SAP Acquisition of Fieldglass – A (Sizable) Step Closer to Total Talent Acquisition


SAP, an integrated human capital platform delivering talent management, core HR, and workforce analytics in the cloud, recently announced the acquisition of Fieldglass, the leading vendor management system (VMS) in the contingent staffing space.  According to reports, “Fieldglass will retain its identity and continue to operate independently as a SAP company in their cloud line.”

This move aligns with SAP’s growth strategy of acquiring companies with specific technologies and capabilities that add to its broad HR offering, and is a natural fit that enables SAP to deliver solutions across both the contingent and permanent workforce from “Recruit to Retire.”  Fieldglass’ strong market presence and customer base also gives customers yet another reason to look at SAP SuccessFactors.

The acquisition has the potential to fill a key gap in the market as organizations increasingly look for a total talent acquisition approach. As the use of a flexible workforce is growing, organizations have recognized a need for more robust and holistic contingent solutions. The market is showing improved collaboration between procurement (the historic owner of contingent hiring) and talent acquisition/HR, and we are increasingly seeing organizations bring contingent hiring into the talent acquisition function.

RPO service providers are similarly moving to a more strategic talent management approach. The blending of outsourced contingent hiring and permanent hiring under one integrated solution – often referred to as Blended RPO – is gaining increased traction in the market. One leading RPO organization reports seeing some form of Blended RPO in 20 percent of new deals, and select RPO providers have developed new service delivery models to support a blended approach.

While organizations are migrating to a total talent acquisition strategy, and service providers have created solutions around it, technology providers may finally be catching up. Currently, the industry lacks a robust technology to handle both contingent and permanent hiring and requires the use of discrete systems – an applicant tracking system (ATS) and a VMS, along with a customized reporting wrapper or manual reporting on the back end.

SAP customers will gain significant value if Fieldglass is fully integrated into SAP SuccessFactor’s ATS and workforce planning and analytics solutions. With this acquisition, SAP is able to provide visibility into workforce needs on the front end, an integrated technology to process and track all types of hiring, and automated reporting and analytics on the back end. Integrated with the ATS, SAP would be able to provide a full view of talent acquisition across contingent and permanent, including total openings, spend, suppliers, quality of candidates, and operational metrics. Combined with SAP’s workforce planning and analytics capability, customers would be able to forecast and understand internal talent supply, perform demand modeling, and provide insights on workforce data to help organizations better plan and manage their talent needs. We believe customers will reap significant business value from a holistic view of the workforce to help align strategy, effectively manage costs and find the right talent mix.

To learn more, contact ISG Principal Consultant Stacey Cadigan.

About the author

Stacey is a director and a key contributor to ISG’s human resources and talent-related technology and services. She advises clients on all aspects of human resources engagements, including recruitment process outsourcing and talent management. Stacey is a prolific blogger, and is frequently interviewed by industry publications. With nearly 20 years of experience in solutions strategy, product development, corporate HR, operations delivery, transitions and HR consulting, Stacey has deep operational knowledge of the talent space and her clients’ challenges, as well as a unique ability to ask the right questions to help organizations align their sourcing initiatives with their vision.