Taleo: Tool of Darkeness

What is Taleo?

Executive Summary: If you are applying for a job, and you get to a site that says “Powered By Taleo” close the site and forget about applying for this company.

Longer Article: According to the site itself, Taleo is strategic talent management software.

Confused? So am I. I wonder why anyone would have anything to do with such an obfuscated mess. If they buy products that have ad copy that’s so annoying does this bode well for your job?

My take on Taleo is that it is software you have to use to apply to certain companies. Although I applaud software and companies and the like,however, I hate taleo. Why?

For one thing Taleo is buggy as hell.

Another reason is that it seems that the point of Taleo is to save work for HR personnel by taking your well crafted resume, that you were told was so important, and boiling it down to keywords that Taleo will search for. The more keywords, the better the chance that you will called.

One way to look at this is a game of poker. If you stack the Taleo deck with the right cards that is keywords, you will get a callback from the job. Great, right?

Not so fast. First of all, it’s difficult to figure out what the keywords are. I fear that everyone that has a computer and a yen for a job has gotten their heads around the trick of feeding the job description back on the application. So I wonder if this type of “Taleo Jamming” works. If it does, then great. I’d be interested in people’s opinions on this as I find Taleo and its ilk to be of keen interest.

I will not be using this advice, however as my recommendation is that one should boycott Taleo Powered Sites. This is not out of any kind of activism, but rather from the practical standpoint that Taleo does not act, as a job candidate, in your best interests

As an employee, you are a unique person with skills and personality. I feel that this will come through most clearly on a cover letter. However, Taleo isn’t about cover letters. You still have to run the gauntlet with the little input fields. If you don’t match the
keywords, do they read your cover letter? I don’t know. Again, I’m interested in feedback from inside the HR citadel.

What Taleo tells me about an employer is that they don’t value the employees time. They would like to offload as much of their work onto an applicant and buggy software rather than screen the applicants themselves. This makes for a very cookie cutter hiring process.

Worst of all, the work that it takes to input the data into all the little boxes is not time well spent because I HAVE TO RETYPE MY RESUME FOR EVERY JOB I APPLY TO. What a pain in the ass.

I’m OK for researching the perfect job for hours then spending more hours into the resume and perfect cover letter. If I want a job, I’ll stop at nothing to get it. But Taleo makes me feel that I can’t really do anything to make myself look better for the job.

Also, Taleo is buggy as I have showed above. I experience its bugginess when I have applied to many jobs that I was qualified for on Taleo, and I never got a call back. Many times Taleo crashed before I could a. Finally, in disgust, I gave up.

I suggest that if people value their time, and they want to work for an employer that respects them, they’ll boycott these crappy
organizations. The world will split into the pro-Taleo and anti-Taleoworkplaces. Let the best workplace win!


62 Responses to “Taleo: Tool of Darkeness”

  1. TaleoSucks Says:

    I couldn’t agree more. Have tried to explain it to people, if you see it just forget the whole thing. Just now I received an email from Nielsen for a position that sounded interesting so I went to check it out. Saw the Taleo logo and thought I’d try one more time to make it work. Should have known better – it would be more productive to open the window and yell at Nielsen. How any respectable firm let alone a technology company could use this garbage is beyond me.

    They are finally getting the hint that people are quitting the process out of frustration. Now when you bail they ask you to tell them why. Believe me, I did.
    Someone should publish a list of all employers who use this crapware and then we can all boycott them.

  2. SomeRandomRecruiter Says:

    No system is perfect, but imagine things from a recruiter’s point of view. If you had 30 jobs on your desk to fill, and anywhere between 200 and 4,000 candidates have applied, you need technology to help you sift through the pile. So if your resume and answers to prescreening questions put you below the cut, that’s not the system’s fault. For the record, I’m not employed by Taleo and I know it’s strengths and faults much better than you could dream of knowing. But the system is fine.

    You’re a whiny little twat. If this post is any indication of your overall approach to communication, I wouldn’t hire you either.

    • Leroy Glinchy Says:

      Funny how I always have to see recruiter’s POV. Let’s see, I have a desk, I have a roof over my head, and I have all day to read over resumes. These are pieces of paper. No heavy lifting. No dirt. Heck, most recruiters drive in climate controlled comfort to work.

