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Unicru I

(March 22, 2004) - The hardest thing to reconcile about most of the competition in the Electronic Recruiting Space is the recurring emphasis on transaction automation. To the degree that an employment arrangement is a transaction, like ordering a book from Amazon, it is a messy paperwork drill. However, the details and logistics of the transaction have virtually nothing to do with the value created (or lost) when a single employee is hired. The potential of Electronic Recruiting (as evidenced by the pioneering work at Hire.com) is clearer business alignment, increased workforce productivity and more focused accomplishment of the corporate agenda.

The movement of the underlying data, while every bit as important as the filing of accurate expense reports, is a minor footnote. It needs to be accomplished effectively and in line with the appropriate regulations. The fact that 99.9% of the vendors in the ATS space (and 100% of the job boards) focus their attention on data may be the single largest reason that our industry remains small.

Remember, finding the right people with the right "juice" is the holy grail. One well executed hiring decision can create (or break) an enterprise. The consistent application of a repeatable process on the front end is the beginning of taking control of overall hiring quality. While one hire can create breakthroughs, consistency (with an emphasis on measurable quality and qualifying questions) can create the sorts of incremental improvements in workforce quality that separate world class operations from wannabes.

It's not about the quality of the data, it's about the quality of the results.

Enter Unicru.

While everyone else in the industry is now rushing to implement so-called "hourly solutions", Unicru has built its business there. That's why we've missed them. The company has generated a system that has evaluated 23 Million job applicants in the undervalued sector. We've often visited our local Home Depot to take another look at their hiring kiosk but have been, until very recently, unable to see the potential.

Everyone has their blind spots. Ours, in this case, was being unable to see that you can make the case for workforce quality more easily in environments with lots of the same job (retail branch operations, for example). Because the costs of thoroughly evaluating a job and its impacts can be spread across thousands of hiring decisions, solid employment engineering is affordable in an environment that allows results to be demonstrated. Unicru's willingness to tackle this sort of trench warfare separates them distinctly from the rest of the pack. The relative simplicity of the positions being filled allows deeper science to be demonstrated. It's very powerful stuff.

From a marketing perspective, Unicru has staked out completely defensible territory. Their challenge was to redefine a commodity process as a platform for immense value differentiation. They have succeeded wildly. In the process, they have articulated a view of the market and its potential that should leave the transaction automaters gasping for air. PDI, DDI and SHL should look to Unicru's success as the underlying reason for their relatively flat financial performance. Unicru has, quite simply, leapfrogged these traditional assessment firms by tying base level recruiting to overall workforce improvement.

It's a bottom line thing.

By integrating a clear understanding of customer strategic objectives with hiring, assessment, screening and performance measurement, Unicru has developed a solution set that guarantees traceability to the bottom line. By placing this premise at the front end of their value proposition, they have built a toolset that guarantees measurable accountability without the flimsiness of arm waving about hiring quality with no measurement. Very clearly, Unicru is introducing Total Quality and Six Sigma concepts into the hiring process with the ability to define contributions at a variety of levels that matter to business decision makers.

Tomorrow: Key Unicru Value Proposition

John Sumser

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