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Unicru II

(March 23, 2004) - Hiring an employee is an investment decision (as we detailed last week ). Once the decision is made, the real investment begins. The time and expense required to process, train and help the new hire up the learning curve are all "sunk costs" that can only be recovered (and converted into profit) if the employee stays in the job beyond a "breakeven point". The investment really pays off if the new hire stays long enough and performs at or above the company's minimum standards.

In the best of all possible worlds, the hiring process is clearly attuned to this equation while helping to inch company performance standards upward. The problem for most traditional ATS vendors involves being willing or able to track the performance consequences of the hiring process. As a result, we still have transactional systems that, liker their credit card processing counterparts, take no responsibility for the quality question.

Unicru clearly represents a meaningful alternative in the industries that they serve. The following chart is our loose adaptation of Unicru's view of the Employment Life Cycle as an investment/return opportunity. By aligning their process with measurable customer objectives, Unicru is able to identify and harvest quality problems throughout the term of an employee's relationship with a company. Further, aggregate statistics unearth a series of useful questions about the qualification, evaluation and hiring process. In this way, Unicru introduces the potential to design an end to end hiring solution that learns from its mistakes and contributes to overall organizational performance improvement.

Each phase of the life cycle offers discrete leverage points that can be measured and improved. The tradeoffs that drive per-employee margins and efficiencies can be examined for potential improvement with a clear sense of the ROI for both the individual and the aggregate. Unlike the vast majority of ATS offerings, ROI is not constrained by the narrow hiring process. In this model, quality, sourcing and assessment are just the initially measured variables.

A Unicru installation gains in strategic value the longer it is the exclusive recruiting tool. The company delivers a powerful message about the various thresholds in organizational change. Once 50% of the workforce has been vetted and hired through the system (which includes cultural and skills assessment), Unicru can show a range of impacts that drop directly to the bottom line. Increasingly, the company is marketing itself as a results turbo-charger that happens to manage staffing rather than an automated play. With the door clearly open to sustained and measurable organizational consulting, the Unicru solution gets better with use like a well seasoned cast-iron skillet.

Tomorrow: How They Got Here

John Sumser

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