      If I had that life, I’d have zero complaints.

      Yet, you call me whiny. Ha ha.

      I _do_ have a perfect job, and guess what? No complaints. Only gratitude.

      I design software for a living. I was told that I was very hard to find and that my resume is excellent. This is my point, only a person could see that. The HR person read it.

      In taleo, I _never_ got a job. Hmm, see a pattern here?

      See the technology is not the problem. Again, I design software for a living. This is my field and again, taleo sucks.

      It doesn’t suck because it makes an HR person’s all ready easy job easier. It sucks b/c it doesn’t allow the HR person to learn enough about why a person is a good hire to shine.

      Thus, bad employees are hired and mistakes are made. Like Goldman Sacks, GM, and so on.

      My whole point is that people who have these jobs are doing poorly, and better people should be hired. I know many competent people who don’t get hired b/c they are honest.

      It seems unfair that the people who get the cushy jobs are the ones who game the system. In the end, they do poorly for their company and hurt their customers as well.

      I would like these companies to do good business and be honest. If this makes me whiny then I will wear that proudly.

      BTW, note that in my post, I didn’t call people names. I pointed out the truth that the software sucks b/c it leads to poor hiring outcomes.

      The economy as well as poor customer service I have received as well as my inability to get the most mundane job where I could do well, only proves my point further.

      Being denied a chance to help others through my hard work and intelligence has made me upset, but I have decided not to be (too) angry and instead respond with humor.

      I would like you to post your name next time. I do not feel that name calling is indicative of the entire HR field, but it does reflect poorly on you.

      I wish you well.

      • Salvador A Says:

        I just graduated from my masters program at CU, and I get calls from places where an HR read my resume. I agree with Leroy, Taleo sucks.

        BTW, One of the last companies who called me, Microsoft, they do not use Taleo. It is extremely simple 9 – 10 fields, and copy and paste your resume. Microsoft DOES make their HRs to read RESUMES!

        I believe that “somerandomrecruiter” is part of the cancer/poor hires that corporations are facing now.

    • John Bartlett Says:

      SomeRandomRecruiter – you seemed to have missed the point. People are not adverse to recruiters using technology to help them with their jobs BUT they are annoyed when companies use horrible buggy technology (i.e. Taleo).

      On another note, I really don’t have any sympathy for HR people or recruiters complaining that they have to sift through loads of CVs. It’s not like it’s brain surgery or rocket science (my recruiter friends can contest that recruitment is rather cruisey). The fact is, it’s your job and the fact that you even received those applications meant that people actually showed interest in your company by injecting personal time and effort to apply! Show some decency and adopt better software.

    • acord01 Says:

      As a recruiter, you are a moron to rely on this sort of thing. Why?

      Well, if a computer can do the hard part of your job, who the feck needs you?

      I simply CRY when I think of how awful it must be to have access to hundreds of professionals just by posting on a job site instead of putting ads in the local papers, unemployment offices, taking out TV and radio advertising… God damn, it just BREAKS MY HEART.

      You have SUCH a hard life. Lazy little shit.

      And Taleo is total crap. Obviously you’ve never used it.

    • Debie Says:

      Go eat shit! U will soon lose that which u called job! If u hadn’t already! U calling someone a twat because he voiced his opinion is stupid! Ppl like u reject applications for racial, ethnic & religious reasons!

    • Steve Says:

      This is obviously a Taleo troll. All Taleo trolls will use the word “whiny” in their post.

    • AmyInNH Says:

      Taleo is utter trash. I can only assume you are one of the engin-errs responsible for its pathetic state of disrepair. It’s not healthy enough to pass a normal test department,

    • Fiona A Oh Says:

      Taleosucks is definitely on their payroll or he help design the flaws

  3. Bob Says:

    It is easy to knock the recruiter and their “easy” job when you have not sat in that chair.

    From my view as a recruiter I see the value in the “screening software” that you feel is preventing you from gaining employment.

