Latest ADP Buy Is Bet That Analytics Trend Will Accelerate

The big vendor news this week was the acquisition of The Marcus Buckingham Company by ADP.

It’s not so much the size of the deal — TMBC is a boutique performance management consulting and services firm; no price was announced. Instead, the significance of the deal is two-fold: It continues ADP’s march to become a complete full services HR provider, and it’s a bet that the trend toward leveraging analytics and data to improve performance will continue to accelerate.

Marcus BuckinghmanMarcus Buckingham achieved widespread notice in 1999 with the breakout bestselling book, First, Break All the Rules, which he co-authored with others in the Gallup organization. He has since gone on to write or co-author several others, all on the subject of talent management and how managers can and should use data and analytics to improve productivity and engagement.

His company, TMBC, works with with some of the largest companies showing them how to develop better managers and use data to identify individual strengths and build high performance teams.

In a blog post about the acquisition, ADP said, “We believe that having a data and research-driven approach to talent is now more important than ever.” The acquisition gives ADP access to StandOut, TMBC’s cloud-based performance and talent management technology tool.

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It’s a solution that implements the trend toward constant feedback, dynamic teaming, engagement measurement and the development of unbiased performance data.

Here’s a brief look at other vendor developments:

  • Namely, a SaaS HR benefits and software provider for small companies, raised $50 million in a Series D round. Namely, which also processes payrolls, competes with ADP and especially with Zenefits. It has raised $138 million to date.
  • Shiftgig, a provider of on-demand workers, raised $20 million.
  • High-flyin’ Greenhouse has had a few layoffs, and is going to forgo having a big user conference this spring, but CEO Daniel Chait says that’s all no big sign of anything for a company that has basically quadrupled in a couple of years (and Chait is quick to remind us the company is hiring). A couple of key employees have new responsibilities: Maia is now handling “strategy, marketing, and people”; Lauren has moved from a talent-acquisition role to a product role. Nice people, all three.
  • Among the several dozen startups crossing our desks of late is AmpifiU, which a couple of well-known and large corporations in its hometown of Minneapolis are trying out. AmpifiU wants to better match college students with employers, allowing the former to write blogs, share projects, and otherwise engage with employers beyond just a resume.
  • Another of the new college-recruiting startups we’ve been talking to is Portfolium. It raised another approximately $5.25 million in a Series A, acting as a bit of a LinkedIn for college hiring. Students and professors use the system to keep track of papers, grades, and projects — a learning management system essentially — and then as students head toward graduation, potential employers have a way of seeing what the student has done. Customers include Oracle and ViaSat.
  • And before we get off the college-recruiting topic, the app Rakuna officially launched this week.
  • Publicly held health benefits platform provider Castlight Health acquired Jiff, a wellbeing services and benefits firm, in an all-stock transaction.
  • Engage2Excel, an employee engagement company, bought recruiting firm firm Decision Toolbox. (Interesting: at the latter, everyone works remotely.)
  • Remember Reschedge? ScheduleOnce is buying it. (More here.)
  • The job board, Authentic Jobs has been acquired by BuySellAds. It’s the first job board acquisition announced in 2017.  Job Board Doctor Jeff Dickey-Chasins says, “I’ve been tracking job board/recruiting site transactions, and for 2016, I count 21.”

John Zappe is the editor of and a contributing editor of John was a newspaper reporter and editor until his geek gene lead him to launch his first website in 1994. He developed and managed online newspaper employment sites and sold advertising services to recruiters and employers. Before joining ERE Media in 2006, John was a senior consultant and analyst with Advanced Interactive Media and previously was Vice President of Digital Media for the Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

Besides writing for ERE, John consults with staffing firms and employment agencies, providing content and managing their social media programs. He also works with organizations and businesses to assist with audience development and marketing. In his spare time  he can be found hiking in the California mountains or competing in canine agility and obedience competitions.

You can contact him here.