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Pros and Cons of Taleo

I’ve been using Taleo for years and know all the pros and cons of using it. But let me give you the biggest PRO about Taleo. You get to put it on your resume. And, if you have implemented Taleo then you’re lucky  to have such a highly sought after skill/background. Now eat a cookie and pat yourself on the back.


The PROS of Taleo:

  1. Track candidates through the entire process.
  2. Taleo is a great system for diversity, EEOC and OFCCP compliance.
  3. As I mentioned before, Taleo experience is a great skill to have
  4. Implementation support.
  5. Taleo updates are often (most done over a weekend).
  6. API integration with most job boards.
  7. Folder system for group collaboration.
  8. Assigning tasks to recruiters is a great feature (often rarely used).
  9. Excellent for building template repository for offer letters, rejection letters and etc.
  10. Multitude of optional steps to ensure all pre-hiring requirements are fulfilled.
  11. Enterprise Taleo works great with large companies.
  12. A lot of companies use Taleo and finding recruiters with Taleo experience is a LOT easier than the other large scale talent management systems.

So if you’re still reading this and leaning towards Taleo, then let me tell you more.

The CONS of Taleo:

  1. It is not a CRM and has almost zero CRM functionality
  2. Single resume upload (no bulk loading). One resume-at-a-time. A productivity killer for sure.
  3. Time consuming manual data entry for resume uploads, job postings and general editing.
  4. Steep learning curve for users (my guess is 3 weeks to get the hang of it).
  5. Steep learning curve for custom reporting (separate feature ).
  6. Limited custom integration for 3rd party resume tools (Taleo does not like to play with others).
  7. Taleo uses FLEX scripting technology that is NOT mobile friendly. They will tell you otherwise, but try accessing it on a phone!!
  8. 50% traffic from LinkedIn is from a mobile device – LOSS of traffic to website from LinkedIn mobile users equals LOSS of applicants!
  9. The need for a team to implement, integrate, upgrade and/or maintain enterprise Taleo version is costly.
  10. No tags or tagging features for candidate resumes (I’ve been screaming about this for years ).
  11. Difficult to collaborate with other recruiters – except for the folder features.
  12. Limited search features but they have improved… some, but by far one of the worst compared to other systems.
  13. Too many clicks or steps to view a resume.
  14. No Taleo mobile App or mobile version.
  15. Zero to none social media integration for recruiters (a recruiter can’t use LinkedIn account to post job to profile)
  16. None to very little analytics for job postings (unless using another 3rd party tool like Jobs2Web)
  17. Lack of partnerships for background check services, video resumes or social media tools.

This seems like a LOT of CONS for Taleo. Well…it is. My biggest concern is the fact that almost HALF of job seekers are using mobile apps to review jobs. Taleo is not mobile friendly. And for some reason, most decision makers in HR departments don’t have a problem with it. WHAT?!?!  Plenty of data that PROVES job seekers are using their iPhone or Android phone to apply to a job. This is not a myth. It’s a fact.

If you want to see how Taelo performs on a mobile devices just TRY to access the career section from your phone. Good luck with that!


A lot of companies use Taleo. And that is good thing. But, it should NOT be the reason why you purchase it. However, Taleo is probably the best tool out there for compliance Taleoand accountability. AND, it works! It simply works. Lastly, you can bundle with all the Oracle products including the PeopleSoft modules.

To sum it up. Pros and Cons of Taleo presented here are from my point of view. I have a love hate for Taleo. I love it for tracking applicants, but I hate it for searching candidates. Taleo is  a good tool for human resource managers that need “one size fits all” system. Ironically, those that decide to sign on with Taleo are the ones that rarely use it…until they lose their job and have to apply-on!

(Final note: I get a lot of emails and calls about applicant tracking systems and almost half of them are interested in large scale systems like Taleo. There is NO such thing as the perfect ATS (or TMS) out there. They all have different their pros and cons, but I can’t stress how important it is to pick the RIGHT system for your company. I’ve used Taleo, PeopleFluent, Kenexa BrassRing, and a few others. If you have any questions, please contact me).


About Michael Glenn

I am a talent acquisition consultant, trainer and motivator for jobseekers and recruiters. I specialize in helping others find opportunities and bringing top talent to companies.

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