improvement?

There are tremendous opportunities for improvement. Unfortunately, it would require a total scrapping of the existing system and completely building a new system from the ground up. Kenexa BrassRing (2xB) is a completely mediocre system that does an outstanding job of being completely average at doing all the basic applicant tracking activities. If you want cutting edge 1997 technology, then 2xB is definitely the tool you're looking for.

Configuring 2xB is painfully difficult. Changing the initial setup is even more difficult after you go live. Customer support is some of the worst I've ever encountered. In some ways, it is like a case study in how to provide world-class terrible, awful, slow customer and technical support.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using it for three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The product was so fussy to make any changes that we tried not to do anything different. Clearly this isn't a great way to support a business. I was not around for the implementation, but I had to deal with the outcome. Unfortunately, the system was slammed in without much thought to, well, anything. Cleaning up this mess was so difficult, it took weeks to get anything changed or modified, even for the simplest stuff. It was easier to live with what we had and work around it than it was to change it.

How is customer service and technical support?

Terrible, but not just terrible. World-class terrible. Truly the worst I've ever had to work with. It felt like someone knew exactly how to provide world-class customer service and purposely did the opposite. It felt like this was an experiment to see how much abuse and frustration their customers could take. My poor contact was stuck with way too many clients to support. He was put in a position where he had to rely on other Kenexa team members to do anything... and they were awful about responding to him. (I don't know why he didn't quit; it was such an awful job and position to be in.) This meant that it took WEEKS and MONTHS to get anything done. It is the WORST customer service I have ever dealt with in any vendor, either in my personal or professional life. Kenexa is the primary factor for leaving my previous employer and working for another company that does not use Kenexa.

How was the initial setup?

2xB is extremely complex and convoluted to set up. I joined the company after the implementation of 2xB. I had to live with the consequence of that implementation. From that perspective, 2xB was an admin nightmare. Their Benchmark tool required specialized training at significant cost. Documentation is spotty and filled with gaps. The Benchmark tool was not designed for customers. It was for developers, so there are fields and functionality in locations in the tool that don't make any sense as an Admin user. I would have to jump to three or four screens to do something simple. Even after the training, I only had 80% access to the configuration. The 20% required working with the account management / tech support contact (which was difficult, at best). Simple changes became month-long projects. Glitches happened where it would take weeks to sort out. It was generally one hot mess after another.

I did have the misfortune of trying to implement a garbage piece of software called BrassRing Onboarding or 2xO. 2xO was created by brain-damaged monkeys in front of keyboards. It was so buggy, so inflexible, so difficult to configure and so unfriendly to the candidate that it was literally faster to have the candidate fill out a piece of paper (not a PDF...paper) and mail it back to us than it was to use 2xO. IBM did virtually no development around this tool. It was an orphaned product that no one wanted... including any customer who tried to work with the product. Truly atrocious customer support did not help either. 2xO wins the award for WORST applicant tracking software of all time. 2xO should be and is an embarrassment for IBM. IBM should refund every dime and profusely apologize to any customer every laid eyes on this piece of... well, I'll keep this professional.

What about the implementation team?

An in-house team implemented it; however, it would not have mattered what was done. There is no way to fundamentally be successful implementing technology that is this fundamentally flawed. It is not designed for today's recruiting world. My advice: Don't buy or implement Kenexa. If you have bought this product, you have made a horrific choice and you should cut your losses now and start over. BrassRing 2xB is the equivalent of the rotary-dial telephone in the age of smartphones.

What was our ROI?

Don't buy Kenexa, even if it is offered to you for free. There is no return that will ever justify the cost of purchasing, implementing and the ongoing support required to use Kenexa.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I was not part of the selection committee that picked Kenexa; I used Kenexa after it was selected and implemented. However, I have selected and/or used iCIMS, Taleo Enterprise, Taleo Business Edition and Deltek Talent Management. iCIMS by far was the best ATS I've used and should be the one to seriously consider. iCIMS is reasonably priced, provides great customer support and stays up with technology (especially the social media tool). There are many, many, many other applicant tracking/talent management tools that are better priced, have more functionality, cutting-edge technology, provided better customer service and really streamline and positively transform recruiting. Kenexa fails on all these areas.

What other advice do I have?

DON'T BUY KENEXA. Literally any other applicant tracking solution is better. Well, one exception. I would encourage my competitors to use Kenexa. Diverting my competitor to burn up time, money and resources with no return on all this effort would give my company a competitive advantage. That would be the only scenario I would encourage to use Kenexa.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user512982
Global Employee Engagement Lead at a insurance company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
The most valuable feature of the survey is that it's a link we can use.

What is most valuable?

We're using a couple of programs from IBM Kenexa. We are running the annual survey with IBM Kenexa. We use the Viewpoint Platform. For the Viewpoint Platform, we have the OrgMapper, which is extremely helpful to actually be able to copy our internal HR data on OrgMapper to reflect the same setup.

The most valuable feature of the survey is that it's a link we can use. We can share the link with all of our managers. Managers can use the link 24/7, so we don't have to support the managers and it actually frees up the time for HR and the support to be able to do other more useful things for the managers, instead of just copying reports and sending reports.

How has it helped my organization?

We are much faster delivering the reports. We are able to do different analysis on the verbatims with the survey analytics tool. We use the Viewpoint and that is an absolutely powerful tool; it is extremely helpful to get more insights, and to start a conversation with our employees to grow and improve.

What needs improvement?

There are tools that actually are not there where clients need them, especially the survey analytics to analyze verbatim in different languages. We survey in 14 different languages and analyzing the verbatim other than English is not possible and that is a downside for us, absolutely. I would like them to offer that in more languages. Especially those at the global companies need that.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability of the tool is okay. We didn't have major issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have not used technical support.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We had regional and local surveys, but there was a decision made to get global surveys and then we were looking for vendor.

How was the initial setup?

At the beginning, initial setup was complex. We had to learn. We are in contact with Kenexa since 2008 and working with them since then.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

There were other vendors, but I don't want to provide details. The main reason we choose Kenexa in the past was the big benchmark data they had.

In general, when selecting a vendor to work with, the most important criteria for me is for them to understand what I want, the strategy, to actually deliver what they promise, and to be a partner – not vendor/client but partner.

What other advice do I have?

Be open about what you want; be straightforward and challenge.

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.
it_user532572
Talent Systems and Operations Analyst at a tech company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
The reporting tool and configuration features provide a customized solution for applicant tracking.

What is most valuable?

In my opinion, the reporting tool and configuration features provide a better customized solution in regards to applicant tracking.

How has it helped my organization?

This tool is very powerful and the ability to tweak it in order to meet desired processes and controls is valuable. We could get data on recruiting and effectively utilize it to make business decisions. Furthermore, we could comply with regulations owing to the right controls within this tool.

What needs improvement?

The user interface could do with an overhaul. Also, some screens that are not configurable should be opened to clients for customization.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used it for almost two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Rarely any stability issues were encountered. There were a few minor issues from time to time but overall this product is fairly reliable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We did not encounter any scalability issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is required for configurations but integrations with other tools would need a technical resource. Most tasks can be accomplished within the user interface with a little training. IBM provides a lot of support for this as well.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We had used KRE, the other ATS offering from Kenexa before BrassRing and switched to this tool for better functionality.

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup was complex because BrassRIng is quite flexible. Essentially, it required a lot of decision making such as drawing on a blank slate.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We went through a RFP process. However, I do not have details on which vendors were evaluated.

What other advice do I have?