    Just one example would be my recent job posting for a PhD level chemical engineer. It clearly states in the minimum qualification that you must have a PhD in Chemical Engineering yet 90% of the 300+ resumes that I reviewed did not. In the new Taleo system that I will be implementing in 6 months I will not have to weed through those resumes for 5 hours only to reject them for not being able to read the requirements and being able to spend that time elsewhere in my easy job.

    I often hear people complain about the fact that they did not receive a call for all of the positions they applied for. Having seen what I have my only advice to them is to apply only for those jobs that you are qualified for If you meet the qualifications you will get the call, if you do not you will not. No system will change that.

    • Leroy Glinchy Says:

      I’m confused as to why people keep saying screening is important as if I am against screening.

      I often hear HR people yell at others, “read the directions.”

      Yet, I see people responding to this post as if they have not read it.

      Taleo sucks not because it screens good people but because it is unstable and it eliminates all the benefits of having a computer.

      It screens out _good_ candidates.

      You don’t know me so you’ll just have to trust me: I’m a really, really good candidate. I design software.

      I am currently employed at the perfect job.

      However, Taleo was not part of my employment process.

      Go out there and look around at the world. There are a lot of people who are really bad at their jobs yet they are employed.

      If Taleo were so wonderful they would not have jobs.

      So please people read the post completely and respond to the the actual meat of the posts. Don’t just praise Taleo as it’s completely without merit.

      • JonesMaloy Says:

        If you’re an HR/recruiter screening for a sales job, and are complaining about 40 – 300 resumes that you have to go through, please SHUT THE F_CK UP!!! I love how these people ask you, “so do you think you would be able to perform the required 100 calls for this position?” So you are deciding who can or cannot go forward based on those requirements, and you bitch about those same requirements?

    • acord01 Says:

      Another lazy moron. Don’t cry when someone realizes they can automate most of your job.

  4. patsaison Says:



  5. DW Says:

    Leroy, I’m looking forward to more criticisms of Taleo’s tool of darkness. It’s still here, in 2010, where efficiency in this Depression is all the more important. It needs to be boycotted.

  6. BadCandidatesOnlyPlease Says:

    Totally agree Leroy. As a well qualified job seeker, I refuse to use Taleo.
    For sure it is screening, but its really only screening out the people who refuse to get fucked around by crappy software, i.e. the confident, talented ones that would make recruiters more money.

    Nice to see SomeRandomRecruiter reinforcing my opinion of recruiters as spoiled, aggressive fucknuts that understand a carefully structured argument from another persons perspective

  7. Julia Says:

    I hate taleo as well. A lot. I am boycotting this piece of crap for your reasons precisely.

  8. Mike Says:

    The fact that HR is using Taleo is a signal that the profession is in decline and on the way to become irrelevant. Taleo is a travesty for lazy HR ‘business partners’ (Jezus how can you ever call yourself like that).
    The software spits out unpersonal mails, its password policy is a disaster, the site has bugs. Most disturbing is that HR never checks the workflow, which is unintuitive, time consuming, rude, unpersonal and by time plain stupid.
    Taleo and the companies using it should be ashamed to sell and use such a piece of junk, such a piece of robotic, unpersonal crap which treats people like numbers, like sets of keywords, like webpages.
    An insult to jobseekers!

  9. Timmy McDougal Says:

    I can only write about Taleo from a user’s (and software tester/UAT) perspective. How much testing was done on their software? It’s been around for some time now and seems no better than the versions from 5-6 years ago. It’s slow, clunky, inefficient; one of the worst aspects is the inability to open positions in new tabs. Here’s what happens:

    1. Set up job position search criteria.
    2. Watch as 312 jobs are listed in your area, but only 10 jobs per page.
    3. Set to view max # of jobs per page (usually 100 = max).
    4. Watch as search criteria are reset and # of jobs is now 1,632 and covering entire U.S.
    5. Repeat steps 1-3 now that jobs-per-page is set at desired amount.
    6. Search through all jobs, then open desired job title page in same window.
    7. Go to Print View and print job page to OneNote or printer for handy reference.
    8. Click “Go back to previous page”.
    9. Watch as carefully customized job listing is f*cked up in some random way.

    Yeah, thanks for making this so user-friendly Taleo. Back to the drawing board?

  10. Frustrated Job Seeker Says:

    Great post, Leroy.

