I keep my eye on the HCM/Talent Management place, but I have never totalled up the number of ‘financial events’. Jason has, and he made this week’s acquisition the 51st since 2005.
What does it mean? The comments on Jason’s entry focus on how many of these purchases were genuinely to build capacity (as opposed to fire sales), and on the number of recruitment companies involved.
Whatever the detail, though, one thing is clear. As Bersin’s Leighanne Levensaler predicted earlier in the year 2008 is the year of TM consolidation. A few deals will involve the marriage of market leaders, as with May’s $129m Taleo / Vurv acquisition. Some will be technology purchases, as with Salary.com / InfoBasis, which provides Salary.com with a competency platform complementing its existing range of products.
And anyone who’s ever been in software will know that a good few of the deals will be ill-advised purchases of non-complementary technologies. These will fit a short-term goal (usually taking a competitor out of the market or buying revenue). The hoopla dies down, the new purchase fails to add value, but the buyer’s M&A activity continues unabated (that is, until the cash runs out).
Over the coming months it’s going to be interesting seeing who’s making the right calls.