There is a need to have a dedicated resource for maintenance and training. The tool is configurable but can also get complex to understand, depending on how the recruiting process is designed.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user529197
Recruiter at a engineering company with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
We create our own reports with the reporting tool. Internal errors have increased.

What is most valuable?

With IBM Kenexa BrassRing, we can search for past requisitions, we well as edit and open candidates’ talent profiles. The DIT reporting tool is extremely crucial in creating our own reports. The “my candidates” overview that shows the statuses is very helpful. I like the "Admin tool" with regards to communication templates and forms, and the ability to change them.

How has it helped my organization?

BrassRing integrates into our internal employee platform (workday) as well as our background check vendor (TalentWise). Without this solution, we would have more administrative functions and would need to hire more HR employees. This solution also allows for easier external communication with potential employees.

What needs improvement?

In regards to the requisition search function there is a ton of filter options, of which need exact matches. The other thing that is missing here is the Business Title option. For example a position will have the HR Job Title “environmental scientist 1” but the real business title field is “Biologist.” If I want to search for a biologist requisition, I have a tough time doing that because nothing comes up if I put it in the job description which really is my only other option of a field to use.

In regards to the errors - sometimes the HR Status will freeze, or the communication option.
The tool functions inconsistently. In the past year, there has been a significant increase in the amount of “internal errors” that are displayed.
Other errors include when you click to add a form for example it will come up with an error and you have to exit and try it again. What I was trying to capture here is that a lot of our recruiters have had problems with errors and having to do the same command/clicking the same thing multiple times before it works. In addition, the search function is a bit complicated in terms of requisition searches.


For how long have I used the solution?

I have used this solution for three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We encountered IT stability issues in our attempts to get the pages to load. This occurred almost daily.

How is customer service and technical support?

The technical support with IBM is very responsive. I don’t usually open tickets anymore, but in the past I was pleased with the technical support.

What other advice do I have?

I would advise other customers to link this solution to your other systems for a streamlined ATS.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Partner - Digital People Practice at Digital Works Group
Consultant
Data-agnostic analytics provide infographics and dynamic dashboards.

What is most valuable?

Of all the current talent analytics offerings on the market today, IBM Kenexa Talent Insights is the most comprehensive end-to-end, data-agnostic analytics tool. It has instant infographic and dynamic dashboarding capabilities. You can literally click, drag and drop a massive data set into the tool, wait about 3-10 seconds, and suddenly be looking at 10 instantly relevant data analytics cases.

What Talent Insights is really is an aggregate of several different statistical and correlative tools like SPSS and others that use the computer power of IBM's Watson technology to derive deep insight into mountains of data points at incredible speed.

The output of these calculations is often a spread of possible patterns that a practitioner can then explore, or choose to ignore and instead type in, using natural language processing, their own inquiries.

The myriad number of choices that are available to explore result in a fairly daunting set of options that a more simplistic UX might 'dumb down' to appear simpler and easier to utilize and explore. So, getting trained on the user of Talent Insights is crucial to unlocking its full capability. It's a grown up, more advanced version of a data analytics tool vs an over simplified version, which doesn't necessarily require advanced expertise, but does require a user to at least be a critical or empirical thinker, such that you can properly interrogate the patterns and trends emerging.

If you compare Talent Insights say to what Workday offers (in module insight vs data agnostic insight) it appears more complicated, but Talent Insights is really just the sort of tool you want if you're serious about mashing up commercial, HR, customer data to solve for real value added business challenges. Workday, Oracle, SAP or other tools whose primary objective is managing HR days only won't give you that option.

This it appears slightly more complicated, but if you are looking for real statistical computational capability, then IBM is your answer.

How has it helped my organization?

This tool is not a 'quick fix' bit of magic, but rather a sophisticated statistical package that utilizes machine learning (think of it as self-driven insight and pattern matching – one step short of true artificial intelligence). It does this by analyzing and matching data points across a vast array of information that you provide in an Excel spreadsheet.

Imagine being able to pull data from your CRM, Finance, Marketing, Customer Service and HRIS systems (ATS, LMS, HRIS, employee survey, etc), and lump all of that into one spreadsheet. Then the statistical package inherent within IBM Kenexa Talent Insights goes to work linking, matching, correlating and seeking statistical significance in the relationships in those millions of data points to put forth insightful connections. It also tells you, on a percentage basis, just how statistically significant those relationships are. This is basically a score to indicate just how relevant a particular line of interrogation of the data is. You can ignore those elements with low significance and look at those with a greater than 60% significance rating that might yield powerful insights.

How does this improve your business? You can look at literally every aspect of your business where people are involved and interrogate who your best people are and why. You can address career paths, training, recruitment, pay and reward programs. You can find out just about anything related to individual or team performance (depending on how narrow your original information set was), and derive some incredibly powerful insights like you've never been able to before - in a matter of minutes, or perhaps hours, as opposed to days, weeks and months. You can then download your findings, correlations, and potential causality into PowerPoint presentations using one of 10 different infographic displays to help you tell your story to the Board or CXO members.

Finally, HR is not simply about HR anymore. It's about improving the business across all talent management and employee lifecycle-related aspects. It's like we finally have a microscope to see organisms at a cellular level, opening up a world of insight we've never before had.

What needs improvement?

I would say that it could likely be made slightly easier to consume and work with - less scientific or engineering oriented - but IBM Kenexa Talent Insights is about the most powerful and useful tool I've seen. You quickly get used to the interfaces, features and functions, as it only takes about a few days training before you are able to wiz around it and master its capabilities, which I've still not found the bottom of yet!.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been an IBM Business Partner since March 2016, so I only started using it very recently.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Sometimes there is a slight delay in calculation time, about a minute or two (not hours) while Watson is crunching the numbers. This usually owes to the fact that there are huge data sets that the supercomputer is chomping on, and you're not the only person out there using it. There are no core stability issues, as the software is rock solid: classic IBM resilience and polish.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Absolutely not: this system was built for scalability at its heart. Using a supercomputer like Watson is all about scale and size. IBM Kenexa Talent Insights can manage over a million cells of information. Its capacity is increasing by the day, as IBM keeps adding to the overall scale of the computing power.

How are customer service and technical support?

We received excellent technical support. IBM is working hard to ensure that this product line goes to market with plenty of support and customer care. I've been able to reach out to the sales engineers and data scientists. If they can't help me, they connect me with people who can.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

There were really no other solutions available. Certainly, there is nothing out there for HR analytics today that comes close to this level of holistic capability.

How was the initial setup?

It was somewhere in the middle. This has more to do with sorting out data sources, cleansing the data, narrowing and improving the data before inputting it to Talent Insights. As the old adage still holds: "garbage in, garbage out." So the up-front work, which you'd have to go through with any HR analytics implementation, is paramount. IBM supplies you with the consultants and data scientist support to ensure the best possible outcome. After it's up and running, and you have been trained to use the tool – easy peasy. You immediately get the hang of things, can generate your own insights, interrogate the data anyway you like, and build presentations within minutes. From that perspective, I'm thoroughly impressed. If there are any issues with the complexity of using this tool, it's usually with the client organization’s data challenges, not with the tool.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

IBM currently offer a minimum 10 licenses that generally land at about £35,000/year. Additionally, consulting and implementation (which depend massively on the size and complexity of your organization), can add an additional £20k - £40k to that price; but that's a one-time, one month time frame cost. IBM are also now looking at being able to offer Watson Analytics for general data analytics use (not IBM Kenexa Talent Insights - and thus not necessarily HR-oriented in its approach). Monthly, non-recurring costs are around £100/month without any obligations; but again, this is just using the Watson Analytics capability without the HR wrapping.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I looked at Visier, CruncHR, OrgVue and others. None were nearly so all-encompassing, end-to-end, highly flexible, information and data agnostic; easy to plug and play, or as powerful on the back-end reporting, dashboarding, and infographic display variability. IBM is carrying a very big stick with this product set, perhaps the biggest in the market at the moment.