    As a fully-qualified applicant, I’ve never gotten an interview after applying on Taleo or similar recruiting programs in the last four years. That’s four (4) years and over 100 applications. Understanding this difficulty, when Taleo’s the only option to apply for an opening, I’m interested in hearing how I can “get through.”

    And to you HR professionals, I don’t waste my time on jobs that I’m not qualified for. With the amount of time it takes to research a job description, the hiring company, its industry and labor through the application process, why spend all that time if I’m not qualified? Thus, I only apply for jobs in which I can excel in…but nevertheless, I’ve never heard back from companies that use Taleo or similar ATS programs. Plain and simple, your system doesn’t work AND you’re missing out on stellar candidates.

    As such, I want to know how I can “cheat” the ATS system (or “Taleo Jamming” as Leroy puts it) so my resume can be seen by an ACTUAL HUMAN BEING. Listen, I’m not going to lie, I just want to know how I can be legitimately considered for a qualified position. I know it’s better to know someone within a firm that can refer you, but it doesn’t always work out that way. So…HR folk, job-getters, tell me your secret: As a qualified applicant, how can I get an interview using Taleo?

  11. Sandeep Says:

    Couldnt agree more with all the comments. Horrible experience trying to retrieve my user id and password. I am still not able to and dont know how to apply for the job that I want to!!! One of the worst, frustating experiences. Hate it to the core. TO HELL WITH YOU TALEO!!!

  12. Me Says:

    Taleo is the worst piece of corporate software on the planet.

    But seriously, it is a terrible product and does more to prevent talent to be found than to find it. Some implementations are worse than others, but the best of the Taleo systems I’ve used still SUCKS as a user. I cannot find words for some of them, they’re so horrible. I’m sure it’s great for the recruiters, but for applicants it is awful, unintuitive, needlessly “secure”, and just plain frustrating.

    I hate it, and I hate having to use it.

    Oh, and job matching? Don’t bother using Taleo’s job profile matching. Totally random function.

    Networking is the only way to avoid Taleo. Get out and talk to the hiring people directly.

    How can so many good companies select such a garbage product?

    • Leroy Glinchy Says:

      I’d like to see how many people who chose Taleo actually used it to get a job.

      I know that it’s mean, but my fantasy is for everyone involved in Taleo to be unemployed and their only shot at another job is to use this product. Thankfully we have unemployment and welfare.

      Plus, as you pointed out, the problem is also that those of us with brains avoid places that use Taleo. Only those companies who are “too big to fail” should survive all other things being equal.

  13. Me too Says:

    This product is a shame. A shame on the developers, a shame on the label ‘talent management’, a shame for HR who thinks it is useful and an insult to job seekers. Nothing and nothing work on this. The standard email replies with no contact information, the search, the java crap or whatever platform they use. I just can’t find enough words to describe this shit.

  14. Jeff Ratcliff Says:

    The excuses that people use to defend products like Taleo amuse me. Just because HR receives hundreds of resumes doesn’t mean they have to review them all. All they need to do is find 5-10 resumes that fit the qualifications and start interviewing. Of course if the qualifications consist of more than 10 buzzwords, they’ll be unlikely to find “qualified” candidates no matter what tools they use.

  15. mike winger Says:

    Being an MBA with 15 plus years experience, I find it condescending and ridiculous to be forced to use such an incredibly written piece of shit software.

    When I see a position with Taleo, I close the browser window and move to the next potential employer. And yes, I’m employed of course, thinking of making a change. So the lazy HR clown that can’t handle resumes can look at the lower echelon of applicants through Taleo as they plan another company “feel good” bullshit party.

  16. mike winger Says:

    And more importantly – when encountering Taleo – look up the execs or directors that manage where you want to be and find their email or use old school paper resume and BYPASS THE HR MANAGER! HR is only good when you have questions about your benefits anyway.

  17. Frustrated Job Seeker Says:

    Following up on a post, over the last six months I’ve considerably stepped up my search. Pop Quiz: Of the eight employers I’ve secured interviews with, how many used Taleo or a similar ATS?

    You guessed it: ZERO. All of my applications – either via internal referral or blind email – have had an actual human being reviewing them on the other end.

