Latest ADP Buy Is Bet That Analytics Trend Will Accelerate

The big vendor news this week was the acquisition of The Marcus Buckingham Company (TMBC) 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’s 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.”

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The acquisition gives ADP access to StandOut, TMBC’s cloud-based performance and talent management technology tool. 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:

  • ATS provider Greenhouse has had a few layoffs, and is going to forgo hosting a 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).
  • 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’s raised $138 million to date.
  • Shiftgig, a provider of on-demand workers, raised $20 million.
  • Among the several dozen startups we’ve heard about 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 college focused recruiting startup we’ve been talking to is Portfolium, which raised $5.35 million last September. Students use the site to post their papers, tests, and other work, almost like a learning management system. Faculty use it to assess students. This allows potential employers to learn more about a student than they might at a career fair or career-office interview. Early customers include California companies like Oracle and ViaSat.
  • 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.
  • 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 former editor of and contributing editor of John was a newspaper reporter and editor before transitioning to digital media. In 1994, he launched one of the  first newspaper sites. Before joining ERE Media , 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 where he developed and managed a team of developers, content producers and digital advertising and marketing specialists.

Today, John is a contract writer producing whitepapers, blog posts, thought leadership articles and marketing content and managing  social media programs. He also works with organizations and businesses to assist with audience development and marketing.His website is

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.