Talent Management Software Spotlight: SuccessFactors

A more recent addition to the field of human capital management software, SuccessFactors was founded in 2001 by Lars Dalgaard. Before becoming an independent subsidiary of SAP America, SuccessFactors was the first tech company to be triple-listed on three different stock exchanges (NASDAQ, NYSE, and the Frankfurt Stock Exchange in Germany).


This cloud-based, SaaS offering includes 9 different modules at the enterprise level, including the following:

  • Compensation. This module enables the rewarding of top performers, avoids overpaying underachievers, budget optimization, improved compliance, and reducing manual errors.
  • Employee Central. Core HR functions need more than mere automation to meet today’s complex business demands, which is why this module contains a host of applications that support a wide variety of HR needs.
  • Jam (Collaboration). Using this module in HR enhances employee engagement, retention and streamlines trainings.
  • Learning. This LMS module aims to improve skills, develop leaders, reduce compliance risks, and more effectively engage employees.
  • Performance and Goals. The P&G module provides in-depth employee performance information to retain, reward, and develop employees through its innovative capabilities and intuitive user experience.
  • Recruiting. This end-to-end talent acquisition module helps attract and engage top talent, as well as select and hire the best-fit candidates.
  • Succession/Development. Use this module to identify and develop the talent needed to improve organizational strength while providing visibility and planning capabilities to support future growth.
  • Workforce Analytics. Improved HR decision-making comes through answers to key questions about workforce challenges and guidance to help solve them.
  • Workforce Planning. This module helps answer the following important question: “What are our business goals over the next several years and what kind of workforce will we need to reach those goals?”

SuccessFactors has more than 4,000 customers and 27 million users spanning 177 countries, 37 languages and 60 industries. Some customer companies you might recognize: Kawasaki, Allstate Company, Amway, Bechtel, Diebold, Hasbro, Hilton Worldwide, NASA, Novo Nordisk, New York Life, Siemens, and Timken, to name a few.

On the G2 Crowd website, one of the best sources for independent customer reviews of talent management software, Successfactors has received 43 reviews, with 10 at the 5-star level, 17 at the 4-star level, 13 at the 3-star level and 3 at the 1-star level. What is it that people like and don’t like about Successfactors?

I like to immediately take a look at the most negative reviews in order to quickly assess if they’re quality reviews or just disgruntled customers who had some kind of isolated experience. In the case of SuccessFactors, I note that two of these 1-star reviews were from 2012, and that both highlighted user interface UI issues. The more recent (summer 2014) 1-star review noted that the UI issues were much improved and was more focused on poor customer service (something that is also highlighted as a negative by those who gave more favorable reviews).

Among those who have much more favorable reviews, what they like includes the new UI that seems much more appealing and easy to use than previous iterations, and the top-notch implementation consultants that get things up and running,

The concerns among those giving favorable reviews are serious and warrant consideration here. In particular, once implementation is complete and those top-notch implementation consultants hand it off to customer support, things seem to go downhill rapidly. Several noted that the support function is lacking, involving too many layers that don’t seem to communicate with one another, which means you end up explaining your problem and its context several times before it gets resolved. Several others also noted that new releases don’t seem to come when indicated and that those new releases often cause additional technical glitches. Several also are annoyed by the fact that it’s yet another system to remember login information for without single-sign-on. Several people highlighted that some of the modules are not nearly as integrated as they seemed to think they would be – in particular, the compensation module does not play well with the Employee Central module and the performance management module does not integrate well with the LMS module.

To summarize how SuccessFactors fares relative to other talent management software solutions I have reviewed, see the average out-of-five ratings below ranked from high to low:

  • Halogen TalentSpace            4.2
  • Cornerstone OnDemand      3.9
  • SuccessFactors                       3.5
  • Saba Software                         3.4
  • Oracle Taleo                            3.0


December 23, 2014   Updated :March 17, 2015   HR software, talent management, talent management software   

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