Greenhouse and the Era of Next Generation ATS Providers

Many people holding up tablets in front of their faces with their pictures on the back

Greenhouse is on a fast growth curve. It has made a name in an industry that is crowded, confusing and incredibly competitive. This next generation talent acquisition system is growing at 200% annually with $60 Million in funding and over 2000 customers (mid-market). It is interesting to me because it is not necessarily disrupting the ATS market but it is thinking about recruitment differently. I learned a lot about Greenhouse at its user conference last week where I had the opportunity to meet with the Executive team and some of its customers. Below are a few reasons why I believe it has been successful and a few things it might need to consider for the future.

Why So Much Growth in Such a Short Period of Time?

  • Productizing Best Practices: Greenhouse with its scorecard functionality and its focus on best-practices is a product that guides recruiters and hiring managers to make the right decisions. It doesn’t force them into the decisions but it shows them what the obvious answers are and then let’s them decide. The job of a talent acquisition professional has become so complex that this level of simplicity and guidance goes a long way. Box, one if its customers at the event, said it was able to provide a simple experience for recruiters, improve how recruiting teams work together and cut time to fill from 60 to 28 days.
  • The Demand for Best of Breed: According to research we’ve conducted this year, 50% of the companies that are unhappy with their ATS are using an ERP. Companies today are looking at best of breed providers and no longer have to sacrifice integration for deep functionality. Stitchfix stated that when considering an ERP and Greenhouse, the partnerships and integration  with third-party providers helped influence its decision to go with best of breed.
  • Happy Partners: In conversations with several companies in San Francisco, Greenhouse has a reputation for being a good partner. Why is this important? Well, the next generation talent acquisition platform is dependent on an ecosystem of providers to support everything from sourcing to screening to interviewing candidates. This ecosystem is the lifeline of an ATS and having strong partnerships in place can greatly improve the customer’s experience.

What It Needs to Consider Moving Forward?

  • Move Out of Tech: Right now, Greenhouse has nearly 60% of its customers in the technology industry (including eretail and fintech). When we ask companies what influences the recruitment tech decisions, “word of mouth” was number one. While it is great that tech companies are so impressed with Greenhouse, it will need to expand outside of tech to sustain its growth and rethink its messaging and even sales strategy.
  • Expand in Recruitment Marketing: Next Generation TA platforms are defined as having 3 critical systems: a Recruitment Marketing platform, ATS and onboarding system. Greenhouse has the ATS and onboarding but needs to build recruitment marketing especially as it comes head to head with providers such as iCIMS, Lever, and SmartRecruiters.
  • A Stronger Message: As competition continues to heat up in this market. Messaging around making recruitment better and easier gets overplayed. Greenhouse will need to be very clear on its differentiators as it moves up market and into other verticals.

Greenhouse is one of the providers we are including in our upcoming Index report. Stay tuned…

Madeline Laurano

Madeline Laurano

Madeline Laurano is the founder and chief analyst of Aptitude Research. For over 18 years, Madeline’s primary focus has been on the HCM market, specializing in talent acquisition and employee experience. Her work helps companies both validate and re-evaluate their strategies and understand the role technology can play in driving business outcomes. She has watched HCM transform from a back-office function to a strategic company initiative with a focus on partnerships, experience and efficiency.

Before founding Aptitude Research, Madeline held research roles at Aberdeen, Bersin by Deloitte, ERE Media and Brandon Hall Group. She is the co-author of Best Practices in Leading a Global Workforce and is often quoted in leading business publications including The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, Yahoo News, The New York Times and The Financial Times. She is a frequent presenter at industry conferences including the HR Technology Conference and Exposition, SHRM, IHRIM, HCI’s Strategic Talent Acquisition conference, Unleash, GDS International’s HCM Summit, and HRO Today.

In her spare time, she is a runner, an avid sports fan and juggles a house full of boys (where a spontaneous indoor hockey game is not unheard of!).

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