ERP companies like Workday, Oracle, SAP, and the like say that they offer workforce analytics; but they are married directly to the modules they were built to interrogate. So with the other companies, you are immediately locked into looking only at absence management, performance management, pay management, each in isolation from the other.

IBM Kenexa Talent Insights allows you to go way beyond that and look at all HR data simultaneously, not to mention just about anything you can drop into a spread sheet format, such as Finance, Sales, Marketing, Customer Care, Survey, you name it. You can interrogate all of it at once: can't touch that.

What other advice do I have?

Make sure you work with the data scientists via your sales representative to examine your data set availability within your organization. If you are a mega multi-national, you could run into data protection regimes, pockets of isolated data that haven't been connected to global corporate data, and other similar challenges where systems are not fully integrated. Again – these are your hold ups – and the more you understand what a task it will be to unlock these data sets, the better.

You will also need executive sponsorship to help support the implementation of this stuff across the organization (which you should have for any big, multi-departmental implementation). It can help to have well-placed advocates, superusers trained and ready. Don't forget to share those insights when you get them because they will open doors all over the company to leaders, managers and employees looking for more insights as to how they can do things better, smarter, faster, and more intelligently.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: I've been an IBM Business Partner since March 2016.
it_user512979
SVP Organizational Development at a non-tech company with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
It's helped us align engagement information with business strategies and link addressing some of those issues to better business outcomes.

What is most valuable?

The most important features are that the instrument can be customized, that we can get important and relevant data about our employees, and the responsiveness of our client team from IBM has been phenomenal. It's been a real partnership.

How has it helped my organization?

It's given us data from which to make better decisions about what we need to do in order to have a highly engaged workforce. It's helped us specifically align the engagement information with business strategies and link addressing some of those issues to better business outcomes.

What needs improvement?

I don't know if the issue is what can be improved upon in upcoming releases. It's about understanding how we can adapt and be more flexible, because the survey that we've been doing is one of those point-in-time surveys and not real time. The minute we roll it out, the organization changes, and then all of a sudden there are issues such as, “This isn't my team. How am I supposed to manage this data?” There’s probably a solution that exists already with IBM or Kenexa. I'm just not that familiar with it.

The team didn't find the reporting tool that easy to use, in terms of pulling their own data, slicing and dicing it, combining groups. Some of them did, but for the most part, it felt like a bridge too far. With regard to our managers using it, the minute we saw that some of the HRBPs were having an issue with it, we didn't even dare suggest that our managers run their own reports.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

As a platform, it is highly stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is highly scalable.

How are customer service and technical support?

I haven't personally used technical support. I think my team has.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I wasn't involved in the original decision to get Kenexa. I'm involved in our ongoing decision to remain with Kenexa.

How was the initial setup?

I wasn't involved in the original setup.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

For us, the decision isn't, do we use another solution? The question is really: Do we use a solution? It's not about another solution. Do we try and create something? Do we do something more informal? I think that the 2016 IBM HR summit convinced me that we need to continue to do some of the work we're doing, and maybe even get more sophisticated and work with IBM to do something more sophisticated than what we've been doing.

The most important criteria for me when selecting a vendor to work with is, in general, value for money. Their understanding of our business needs and how that solution really solves a business problem or helps us avoid one. Also, we look for a responsive, flexible partner, and that's what we have with our team, with IBM’s Rob Ball and the team in London.

What other advice do I have?

Definitely consider it. I knew Kenexa before they were IBM, and at first I thought, "Oh no, here we go, get swallowed up by this big, mammoth organization." Now I think that being part of IBM just means that I've got a whole rich array of other things to choose from that can plug and play with some of the other solutions. I think there's been real value to having Kenexa be part of IBM, and I think the 2016 IBM HR Summit was one of them.

I think they've got a smart solution. I want to see what else we can do with Kenexa, and I think that they're part of an outstanding culture of customer service.

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.
it_user512967
Senior Director Of Human Resources at a hospitality company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
It standardizes all of the basic aspects of recruitment process management.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the standardization of all of the basic aspects of recruitment process management. I think it's the idea of opening and closing requisitions, and the workflow to enable efficient movement of a mass number of candidates through a product to get all the way from job sourcing through to hiring and onboarding.

How has it helped my organization?

Our organization require large volumes of hires on an annual basis. It's the nature of our industry. We bring in 35,000 people a year, so it's a necessary thing for us to have technology in place to do that in an efficient way with as few people as possible; to enable 700 different restaurants to be able to manage their own hiring experience; and so it's an adaptable tool. It's flexible, but it's also engineered for simplicity.

What needs improvement?

If you look at Kenexa's direct competitors – and we always look at the landscape of who's doing what in the ATS space – for a company like ours that does high volume hires of relatively low skilled workers, simplification's important; simplification for the hiring manager, simplification for the applicant. I think the more we can incorporate engineered ease of use, I think that's better. Same thing on the system admin side; the more we can engineer ease of use so that you don't have know HTML, you don't have to really go through days of training to be able to easily configure pages, I think all of that is an important thing for Kenexa to continue to make progress on.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I've found that there's a consistency to the product that we have not had concerns with downtime issues and looking forward that there's always a robust road map that gives us some idea of where the technology is moving so that we can be prepared for those shifts.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

As we add new locations, we're able to quickly bring on. Any given location’s going to hire 100 to 150 people a year, so it's pretty easy for us to just bring on a new location, add them to our account, get them up to speed, and train the management teams; it's not that difficult.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have not personally used technical support; people on my team do use tech support often. We've logged tickets. We've found the process to be very easy to navigate. We understand who to connect with and again we think that they're on top of things as far as getting issues resolved quickly.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We were using Kenexa at the time we separated and we had the opportunity to either decide to move away or to keep what we had. We did a quick look at the landscape and we balanced the cost associated with change and change management, what we thought the upside benefits were of going somewhere else, and we didn't see that the landscape offered meaningfully better solutions. We felt like Kenexa was robust enough and dynamic enough that it met our needs, so it didn't make sense for us to disrupt 700 locations and reteach them something. That was a primary factor why we stayed with Kenexa.

How was the initial setup?

I was involved in the initial setup. We configured our own instance. We were separated from a former parent company about 2 1/2 years ago and at that time, we set up our own instance, so I've been a part of it ever since we stood that up. It was straightforward; it was good project management. Wwe had the resources we needed from the IBM side to make sure that we stayed on time and on task. It's not different from a lot of other large system implementations. There are a lot of moving parts. There's data migration. There are other things that have to be taken into consideration. Yeah, I think it went as well as it could, given the size and scale of the project.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We've looked at talentReef. We've looked at WorkDay. We've looked at a number of other solutions, including People Matters. We also use IBM assessments, so we've had an integrated platform on the assessments front.

We also take a look at who's playing in the ATS space, as well as who's playing in the assessment space, and make sure we feel like our solution is competitive with what our alternatives our, both from a functionality and from a pricing standpoint.

