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    « Employee Transfers in 1920 - Look familiar? | Main | Steve's First HR Technology Interview - Beth Carvin »
    Monday
    May042009

    Two HR Technology Solutions - One Theme

    HR Technology has become a deep and richly varied discipline.  It encompasses so many diverse technologies and processes, that trying to keep 'current' is definitely a challenge.

    Last week was a busy one, and I thought it would be interesting to give a quick overview of two of the  technologies and solutions I was discussing and trying to learn more about.

    Collaborative Technology

    Neighborhood America - I had a great call and demonstration of the Community Platform ELAvate from Neighborhood America, a company based in Florida that provides solutions for both external, customer oriented communities, and internal, employer-oriented communities. The market for community platforms is a crowded one, with companies such as Jive, Telligent, Tomoye (my current vendor partner for my next class), and several others.

    The ELAvate solution offers all the features that are becoming 'must-haves' in this market, things like rich user profiles, discussion forums, blogs, content rating and tagging, and many others. Increasingly, organizations are looking to these platform solutions in their quest to improve employee collaboration and communication, and to harness internally some of the energy and momentum that has shifted to popular external networking sites. Where Neighborhood America stands out from their competitors in this space is with their new Reveal module, an idea generation, review, and rating component that allows customers or employees to propose, comment, and vote on ideas. These idea generators are very popular in the consumer space, (Dell and Starbucks are two notable examples), and can be an effective way to harness the creativity and innovation of an organization.

    I was very impressed with Neighborhood America, and want to thank Ron Duquette and Lori Burke for taking the time to show me the platform.

     

    Recruiting/ATS

    Avature - I was fortunate to get a demonstration of the Avature Recruiting CRM product from the nice folks there.  The Recruiting CRM product essentially applies classic customer relationship management concepts, (campaigns, sourcing, pipelines, and relationship building) to an organization's candidate population. This solution is a significant departure from traditional applicant tracking systems that are primarily used to create and post job requisitions, and collect specific applications for those positions.  Traditional ATS are often designed with the functional step by step process in the forefront, and not designed around the candidate and building and managing a relationship with said candidate.

    The features that I saw were very impressive, things like mining social networks like LinkedIn, easy import of contacts from various source systems, and multiple candidate communication channels including integrated SMS messaging.  It was immediately clear that the Avature Recruiting CRM can't really be compared to 'traditional' ATS, as the Avature solution mostly enhances and augments the functions of the ATS.  Certainly organizations that find themselves in highly complex, competitive, and high volume recruiting situations would likely be wise to take a look at Avature. Thanks very much to Mike Johnson at Avature for the demonstration and to Susan Byrnes for arranging the introduction.

    Theme

    While these technology solutions support completely different business processes (employee collaboration versus candidate relationship management), they do possess a common theme.  That is, fostering connections between people for the ultimate benefit of the organization. In the case of Neighborhood America, the platform aims to enhance creativity and innovation by facilitating employees connecting to each other.  For Avature, the goal is to connect prospects and candidates to the organization for mutual benefit. 

    Systems that facilitate connections and relationships, rather than simply automate transactional business processes are, I think, the most interesting developments in HR Technologies, and definitely one that I plan on researching further and incorporating into the HR Technology class.

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