I was thinking about Nicholas Carr's post about the $10 IT budget. I had previously bemoaned the lack of HR applications in his vision. I was thinking about it today though and it occurred to me, it could be pretty interesting to see what an ad-supported talent management application suite from Google might look like. Imagine if you will...
- E-Recruitment: Of course, there would be the obligatory integration with Google Base for job posting. However, how about candidate self-service that included integration with YouTube for video resumes? I could see ads that would include books and services to help candidates create a better cover letter and resume. However, the ads for similar jobs at my competitors might not come off so well. Recruiters would be able to see ads from job boards and other sources of talent based on the job to be posted.
- Employee Performance Management: How about when a manager is writing a review, in addition to language suggestion tools, ads for books for being a better manager pop up. For executives, it may be ads for coaches that can help hone those people development skills. For employees, it could suggest career planning books and services. Can you imagine a better time to purchase "Who Moved My Cheese?" or "What Color is Your Parachute?".
- Learning: There are all kinds of learning and developmental opportunities on the internet. It should not be too hard to imagine the advertising possibilities here.
- Compensation Management: I could see ads for non-monetary reward options (when the merit increase and bonus pools are going to be too small). For big bonuses, retailers may want to get a chance at that action.
The one area I am having some trouble with is Succession Management. I cannot think of good advertising alternatives there. I am sure that you can suggest some good ideas here.
Now, I wrote this to be a little funny (you can be the judge of how funny). On a more serious note though, I do not think the concept of ad-funded enterprise applications is totally ludicrous. I could even see the idea of sponsored applications being possible (if you can sponsor a sports arena, why not take sponsorships for enterprise applications that are going to get a lot of eyeballs - Open Enrollment brought to you by Aetna, Caremark, whoever.). If there is one thing Web 1.0/2.0 should teach us is that alternative business models can be feasible. What do you think? Am I crazy?