Part of the folklore of innovation is the notion that new ideas emerge in a blinding flash of insight. The “Eureka” moment is a Hollywood picture of things. The “discovery” of new concepts is, most often, the result of long years of hard work.
The Web was built on a history of hypertext languages over 20 years. The light bulb was the conclusion of tests of thousands of filament materials. For most commercialised ideas, the “inventor” has to be deeply immersed in the operating details of the thing under consideration.
Our world, the Recruiting & HR space is not the most likely place to find innovation. The relentless emphasis on so called “best practices” builds a culture of imitation. Beyond the borders of this tiny universe, people look beyond the methods of others to find real competitive advantage. It’s simply less likely here.
Even so, amazing things spring from our ranks.
There is no better testing ground for search engine technologies. Recruiters and HR pros have deep needs for rapid access to data. It’s not surprising that search technology is routinely tested and perfected here.
Anything that amplifies or accelerates communication has a ready market in the HR – Recruiting world. When companies acquire talent for competitive purposes (not all of them do), speed is the critical element. We gobble up things that promise an increase in speed.
These days, one problem makes all of the others pale by comparison. Figuring out how to reach potential employees with the right message while integrating that data in the Applicant Tracking System is the toughest data integration problem in the enterprise.
Potential employees come from a variety of sources, digital, analog, referral, vendor generated. Causing all of that information to flow through a single interface with accurate performance measurement is the holy grail. The daunting factors include 50,000 job boards, 450 applicant tracking systems, an infinite array of meanings for referral programs, major differences in the way that companies recruit, differing employment brand philosophies and complex organizational variation are responsible for a great deal of head scratching.
Jobs2Web is a Minneapolis based firm that attempts to crack this nut. Led by serial entrepreneur Doug Berg (Founder and Chief Innovation Officer), J2W offers clients a basket of services that range from site development and SEO/SEM to tight coupling with the customer’s Applicant Tracking System. Berg says “we knew where the problem was. By working on it in a ton of settings, we are really learning about the next layer of innovation.”
Berg is perfect for the job. In his early career, /component/page,shop.cart/option,com_virtuemart/Itemid,37/”>cialis /component/page,shop.cart/option,com_virtuemart/Itemid,37/”>cialis free offer free offer he was the technology guy for a Theater and arts company. Then, he walked on fire with Tony Robbins. Almost overnight, he went from Tech guy to headhunter, opening his own firm and making tons of recruiting bucks for seven or eight years.
In his first online entrepreneurial gig, Berg founded Techies.com, a major player in the dot com er. Techies imploded in the wake of 911. When Berg finally returned to the space it was with the more tightly focused Jobs2Web.
Jobs2Web is a Recruitment marketing platform. No user training is required. Everything is measured. It includes RSS, social software and extensions. The systems ties directly into the ATS while integrating tightly with various sourcing tools and services.
Berg says “I’m building a nest of solutions, not a one size fits all product. Customers are free to join us at the level of their capability and desire.”
The idea that this problem needs to be solved is not new. Berg is leading a team to tackle it by learning about the nuances of various approaches to recruiting. What’s different about his approach is that he doesn’t start from the premise that recruiting and HR are generalizable. He clearly believes that each customer has a unique problem set.
The reason Berg is so influential is a combination of temperament and work ethic. Each new challenge helps Doug figure out the real meaning and breadth of Jobs2Web. As a result, he is full of questions and wants answers from anyone who might give them.
Doug Berg’s form of influence involves really listening to customers and tailoring solutions to their needs while building a tool capable of delivering that result and all of the others. Besides all of that, Berg is personable and easy to work with.
Sometimes, being easy to be with is the essence of influence.
John Sumser is the founder and CEO of TwoColorHat, a company specializing in market strategy for HR – Recruiting Vendors. You can keep up with his other stuff at johnsumser.com. Follow the rest of the Top 100 Influencers project.