Who's buying who in the ATS market? Stepstone and Mr Ted anyone?

It is only a matter of time before Axel Springer finally acquire Stepstone. For further details read:


The other rumour on the mill is that Mr Ted are being acquired by Success Factors.

The following comments are purely my own opinion and are not based on any inside knowledge of any kind.  If my predictions are accurate or correct this is more luck than judgement!


There is a statement from the Board so the offer is public knowledge.  My question is what will happen to the Stepstone Solutions Business?  Axel Springer have, according to the statement, agreed to support this part of the business but if your read between the lines there is a lot of ambiguity.  I would suggest that Axel Springer already have a buyer lined up for the solutions business, be it in parts or as a whole.  So who would like to get hold of this?

  1. Taleo.
  2. SAP.
  3. Oracle.


Clearly Taleo would love to get this business as it would easily expand their footprint and give them unrivalled market leadership (by size).  They may not however be able to take on yet another acquisition so soon after Vurv.


The ERP vendors are still struggling to build a decent e-recruitment system and SAP are quite an acquisitive organisation.  The Stepstone customer base would give them a nice range of both Enterprise and SME customers.  Ultimately, if they don't get Stepstone they could end up buying Taleo who arguably have a better client match than Stepstone anyway.


For the same reasons as Taleo but I just don't see it happening.


There could of course be a few other organisations that could be interested but the above would be where I would expect something to come from.

Either way, in the short-term the employees have a future which will unravel in due course.  Longer term, I would hate to see SS swallowed up by Taleo (nothing personal) as we have few enough ATS vendors that have a UK/EU development team.  US software vendors rarely “get” the other market nuances whereas iGRasp's strength has been their knowledge of the UK in particular – long may it continue.

Mr Ted and Success Factors

Rumour has it is that SF have recently won a Global Talent Management contract which included recruitment; an area they are hardly well know for.  Apparently they will deliver this due to their pending acquisition of Mr Ted.  Sounds like a viable option but is it true?  One could argue I should not ask the question but hey, don;t ask don't get. 

Either way the market is simmering somewhat and the number of mid-to-large vendors are being shuffled around.  2010 could be interesting as we see some consolidation at the top and will end up with a clear distinction between pure play recruitment versus Talent Management, small business versus Enterprise.

See the original post here: Hire Strategies UK