Bill Kutik had a great article in HR Executive magazine about ongoing innovation in the E-Recruitment software market. I agree with him. We discussed a lot of the areas of innovation around the edges in recruiting in the Magic Quadrant for E-Recruitment Software (Gartner subscription required). As Bill points out, there are new vendors popping up all of the time (even since we published our research). There is always innovation occurring around the edges of established application areas. E-Recruitment (formerly Applicant Tracking) solutions have been around for around 20 years. It is clearly a well-established area.
Yet, we have had profound changes driven by technology (the movement from applicant tracking to e-recruitment solutions driven by the internet and web-based solutions). In addition, we have seen innovation because these solutions still have not solved all of the business challenges in the domain. This is a common pattern that we see in many different business software application markets.
There are two implications from this. First, there are a lot of new vendors that will pop up trying variations of the themes with a variety of different business models. Most of these will not be successful (or will have limited success). Few will change the world. That is not necessarily bad, but it is important to make sure that you do not put all of your eggs in one basket (and make sure that you are easily able to end your relationships) as you try some of this innovation to solve your business challenges. Second, once innovation starts to become accepted wisdom, it starts to get absorbed into the established solutions (either directly or through preferred partnerships with the "winning" vendors). This cycle of assimilation occurs all of the time. So, it becomes important to understand how your core/strategic vendors are moving related to innovations you find useful.
Remember your HCM application portfolio requires active management. Technology will not solve all of your challenges today, but it is constantly evolving and you need to continually look at your priorities and what is possible to make sure you get the most from your investments, especially in these challenging economic times.