HCM technology is a dynamic market and this year did not disappoint. Providers announced new capabilities and products that covered everything from predictive analytics to data visualization to artificial intelligence. Partnerships were created, services were enhanced, and acquisitions were made. And after years of feeling left behind, HCM seems to have finally caught up to other areas of the business in terms of an improved experience and enhanced value.

Looking back, we have compiled the top ten headlines that we covered this year.

  1. Microsoft Acquires LinkedIn: Undoubtedly, the biggest news in the industry was Microsoft’s acquisition of social media giant and recruitment solution, LinkedIn. The acquisition presents an interesting shift in talent acquisition yet leaves many recruiters with questions that are still unanswered.
  2. Randstad Acquires Monster: Randstad announced its plans to acquire Monster for $429 million – that works out to be $3.40 a share (by the way, Monster’s share price was once $91). In my opinion, the acquisition does not disrupt the market or change the landscape in any major way. What it does do is present a few unique opportunities for Randstad.
  3. Salary.com Founders Buy the Company Back from IBM: The company was acquired by Kenexa (now IBM) in 2010 for $80 million and then, it was bought back by the original founding team in 2016 with the goal of helping companies pay competitively, improve efficiencies, and enable pay transparency. Nearly 40% of the original Salary.com team has returned to develop a comprehensive suite of compensation and data solutions as well as training and implementation services. They have returned to try to innovate a market that has gone stale.
  4. Infor Gets $2 Billion from Koch Equity Investments: This investment is one of the largest in technology this year. Infor plans to invest in its cloud-based ERP solution and other industry applications including HCM. We expect to see Infor establishing itself as a leading provider in this market.
  5. SnagaJob Acquires PeopleMatter: SnagaJob began as a job board focused on the hourly retail, hospitality, and food service industry. Its acquisition in 2016 of PeopleMatter brought them a unique combination of hiring, assessment, learning, and scheduling capabilities focused on the same industry segment. Their goal is to hire and schedule best- fit workers using a data-driven approach.
  6. Ultimate Acquires Kanjoya: Ultimate continues to expand into all aspects of HCM including its acquisition of cloud-based workforce intelligence and analytics provider, Kanjoya.
  7. Zenefits Fails Again: After a tumultuous year of compliance and culture issues that led to the resignation of Conrad Parker, Zenefits continues to face more turmoil. For example, in Washington State, Zenefits now has to charge companies $5 per employee.
  8. ADP Innovates Performance Management: With a new take on performance management and an improved manager and employee experience, ADP is reimagining performance management and enabling greater transparency and feedback.
  9. Mercer Acquires Thomsons Online Benefits: Mercer expands further into HCM by acquiring Thomsons Online Benefits.
  10. Recruitment Marketing Becomes an Established Category: SmashFly raised $22 million in Series B funding today led by Bessemer Venture Partners (an investor in Cornerstone OnDemand and LinkedIn). They have also had tremendous success by tripling the number of net new customers (mid-market and enterprise) over the past year. Other providers such as Clinch, Talemetry and Phenom People are offering impressive solutions that make this market one worth watching.