RiseSmart adds Compass to its offerings

RiseSmart is an interesting company with a great origin story, as they say, like a superhero.

It starts with Sanjay Sathe looking for a new job and getting frustrated – really frustrated – with the available job sources and career tools. There had to be an easier way, he thought, to sift through all the jobs listed online and find the ones that fit his skills and experience.

From that frustration came inspiration. Whereas traditional outplacement offerings tend to focus more on helping laid-off employees cope with being jobless, RiseSmart helps those employees turn a setback into an opportunity by giving them relevant job leads and expediting the job search process to move their careers forward. And guess what? Traditional outplacement companies are still living in the past.

From that grew their first tool, RiseSmart Transition, which effectively deals with the reality that companies aren’t very good at outplacement, even companies that do a lot of it. And their argument is that companies benefit from smarter outplacement, because minimizing the collateral damage in a downsizing — even if it is only a few employees — is good for the company’s brand, and anything that accelerates alums getting good jobs faster is good for them, and will breed good social capital for the business.

RiseSmart Transition is a social platform that connects employees in transition with the job marketplace: it is a job transition placeform (marketplace + platform placeform). Because RiseSmart works with a wide spectrum of companies transitioning employees it has developed better techniques than any individual company can afford to. It uses a combination of transition experts mediated by a social transition management solution, as well as a database of jobs. The company also steps into to assist in the planning and implementation of transition “events”, like the announcement of a major round of reductions in the workforce.

It’s no real surprise that RiseSmart has taken that expertise and technology and developed a new application called Compass — now in beta — for career growth and organizational mentorship. As the company says, employees that don’t see a career path at their workplace become disengaged and leave the company, not to mention the loss in productivity involved. As Sathe says,

Disengaged employees cost the U.S. economy up to $550 billion annually in lost productivity, based on a June 2013 Gallup report. One of the primary causes for this lack of engagement is a perceived absence of career opportunities. A 2012 study by Randstad indicates that a full 86 percent of employees who leave their jobs cite lack of career development as a factor. This is the problem RiseSmart Compass was specifically created to address.

The product is based around these core elements: building a career roadmap, career coaching, internal mobility, networking and community, company groove (company feedback), and HR analytics (for HR and management).

I plan to get a demo, and report back.




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Stowe Boyd

Stowe Boyd

Lead analyst Gigaom Research

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