One of the most important criteria for me when selecting a vendor is partnership. By which, I mean it's a combination of support on a daily basis, as well as planning for the future, and it's also about the business side of things, being able to work effectively on the contract itself, extensions of the contract, how engaged is that business partner in meeting our needs. The important thing is to know that we don't want to be just 1 of the vendor’s 500 customers. We want our needs to be uniquely heard and uniquely met. We feel that we get that attention from IBM. We've got the ears of all the right people. We get the dedicated time. They've partnered us with other similar customers, but they never lump us into a big group where we can't state what's most important for Red Lobster.

What other advice do I have?

Do your homework. Make sure you know your own organization, your own processes, your own needs, and that you make sure that the vendor that you're considering fully understands that, can embrace what you're trying to accomplish, can paint a picture for you of where you're going to go, and that they will be there post-implementation in a support capacity and a continuous planning capacity, etc.

In my mind, it’s at the 80th percentile of the solutions out there. I think if there are 20% of solutions that are better, it's probably only because they were invented more recently and engineered with social in mind, with text in mind, with a more modern dynamic user in mind. I think the great thing about it is they've got a lot of invested time, energy, and knowledge. The downside is it's a system that was created many, many years ago and so it just evolves. You think of where it goes next and you add something, but you keep bolting on or adding on. It's probably not as clean or as efficient as something if you start it from scratch and said, "What's the simplest, easiest way to get a person from here to there?"

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user512931
Sr. Manager, Recruitment Technology & Infrastructure at a media company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
The application tracking system has allowed us to automate mass-volume hourly processes. The lead manager tool is new and not advanced enough.

What is most valuable?

BrassRing, the applicant tracking system, has brought a high level of automation, specifically for our mass-volume hourly processes. It has allowed tremendous labor savings and efficiency across our recruitment processes.

How has it helped my organization?

Kenexa is highly configurable in a way that has allowed us to bring all of our varied businesses into a single applicant tracking system platform. That's allowed us a level of consistency and centralization that's brought efficiencies.

What needs improvement?

The lead manager tool is still very new. We are excited to see where that goes. Right now, it's not advanced enough to meet our needs, but we would hope that at some point in the future, it can advance to the point where we could have one platform of systems in that area.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The upside of Kenexa is that they're constantly reinventing, so they have constant releases with new features and upgrades. The downside of that is that they do experience fairly regular issues with stability that they're not always as quick to respond to as we'd like them to.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We're currently using the system in 44 countries from everything from frontline to executive recruitment. The tool works very well across all of our groups. It’s very scalable.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Our other tool was purchased by another vendor and was planned for retirement, so we had no choice.

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup was definitely a major project for us. We're a multinational, global corporation, so it was a phased journey. Once we got a few of our clients into the system, it became much easier. Now, as we're continuing to bring on smaller areas, we're getting very fast at being able to bring people on.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated other options, but it was a while ago. I don't even think the other ones are still around.

The most important criteria for me when selecting a vendor is whether the functionality can actually support the needs of the diverse client groups that we have within our business.

What other advice do I have?

Try to keep it simple. Don't over engineer things. Kenexa comes with a lot of customization ability, so it's easy to configure something that is highly complex and more complex than you need. It's difficult to undo some of that later.

Make sure you spend plenty of time testing, because the tool is always evolving. There is always going to be room for changes or issues that you want to make sure you catch before you launch.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user512949
HRIS Business Process Manager at a retailer with 10,001+ employees
Real User
I like the level of configurability. I can use the same technology for different parts of my business.

Valuable Features:

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.

Stability Issues:

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.

Scalability Issues:

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.

Implementation Team:

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.

Other Advice:

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.

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.
it_user512970
Vice President, Talent at a retailer with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
It has helped us begin to understand how our employees are feeling, and how engaged they are.

What is most valuable?

I think, for us, the most valuable feature is obviously beginning to understand the various components of our employees – how they're feeling, how engaged they are – in addition to obviously being able to attract the right talent to our organization based on who we're looking for. Obviously, talent continues to be a highly competitive space that all organizations are playing in. The retail side or the retail industry is highly competitive. It also faces unique challenges in terms of our proportionally high number of part-time workers.

We're looking very forward to getting the BrassRing application in, so that we can really create a unique offering and a unique relationship, in particular with that part-time workforce, as well as how do we create almost a one-on-one recruiting relationship and then building on that relationship as people move forward with some key talent areas, in terms of ecommerce, the whole digital space, as well as analytics and finance folks. Those are pretty hot competitive spaces for talent.

How has it helped my organization?

First of all, for Kenexa in particular, the tell-it-as-it-is survey has improved our organization. We acquired a pharmacy retailer three years ago. Kenexa enabled us to actually standardize our employee engagement across both of those organizations. We knew at an enterprise level what was going on but, most importantly, how were people starting to feel about being acquired and joining the broader company space. It's really helped us focus and target activities around communication, leadership, and synergies in terms of bringing people closer and more into the fold of the broader organization.

What needs improvement?

I think for us it's still really early days. We're getting the survey settled in. At a recent conference, I was looking forward to the employee voice regional user group because I really wanted to understand the employee voice piece. Once-a-year engagement kind of seems to be a little bit lagging in terms of how we can actually shape and improve organizations, so I was looking forward to understanding a bit more where IBM Kenexa's thinking is going in terms of pulsing with the employee voice and how that kind of integrates and works with tell-it-as-it-is, and the other two applications we have; it's just too early to know.

I think the only opportunity maybe we have is to be more intuitive on the tell-it-as-it-is survey side for end users; for leaders to be able to kind of run the data and cut it the way they want to. Right now, we still run it out of our C of E for engagement, who actually does training with the HR business partners. It would be nice if that could be simplified into a way whereby it's really intuitive for our leaders and make it really super easy for them just to go in and pull what they want. That's an additional piece of administrative work that we still do. It's important work that we do, but if there was a way to simplify that, so that leaders can just directly go in and manipulate that, that would be great.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have not had any issues to date in terms of stability. With Kenexa, we have just implemented Workday, so we are hoping that we'll have a pretty seamless integration with the talent acquisition module, so our fingers are crossed on that front. We'll see. We're going though that work right now.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Right now, from everything I've seen, obviously based on actual experience with Kenexa, scalability is not an issue on the tell-it-as-it-is survey side. We're in the process right now of figuring out how we should scale that to our franchisee businesses. We've had a very positive experience to date on scalability. In terms of the Watson, again, it's early days. I think there's lots of potential application for us to leverage that, but I think the starting point for us is to figure out what are the insights that we're actually looking for in order to leverage that technology. Based on a conference session I recently participated in, in terms of talent acquisition, I'm looking really forward to actually getting the BrassRing piece installed in our organization in the new year.

How are customer service and technical support?

I personally haven't used tech support. I know that my folks particularly on the tell-it-as-it-is side have used it, and they have an absolutely fabulous relationship with IBM Kenexa. We've always found them very supportive, very responsive, and very open as far as finding solutions, even if it's not kind of necessarily already in a cookie-cutter solution.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

The acquired pharmacy retailer was previously using Aon Hewitt. We were using another solution through a third party, and it was somewhat customized. Again, we're happy to really have that baseline from which we can compare across the entire enterprise, so that we know that we're comparing apples to apples.

How was the initial setup?

I was not involved in the initial setup at my organization. It was just before I joined. It was about a year before I joined, so I wasn't involved, but I have not heard of any issues other than the normal understanding what needs to happen and IT being clear on how we're going to integrate it into the broader network. We haven't had any issues.

What other advice do I have?

When selecting a vendor to work with, I think the most important criteria, first and foremost, is that the technology has been well thought through. It's been tested. It's ready to launch. What's really important to me is the relationship side. Do we understand each other? Do we trust each other and are we on the same side, in terms of the values of both organizations and what it is we're looking to achieve?

