Taleo knew how to handle talent. The company developed staffing management software designed to help large companies establish and manage staffing processes for professional, hourly, and temporary employees. Taleo's application suite, which it offered as a hosted subscription service, included tools for adhering to regulatory requirements and aligning tasks with the available skills of the workforce. The company's professional services division provided implementation and technical support. It served customers in a range of industries, including Dow Chemical, Hewlett-Packard, and UnitedHealth Group. In 2012 Oracle bought Taleo in a deal valued at nearly $2 billion.
The purchase bolstered Oracle's cloud computing business with Taleo's wide-ranging talent management platform. The company was especially interested in Taleo's cloud-based recruitment function as it looks for ways to retain business it is losing to such Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) companies such as Workday and Kenexa, in addition to its main rival SAP (which bought Taleo competitor SuccessFactors the same year).
Taleo's sales in both its software and service business segments rose in 2010 over 2009, but losses for the year jumped by more than 400% due to increased operating expenses in a number of business areas. Costs rose largely because of increased headcount resulting from acquisitions made in 2010, as well as the hiring of new sales staff; additional expenses were tied to pay raises and other incentive compensation.
Most of Taleo's sales were made in the North America, but the company marketed its products worldwide, particularly in Europe. As part of an effort to expand internationally, the company focused on countries where it already has customers and a local presence, including Australia, France, New Zealand, and the UK.
Acquisitions played a key role in Taleo's product development and international growth. In 2011 the company bought Jobpartners, a European developer of cloud-based recruiting software, for $38 million. The purchase doubled both Taleo's customer base and its sales and service staff in Europe. The deal included an R&D center in Poland and a customer service center in Scotland. Also that year the company bought rival human resource software maker Cytiva for about $11 million. The transaction added a number of customers for Taleo's cloud-based product suite in North America.
In 2010 the company acquired Worldwide Compensation for about $14 million in cash. Taleo had made a previous equity investment in Worldwide Compensation, which provided compensation management software. Also that year Taleo purchased strategic partner Learn.com for about $125 million in cash. The deal expanded Taleo's Talent management suite to include applications for managing training and education activities throughout organizations as well as to customers and partners. The addition of Learn.com boosted Taleo's customer base to around 5,000. – less