While RiseSmart joined more than 45 other HR vendors and consultants in showcasing new technologies at the 2010 HR Technology Conference and Exposition in Chicago last week, one critical component of the talent management cycle was woefully underrepresented at the event: outplacement. The biggest companies in the industry simply didn't show up. How is this possible -- at a time when the average duration of unemployment for laid-off workers is longer than it has been in decades? And at a time when it is clear that advances in technology can improve outplacement programs and alleviate the suffering of workers? It's truly unfortunate. Disrupting Business-as-Usual in Outplacement The San Jose Mercury News, among other news outlets, has praised RiseSmart for demonstrating “the valley’s knack for using technology to disrupt standard business practices.” But while RiseSmart’s high-tech, high-touch approach to outplacement services is putting people back to work twice as fast as the national average, other outplacement firms have done little to adapt to the changing market – or to new opportunities made possible by technology. Today’s unacceptably long unemployment durations result not only from a lack of available jobs, but also from systematic inefficiencies in matching laid-off workers with open positions. RiseSmart has been keenly focused on solving this problem for workers through our Transition Concierge® outplacement solution -- the newest release of which was unveiled at the HR Technology Conference. Semantic Search and Social Network Integration Transition Concierge 4.0 takes RiseSmart’s flagship offering to new levels of semantic search and social network integration, making it the first outplacement solution to harness the full weight of intelligent search technology, social media, and other pertinent job-finding tools to help laid-off employees back to work faster. In addition to matching jobseekers with relevant job openings, Transition Concierge now matches them with articles, videos and other content based on their industry and position; to appropriate job fairs, seminars and temporary staffing agencies in their geographic area; to the latest research on the companies they are targeting; and more. Workers receive one-on-one assistance from trained HR professionals throughout the job-search process. We're not sure, exactly, why the biggest U.S. outplacement firms skipped HR Tech. But we're glad we didn't.