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Human Data Applications adds CRM to the job-hunting mix

Internet job boards have a tendency to fall short when it comes to filling high-demand IT positions  they lack privacy, require a heavy dependence on resumes and lack human interaction. Atlanta-based startup Human Data Applications announced their plans at Comdex Fall 2000 in Las Vegas to reshape the model for online job searching and eliminate the current hassles with its organizational and job tracking system for individuals.

Right now, according to Human Data Applications, high demand individuals tend to shy away from traditional job boards because of the high volume of recruiter calls and the general lack of privacy. With browser and telephony integration, along with confidentiality and privacy for job seekers, CRM strategies play a large role in the development of this startup.

"CRM is absolutely critical," said Robert Sample, chief executive officer of Human Data Applications. The CRM applications allow the company to maintain a large database of job applications and integrate them into a call center environment and a simple point-and-click Web database.

"We want to have one to one interaction with subscribers and client organizations," said Adam Booher, communications strategist at Human Data Applications. As the system, staff, job orders and subscriber numbers grow, Human Data Applications plans to implement the technology to completely Web-enable the process. The company plans to include text chat, e-mail, Web sessions and wireless application protocol (WAP) device support for their customer service agents and clients.

Internally, CRM plays a large role in Human Data Applications' back end. With strong CRM applications, employees can communicate with the client organizations, and part of that strategy is allowing full functionality for remote agents, according to Booher.

Currently, Human Data Applications is using Microsoft Exchange for e-mail and Nortel Networks' Norstar for its CRM functions. The servers run on Windows NT, with the databases in SQL and Cisco Systems routers, and ActiveX controls. The company uses Compaq Computer desktop systems, although Booher stressed that Human Data Applications' Web platform will run on any computer with a standard browser such as Internet Explorer or Netscape, "even a Macintosh."

"We'd like to have one integrated system to do all of the telephony [and we'd] rather do it all with one big player," Booher said. The company is considering Lucent Technologies' spin off Avaya for a larger package and further ActiveX controls.

"We need the ActiveX controls to tie into the CTI [computer telephony integration]," Booher added.

"Unified messaging tied into different venues would be our goal," Booher said. An integrated system would help Human Data Applications achieve this goal. The company, since it is dealing with IT professionals and companies looking to fill highly technical positions, wants to keep its own technology on the "cutting edge," he said. For example, the prevalence of personal Web cams has led to a need for videoconferencing. Agents can assist job seekers in preparing for interviews through videoconferencing.

There are currently seven people on the IT development team, which is approximately 40% of the staff, and the company wants to have a 100-person contact center in the next nine to 12 months. With support agents and clients out in the field, the company plans to implement Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology and full browser-based functionality to ensure that agents will not be hindered in performing their duties due to communication restrictions.

Booher doesn't expect the lack of cellular service in some areas to hinder agents. Human Data Applications has identified 20 primary markets, all of which are hubs for IT and which should have existing cellular service and WAP infrastructure. As for the company's own WAP integration, some of the development team at Human Data Applications came from Europe, where the WAP technology is ahead of that in the U.S., and those staff members have expertise in the field.

When it comes down to training the agents, Booher believes that remote workers should be brought in to train on their systems and then sent out with the tools they'll need to do their jobs.

Overall, the strong integration of CRM processes is part of what Human Data Applications hopes will differentiate them from the traditional job boards. "We built an employment application that's integrated into our CRM system," Sample said. Job seekers have complete control over this application, choosing who they want to release their information to, and as a result, don't receive the usual "30 calls a day" from recruiters.

The system set up by Human Data Applications, Sample said, "allows both people and companies to interact with each other, leveraging the value of job change potential."

For more information, visit Human Data Applications' Web site.

Also check out: SearchCRM Editor's Picks: CRM Implementation: General Information and Discussion.

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