    There’s got to be some way to cheat the ATS scam in order to get an interview – it’s only fair, right? Sometimes I can’t get a contact within the hiring company or find the ever-elusive “side door” – thus, am forced to submit to Taleo and other black-hole applicant tracking systems. Never have I ever heard back from any of these companies.

    So, who’s actually gotten a job via a black hole like Taleo? What was your secret?

  18. Leeroy Glinchy Says:

    I don’t have ANY secrets on getting a job with Taleo.

    I should take that out.

    I was merely speculating that one could game the system. My feeling was that some people were getting hired, and if they had Taelo, they must know something (or more likely someone) that I didn’t. I don’t know.

    I suggest, to get a job, networking.

    Not going to networking events, but rather following one’s own passions and making that work.

    That worked for me.

    Trying to help others and not asking for anything right away, and not being desperate is best.

    If you help others, people will want to help you if you let them.

  19. SteelyDawn Says:

    At least I’m not the only person that is having the same experiences that most of the posters here seem to have had with Taleo.

    Fortunately, I’m already employed and I have the luxury of being choosy. I’ve received plenty of call backs for positions over the past year, but never a single call from an application submitted via Taleo. Odd.

    Unfortunately, this crap software has wasted more than a good chunk of my time. Particularly, since the high school that I graduated from isn’t listed in their system, so often I can’t proceed beyond that point in the application process. I could go on and on nitpicking Taleo and my experience with it, but I think as others have stated, from here on out, I’m going to just close the browser window when I see an application that is “powered by Taleo.”

  20. deante Says:

    i knew it was all a sham! I have been doing contract and temporary jobs for about 2 years now, and I still cannot find a permanent position. I have applied through taleo numerous times for positions with companies I was currently or previously working for, and still never heard anything back. I applied for a job once with Kaiser, while I was doing a short 3 month contract…the position i applied for, I was more than qualified for, I was recommended for it. The position was literally in the next room…I never heard from a recruiter or HR person. HUH??

  21. Mike Says:

    Hang in there. I found my job through a headhunter (also scum btw) but forget Taleo. It is not about you, taleo is a robot used by STUPID companies. Never ever let yourself be judged by this piece of malware. Search different and thou shall find!

  22. Writer Says:

    I’ve successfully completed the Taleo application two or maybe three times. I’ve quit the process or just plain turned right back around many more times.

    The first time you set up your user name, email and password, you’re okay. The next time and every time going forward that you use Taleo to submit a resume, you are categorically going to encounter trouble at the log in page.

    You will need multiple email accounts to get past the log in page from your second Taleo application going forward. I just tried to fill in the log in page with the email and password I just set up days ago, and it won’t accept it. Furthermore, when I say I can’t remember my password, it asks me to submit my user name and email, but it only gives me two email fields (with no user name field). It’s mind boggling.

    Once you get past the arduous log in page, then you’ll be asked to upload your resume and a cover letter. Then, indescribably, you’ll be asked to cut and paste the exact same documents into the open fields. When you cut and paste these documents in the fields, your formatting will be entirely lost such that you’ll be forced to manually space out and pretty up your documents. It’s redundant, unnecessary and totally maddening.

    Then, once you get past that, you’ll be asked to manually submit all of your work and education information already contained in the uploaded resume as well as the cut and pasted resume into fields which may or may not accept your information. You absolutely will get hung up on these fields, including the salary fields, which are a joke unto themselves.

    If you are able to get your information in without errors (surely you’ll have to go back after receiving error messages), then you’ll be done in about 45 minutes’ time.

    Whether you get a call back has nothing to do with the process of the Taleo application whatsoever.

    Taleo is an outdated, clunky and totally user unfriendly program. It’s Chinese water torture. I can only assume it’s some sort of test employers want you to pass to see if you can hack being messed with.

  23. dianesanborn Says:

    Hate to go here, but the only people that should apply for a job (the Presidency) using Taleo are the extreme crazies, you know who you are….

  24. Diorist Says:

    Teleo is the universal mark of companies committed to hiring mediocrity. The system is simply designed to filter out exceptional candidates. Its repellent UI and functionality are just icing on the poo cake.

