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From the Editors

From the Editors

'We Know Next' Products and Services Edition: SHRM Day 2

June 28, 2011
Related Topics: Strategy and Management

At last year’s conference in San Diego, SHRM unveiled “We Know Next,” its new branding campaign aimed at showing the organization and its members in a new light as forward-looking, strategic partners poised to help their organizations grow. If the flurry of new product and service announcements coming out of this year’s conference is any indicator, the vendor community is taking up the charge.

The, the online job search and recruitment site aimed at the professional job market, made a splash yesterday with the announcement of Signature. Imagine if you could pay a fee, in this case $2,495, and guarantee yourself a job earning more than $100,000. That’s the promise is making, Alex Douziet, the company’s co-founder and president, told me yesterday.

Sitting in the groovy lounge of their giant, airplane-themed booth on the expo floor, Douziet shared the details. Competition is on the rise in the vendor market with many new offerings, including a host of social technology tools aimed at improving and augmenting the recruiting process. Signature, which started working on about two years ago, grew out of efforts to differentiate the company and offer additional support to job seekers struggling amidst the recession.

The service works best for professionals looking for their next career move, Douziet said. In signing up, job seekers agree to a series of weekly sessions with a career advisor who will help them target potential jobs and prepare for interviews. Job fit analysis is key to the success of making that next move. “It’s not about applying to 100 jobs,” Douziet said. “That’s the wrong way to do it.”

According to Douziet, 90 percent of candidates in pilot programs received a job offer in 6 months, but it’s also a win for the other side of the employment transaction – the employer. Employers benefit from a better prepared candidate able to hit the ground running.

The Cloudy Future

It’s hard to escape the shadow of the cloud today and HR is no exception. While software-as-a-service has been around for a number of years in the vendor community, that’s only one facet of our cloudy future.

The real potential of the cloud, or a hosted set of applications and data, is in how it is used to gather data and drive decision making. Saba is planting its flag squarely in the heart of this evolution and I had a chance to meet with Saba's Milind Pansare and Chris Tratar to hear more. The company has been working busily over the last few years to bring their talent management, performance management, learning and employee development and collaboration products together and have recently rebranded it as Saba People Cloud.

At the core of the connection is one employee data profile that includes formal details, such as certifications, experience, job description and role and skills, combined with a social component that includes projects, network activity, discussions and interests. Bringing that all together creates a social map of the organization, identifying who is collaborating, what they are working on and what people have a critical role as connectors within the organization. All of that is connected with an external community of customers and other users.

Going Mobile

According to research conducted by market research company VDC Research and ADP, the number of mobile workers exceeded 1 billion in 2010 and is expected to grow by more than 10 percent over the next three to five years. IDC expects that the number of mobile workers accessing enterprise systems will be more than 1 billion this year. That’s more than one-third of the world’s workforce. Heady numbers there and you can understand why mobile applications are an increasing component of many HR products.

Providing sensitive background information on potential employees via a mobile device is obviously thorny. Instead, Nick Fishman, president of background and screening provider EmployeeScreenIQ, said his company's mobile application will provide news, articles, legislative updates and industry insight directly to your smartphone or tablet. With more than 99,000 cases filed with the EEOC last year, there's an evident need for employers to stay abreast of the latest developments to stay in compliance.

Anna Carsen, who heads up mobile strategy for ADP, shared the news that her company will be launching a mobile application next month. Employees will be able to access pay statements, a corporate directory, time clock and benefits information, all from their mobile devices. One benefit will be increased employee engagement in HR processes that should drive higher participation and usage of employee self-service solutions.

In related news, integrated talent management provider PeopleClick Authoria made news on Sunday when it renamed itself Peoplefluent, then quickly followed that up with the announcement on Monday of their new mobile product, Fluency on the Move. With the rapid pace of announcements, the 'next' in 'we know next' won't stay the same for very long.


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