In an effort to usher in the post-resume era and make the job application process less of a headache, Smarterer developed a platform that provides job searchers with an easy way to show off their skills to employers. Through its crowdsourced, online quizzes, candidates can measure their skills across a range of subjects, from engineering to music, see how they stack up against their peers and earn badges to back up their CVs with some proof.
To help it accelerate development and bring its assessment technology to the enterprise market, Smarterer is today taking on an additional $1.6 million in capital in a round led by Rethink Education. As a result of the round, Rethink Managing Partner Rick Segal will be joining the board of directors.
The round, which brings the Boston-based startup’s total capital to $4.6 million, also included GSV Advisors founder and Managing Partner, Deborah Quazzo, as well as existing investors, True Ventures and Boston Seed Capital.
While Big Data has become a hollow buzzword in Silicon Valley, research from Gartner seems to indicate that the enterprise world is still struggling with how to take advantage of all these new Big Data tools. The research estimated that 85 percent of Fortune 500 organizations will be unable to exploit Big Data for competitive advantage through 2015. Smarterer thinks that people are the most key ingredient to Big Data, their value deriving from the skills they possess, and big companies still aren’t making the most of one of their key assets.
With its new capital in tow, Smarterer launched a new product today, called Flock, which seeks to give enterprise companies to gain insight into the knowledge and skill sets that define their organizations, and, perhaps more importantly, better understanding of where skills gaps exist. The new product allows team members within organizations to write skills test questions that covers the kind of key information that someone would need to know to be successful in a particular role.
The idea is to get subject matter experts inside companies to create and curate test content, adding, editing and deleting questions to create consumer-friendly, multiple-choice tests that best reflect the organization.
With Flock, Smarterer wants to help companies not only better manage their knowledge and internal development but recruit talent as well, giving companies a skills inventory that lets them assess team competencies and find out where they need to recruit. The big goal, then, is to make it easier for businesses to make informed decisions, not only on hiring but compensation, training and succession planning as well.
Flock expands on Smarterer’s flagship, consumer-facing skills tests, which leverage crowdsourcing and adaptive machine learning algorithms to quantify skills in what the company claims can be as few as 10 questions and 120 seconds. Over time, the company has begun to target the freelance economy more aggressively,a move accelerated by a recent deal with Elance, for example. As a result, Smarterer now powers assessments for a global freelancer marketplace that serves nearly 3 million users, as well as companies like Care.com.
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