Is Kenexa 2XB the Right ATS for Your Recruitment Team?
Updated December 14, 2013

Is Kenexa 2XB the Right ATS for Your Recruitment Team?

Simon Meth | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 5 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Software Version


Modules Used

  • n/a

Overall Satisfaction

  • 2XB is SaaS and it is up and running most of the time. Performance is usually good and there is only very minimal downtime.
  • 2XB allows corporate recruiters to work the way they want to work. It provides a clear snapshot of everything on the recruiter's "desk": what there is to do now, what there is to do later, and what can be ignored.
  • 2XB can handle companies/organizations of various sizes including the very largest and handles multi-site, multi-countries well.
  • The GUI has undergone several major revisions since I first used it in '03. It is far from Windows compliant. As the market transitions away from pure Windows compliance, now is the time to redesign and bring the UI up-to-date.
  • Reporting is very poor. A redesign of the reporting engine to use modern technologies is needed.
  • There is little that the user can do to customize their experience other than moving columns around, adding and deleting columns, and rearranging the landing page. This should be addressed when architecting the new UI.
  • The implementation of 2XB that I use has no social media integration that I'm aware of. However, Kenexa has announced Release 13: Social media integration and mobile functionality are at the top of the holiday wish list of recruiters this year. Just in time for the holidays, we’re excited to roll out Release 13 of Kenexa 2x BrassRing. Highlights of the release include expanded functionality for social, mobile, on-demand video interviewing, SMS/Text Messaging, user interface advances and candidate relationship management. No idea if that's vaporware or not but at least they are headed in the right direction.
  • Easy to use to quickly screen applicants and submit them to managers. This is key in any recruitment organization.
  • While very powerful, 2XB takes considerable time for new users to learn and to become proficient. There are many blind alleys for the uninitiated to get lost in.
  • Complete lack of integration with MS Outlook leads to double work and associated inefficiencies.
I'm not responsible for the renewal, but if someone asked my opinion I'd have to say that 2XB is functional, does a reasonable job but could be so much better. There are many competitive products on the market but only two or three at the same level as 2XB. I'd want to review each of them before renewing.
Kenexa 2XB is certainly worth consideration. It's important to determine if the UI is going to be acceptable. Whether or not that is true will depend on the rest of the software suite in use. Reporting is also important. While you can report on most of the data, doing so is cumbersome and not readily available and intuitive for most users. That may be an issue in environments where users are expected to generate their own reports. Modern software should work the way that users expect. Given that most users are now used to using Web applications, tablet applications, and smartphone applications, shouldn't their ATS be available and work consistently on each of those platforms? 2XB does not!

Evaluation and Selection

I didn't! However, I have used both SmartSearch and SilkRoad OpenHire extensively. SmartSearch is fantastic for recruiter geeks who really want to find out all the neat things that are available. It's fast, super easy to use, and quite elegant in design. Probably not a good choice for larger organizations but certainly worth considering for small to medium orgs. OpenHire is a joy to use. Great UI! It does have one really quirky design feature: each time an applicant applies, a new record is created. The software does allow you to view the notes from all the multiple records in one place but it's really a very odd design choice. OpenHire is worth considering for orgs of all sizes. I have never used Taleo but colleagues have and some love it and others hate it. It would be on my list for medium to larger sized orgs. My overall view is that recruiters always hate the ATS they are using. First question I always ask them is, "What do you need and want to do that you can't do with the system you have?" With most modern systems the answer is invariably "nothing"!
  • Product Features
  • Product Usability
I'm all about features and usability. There are always multiple considerations when selecting a system but it's essential that, once the choice has been made and the system is implemented, that the people who use it are able to do their jobs in an efficient and productive manner. Users should actually "enjoy" using the system and it should allow them to work the way they want to. It's up to the implementation team to configure the system so that all company requirements are met and that the work that is done each and every day is in compliance.
It's a huge task to select "the best" ATS for any organization. In fact it's probably impossible to do it since no org has the resources to review each and every system. The best place to start is to find out what similar orgs in similar geographic regions are using. Often people get lost in endless spreadsheets listing a myriad of features and functions. Start with what other orgs are using, figure out a realistic budget, eliminate those that are significantly outside of your budget, and go talk to users and find out what they really think. Resist the urge to get introductions from the vendors. Find your own users. There's a lot more to it but that is a good way to start.


There is nothing that a recruiter needs to do that they can't do with Kenexa 2XB but the proprietary, old fashioned UI is far from intuitive to use. I only rate 2XB this highly because the SaaS is up most of the time, performance is usually reasonable, and it does actually work.
Relatively simple
Easy to use
Technical support not required
Feel confident using
Slow to learn
  • It's super easy to review resumes of applicants in the requisition folder. Both text and pdf versions are available.
  • It's easy to follow the workflow and push candidates through the process.
  • Search is easy and very configurable although the interface is proprietary and must be learned and understood for best results.
  • Reporting, while it can be done, isn't intuitive and relies on ancient technology.
  • The dashboard is pretty much lipstick on a pig. Total redesign of the UI is needed.
  • Requisition formatting has never worked correctly. It is possible to use but requires too much attention to detail for most users.