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.
it_user512946
HRIS Sr at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
I think the advantage of Kenexa is the degree to which we can configure to meet our specific needs.

What is most valuable?

I think the advantage of Kenexa is the degree to which we can configure to meet our specific needs. It is very configurable.

How has it helped my organization?

It makes it easy for us to assess whether the candidates that we're looking at. We use BrassRing to determine whether the candidate that we're looking at meets the requirements for various jobs. It helps recruiters review applicants quickly and be in touch with candidates on a real-time basis. It also keeps recruiters informed throughout the process because of the rules automation manager (RAM) and other items that we've set up to advise them when certain conditions are met.

What needs improvement?

Improved integrations: There are all kinds of issues with integrations, hires failing. It's on us as much as IBM, but we need to work together to figure out how to make integrations work better.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It seems fairly stable. It's a stable platform in terms of what has been released in recent upgrades. They're all pretty minor; hasn't been anything revolutionary. The updates that have been made are all for the better.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is not really a concern for us. We're only in the US and we deployed to everybody immediately.

How are customer service and technical support?

We use the global support center pretty extensively whenever there's an issue. They have been phenomenal.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We were replacing our HCM on our ATS. It was an outdated system.

When selecting a vendor, the most important criteria for me are consistency, configurability, being on the front edge. All those things.

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup was pretty complex; relatively complex. We just have the applicant tracking system, not the whole HCM, so comparatively speaking, it's not as complex as it could be.

What other advice do I have?

Look at maintenance as well as initial investment, and the ability to work with you after the initial deployment.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user512925
People Systems Partner at Biogen
Vendor
It gets candidates through the process quickly and cleanly, and maintains OFCCP-compliant documentation.

What is most valuable?

From an ATS perspective, I think the most valuable features are the ability to get candidates through the process quickly and cleanly, and to maintain OFCCP-compliant documentation.

How has it helped my organization?

We're able to adequately screen all of our candidates across the board through all different business units, and maintain accurate reporting and analytics as a result of that.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see them continue to make things easy and quick for the recruiting partners internally, or any recruiters who use the system. Faster load times would be great, instead of waiting for the little load window to close out.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's been really stable the last couple of years. I've seen a huge improvement on the BrassRing Kenexa side to improve their network connectivity and systems overall.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Kenexa’s scalability has been great. We can grow and expand our use no matter what. Right now, we're doing a launch in Hillerod for a new manufacturing plant and we'll be able to seamlessly incorporate our business process for that launch.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have used technical support sometimes. It's good. It's very responsive. I have a CSM, so I have personalized service, which is always great.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

The decision to invest in Kenexa was made before I arrived at the previous company.

How was the initial setup?

I was not involved in the initial setup of Kenexa at my current company. In a previous life, I was. It was a little rocky, as they always are, but we went live on time and that's all that matters.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I have not directly used any of Kenexa’s competitors.

What other advice do I have?

Make sure it can fit your needs. Do a mapping and an outline of your end-to-end process, and make sure that BrassRing or Kenexa can meet those needs.
The most important criteria for me when selecting a vendor is compatibility with other systems; to be able to integrate seamlessly.

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.
it_user512985
Human Resource Business Systems Administrator at a retailer with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
It can be individualized for each company’s needs and each of our different business unit’s needs.

Valuable Features

The most valuable features are its ease of use and the ability to customize it; making it really individualized for each company’s needs and each of our different business unit’s needs.

Improvements to My Organization

It has allowed us to reach more candidates, and in a quicker, simpler fashion to get the data we need to improve our hiring process.

Room for Improvement

I’d say the things that we’re most looking forward to that are on the roadmap are the mobile abilities that they’re coming out with and always improving on. We’re excited for those. When they have all the features we need with it, we’ll definitely implement it.

Some of the analytics that we heard about, we’re excited to see some of those and how we can implement and maybe use those in our business.

The reporting feature currently is our biggest struggle point. Getting the data we need and in the fashion that we need it is a current struggle point for us.

Use of Solution

We use BrassRing and we’re implementing Onboarding soon.

Stability Issues

I think it functions well and they’re always innovating and adding new features that we’re always implementing and making the process better.

Scalability Issues

I don’t see anything that we haven’t been able to apply it to. We work with basically, five unique different types of business functions in our company. I think it’s very far reaching.

Customer Service and Technical Support

Technical support is very helpful, thorough. They’re usually fairly quick, unless it’s a really complicated issue that no one can figure out.

Other Solutions Considered

I have not used similar solutions since I’ve worked here, except for onboarding; we currently use other companies for that.

Other Advice

Kenexa definitely has the customization. The system works however you build it to work; when you set it up, it’s going to work the way you set it up. Generally, if there is an issue, it’s not a Kenexa issue. It’s a setting you have or the way you originally set it up to make it do something. If there is an issue, I would get with whoever your agent is to see a better way to do what you’re wanting to do, rather than looking for another solution in another program or something like that.

The most important criteria for me when selecting a vendor to work with is whether their product can be used across our wide variety of business units effectively and customization, as well as follow-up support, trying to get features to work the way we want or it to work across those business units.

From everything I’ve seen and heard, I would think Kenxea is probably one of the top three, if not the best, in the business that they do and the things that we use them for. Not working with another company, it’s hard to really give them an accurate rating, but from everything we’ve seen, and all the support and work with them, I’d say I’ve given it a fair rating.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user512973
Sr Manager, HRIS at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
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.
it_user512961
HR Business Analyst at a mining and metals company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Using the reporting feature of the recruiting tool, I can pull data and provide some analytics on it. Improvements can be made with the workbench.

What is most valuable?

We use BrassRing, the recruiting tool. The reporting feature is what I use, the data insight tool, to be able to pull the data and then provide some analytics on the data behind it.

That's the most valuable feature, for me personally, in my role.

How has it helped my organization?

It has definitely improved my organization by being able to help the recruiters move candidates through the interview process. We just recently started to use more of the capabilities with the different statuses such as the RAM triggers and so on; we’re starting to streamline more of the processes. They definitely save time and make sure things are happening at the right speed and when they need to happen. They're definitely a big help, I would say.

What needs improvement?

Improvements can be made from the back end, with the workbench.

Even though I know lots of people have mentioned issues with publishing from staging to production, and I know that's something that IBM said they're aware of and they might be working on already, that's one of the bigger things that would be helpful.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I've never had any stability issues. There’s been no downtime. Occasionally they'll let us know that there's an update happening, but usually that's during off hours; things like that, so no biggies. It's not affecting my business.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I have not encountered any scalability issues.

So far, we've been expanding throughout the US and we'll be expanding to use it globally in the next year or two. We'll be seeing it scale more but so far, expanding throughout the US with Kenexa BrassRing has been helpful getting everybody on the same page.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have used technical support a couple of times such as filing the tickets and getting them to work through the issues. They've always been helpful, whether it's helping on the call or with the email resolution, it's all been pretty good.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I did not previously use a different solution. I just wasn't part of the HR talent acquisition world yet.

How was the initial setup?

I was not involved in the initial setup.

What other advice do I have?

I think one the bigger advantages is that it is backed by IBM with the ability to bring in a bunch of tools to build an entire platform. It's not just one tool that does the ATS and another tool that does HRIS. Being able to have IBM that supplies all of those and create a platform is, I think, pretty useful.

The most important criteria for me when selecting a vendor to work with is definitely brand recognition. If you see other companies that are in your industry using the same tool, it let’s you know that it can be applied to your business. Something with a proven track record.

