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HR Technology Conference Wrap Up – Recruiting Tech Version #hrtechconf

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HR Technology Conference is a MASSIVE event.  Between the main sessions, break outs, side stages, startup competitions and influencer sessions going on at various vendor booths, it is impossible to actually see and do everything, no matter how hard you try.

This year, I had the honor of moderating a panel during the Women in HR Tech event, walked 23 miles in a single hotel and still spent the majority of the time in the Analyst Briefing room – meeting with 40+ companies from pre-funded startups to global enterprise to investment groups – learning about what they were focused on in 2018 – wins/losses, reviewing roadmaps and talking about where they are headed.   It can be exhausting, but it is one of the favorite parts of my role as Founder & Chief Advisor, Accelir and helps set the research agenda for 2019.

Here are some of my favorite Recruiting/Talent Acquisition Products from this year:

There was a Renewed Focus on Connecting with Candidates:

Yello It seems like a obvious transition for the team at Yello to move from only campus recruiting to supporting clients across all their hiring needs, but I’m sure glad they did it. Interview management and events is one of the trickiest parts (read: neglected by ATS vendors) of hiring and their latest version really makes it a robust competitor for companies that are also looking for some basic CRM and recruiting ops

Smashfly – It taking their love for candidate experience and recruitment marketing to the next level with a new “marketing grade CMS” – in simple terms – a robust way to create career sites and landing pages without having to call a web developer or agency in.    Like Yello, they have really evolved since the early days now offering hr teams a full recruiting marketing platform including CRM, textbot, analytics and event management.

Jobalign A newer name in the game, they have hit the market ready to compete in todays job market.  Their system is designed and built specific for hourly, retail, hospitality and other high volume jobs. Simple description of what they do:  Distribute the job to more than 100 sites, chatbot technology allows for a TEXT application to be submitted, including screening questions, and can even schedule the candidates for an interview via text.  It is designed to work how that group of employees work.  If you are hiring in that niche – as a staffing firm or a company – it is worth taking a look.

Brazen – The unique approach at Brazen is all about meeting the candidates online and simplifying that relationship…without ever having to meet in person.  The system help you create online “events” where you can connect via live chat or chat bot to candidates.  Maybe your “event” is simply having office hours a few days a week for people can ask questions and learn more before applying?  Maybe it is a college campus you won’t make it to this year?  In some cases, it is to review and talk to people before an “in-person” event so your can be more targeted at the job fair you attend.  Whatever it is, it puts some of the relationship back in a more human way than just chatbots can.

Jibe  Jibe shows that simplicity can partner with technical depth when designed right.  The focus at Jibe has always seemed to be around making solutions that solve problems enterprise hiring was having – mobile apply, integrated linked apply, candidate experience issues and has now evolved to also include a full CRM and recruitment marketing.

And Improving Recruiting Automation Overall:

ZapInfo – If you remember Jobs2Web, then you know the team behind this ultra simple startup.  This technology is proof that sometimes the best ideas are common sense.  It briefly entered the market as “WebClipDrop” before its recent rebrand.  Simply put, it allows your team to visit any website, copy candidates (people) they find, then drop them in your system all through a browser extension.  And, best part – its affordable.

Appcast Takes the guesswork out of online sourcing, job ads and recruitment marketing with programmatic approaches.  We all know to use Indeed to post online, but you need more than that for many roles. How do you know where to get additional views?  Use the tool that many Agencies and RPO firms are already using to answer that question and simplify one more step in your hiring process.  Best part?  It is a per click model so you don’t waste the money on roles you already have too many candidates for.

AllyO – Their technology exists to be used beyond tech hiring and have a platform that was built to be used by hourly and professional workers – regardless of their education or skill sets. Can you text? If yes, you can figure out how to use the tech.  From re-engaging your talent pool to assessing during the application process to managing your employee referral and interview schedules – this allows you do literally (not really) do it all.

