IDEASCAPE

Smarterer - Crowdsourcing skills

Smarterer (www.smarterer.com/@smarterer)  is first out with a formal placement in Spoke Innovation's HCM IDEASCAPE. It's a nice showcase as is demonstrates the application of relatively well known innovation (crowdsourcing) to a specific part of the HCM process (assessment).

What's the big idea?

What makes Smarterer noteworthy is the idea of applying crowdsourcing to skills testing.

Where's the ROI? 

Employers see significant savings by using Smarterer as a replacement for / addition to traditional skills testing/early stage screening activities in the recruitment process. You can measure skills that cannot be easily or costeffectively measured in any other way. Smarterer should also be great for training needs analyses in an enterprise setting - imagine using this to map basic MS Office or IT security proficiency.

My two cents

In my brief experience (testing my MailChimp skills) not all questions were spot on - and a test managed by i.e. a professional body would possibly be that little bit tidier and more to the point. I would really love to see some collaboration with vendors, educational institutions and/or professional bodies - some type of moderator role. Surely this would be a great opportunity for a wide range of stakeholders. It may also be a way of getting paid  - as a software vendor I can imagine myself paying for moderation/certification privileges. It could possibly lead to an increase in question quality and give added credibililty to the tests. 

Why should you care? 

As a HCM technology vendor Smarterer shows that crowdsourcing really works for this specific part of the HCM lifecycle. It makes you wonder how it may be applied to other functions - job ads, learning, onboarding, sourcing, career planning, rewards management, employer branding, etc. 

And as mentioned above - as a HCM technology vendor - maybe you should use Smarterer to deliver your skills testing? 

 Smarterer found me to be "Proficient" at using Mailchimp. Not accurate; I am the Yoda of Mailchimp!

Smarterer found me to be "Proficient" at using Mailchimp. Not accurate; I am the Yoda of Mailchimp!

mployee: Betting the farm on Salesforce

I first heard about mployee (www.mployee.nl / @mployee) at the Salesforce Customer Company Tour and was thrilled to hear they had developed a comprehensive Talent Management suite on the  Salesforce  platform.

It's a brilliant idea. As Salesforce will be the first to tell you - developers choosing the  salesforce.com  platform will shave years of development time - but more importantly - not have to worry about the elephants in the room when selling in the enterprise market; security, reliability and scalability - and increasingly the quality of your API.

Salesforce apps inherit the above, so where other vendors have to prove their viability, that job has pretty much already been done for mployee, and they surely benefit from the market exposure they get through the app exchange and the Salesforce community.

So by rethinking their deveelopment platform mployee has carved out an attractive niche in the market and built an application with plenty of scope for growth and innovation.

What's the big idea?

mployee bet the farm on PAAS, specifically Salesforce. They are all in, building their solution as a native Salesforce application.

 

Where's the ROI?

The economic loss that follow hundreds of HCM vendors developing and running their own development stacks is mind-boggling. Too much attention must typically be paid to infrastructure by the many would-be innovative HCM vendors of the world.

For current Salesforce.com customers mployee's value proposition is obvious – it is pretty much plug and play integrated talent management. If I was a Salesforce shop I would struggle to even consider non-native alternatives if I was looking for a comprehensive talent management solution.


My two cents

More than anything mployee’s choice of platform suggests that Salesforce is the best PAAS solution in the market for HCM. Mployee is not alone about their choice of platform - Vana and Fairsail also offer native HCM suites in the Salesforce app exchange, alongside a growing number of best of breed apps. It is the beginnings of an ecosystem. All is not great with the Salesforce.com HCM ecosystem however.

Gartner Group PAAS analyst Yefim Natis  says about Salesforce that some “… see its ecosystem as incomplete due to the strong focus on CRM applications”.

In that case, Salesforce has, at the very least – a brand problem. They’re called Salesforce. Not much hint of HCM orientation there. They pledge their commitment to HCM through integrating with Oracle and Workday – but that’s something very different to becoming the ecosystem of choice for HCM (or is it?)

For mployee and any other HCM tech vendor making the bet on Salesforce this is both the challenge and the opportunity.

Why should you care?
If you build and sell customer-facing technology you know Salesforce is the center in your universe. If you build HCM applications you cannot really know for sure. mployee shows you can make a bet on Salesforce. If you go another way – as a buyer or seller of HCM solutions - you may be right – but you’d better be able to explain yourself.

OnGig: Break the rules by starting a conversation

Ongig is an innovative job board where many features could be chosen as their most innovative, not least relating to their exemplary use of video. What gets them their spot in the HCM IDEASCAPE, however, is from a technological point of view much more banal. On Ongig jobseekers can discuss the job ad with the line manager in a job ad specific mini-forum. It's brilliant.

 

 

It's one of those interesting situations where technology has taken away the root cause (line managers getting too many phone calls)  of a negative behaviour (not engaging in dialogue with early stage candidates) - but where the negative behaviour remains regardless. OnGig sets a great example by changing the rules.

What's the big idea?
Ongig lets jobseekers communicate collectively with the line manager/recruiter before applying. This makes it easy for applicants to clarify issues such as travel time, possible geographic locations, whether a certain limitation such as a missing certification will disqualify them and so on - and levels the playing field as all actors have the same information. 

 OnGig: Breaking the rules by starting a conversation. 

OnGig: Breaking the rules by starting a conversation. 

Where's the ROI?
The solution is beneficial to jobseekers who can ask and get answers to important questions, and for line managers/recruiters who can channel all jobseeker communication through Ongig. The simple solution reduces the amount of time spent with more and less relevant candidates on the phone. Finally, it can enable proper process documentation from square one, and ensure a more fair playing field.

My two cents
I think Ongig should make one small change; make all dialogue anonymous by default. The many pictures of anonymous job seeker faces are a waste of valuable screen real estate. I have yet to see a job seeker that does not choose to be anonymous in this context - and for good reason. The need for anonymity should outweigh other considerations.

Why should you care?
If you run an ATS or a job board, job ads published with mini-forums are all yours. Think about it. The media that owns the dialogue about the job owns the process - all other ads should simply refer to you. More importantly - you'd be making life that little bit easier for job seekers and line managers alike. In the emerging world of one-click applications the mini-forum may be a key instrument in making sure relevant applicants apply - and irrelevant applicants do not. 

Not least; as an employer you can show some respect and make yourself available to the job seeker. With the mini-forum there is no reason not to.