For my first blog post, I figured I would start with our purpose. What is Talent Relationship Management? What makes it different from traditional Applicant Tracking? How does it drive and inspire us?

Talent Relationship Management, or TRM, is more of a philosophy than a set of tools. It is about enabling interactions and designing software that treat the core of any good company, the talent, as just that — talented individuals who bring something special to the table. People who expect to have a relationship with their employer, and not treated like a line in a spreadsheet or a form in some HR application. It’s software that brings the very best of traditional Customer Relationship Management (CRM) functionality to bear, but focuses on recruiting, networking, on-boarding, growing and maintaining a lasting relationship with individuals.

Tenets of the Talent Relationship Management philosophy:

  • Talent is the end, not just a means to an end
  • Attracting talent requires a strong network, a solid reputation, and a real opportunity
  • Nurturing and retaining talent requires mutual respect and ongoing growth

Good Talent Relationship Management software should be focused on enabling this philosophy by:

  • Enabling users. Don’t get in their way – value flexibility over rigidity
  • Enabling networking and ongoing relationships – value interconnectedness and continuous interaction over transactional encounters
  • Enabling user adoption by providing value to everyone – value usability and end-user value over complexity and pure top-down management analytics.

This is different from many traditional HR and Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) that focus on:

  • Transactional “one and done” approach to candidates
  • Complex representation of candidate information, often spanning many fields and forms
  • Rigid process flows
  • Management reporting needs

Me, my partners and the team behind crelate Talent™ have been there. Over the last 15+ years, we have built and run talent-centric services business focused primarily in the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) market. We were very successful and over that time developed a deep understanding of where software could and could not help improve the relationship between companies and their clients.

In addition to seeing how software helped our clients, we also had to overcome our own challenges in finding and growing talent in our own business. It was a continuous journey that involved bringing in individuals from the most junior greenhorns to recognized industry experts. Not only that, we consulted and worked with hundreds of companies that did the same, in their own unique ways.

When we founded Crelate, we wanted to leverage our consulting and software development skills and build a product that would help businesses maintain solid relationships with talented people. Our talent relationship management system would be designed to make users more productive, as well as answer the needs of management. It would be clean and modern, focused on the key features rather than lots of fluff. It would value real-world flexibility over ivory tower workflows and Draconian processes.

Our first product, currently in public beta, focuses on network / relationship building and hiring. We have grand ambitions for Crelate and the networking / recruiting aspects are just the beginning. We are truly developing Crelate as a platform on which we will be able to develop on-boarding, interview management, peer reviews, and much, much more.

So who am I and what’s my role? My name is Aaron Elder and I am the CTO and a co-founder of Crelate. I have over 20 years of experience in product development and technology consulting. I am a former lead application architect of Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Microsoft CRM MVP, as well as the former CTO of what was the #1 Microsoft Dynamics CRM consultancy in the world (which we sold in 2011 and continues as a #1 consultancy). Crelate is the 3rd product I am developing and taking to market and I believe it is by far my best yet. I have spent most of my career hiring and growing developers, much of that time in niche technology fields.  My goals are to blog about not only our product, but also the market our product competes in.  I spend some of my free time studying Austrian economics and am fascinated by macro-economic trends affecting hiring, job growth, wages and higher education.

My co-founders include Mark Barrett and Michael Speca. Mark, the former CEO of the same consultancy mentioned above, brings years of consulting, sales and market expertise to the team. He also brings a unique perspective to our product design, as he has successfully navigated the leadership challenges faced by a rapidly growing company. Michael, the former COO of the aforementioned consultancy, also brings years of consulting and market expertise. Michael has a clear mind for operationalization and brings a critical customer voice to the product design table. Making sure all the “i”’s are dotted and “t”’s are crossed, Michael spent much of his career aligning company policy with company culture to create great workplaces – the kind that attract and retain great talent. He also knows the pain of using many of the antiquated “human resources” tools on the market.

Together, along with our incredible development and support team, we are proud to bring our first version of Crelate.