A new breed of talent management providers is challenging old innovation models.

By Madeline Laurano 
Innovation is a buzzword in talent management. Organizations looking to thrive in today’s market need to differentiate themselves by creating greater efficiencies in recruitment, development, and retention. In fact, according to Aberdeen’s Human Capital Management Trends report, 37 percent of best-in-class organizations declared that creating a culture of innovation would be a top priority for 2012.
It might sound like a simple goal, but in an unstable economic market, organizational leaders often struggle to think outside the box. And that makes it difficult to innovate talent processes. So how are organizations able to achieve this goal? What does it take to be “innovative” in the realm of talent management?
One element transcends the particulars. Regardless of the company size or the industrial sector, technology needs to be part of the equation. Talent management technology providers are reinventing themselves to enable innovation, and a new crop of providers has been entering the market. Their goal is to fix what has been broken—from job boards to candidate experience and performance appraisals.
The timing is right. Organizations are more than eager for change. According to Aberdeen’s talent acquisition research, only 18 percent of organizations are satisfied with their current providers.
Last month, at the HRO Today Forum in Washington, D.C., several up-and-coming thought leaders offered new solutions to address the challenges that confront today’s talent management technology. During the iTalent Competition, five startups presented their company overviews and value propositions to a panel of judges. Below are some of the highlights:
JobEscrow. The main objective of JobEscrow is to address challenges organizations face using contingency recruiters. Their solution is to create an online marketplace for jobs in a more effective way than what has been offered to date. Through their system, organizations can manage recruiting costs and recruiter performance by setting aside a specific amount of money in an escrow account to pay out over a period of time.
The Good Jobs. It is no surprise that organizations are dissatisfied with job boards. According to Aberdeen’s 2012 talent acquisition research, more than 50 percent of organizations plan to decrease their spends on job boards during the next 12 months. The Good Jobs offers a viable alternative. Its solution is to leverage badges to help match employers with job seekers. It provides organizations with a service that goes beyond merely presenting jobs by also providing information on work culture and employer brand.
Degreed. This start-up, which is scheduled to launch this summer, not only addresses challenges in the job market but also in the area of education. Degreed is a free service that scores and validates lifelong education from both accredited and non-accredited sources.
MyNextGig.com. As video gains momentum in talent management, MyNextGig provides employers and job seekers with video resume tools. For candidates, it also provides a way to connect with potential employers. The outstanding question is whether or not recruiters who are facing resume overload will have time to view video resumes.
Kapta Systems. Performance appraisals have been under scrutiny by many HR departments during the past decade. Kapta Systems offers a replacement solution that targets small to mid-sized organizations by providing tools to motivate and engage employees. Differentiators include both the user experience and built-in best practices.
As the talent management marketplace continues to evolve, these startups will be challenging existing service models. They will also create new models to improve efficiencies and engagement during recruitment, development, and retention of talent. The success of these startups will depend on their ability to create awareness while continuing to innovate talent management processes.
Madeline Laurano is Aberdeen Group’s research director for talent acquisition solutions. She can be reached at madeline.laurano@aberdeen.com.

Tags: Consultants & Advisors, Enabling Technology, HRO Today Forum APAC, HRO Today Forum Europe, HRO Today Forum North America, HRO Today Global, HRO Today STA, Professional Contribution, RPO, Talent Acquisition

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