There's obviously some room to improve and they're making updates all the time but I think right now, even with talking with some of my colleagues, they say it's better than some of the other solutions that they've used. Drawing from some of their feedback, it seems like it's a good tool. I don't have any previous experience with other tools.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user512958
Manager at a transportation company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
We can run reports that comply with federal government regulations. Sometimes it's a struggle to get changes fixed.

What is most valuable?

Applicant tracking is the product’s most valuable feature. We're a federal contractor, so we can run reports to comply with all of the federal government regulations.

How has it helped my organization?

We are able to make decisions based on real data, reporting and metrics, and we're able to flow a large number of candidates through the process in a short amount of time.

What needs improvement?

We're about to launch the Talent Suite, so we're excited about that. Just the ease of use of setup for implementing new regions would be really helpful; if they would get that more templatized and make it easier to launch in new parts of the globe.

My rating is not higher because of the support, honestly; the global service center model. We have 20 hours per month and we're a big, giant company. It's a struggle, honestly. The ticketing system works great, but it's a struggle sometimes to get changes fixed with their model: You create the system and then hand it to the customer.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We've had really good luck with uptime and run time. Typically, it's very low time when things go down; maybe once a month or something, for a short period, and they're very quick to fix.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We are in currently three regions. We have US, Latin America, and Asia Pacific, so we have it all over the globe. We're a global company, obviously, and we're launching in one more region. It's a struggle sometimes to implement new regions. I will say that. If I were to be honest, it is a struggle, but I heard that they're working on some ways to fix that.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have used technical support. My team owns the relationship with the global services center, so we use them frequently. Their ticket system is fairly straightforward. It's a little slow, but they do a good job.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I did not previously use a different solution; paper. Ridiculous, I know.

When selecting a vendor, the most important criteria is whether they can manage a company our size. It's really about, can they scale? Are they large enough to support a really complex organization?

Before choosing this product, we looked at the top five, including PeopleNet and Taleo.

In 2011, the company chose Kenexa because they could do both RPO and applicant tracking system. We've since separated the RPO, so we are 100% applicant tracking with them now, but originally that one-stop shop is why we went with them.

What other advice do I have?

I would definitely and highly recommend the applicant tracking system. It's a very good system. I would not recommend RPO, honestly.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user512955
Associate Manager of Employee Services at Best Buy
MSP
Our end-to-end application experience is fully mobile responsive.

What is most valuable?

I think the feature that really stands out for us, at least lately is, the fully responsive experience for applicants. We have our end-to-end application experience fully mobile responsive. They also host our career site, so having that be mobile responsive, and really configurable for us has been awesome. I'd say the most valuable feature is being responsive, and then a close second for us is probably the automation capability.

They call it RAM, the Rules Automation Manager. The fact that basically any action in the system can trigger something else to happen automatically, allows us to really automate our different processes and accommodate our business needs. We have a lot of volume, so having things happen automatically is a good thing. Those are probably the big two.

How has it helped my organization?

First of all, it has improved the applicant experience. We went from, last winter, if an applicant went on through a mobile device, they would actually be told, "Stop, now you have to go to a computer to finish your application." If they did manage to get through, past that, it was a lot of pinching, and a lot of pages, and a lot of text.

I think having the responsive be something that's standard – we're not paying a third-party vendor to get that functionality, it's just something they do – is one of those game changers for us. There aren't many companies out there that can say, Our end-to-end applicant experience is responsive, but on top of that, we didn't have to engage another vendor to do it. We're able to just do it with our current tool, and do it pretty well.

What needs improvement?

We have about 50 requests for enhancements in the system right now. We're a little anal. To be honest, it's smaller things. It's making sure that the responsive recruiter experience includes all the functionality that the non-responsive recruiter experience has today, before we transition to it. It's just simply continuing to see that evolution, without loss of functionality.

I also do want to see more robust reporting capabilities. Not getting into talent insights necessarily, but the embedded tools offering a little bit more dashboarding capability, tables, that type of thing, is something that I'm chomping at the bit for, because if I have to do another pivot table in Excel, I'll go mad. I would love it if you could set them up in the reporting tool to happen automatically and deliver. I know from the feedback I've gotten from the Kenexa development team that they're working on it.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I've been with Best Buy since 2013, but prior to that I was with another client. What I will say is, I feel like it's more stable now than it was a few years ago. I think what I noticed was when IBM purchased them, there was that time where they were trying to identify where Kenexa fit. What I've really seen over the last two years is a commitment and a doubling down by IBM to do that talent component right. It's really made the product feel, not only stable, but they're investing in it. It's evolving much faster than it was a couple of years ago.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We're huge. It's plenty scalable. We have multi-million applicants a year, and we hire almost a 100,000 people a year. It does it great; we don't have issues during our highest volume time of year, when we're getting 30,000 applicants a day. It processes them just fine. The size and volume have not been an issue.

How are customer service and technical support?

Part of why I think we're actually expanding our relationship with IBM is their Global Support Center is fairly standard, compared to other support centers from other companies. Where I think that they're different is we have our clients success manager, as a contact. They're our personal person, for helping us become expert; for helping us better understand the product. They can help us solve problems in the system. They're a technical expert. There's a really big benefit to having not just the tech support from a point of view of, "I have a ticket, I'm going to enter it", and having that be done well, which it is. The real benefit is, "I don't have a problem; I'm just trying to solve a business problem, but I don't know how to do it.". They are experts who can help me find that answer.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We previously used Kronos for our retail operation, we previously used Taleo for our corporate operation, and we used SuccessFactors for our career site.

For us, IBM evolving to be able to provide that end-to-end responsive experience was a lot of what drove our decision to go away from SuccessFactors, because we really utilized SuccessFactors or Jobs2Web to provide a responsive careers site and search engine optimization. The world's changed, and you don't need to be quite as intentional about that as you used to be, and then our real priority was a great mobile experience. That's something IBM could provide, and have it more naturally integrated with the ATS, which was why we went there.

The reason we went away from Taleo was we had implemented Kenexa for our entire retail organization successfully. After having two years of success with that in retail, it didn't make any sense to have multiple platforms. We like IBM. IBM has been great partners for us. They're really invested in our success, and they see us as a valuable client. I think when your vendor treats you like you're important, listens and responds, that's a differentiator, and that's something IBM does very well. We weren't getting that with the others.

How was the initial setup?

I was not involved in the initial setup. I was brought in five months after the initial setup to help with some challenges.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I wasn't with the company when they decided to go with Kenexa for retail, so I'm not entirely clear on all of the vendors they looked at. The only ones I know of are: of course they looked at expanding the relationship with Kronos; I know they looked at Taleo; and then I know they looked at IBM. I feel like there were likely more involved, but I was not part of that decision.

What other advice do I have?

If you're going to purchase this, it's awesome, and it can do pretty much anything you could imagine. Don't over-engineer it. Start simple. Start clean. If you want to add more later, you can. I'd say that the ability to dramatically customize this tool is a blessing and a curse. If the people involved don't understand how to do it, you're going to do it wrong. Get the right talent on board to be able to do it right.

During a presentation at a conference, somebody said, First optimize your process, then systematize it; don't systematize a process, that isn't ideal. Take that time, before you implement the system, to get it as clean as possible, and then make sure you've got experts involved in your implementation, and you're not over complicating it.

As far as selecting a vendor, I think there are two pieces to consider. Number one is we want them to care as much about our success as we do; it's not just a matter of, they get the contract paid, and then we're on our own.