    And then there’s this: if you do have to use Taleo, you know you’re applying to a company whose talent pool has been dumbed down by Taleo. It’s tragic, really.

  25. John Bartlett Says:

    Just a theory – perhaps the people that work in HR or recruitment aren’t the brightest bulbs to begin with thus even buggy software such as Taleo is a God-send for them. Amen.

  26. HonestDev Says:


  27. Overcrapped Says:

    And if the company you’ve worked at for 20 years suddenly switches to Taleo (a.k.a., To Lay Off) as a tool for managing your annual performance review, it’s time to bail. Total piece of crap.

  28. red Says:

    This is a crap product by a crap company. they only do 80m a yr w. 1.2m in net revenue. and it’s used by huge O&G companies, who really are mediocre. I have applied for hundreds of positions never to hear back when I meet and exceed all the standards. but I put 1 resume into a recruiter, bang job. I don’t even bother, because I know all they have working there is a bunch of 5’s and 6’s and that’s all they want.

    Don’t get me started on HR, useless- you can tell by their paycheck how much companies value them. If HR was so important their pay would be so high, shareholders would be complaining about it. Ever see a guy from HR get to CEO? Never, why? Because it is a useless position. I think the department managers should be directly responsible for writing the ad and hiring. Period. They know what they need and what they don’t.

    I say fuck job hunting, get a customer instead and then you are not tied to any single 1 source of income. and you will never have to deal with Taleo the useless dicks in HR or headhunter cocksuckers.

  29. HR Guy Says:

    I love how many of you are calling HR people lazy b/c you think they want these tools to make their job easier. What most don’t realize is that it is the Company’s big bosses are the ones who want these systems so that they can reduce the number of their HR employees and save a buck.

  30. dl Says:

    yo, can u post a link or shoot me an email to the cheat sheet for the taleo test. they can call me a monster for cheating but i just want to work. who wouldnt lie to find work after being unemployeed for months? i just want to give them the answers they want to get the job. i dont care about their bs assesment of me (which is wrong).

  31. Pat Saison Says:

    I’ve hated Taleo for a long time, for years. It has become easier to use, but if you forget your password, you are locked out–and the promised email from the system to reset or remind you of the password never comes–this has happened many times. With Taleo, it is and has always been, a matter of falling into a LOOP, and never being able to get out of it. That is the frustration.

    It is distressing that Taleo is gaining greater acceptance at many major companies–that these companies are buying into the hype. Taleo is very aggressive in marketing. I tried to contact for support on logon issues, but since there is no contact link, I had to use the “marketing” link, just to gain access to a live person–got a response for sales appointment–I told was looking for logon support and the person told me to contact the hiring company. WTF!

    I try to avoid companies that use Taleo, but a lot of major employers do–such as Citigroup–and there is no way around it.

    With such a sucky piece of software, I wonder how such companies can expect to find good candidates. It is only designed to make the jobs of lazy HR people easier by screening out all candidates that do not match the keywords, and obviously can never surface the best candidates. It is designed to screen out on the lowest common denominator (“LCD”)–certainly cannot find the “stars.”

    HR’s job is to read resumes, so what if they have 1,000’s of resumes to read–it is their job. Use a machine to whittle it down, and HR only has a subset, and if the algorithms used are inadequate–and they are–LCD, what can result but an impoverished list.

    I don’t know if those in management who are truly concerned with human resource management and development, and take such a task seriously–the enlightened ones–are aware that Taleo is dysfunctional and using Taleo is counter-productive to lauded intent.

    One can only assume that those companies that use and rely on Taleo must be totally clueless about what good HR should be. Of course, the people in HR are not the best or the brightest, or they would not be in HR–this is, of course a stereotype, but having worked for many companies, I have observed this to be true, and have rarely come across a respectable HR person.

    HR is not suitable for finding talent and developing talent as it is (I am an MA in Psychology plus an MBA, so not totally unschooled in this.), and when given Taleo as a tool, and relying upon Taleo as a gateway, it is totally dangerous and not in the best interest of the company.

