User Generated Competency Maps

Thomas Otter, Gartner Analyst by day cyclist by night, posted on his Gartner blog last week about the new XING Competency Card and how it raises questions around the need for “complex, expensive, poorly maintained HR competency management applications behind the firewall”.

The competency card allow you to add skills to your XING profile (think a LinkedIn profile), back them up with commentary detailing your experience and then have your contacts validate this experience.

I decided to give the process a bit of test, as such I signed up to XING and created my own profile including a Competence Card (which you can find under the Applications tab). I have to agree with Thomas, while a basic implementation the look and feel are nice and very easy to use. The simplicity of implementation is part of the attraction, making the tool one of the easiest competency tools I have used.

The idea of peer validation is great and something that is really needed for inside the firewall applications, with a bit extra. The ability to have validations from both internal and external contacts, as not competency can be validated internally, especially in a world of partnerships, outsourcing and the like.

The peer validation process reminded me of survey feature found in PeopleStreme, which allows anyone to create a quick survey to collect feedback on their performance. A feature especially liked by the “validation seeking Generation Y” (yes vast generalisation).

I note in the comments of Thomas’s post Jon Ingham raises the point of still seeing a need for internal competency maps, agree. However a tool that supported both internal and external validation would allow for these maps and still incorporate the user generated aspects of XING’s Competency Card.

So who will be the first vendor with such a feature?

Thoughts on the Peopleclick Authoria merger

On 5 January 2010 Authoria and Peopleclick combined to form the largest privately owned company in the Talent Management marketplace. The new company, Peopleclick Authoria, claims to serve almost 60% of the Fortune 100 organisations. The new CEO will be Charles S. Jones, Managing Partner of Bedford Funding, the private equity firm undertaking the deal.

Some of my initial thoughts:

  • The merger will form the largest privately owned company in the Talent Management marketplace.
  • Both existing solutions will continue to be sold for the foreseeable future, with the addition of a combine suite offering.
  • The newly formed company leverages the best attributes of both vendors, Peopleclick’s recruitment offering and Authoria’s deep talent management features.
  • Technically both solutions are similar and offered as multi-tenant SaaS solutions, although Authoria’s use of single tenant for select larger clients may cause some integration issues.
  • Update: There is some debate around if Peopleclick have moved fully from their .NET platform to J2EE

  • As separate organisations both appeared in the recent Gartner eRecruitment 2009 Magic Quadrant report, with Peopleclick placed in the leaders category.
  • The combined organisation has the potential to move further into the leaders quadrant to provide a challenge to Taleo as the market leader.

More information is available to Inspecht members.

Movement at Stepstone?

After performing well in the latest Gartner Magic Quadrant report it seems things are changing for Stepstone . Earlier this week they held an Extraordinary General Meeting to vote on de-listing the company from both the Norwegian and UK exchanges.

De-listing of the shares of the company from Oslo Børs

In accordance with the Board’s proposal, the general meeting unanimously resolved as follows:

“StepStone ASA shall promptly apply to Oslo Børs for a de-listing of its shares from quotation at Oslo Børs.”

This a very interesting development as over the last year Axel Springer AG has been securing additional shareholdings in the holding company StepStone ASA. Since September Axel Springer have held 53% of the available shares.

Could we be seeing a private equity sale?

Magicality of a Gartner Magic Quadrant

Ok magicality may not be a real word but who cares.

Being in the magic quadrant for a vendor can make or break them in the sales process as so many people place so much emphasis on these results. As such Gartner released the 2009 eRecruitment Magic Quadrant last week with some interesting results.

eRecruitment-magic-quadrant_Dec_2009

Firstly Taleo is an outright leader, which should come as no surprise, but the real interesting parts of the Magic Quadrant (MQ) are with the other vendors.

