Beat Oracle's Taleo Applicant Tracking System (ATS)

What is Taleo

Taleo is a cloud-based ATS (Applicant Tracking System) that is used by large companies to manage their talent acquisition processes. Founded in Canada in 1996, they were later purchased by Oracle in 2012. Today, Taleo is the world's largest ATS, with over 5,000 customers in 180 countries.

Similar to other ATS, Taleo incorporates automatic, AI (artificial intelligence) technologies in the employee selection process, in order to:

  • Find the best possible candidates
  • Decrease the employer’s costs by automizing the selection process
  • Reduce the overload from the employers' HR departments

Since more and more companies are using the ATS program, the above information is becoming more and more useful each day.

Taleo During the Hiring Process

Typically, ATS is used in the first stages of the hiring process. This way employers can focus on qualified candidates. In most cases, you will search for a job on the company's website (e.g. Marriott, KP), and then, after applying, the entire process will be conducted through Taleo.

In the past, you simply applied on the company's website, uploaded your resume for the HR staff to look at, took an assessment test on a test provider's website, and traveled to the company's offices for an interview. Nowadays, all of these screening services are integrated through ATS.

Therefore, you will not always know which assessment you are about to take, making it much harder to prepare for it. 


Which Companies Use Taleo?

Approximately 20% of the companies using ATS choose Taleo. Being a company that focuses on large clients, it's no surprise that many of the world’s largest and most influential companies use Taleo, among which are Marriott, KP (Kaiser Permanente) and United Airlines.

More than 5,000 customers use Taleo software, including roughly half the businesses on the Fortune 100 list. Take a peek below:

Macy's Staples Best Buy EasyJet Deloitte
Toyota GAP Citi Marriott HP
Starbucks Toys "R" Us Visa Daimler Accenture
Hyatt Target AT&T Amazon EY
Unilever Boeing Morgan Stanley GM JP Morgan

Applying for a Job via Taleo

The application process via Taleo differs from company to company. As Taleo is, eventually, a technical platform, it is the job of the employer to choose which stages to screen applicants. With this in mind, below are the most prevalent stages you might encounter:


1. Initial Registration

The initial registration stage is rather self-explanatory. You can begin by setting up a Taleo account on your prospective employer’s website then choose a specific position. You can tell you are registering for Taleo by looking at the URL. Taleo’s name appears, typically after the employer’s name:

taleo url

Note: Your Taleo account is applicable only for THIS particular company. If you apply to another company using Taleo, you will be required to create a new account.


2. Resume / Profile Parsing

Resume parsing might be the first or second stage of your registration after the job-specific questions and employment essentials. During this stage, you will be requested to either:

  • Upload a resume.
  • Upload a profile from your Indeed or LinkedIn profile.


Taleo will extract the data from the resume or profile you uploaded and will automatically fill in the required fields such as job experience, education, etc. Note: For this to work, you must format your job experience and education sections as follows:


(Start Year)-(End Year) - (Degree) in (Field) at (University Name)


2018-2022 - B.A in Economics at the University of Hawaii

Job Experience

(Start Month Year)-(End Month Year) - (Position) at (Workplace).


June 2014-January 2017 - Front-end developer at ABC Software

Note 1: You should always proofread the required fields and ensure that the information extracted from your resume/profile is complete and correct.

Note 2: Occasionally, you may be required to give your resume a specific file name, such as, "Your Name_Resume".

taleo resume

Remember, the resume parser is not merely a technical tool. It has a key role in the initial screening process.

It will check, analyze and grade your resume’s match to the specific job. Therefore, it is highly important that your resume is both job-specific and ATS-compatible. To make sure your resume is a good match for the job you apply to, you can use a resume scanning tool.

It's important to note that Taleo allows you to upload a new resume for each and every position. Take advantage of this! When dealing with ATS such as Taleo, one of the most important principles of resumes is to personalize your resume for the specific job you are applying for.


3. Employment Essentials

These questions present conditions that are mandatory for one's ability to work with the employer. Such questions are most commonly related to:

  • Citizenship or a work permit in the country you apply to work in.
  • A driver’s license, passport, or another legal verification
  • Minimal age required for work
  • Minimal professional experience.


4. Job-Specific Questions

Next, you will be presented with a few questions by the HR department. The answers to the questions will be ranked by Taleo and will relate to your education, experience, career goals and preferences.

Taleo uses these questions in two separate ways:

  • Raters – While you will not be terminated on the spot by choosing preferences the company wants, know that your chances of obtaining the job will be lowered.
  • Eliminators – However, if an employer does not want to accept employees with a specific answer, they can set up the test to automatically disqualify irrelevant candidates.

Answer these questions honestly and to the best of your ability. If you are required to write text as an answer, there is a good chance Taleo is doing a keyword pick-up. 

taleo questions

5. Work History and Education

After you upload your resume/profile, these sections will most likely be filled automatically. Be sure to proofread to ensure that each section has correctly transferred to the right section.

taleo work experience


6. Profile Information

Taleo’s profile information section is intended to present both you and the employer additional opportunities. For example, you will be asked several questions regarding the job you are seeking such as educational level, positions you desire, willingness to travel, etc. Each detail will be carefully considered to enable the prospective employer to see which other relevant positions could cater to you in the future.