    There should be a study to assess Taleo’s effectiveness and to determine whether it is dysfunctional. I just think Taleo is a horrendously dysfunctional disaster hoisted upon the corporate world. And this bandwagon effect should be evaluated objectively, rationally and scientifically, to determined whether Taleo adds any value at all, or more than detracts.

    My hypothesis is that Taleo is destructive and counterproductive to an organization in the long-term, based upon deductive reasoning.

    • jelabarre Says:

      > I tried to contact for support on logon issues, but since there
      > is no contact link, I had to use the “marketing” link, just to
      > gain access to a live person

      I have many times used their “marketing” link just to send complaints to Taleo, telling them in no uncertain terms how crappy their siftware is. Just type your message to them by filling out the fields in order with your message. If everybody started clogging up Marketing’s inbox with useless information (or perhaps start sending them thousands of false sales leads), then they won’t be able to find any *new* customers.

  32. M Says:

    I’m currently employed, looking for something better, and I find Taleo is a great screening tool. If I see someone using Taleo I assume they’re idiots and skip it. Seriously, you don’t want to work for someone using software that is so exceedingly, obviously useless, and this post was from 2009! It’s 2012 and you’re using Taleo!? Forget it, not the kind of people you want to be associated with.

  33. Debie Says:

    I wonder who has assess to my data? The company I sent my applications or/and the stupid Taleo company? Please reply me soon, I have to get my lawyer ready for a quick bucks!

  34. Lincoln Says:

    After companies started using Taleo shitware, we had the second worst recession after the Great Depression. Does that say anything? How come before Taleo took up market, or before computers did HR jobs, the recessions were much less severe? This was due in part by HR actually hiring talent. Recessions are inevitable, but hiring morons that drive the whole world into the ground is another topic. So please hiring managers, stop lazing around before we get another depression. Who knows? By that time Taleo will have taken 100 % of your job so you’ll be out of work. And no, I work in a field that cannot be replaced by computers (engineer).

  35. Joy Says:

    Well, it’s official. Taleo (and Kanexa, etc.) all suck. After all, the screens are set up by HR personnel, and how does one know they’ve even spelled the screening keywords correctly? See:




  36. Pat Saison Says:

    Taleo has not changed for the better, and more companies are adopting Taleo–but why? Don’t they realize they are seriously depriving themselves of talent, and getting an adverse pool of candidates? They are screening out good candidates, rather than screening in good ones. A company that uses Taleo has something wrong with it–lazy HR people who don’t have a clue and who are not doing their jobs. HR’s function should be to find the gems and the gold nuggets–with Taleo, they can only get the crumbs, because that is what they are screening for.

  37. Fuck Taleo Says:

    2013 – FUCK TALEO!

  38. Gucci Says:

    Fuck Taleo indeed. It’s some class A bullshit.

    “Enter your resume”

    “Now enter your resume piece by piece”

    It’s fucking 2013 and it’s Bullshit is still around.

  39. It is possible to get a job *in spite of Taleo* Says:

    Great post – so true. I got a job with a Fortune-50 company that uses Taleo and one of the first things I did was email our VP of HR to point out that in the highly competitive market for talent here in Silicon Valley Taleo was *driving people away* from us. The reply email basically acknowledged Taleo is still a complete POS even in 2012, and they were looking at alternatives. We have very good HR folks, but they are also stretched to the breaking point, and I could almost read her embarrassment to admit we used Taleo. I have actually had friends I have tried to recruit tell me “Forget it!” as soon as they see Taleo. 😦

    I believe Oracle bought Taleo…run away! It’s a testament to salesmanship and craven greed coupled with the desperation and gullibility of HR departments that such a poor piece of software has been so widely adopted. Not just that its buggy, but that it actively gets in the way of the user making progress.

    Actually I wonder if it would be possible to attribute a significant portion of our stubbornly high unemployment to the hurdle Taleo has burdened the job market with?

  40. Anton Says:

    Taleo has been acquired by oracle. A notorious bug full technically faulted database software maker.
    How the maker of Siebel (the worst piece of crap evr produce as a CRM), would be able to transform another piece of crap into a good application ?

    Not only,they are too stupid to do it but it has never been their goal.