  • StepStone has moved well and truly into the MQ, and are joined by PeopleClick.
  • Bernard Hodes Group has fallen out of the visionaries quadrant back into the niche market
  • The large ERP vendors remain high in the ability to execute attributes but still lack the visionary attributes of a Taleo or Kenexa .
  • For the first time an Australian vendor is listed, PageUp People , congratulations to Karen and her team.
  • Both Kronos and Mr Ted have moved up the ability to execute stakes which is good.

If you want some ideas about what to do with the information head over to the Human Capitalist for some recommendations.

The future of recruiting technology

I have been thinking a lot recently about the future of recruiting technology. While social networking is all the rage at the moment it is not new, and was first seen as a recruitment tool at least two to three years ago if not longer.

So where to next?

I usually look at future technology trends with two view points, the Gartner Hype Cycle and Chris Anderson’s, from Wired Magazine, four key stages of technology viability.

First let’s look at the Gartner Hype Cycle. 

Hype Cycle

According to Gartner the visibility of new technologies peaks early with lots of hype and excitement, followed by a “trough of disillusionment” where inflated expectations hit reality. It is at this time when fundamental changes in both what the technology does and how we use them takes place. Sometimes technology does not survive but as the technology begins to prove itself we see it being used productively.

The trick it to know where a technology is on this curve. For example social recruiting, “peak of inflated expectations” or “slope of enlightenment”?

The second approach I have been thinking about was provided by Chris Anderson at TED in 2004 where he talked about technology collisions as a way of assessing its viability. The four collisions he lists are:

  1. Critical Price
  2. Critical Mass
  3. Displacing another technology
  4. Commoditise, nearly free

For example, job boards are moving toward being a commodity. Using free software anyone can create a job board for a community in about 24 hours.

Following FutureSummit I am also looking at the future in the terms of MegaTrends. The two trends of note here are the Rise of Asia and Connectivity. With connectivity, while social networking is all the rage now we don’t grasp what is going to happen as mobile connectivity really takes off. Could this mobility in social networking change influence?

So I have three attributes to consider now for technology each with their own factors to consider. I suspect somewhere in the mix is the future, now if I can only find it.

Trend Influences

Are you adapting your services to stay relevant?

An old saying by Heraclitus a Greek philosopher that “Nothing endures but change”. If this was true in 500 BC, then today if you are not preparing for change you are dead in the water. Period!

Today I was reading a Gartner research report by Thomas Otter, aka Vendorprisey, The Effects of Social Software on Your Employer Brand (Hat Tip: Amit Avasthi) which got me thinking about change.

Then I came across a post by Don Tapscott on Grown Up Digital about how libraries in the US are having to adapt to encourage Generation Y to visit. Resulting by the way in a 25% increase in attendance!

What would you do if you weren't afraid
So what do these two things have in common?

Customers are changing and so you must evolve to survive. Even more so in tough economic times. 

Now how are you changing to stay relevant? Depending on your view what do employers, candidates, employees or the board really want from you in 2009? How can you deliver it?

What should you be upgrading? Your employer branding? Your careers web site? Your referral program? Your Resume? Your Compensation programs? Your Performance Review programs? Your strategic plan?

Think about getting a 25% improvement by changing to suit your audience.

If you want to learn more about how to deal with change read Who Moved My Cheese?.

Photo credit: nguyenanhquan from Flickr.

Generation V podcast

Yesterday while I was in the middle of my PRINCE2 course I ducked outside (literally outside in the freezing Melbourne wind) for 30 minutes to participate in The Scoop podcast for MIS Australia hosted by Mark Jones. The topic Generation V, or generation virtual. I was a little uncertain what to expect as the fellow guests are in my mind fairly “heavy hitters”: Gartner VP Stephen Prentice; The Project Factory head of virtual worlds Gary Hayes; and Talent2 CIO recruitment specialist Paul Rush, oh yeah and me.

The podcast starts off with a discussion on virtual worlds but then moves into identity, reputation and trust, we then discuss some fo the impacts for enterprises and recruitment. The podcast ends with all four of us providing tips for CIOs listening to the podcast.