We had the opportunity to attend Greenhouse’s Green House Open conference in San Francisco, held from May 25th till 27th 2016. The conference was well attended with over 900 participants, coming from customers, prospects and the ecosystem, roughly tripling to last year’s event. The event was held at the Hilton Union Square, one of the most confusing labyrinth like event spaces, kudos goes to the Greenhouse event team for making directions easy to handle. 


So take a look at my musings on the event here:


No time to watch – here is the 1 slide condensation:


Want to read on?

Here you go: Always tough to pick the takeaways – but here are my Top 3:

Best of Breed vs Suite – The number one concern of HR professionals has been and will remain integration. Suites have always addressed the integration issues, but usually with the price of lacking best practices. Given the competitive nature of Talent Acquisition it is no surprise though that there is a well doing vendor ecosystem in the space, and Greenhouse provides the data point for that once again. The vendor is growing, expanding its product (see below) and remains strategic for its user group, always good to see competition spurned from innovation. It was also good to see that Greenhouse spend a lot of attention to change management and empowering recruiters to get hiring managers to adopt the system. While the power user of a Recruiting solution is very small user population in the enterprise, hiring managers are a very large population. If hiring managers don’t use the recruiting solution the recruiters prefer, there is an adoption issue and a potential conflict. So good to help recruiters convince their ‘customers, the hiring managers on the merits of the solution.
Another sign of traction for Greenhouse is the ecosystem the vendor is creating, with substantial complimentary vendor sponsorship and show floor presence at the conference.

Onboarding becomes table stakes – As a general trend for Talent Acquisition, Onboarding becomes part of Recruiting vendor offerings. Onboarding itself has traditionally been the lightest weight talent management function in terms of revenue and relevance. It comes as no surprise that it is not the Onboarding vendors that acquire or built recruiting functionality, but the recruiting vendors buying (e.g. Greenhouse Parklet – see here) or building the functionality (e.g. Jobvite – see here). And the move makes sense, enterprises spend a lot for a superior candidate experience, if that falls into shambles once the coveted candidate becomes an employee – not a good outcome. In ‘employment at will’ states it may even lead to talent leakage. And reducing that leakage, may well pay for the whole Onboarding solution as Greenhouse’s Stross pointed out in his keynote. Greenhouse has integrated Parklet now, the small Parklet engineering team is part of the Greenhouse team and the solution work together out of the box. What surprised me is that Parklet has not moved to the Greenhouse look and feel, as we are 6+ months after the acquisition.

Innovation and good housekeeping – Greenhouse not only announced its new Onboarding capability, but also made a mobile interviewing application available (on iOS for now only), both good moves. Moreover, he vendor is addressing usability concerns with new dashboards and a general UIX overhaul, check out what is coming in tweets in the Storify below). In a keynote of Jon Stross, shared the 4 leitmotivs of Greenhouse product investment, which are usability, flexibility, more data driven functions and Onboarding. The doers in the audience received many of the planned innovations well, always a good sign. On the functionality side Greenhouse will add multi job posts, tiered departments, and an API for internal job posts (maybe next area of functional footprint extension?), better collaboration support, improved interview kits and support for more user roles to name those future capabilities that stuck out for me.


A good conference for Greenhouse, that is growing and expanding its footprint. The customer base is energized and loyal, and overall happy with the products. That fact that such a large number of recruiting professionals took out 2-3-4 days out of their busy schedule, risking they may be falling behind on hiring targets, is a strong indication of a loyal user base. And it is good to see that Greenhouse is listening to its customer base, expanding the functional footprint and doing the necessary good housekeeping duties, most prominently addressing usability improvements.

On the concern Greenhouse needs to enable recruiters and hiring managers with more intelligence, maybe more predictive / 'true' analytics (more here), not to write the buzz word of machine learning. But users should not look at lists of candidates that are not sorted by urgency / relevance in 2016 – something the vendor must and will address.

But overall a good conference, Greenhouse is making good progress – and we can state that the Recruiting (and no Onboarding) market is doing well. Stay tuned.

Want to learn more? Checkout the Storify collection below. 

More on Recruiting
  • Musings - How Technology Innovation fuels Recruiting and disrupts the Laggards - read here
  • Musings - What is the future of recruiting? Read here
  • HRTech 2014 takeaways - read here.
  • Why all the attention to recruiting? Read here.

Find more coverage on the Constellation Research website here and checkout my magazine on Flipboard and my YouTube channel here.