Number two is seeing that they're evolving the product. We don't want to invest a ton into implementing them, and then have them stagnate. We need them to continue to evolve with the industry. Beyond that, we also need them to really prioritize our success, and if we're not successful, they view that as a failure by them and they will help us resolve that.

My rating reflects the technology; there are always opportunities. I think their commitment to doing something special and their commitment to taking a care of their customers supports the four-star rating.

I would be concerned. IBM has a different legacy than Kenexa has, and I hope that Kenexa keeps its identity, because if it does, it will maintain that really customer-focused mentality, and stay at four stars. I would be concerned that it would get a little too big business, if it gets more IBMified – if you get what I mean by that.

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.
it_user512943
HRIS Analyst at Lockheed Martin
Vendor
It has the flexibility to be configured the way that you need it to work; with the various tools, offer letters, forms, and the way that the system's structured

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature of Kenexa, I believe, is the flexibility to configure the tool the way that you need it to work; with the various tools, offer letters, forms, and the way that the system's structured. Being that it's an off-the-shelf system, the flexibility makes it easier for companies to configure the system, to suit their needs.

How has it helped my organization?

It's benefited our organization, because we don't have to worry about all of the background configuration, and coding, and development. They provide the tools, and Kenexa behind the scenes does the work of all the coding and developing the product. They give us the flexibility to do what we need to do in our business.

What needs improvement?

Being in a silo of my own world, my wish would be that everything that's available in their legacy views would be moved into their new Talent Suite products, so we could move over to that. We have certain features and functions that we cannot move away from due to government regulations and compliance needs, and some of those are not available yet in the newer UI.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Overall, the stability is very good. Very few blips here and there, but overall it's excellent.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability seems to be there; falls in line with the flexibility to configure the system. You bring in new business areas, you have the flexibility to configure it and set it up to where you can roll those portions or new companies right into your existing system, seamlessly.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have occasionally used the help desk. Their help desk support works. They are responsive. They do their job.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We were previously using a home-grown system; one that was developed by Lockheed Martin. It didn't have the scalability or flexibility that we needed to modify and adjust to the growing needs of the staffing world.

How was the initial setup?

For our company, initial setup was pretty complex, because we were trying to combine multiple systems into one. There were a lot of differences between our internal business areas. However, all that was overcome and we were able to implement it, on time, with the solution that worked for everybody.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I do not know the other vendors that were considered, now and why the company eventually chose Kenexa. I was not involved in the RFP process.

When selecting a vendor to work with, the most important criteria for me is that the vendor has a proven track record, and good referrals from other customers. Somebody that's going to stand behind their product, and be there to help you out when you need the help.

What other advice do I have?

It's a great company to work with. I've been using the Kenexa BrassRing since 2007, so I've been using the product for quite a long time, and seen how far it's come. I just think it's a good tool, with great flexibility.

I’m giving it a high rating because, whenever we do run across critical issues or things that we need to get addressed right away, they always seem to rise to the occasion, have our back, chip in, and do their part to help us get the task accomplished on time.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user512940
Director, People Intelligence at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
It quickly brings together a lot of data and it joins that data.

What is most valuable?

There are a lot of valuable features in Kenexa: being able to bring a lot of data together quickly; to be able to join the data; and then to be able to get insights in a time-frame that's a lot shorter than the regular SAS or process like that.

How has it helped my organization?

The biggest improvement for us is it's made us think; the outcomes coming out are something that we possibly wouldn't have thought about. The idea is to be neutral going into it, understand the types of insights that come out and to be able to pursue them as hypotheses; see if they make sense for us to continue with.

What needs improvement?

We're still putting our notes together on where we’d like to see improvements. We haven't got a detailed list yet, but the cool thing is we've got a process to document what we want changed, to promote that and show it to IBM. Most cases when we did that in the past, they've been able to say it was on the roadmap already. There are no examples right now, but we do have a list that we're gathering right now.

The price can always be better. I'm not saying the price is high, but of course I work with a budget. Bottom line is it's basically fine.

We're looking at ways to, for instance, to be able to get outputs, and drop it into Excel, if we want to. Right now, we can only do part of that, but not as much as I want to.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability has been fine. We've had some timeouts but they've been quickly fixed. Stability has been fine. There have been no issues at all.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It’s scalability is changing. At first, we had a problem getting a number of the transactions in there; now, that's changed. Every time we've had issues or problems, they've been addressed and have been fixed. We've got no problems with scalability or outages or anything.

How are customer service and technical support?

We’ve used technical support, and it’s been great, fantastic. We have ways of submitting tickets if we need to. We've been updated on potential upgrades, etc. The support has been fantastic for us.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We were tired of thinking of what we wanted solved a year and a half in advance, because it took that long to get a project set up and get the budget approved and processed. The ability now to be able to take data, load it yourself, ask the business questions and get the answers on your own process with the business just made it a lot faster, and the cognitive solution gives us some insights for us to think about. It just made business sense in so many ways: time, money, etc.

How was the initial setup?

I was involved in the initial setup. I've got a person by the name of Kevin Rush. He's been more on the technical side but as far as the setup, I was involved since day one. Initial setup took some time. Once the tool was set up for us to be able to use, it took a bit of hand-holding from IBM, but now we're at a place where we can load and link, and do a lot of things with it ourselves.

To set it up was tough, and when I say tough, it was more about learning for us, but we're laughing now with it, for sure.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Basically, we didn't consider any other solutions, because we've had such a long relationship with them and we did some work with them before this process. Our working agreement and their commitment to service didn't take us long to pick them.

What other advice do I have?

Don't be afraid to start. The longer you wait, the more money you probably spend on new people leaving. The biggest thing is, if you're looking for faster ways of getting information about your people, about your customers, I would say start with what you have and to grow it. A lot of people are scared to start because they don't think they have enough information. Their information isn't big enough for this to use but the fact of the matter is you can use this on any kind of scale.

My rating is partly because I need to know more and learn more, and also I know there's some things on the roadmap they're looking to develop and once those come in, I think it's going to be even better. I love the idea that they have roadmap ideas. I love their support, but like all of us, we have a little bit of room to grow.

The two most important criteria for me when selecting a vendor are: 1) obviously, the product has to have some kind of nuts and bolts behind it; and 2) also the support. We've seen a lot of sales people come through, but after the deal is signed is when you see the true signs of how they're going to support us. For me, I'll look at the support people before I look at the sales people.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user512928
Program Manager at T-Mobile
Vendor
By configuring through Workbench, you can manipulate the candidate experience to be something that candidates like and allows them to apply easily.

What is most valuable?

Great value and flexibility in an ATS, mainly through the automation and the configuration through Workbench you can do to manipulate the candidate experience to really be something that candidates like and allows them to apply to your site easily and put them in a pipeline for recruiters to access and move through a process and get somebody hired.

How has it helped my organization?

We've really used Kenexa to, at this point, look at the application process, make sure that it is as clean as possible and be able to get that time down, so candidates don't walk away from the experience, as well as automate a lot of things for recruiters, administrators, all those types of folks, so they aren't having to do manual tasks. The system is really doing that for them.

What needs improvement?

I think IBM is working with a lot of analytical tools and with Watson and analytics, diagnosing system pain points, problems, queues, those types of issues to enhance the system. I really like the roadmap where they’re going. Also, the enhancements they are doing to gateway questionnaires, those types of things, to improve the mobile process is really good, things that we're trying to implement at T-Mobile.