    The goal of taleo and other ATS like jobvite, brassring, icms, is to allow corporations and HR to hide behind a system in order to remain unreachable, to guarantee a low level of activity (laziness), to be unaccountable and to continue to be highly incompetent (as 95% of H.R people are) while having the luxury to populate gigantic useless applicant databases filled with resumes.

    Please go to check the privacy policies of these companies, you will understand why for a lot of them, you will never get a reply. Most of these companies are just posting fake jobs.

    While I have had good number interviews after applying to some ATS, I have never got any interview after applying through Taleo.

    It proves only one thing: the worst companies are using Taleo.

    Behind Taleo are hiding the worst HR employees.

    Even Oracle doesn’t use Taleo. It’s a sure sign that it is a black hole, not a real recruitment tool.

  41. Pat Saison Says:

    The Taleo complaints fall on deaf ears at companies that use Taleo; I also believe that Taleo is a tremendous detriment to enlightened recruitment, but these companies deserve what they get from using it. Over time, the effects will become apparent, but until then….

    Companies fail slowly, and the failure factors are cummulative, and by the time it is recognized, the company is usually too far gone to resuscitate. People and talent are what makes a company succeed or fail, and using Taleo precludes good hiring. If the company wants to retain Taleo, they are writing their own death warrant, and deserve to fail.

  42. Taleo Lover Says:

    Taleo is what the world would be like if Germany had won the war. It has a heart of inept evil. I assume in was written in one night in 1981 by a drunk programmer who had just dropped out of a third rate college in north korea.

  43. Pat Saison Says:

    Why North Korea? It is Made in USA, representing the best that America can offer and embraced by its major companies.

  44. Best Employee they'll never have. Says:

    “You’re a whiny little twat”. -Yep, pretty much the attitude I’d expect from a company who uses 3rd party software to do recruiting. They don’t actually care about their employees or their privacy. Also, any company that has a “We Care” or “Green” logo on their site, just tells me that they only “care” about the “green”.
    Companies that actually do care? -They would be uncomfortable boasting that.

  45. AR Says:

    My story is the same as most. I have applied using Taleo and it is the same trip over and over. I am qualified but only received one call. The way in which a candidate applies is horrific. I find Brass Ring to be equally as horrible. Anyway, I applied twice for one company. They called and we briefly talked over the phone without an interview. How people can decide the qualifications of a person in a 20 second phone conversation is beyond me.

    Anyway, I went back yesterday to apply for this same company, a third time, and Taleo would not let me log in to their system. After all that excrement I went through to sign up and apply,, I could not get in. Needless to say, I had to set up a new profile. Now, anytime I see Taleo or Brass ring, I just move on to the next job. I wonder how many people do the same?

    My take on HR people is that most are not qualified to do that job. A majority of people go to school to lean that field but many companies figure they can cut corners and save money by just hiring anyone to do the job. This is a big mistake for several reasons..

    I once got hired by this one company from actually going in and filing out a paper application. Anyway, when the person doing the HR duties of processing my paperwork, (s)he, I type it that way not to be politically correct, but because the worker was a hateful
    bull dyke told me to sign some papers. I did so, and (s)he got angered and told me to sign it with a company pen and through the paper that I just signed, with personal information, SSN, driver license, etc. into the trash.

    At that point, I went f-ing ballistic but could say or do anything because I just got hired, I asked the he/she if that paper would get shreaded and I was told it would ;but why would any reasonable person throw a confidential document into the trash in the first place, which proves my point that companies will hire any yahoo for an crucial HR job.

  46. Seth Mason Says:

    On my economics blog, I’ve published several articles that demonstrate that applicant tracking systems often yield less-than-optimal hires that ultimately create tremendous opportunity costs for the companies that use them. Here are two of these articles. Make sure to forward them to hiring managers and HR employees at companies that are foolish enough to make ATSes their exclusive gateways to employment.



    • Pat Saison Says:

      Wonder when companies will wise up, but since it is HR, they never will–they don’t care about getting the best talent–only what makes it easier for themselves.

  47. Make Online Job Application Forms Useful | Joel Rusch Says:

    […] Taleo was ugly, at best. This was before I started finding blog posts about how it’s a “tool of darkness“. If you don’t want to read it all, I’ll summarize for you: it is, at best, a […]

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