Where Have You Gone Samuel Gompers? Happy Labor Day

Dennis Byron

Like most people, I hate getting old. But the fact that some robotic HR director will never feed me to the Zapoint "Web 2.0 talent management" platform almost makes it worthwhile. According to this August 27 press release on a round of venture capital received by the company:

"At the heart of Zapoint's platform is a patent-pending talent algorithm, which scores skills and achievements helping to remove ambiguity and subjectivity of paper based and antiquated HR applications."

The venture capital guys must be having trouble finding companies to take a risk on these days if they've decided to help FICO-ize an enterprise's recruiting efforts and a job applicant's resume writing. I wrote about a similar company, SilkRoad, a few months ago, noting that "talent management" was a buzzword "Flip" Filipkowski was riding back on to the IT market scene (after riding RAD in the '80s and dot.com in the '90s).

 

Of course, spend any amount of time with such a system and you can figure out how to game it pretty quickly. The press release goes on to say:

"Zapoint provides a unique, easy-to-use approach to solving today's human capital management issues."

How different are today's HR needs than yesterday's, I wonder?

 

I've always hated the term "human capital management" because it implies such a crass approach to understanding a person's ability to communicate, motivate and -- most important -- just plain work hard. But Zapoint even takes it further: the press release implies the system can turn the FICO-ized estimate of a person's skills into a commodity (what it calls "talent currency"), which apparently can be traded, auctioned and so forth.

 

And just in time for Labor Day no less.



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