Relaunch Talent Without the Painful Implementation

By Patrick Foss, November 2019

Like Mark Twain, the reports of the death of Taleo have been greatly exaggerated. Analysts, competing vendors and sometimes even Oracle have tried to “put baby in the corner.”  Obviously, that was Patrick Swayze and not Mark Twain, but the fact remains - Taleo is still the most comprehensive, extendable and configurable recruiting platform on the market.

Once able to claim over 50% of the Fortune 100 as enterprise users, Taleo has lost some traction to other platforms as of late. Several of the defections were to align with an HCM platform, only to realize they have regressed a decade in recruiting functionality. A great example of this regression was discussed in a LinkedIn post by William Tincup regarding WorkDay: (

Clients and friends have given me funny looks as I’ve shared the first word that comes to mind with Fluid is “opportunity.” We see the spectrum of approaches to talent technology - those continually looking to optimize and others who haven’t touched their process or technology in the last decade. One opportunity comes in the form of listening better and responding to your customer input. We celebrate a go-live, but many neglected to include a feedback loop or embrace a feature release cadence to our managers or recruiters. Seize this opportunity to collect input and leverage the improvements coming with Fluid Recruiting.

“Fluid Recruiting” is the Oracle move from the existing Adobe Flash based version of Taleo to html5 due to the retirement of Flash on December 31, 2020. The impending retirement date creates a sense of urgency that is driving focus at Oracle. The iteration approach has frustrated some, but I believe history will show this to be a very wise approach (and frankly, the best chance to be successful).  Our biggest challenge is often getting the attention of users who have settled into the groove of what they must do versus what they can do. Over-engineered workflows, not taking the time to develop effective prescreening or not effectively noting motives are all examples of “must do” vs “can do.” Incremental changes on irregular delivery schedules struggle to be adopted. Re-launching talent on a familiar toolset without the angst of a new implementation is something every organization should leverage. 


While total application parity is still on the horizon, there are features to get excited about. Use this opportunity to invigorate and educate on how to leverage technology. They include:

 - Mobile – The application is now inherently mobile and works great on a computer, iPad or phone.  A key callout of this discussion is to make sure you test on all devices.

- Apply as Guest – Allows for a more ‘retail like’ application experience where a person can provide application information without first creating a username and password.

- WYSIWYG Editor – For anyone who has struggled to decode upside down question marks and other alien characters in their job descriptions, the news of an improved job description editor is worthy of a high five!

- Intuitive Display – Several of the longstanding suggestions to make information more concise or intuitive in the initial display have been built into Fluid Recruiting. Some of our initial usability testing validates we are such creatures of habit that we blow right by the information made more obvious by default.

- Speed – The new application is many times faster loading, retrieving and displaying information.

- Improved Search – New Advanced Search functionality to return faster and more predictable results. Search coupled with effective prescreening is an unbeatable sourcing tool.


Anyone remember the panic of the Business Objects to OBI transition a few years ago? Avoiding being painted into a Q4 2020 corner means developing your strategy for the Fluid transition now. Develop a project plan and timeline with a realistic target in mind. For example, an adoption target post the 20B release might suggest a mid-summer 2020 retirement of the legacy platform. Some are in the process of deploying to select manager audiences and seeing early success – especially in mobile environments.

Everyone nearing this transition should make the time in the coming months to review how their current configurations will apply to Fluid. A few of the easy streamline opportunities include Candidate Selection Workflows, correspondence
content/triggers and auto-progression. We’re even seeing clients deploying RPA (Robotic Process Automation) and “bots” to automate manual tasks. Other areas of process or technology review include:


Application Flows

Prescreening (the most underutilized area of the system)

Forms, formats and usage

Motives – rejection, withdrawal and other uses


Job Templates

Career sections


Analytics & Dashboards

Partner Integrations

iOs Walk-through

Quick Button Assignment


Making the most of your opportunity to fully launch Fluid Recruiting and improve Talent Acquisition comes down to the preparation. A successful launch will bring together the technical, functional and change management execution. The timing and ability to measure the improvements as a part of showing the gains will set the tone for the next chapter of your TA evolution. 


We have many friends who have recently endured implementing technology they didn’t ask for, wouldn’t have chosen and are struggling to support. I’ve had a couple ask me what it would take to turn Taleo back on for them (not much by the way). Just like Microsoft set the standard for Word, Outlook and Excel – Taleo remains the standard for enterprise Talent Acquisition. Our opportunity as a community is to successfully execute the pivot to Fluid with a fraction of the effort and a solid foundation to build upon. 


I encourage you to engage in the planning conversation and take advantage of this opportunity to relaunch your talent function with all the knowledge, capability and planning to make this your most successful HR technology project yet.