7. Screening Services

Screening services are the methods used by a company to assess candidates. Together with the resume parser, these are the gatekeepers of the job, which allow only suitable candidates to pass the system. Taleo's screening services include, among others:


Assessment Test

Often referred to as “Candidate Assessment” or “Screening Assessment”, this stage varies between companies and positions. The majority of assessments include one or more of the list below:

Let's go over each type and briefly explain it:


Aptitude Tests

Aptitude tests evaluate your performance, with no prior knowledge and/or training. They consist of various timed tasks such as numerical, verbal, logical, abstract, etc. Upon completion, your result will be compared to other candidates applying for the same position. Usually, the bottom 80% of candidates will be eliminated at that stage.

Learn more about aptitude tests.


Personality Profiling

Personality tests match between your personality to the required job profile. As such, different positions will require different profiles.

Personality tests come in various formats. Getting familiar with the format of your upcoming test and the position requirements will help increase your chances of success.

Learn more about personality profiling.

personality profiling


Situational Judgement Tests (SJT)

SJT is a supplement for the personality profiling test and is intended to evaluate your behavior in various job-related scenarios.

You will be presented with a scenario and will be requested to describe your reaction. Based on your response, the employer will try to assess how well you can cope with actual conflicts and situations in his environment.

Learn more about SJT.



Job-Related Knowledge

The job-related knowledge test is the only type of test that requires previous knowledge. It will usually be administered to individuals who are applying for technical positions: maintenance staff, coders, mechanics and electricians.


Background Checks

In recent years, more and more employers include background checks in their ATS. The process can include checking your criminal and driving record, credit report or employer references.


Video Interview

Traditionally, interviews were the last stage of the screening process. This way only the top candidates would land an interview. However, with the rise of ATS, video interviewing tools such as Talview, Sonru, and Sparkhire have been often integrated into the early stages of the screening process. Furthermore, ATS has the capability to conduct multiple interviews simultaneously, as well as eliminate a candidate when the interview is deemed unfit.

Normally, a video interview, also known as a pre-recorded interview, will be conducted as followed:

  • Before reaching the interviewee, the company's talent acquisition team will predetermine interview questions.
  • Once the interview format is ready, you will connect through Taleo to the integrated video interviewing tool.
  • After each question, you will have 30 seconds to compose an answer before your camera starts rolling.
  • You will be given a limited time to provide an answer (around 3 minutes).
  • Once done, your answers will be reviewed by the employer to determine if you are a good fit for the position.

Below are a few tips to successfully perform during a video interview:

  • Make sure that the room you're chosen to take the interview in is free of distractions - pets, loud noises or significant others...
  • Treat your video interview as if it is a live interview, because, to a great extent, it is. Note that although there are some AI-based video analysis tools that analyze body language, tone, and emotion, it is still very common for the recorded interviews to be inspected by a human recruiter.
  • Prepare yourself in advance. Before taking the video interview, try searching forums to better understand what other candidates experienced during their video interview experiences. Oftentimes, you will find clues to what the company is looking for on their main website. At the very least, you should find more information regarding the job itself and the core values of the company. Note that many large companies also publish their own tips and tricks to help you ace the interview. Once you have gathered the necessary information, you will find that interview preparation materials are a lot more helpful, allowing you to more easily create the best interview for the job.

Taleo Partnerships

As previously mentioned, Taleo incorporates a wide array of company and organization partnerships who provide pre-employment screening services such as aptitude tests, personality tests, and interviews.

Remember that the employer decides which test and interview provider to use. Taleo is the technical platform that connects all these elements into one sequential application process. Each company uses its own test provider (often more than one), but most employers will not reveal this provider before the actual test. Knowing this beforehand will give you a great leverage in your ability to better prepare for the test.

Below is a list of Taleo's most well-known partnerships:


Wonderlic has integrated various pre-hire assessments and exams into the Taleo system. These assessments include job-specific questionnaires, cognitive ability tests, personality tests, skills tests, and surveys. The Wonderlic Cognitive Ability Test (previously known as the Wonderlic Personnel Test) and the Wonderlic Basic Skills Test (WBST) are frequently used for job placement.


SHL is one of the world's leading providers for pre-employment assessments. Their tests are integrated into Taleo's interface and used as screening tools by large companies such as PwC and KP.

Thomas International

Thomas International, best known for the GIA (General Intelligence Assessment) has integrated its personality assessment tools into the Taleo system. Candidates are now able to use one portal for their hiring process instead of going between the Taleo system and another company. This is also helpful for employers as it enables them to view and analyze a candidate's application and assessment results within one system, thereby cutting down on hiring time.

Thomas International is used in 60 countries and has been primarily designed to assist small and medium-sized businesses.

Assess Systems

Assess Systems has integrated its entry-level pre-employment assessments, competency-based talent selection, and development solutions into the Taleo system. This has allowed it to assist hiring managers in a unique way—by analyzing a candidate's compatibility to a company and position and then producing the top-scoring candidates to the hiring manager(s).

Video Interview Tools

Taleo can be integrated with video interview tools that help employers conduct a large number of interviews in a quick and easily manageable way. Two of the most well-known video interview services integrating with Taleo are RIVS and TalView.

Taleo Preparation with JobTestPrep

Here we can offer you an All-Inclusive PrepPack™ to better prepare for your upcoming encounter with Taleo's screening tools. Inside the pack, you will find aptitude tests, personality tests, SJT, and interview tips.

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