I think there is some administrative things that could be easier in terms of Workbench and streamlining that process; configuration of different things. I think the overall experience is great. Branding is something that I think can always be worked on. It seems to be really hard on the marketing side to keep up, to be honest with you, but I think overall in terms of an ATS, it's a great tool. There's a few things there that could always be improved with anybody. It's really hard to give a perfect rating.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have great up-time with Kenexa. I've used some of the competitors before. I hadn't had that experience. We've had really great up-time with that. A lot of our questions are answered within a reasonable time.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability with Kenexa is very easily done. For us, we have three administrators that serve over 100 recruiters, 30 recruiting co-coordinators, multiple managers on top of that; talent acquisition staff of about 150 people. We've actually taken some implementation. We have an email box where we get system issue questions, problems, troubleshooting, learning all those types of questions from folks. We originally started with implementation of over 1,000 emails a month. Now we're down to 200 or 300 emails a month, and that's I think contributed to the scalability of Kenexa because we can put everything in place and allow just a few folks with an email box doing enhancements, those types of things, to make the system work and run for everybody.

How are customer service and technical support?

I think technical support is really good. You definitely have to give them the right information to go ahead and get the problem solved, to get the questions answered, those types of things. I think people are very willing to help and once you learn what they need, it's not a problem.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

It wasn't really my choice to choose Kenexa, but I was very happy when we did because of the experience I had with those competitors.

How was the initial setup?

I was not involved in the initial setup. I was hired post-implementation to go ahead and help with some of that.

What other advice do I have?

Think about what your business needs, talk to your customers. What do your customers want? Do process mapping, do some Lean Six Sigma sessions with those customers and really find out what the core needs are. Then provide those to the customer. Kenexa may not be the option you want based on those needs, but I think it's very likely that it could be.

I think stability is an important criteria when selecting a vendor to work with. How long have they been around? Who do they work with? You don't want to get somebody on their first shop or their first job. You really would like to have somebody else be the guinea pig. The vendor should have that experience, so you need something there for that.

I think Kenexa's history, along with IBM, is a great point for them on that. Then you need somebody that does the work. You need them in the presentation to be able to really look at your business requirements that you give in the RFP, be able to answer those questions thoughtfully and correctly, and provide some information for you to make a decision on that product based on what they can do for you.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user512952
Program Manager, Talent Acquisition at a retailer with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
The hiring system automates a lot of our hiring process and eliminates manual touchpoints​.

What is most valuable?

For us, the most valuable feature is the ability to completely onboard our associates online, their electronic onboarding portal, as well as the automation that they have in their hiring system that allows us to automate a lot of our hiring process and eliminate those manual touchpoints.

How has it helped my organization?

It allows us to streamline our hiring process, and also standardize our hiring processes across the organization.

What needs improvement?

We're really looking forward to what Kenexa has in store for data analytics in the future with their Talent Insights tool. We're also really looking forward to some of their enhancements to their onboarding portal, specifically for recruiters and hiring managers.

We just recently upgraded to their Talent Suite, which is their latest version of the software. Their onboarding portal saw the most change, and I would say it's been really improved from a new-hire or a candidate experience. We are looking forward to some additional enhancements from a hiring manager perspective.

There's always more work to do. There's always improvements that can be made, but overall, we're very happy with the product.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability's very good. Overall, we typically don't have any unexpected downtimes during the month.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is great. We use the system for everything from a very low-volume, high-touch corporate recruiting model to our tax office, high-volume approach, which is 80-100,000 people each season.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is good, responsive and efficient. We always get same-day response on our tickets. We may not always get same-day resolution, but we always get same-day response. Their customer-service agents are always very friendly and knowledgeable about the system.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Prior to Kenexa, we were on a homegrown system for recruiting, but our corporate recruiting was on another system. We switched to Kenexa because it was important for us to have all of our recruiting, both for corporate and our tax offices, under one system. We wanted to make sure all of our candidates were together; we were looking at a holistic candidate pool, really, one database for an applicant-tracking system.

Also, just the functionality that Kenexa provides in comparison to the other vendor that we were using.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

The decision to get Kenexa happened before I joined the team.

What other advice do I have?

Functionality, I think, is the number one criteria for me when selecting a vendor to work with, but a very close second would be the customer relationship – really, the relationships and partnerships that we have as a client, and knowing that if we have a problem or a question, we'll have somebody that's there to answer it for us and to help us on our journey.

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.
it_user512937
HR at a hospitality company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
It helps us resource and search for candidates in an efficient manner.​

Valuable Features

The streamlined, simplicity approach of Kenexa makes it simple for me to navigate.

Improvements to My Organization

It makes us, I think, more efficient when it comes to candidates and making sure that, with the candidates that we have, we are able to resource and search candidates in an efficient manner.

Room for Improvement

As with pretty much anything, it could be more efficient.

No solution's perfect but in the same token, that's not for me to decide. I'm just looking at it being user friendly for what I'm doing, and that's providing great talent to our company. As far as being a user of it, I don't see any problems as of right now.

Stability Issues

I think it's very stable, I don't see it going anywhere anytime soon. I have not encountered any stability issues at all.

Scalability Issues

No scalability issues either. On a broader scale, I think it's a great program that we could use. I think a lot of companies are using them now; using Kenexa a lot more now.

Customer Service and Technical Support

I have not recently used technical support; I haven't had any opportunities there at all.
We do have technical support available to us. We have a person who's in charge of tech support. That person, if she has any kind of problems that we have in the field, we send it to her and she gets us an answer back. She does it in house, and then if she needs to take it outside of corporate headquarters, she'll go there as well.

Other Advice

The most important criteria for me when selecting a vendor are transparency, reliability, and also reputation.

Basically, for what I use Kenexa, it's good for me for right now. It's perfect for me right now, if I have any opportunities as far as from a technical standpoint, I know I'm going to answer within a day or so.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user504219
Specialist, Talent Acquisitions Systems at a engineering company with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
The configuration and permission control possibilities provide the opportunity to automate and control processes that would otherwise be manual and/or not locked down.

What is most valuable?

One of the best, possibly worst things if not controlled, is the configuration and permission control possibilities within the system. These possibilities provide the opportunity to automate and control processes that would otherwise be manual and/or not locked down. If you are not in control of your system, it can become a nightmare.

How has it helped my organization?

Prior to implementing Kenexa, our basic data quality was poor. We were unable to provide the required transparency to the business about recruitments in process, or empower them to take control of their approval processes. Now, having provided this, amongst many other things, we have a much closer relationship to the business.

What needs improvement?

Enhancement releases can't come fast enough, and you only know what is being released a week at most in advance. The documentation of the changes and configuration requirements are often following months after the initial release.

If you happen to be an early adopter of enhancements, it can be a frustrating process, as it is hard to decipher together with their support whether an issue is a bug or working as intended (a change in the way something works).

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using it for four years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

There was a two-year period after IBM bought Kenexa during which things were rough. But for the last two years, the system is quite stable - as long as you are in control of your own system.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is 7/10. Sometimes it is hard to make the first level of support understand basic issues, even if it is clearly documented.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Yes, we previously used a different solution. We switched because we placed as much weight on the vendor being a sparring partner, as much as providing a powerful system.

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup was complex, but the system is! I wish that I had spent more time understanding what we were saying yes or no to.

What about the implementation team?

We implemented it in-house. Take the time to understand what you are saying yes or no to. If a functionality is not available to you, and you are requested to log it as a RFE (Request for Enhancement) - there is little chance of it happening in the near future.

What other advice do I have?

Two years after IBM bought Kenexa, we are really starting to see the system evolve for the better. It is the best ATS on the market, and IBM are one of the better vendors to work with.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.