Human Resources Executive magazine announces 2008 Top 10 HR Products selections

Of course I wouldn't be writing this if Avature's Recruiting CRM wasn't selected...thankfully it was and a big "hug it out" to David Shadovitz and his editors for selecting us. You can see the article in the Oct. 2, 2008 current issue here:

There were a few winners in the talent acquisition space so I congratulate them as well - LinkedIN and Kenexa - good company to be in.

What's interesting is the proliferation of Web 2.0 within the group of award winners and contestants, which, in a separate article, occupies the issue's front cover as well. I still think there is some confusion as to what Web 2.0 really offers for recruiting. I have countless conversations on the subject daily with people in the recruiting community and "a deer in headlights" still prevails.

On Monday, Avature founder and CEO Dimitri Boylan and I did a webinar on software innovation/Web 2.0 technologies in the HCM space (Human Capital Management). From what I can tell, most people feel a little Web 2.0 love when they do something recruiting related on LinkedIN - sourcing, connecting, posting, etc. - or create a Facebook group for their company (no thanks to the umpteen millionth Webinar on using Facebook or LinkedIN to recruit. I think I'll vomit if I listen to another one!). The real opportunity comes when you think about and implement ENTERPRISE 2.0, which is Web 2.0 - you guessed it - inside the enterprise; within recruiting software. In our webinar on Monday we focused on three main points that have immediate impact today for recruiting within a recruiting application a la Enterprise 2.0:

1. Rich User Experience - people in the enterprise will come to expect the same rich user experience they get in the public domain from their corporate applications. Influential technology innovator J.P. Rangaswani said it best, "Well, today’s kids are different. Generation M is different. The generation entering the workforce is different. They are used to RSS, to feed readers, to Google, to iGoogle, to Netvibes, to Pipes, to relevance and ranking, to wild cards. And they won’t put up with our trashy way of doing things. Not even for money. So next time you look at a humongous monolithic system using arcane meaningless codes and chundering out pages of tripe, start planning to replace it. That’s if you want to attract employees from the coming generations."

I think Workday is doing good things here with Adobe Flex technology for Rich Internet Applications (RIA). Taleo announced their project "Monarch" at their recent annual user conference - which, according to David Burlington, group vice-president of applications and technology at Taleo, will feature some of the design concepts taken from Web 2.0. I always get suspicious when a company comes out with a project name - it's usually a marketing ploy to make it look like they're innovating for investors, customers, and employees - more hype than anything else. The proof will be in the pudding but as you'll read below in #2, true Enterprise 2.0 needs to go beyond just adding some AJAX (asynchronous JavaScript and XML) to the UI. It doesn't sound like Taleo's going beyond that with Monarch, which doesn't surprise me. It's tough to economically justify that kind of change when you're in their stage of the software company life cycle. Financial engineering for Wall Street becomes as, or more, important than ground breaking product innovation (unless you're Google that prints money).

2. Lightweight Programming Models - this is a big concept from Tim O'Reilly's 7 principles of Web 2.0. Architect Michael Platt of Microsoft explains it this way, "With Web 2.0 techniques, users can easily create applications specific to their own needs. However, many current composite application strategies fall short by focusing on simply resurfacing applications in an Ajax interface (UI) and failing to provide true user enablement. To capitalize on the user-driven application opportunity, enterprises must provide departments and users with a managed environment and familiar tools that allow them to easily customize or create their own workspaces and solutions."

3. Business-to Community (B2C) 2.0 - learning to see and understand the various communities that exist inside - and outside - the enterprise and how you leverage technology to understand them, interact with them, and get business impact out of them. Think corporate social network for onboarding, training & education, mentoring, referrals, etc. and talent community development like Marvin Smith at Microsoft Entertainment & Devices is doing here - via Jobster. Although there are serious limitations to relying on Jobster's network to connect with people, the concept of building a talent community as a way to pipeline for talent is interesting which is why he spoke at SourceCon. Look for more of that and a blurring of the boundary between internal and external networks. Where the internal and external circles in the ven diagram overlap is where it gets interesting.

Email me at if you want a copy of the full PowerPoint deck.

Mike Johnson
Global Director of Business Development, Avature

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