RiseSmart - RiseSmart was one of the more interesting firms at the show. This company is taking on the problem that traditional outplacement services (for recently displaced workers) aren't all that successful. How RiseSmart does it is definitely different. They call it "NextGen Outplacement".
What they do fits in four major steps:
1) Aggregate job leads in a given geography - Suppose an employer shuts down a plant and must let go 2,000 workers. RiseSmart finds available positions within the area and places them into its database.
2) Next, the software uses a number of programmatic filters to identify potential matches to the recently unemployed persons.
3) A concierge service works with these workers to both further refine the filtering process and to help these people hone their resumes, craft winning cover letters, etc. All activity with the job seeker is made part of a workflow/calendar system. The goal of this is shorten the time the person is out of a job (and to lessen the unemployment compensation hit to the old employer). Skilled professionals also conduct mock interviews with the job seekers to better prepare them for their upcoming interviews.
4) The solution also provides lots of feedback for the jobseekers to further enhance their chance of rapid re-employment.
The business case for such a solution, based on numbers shared with me, appears to be substantial. Large employers, the target market for this product, are likely to see the biggest benefits. RiseSmart claims that their solution gets people re-employed 54% faster than with traditional outplacement methods. Faster re-employment means lower unemployment benefit payouts and insurance costs.
In this ever more volatile business world, HR departments must consider products like this should they have reason to believe large layoffs, post-merger headcount reductions or facility closures are imminent.