In the last few months we have seen a number of companies attempting to transform the Human Resources space. The big opportunity exists with large companies that are straining under the weight of hiring and on-boarding so many new employees. For instance, a company like Accenture hires seventy thousand people per year. In the process they screen a million candidates across a global network of recruiters, agents, job boards, software, and services. The budgets are large and the systems are antiquated. There is also a nagging problem with mobile – job seekers research positions on their phone today, and the current applicant tracking systems (Taleo, Kenexa, etc) were built before the advance of the mobile web.
Once a candidate arrives for work he or she represents the company, which opens a whole new series of questions. Does the employee describe their company in a flattering way on LinkedIn? Is the company’s name even spelled correctly? Is the employee connected to the right people? The Internet has already democratized “what you know”, and it is only a matter of time before it democratizes “who you know”.
The last question from an employer’s standpoint is “How do you build a culture that compensates people for good work?” In a small firm this is easy – spot bonuses, gifts, trips, etc. It becomes more challenging as companies get larger, and managers are restricted to end-of-year bonuses and reviews. Of course this assumes that managers are even aware when good work is being done, which is so often not the case. This is why turnover is higher at big companies than small companies. And when you have high turnover you need to hire more employees, which takes us back to the beginning.
In the future software will help with all of these issues. It is unclear to me whether this will be one tool, or a series of tools. It might be a platform like Salesforce that innovates in this direction, or it could be a new company that starts fresh. Either way there is a multi-billion dollar opportunity out there waiting for someone to capture it.