There was a focus on removing bias from the hiring process:

Entelo – Has been a leader in recruiting automation landscape for years, streamlining and modernizing sourcing and recruiting since its release.  One of my favorite updates is the new “Unbiased Sourcing Mode” which removes much of the key identifiers and helps eliminate even unconscious bias by your hiring teams.   The other must see release is Insights – which gives candidate-specific insights into how to best reach out and connect thanks to its machine learning technology.

Textio – To call Textio a “job description writer” would be like referring to Google as a “website”.  While accurate, it doesn’t get at the depth or future vision of what this technology is fully capable of at an enterprise level.   While its entry point in many organizations is as a writing site that augments job descriptions to eliminate bias and increase applicants – the true power of this technology makes it one of the more intriguing I have seen in the last decade.  This is an enterprise technology that will be used by Marketing, Sales and Executive teams as frequently as HR is my prediction…once companies actually recognize what is this capable of.   There isn’t a SMB or mid-market version yet, but I hope they have one soon.  With a few tweaks to the roadmap and positioning – this is the one to watch.

And integrating modern assessments into existing processes:

Koru –  Is a newer player in the market and shifting assessments into predictive fit model -especially strong for recent grads or those early in their career.  Their assessment has been validated to be 2x as predictive of success than things like GPA or IQ scores.   Beyond that it can give a culture fit that is based on an unbiased assessment, not a interviewers “connection” with a candidate.  And topping all that off is a robust analytics tool allowing you to track value and quality of applicants by source, college, etc so you can be more strategic with your sourcing spend.

Hirevue – Long known in the video interviewing world, users of their technology also know they have some really great assessments for tech developers and other pre-hire needs.  They are taking this one step further and using game based assessments to evaluate cognitive ability.  These are not the “gamification” job simulations rather games that look and feel like things you may play on an iphone while you wait for a train, plane or kids after school.   The games can assess persistence, grit, leadership and more – first of this type I have seen that didn’t look cheesy.  In fact, I wanted to play one immediately… for research of course….

Indeed has been making a splash with marketing campaigns that make you feel all the feels.  And when you talk to their team, it is easy to see it isn’t just a campaign.  The way their product team defines success is “Helping people get jobs” and everything on roadmap and in development is always ran by that question first.  If you haven’t taken a look at them beyond the job postings – its time you do, from sourcing technology to offline job offers and now pre-employment assessments to add another dimension in the decision making process.  Their assessment library is impressive and ranges from cognitive to “mandarin skills” and “delivery driver maintenance test” – for companies  Oh yeah, they are FREE.

Montage Another video interviewing player that has evolved to focus on total interview management and scheduling has also rolled out a number of partnerships with testing companies – allowing for with on-demand assessments and testing to roll into its core solution.   Watch in the coming months for some movement towards hiring success based on insights around assessments and work style.

Contingent Talent is Getting Accessible:

Upwork – Once again had a strong showing and has created a contingent platform that seems to have a much higher quality than some of the other sites.  I have used it as an employer and found it simple (and quick) to hire people for all sorts of projects I have needed.

ParkerDewey – Weird name, cool concept. ParkerDewey is the leader in the “micro-internships” model – allowing students and recent grads to complete projects vs summer long internships for your company.   Need some research done?   A market analysis?  What about a new website?Connect with a student to work on it! It is the site we WISH we had when we were in college.  Personally, I’ve tested it out and was happy with the response.  My only downside was it wasn’t the most user friendly, streamline the UI and put some new dashboards in place and this will be game changing on college campuses.

And some updates by names you know:

IBM One of the biggest surprises I had from Spring Briefings, the IBM team was great to meet with again as they shared what the focus will be moving forward.  The ongoing integration of Watson technology beyond the “Watson” products and into the “Kenexa” solutions (like Brassring) are developing into a true contender in the enterprise ATS space – but more than that, coming to play in 2019 in the CRM, Onboarding, Recruitment Marketing and Talent Development Space as well.  Their biggest challenge is on brand awareness not product, a much nicer problem to have than the other way around

SmartRecruiters global approach is really going strong.  They just hired former Chief Sales Officer, Dave Carter from Cornerstone OnDemand as their new President.



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