I love HR Tech start-ups. I’m not taking anything away from the big guys but I love start-ups for their agility, innovation, risk-taking, flexibility and creativity. They go after a specific problem within the spectrum of HR, tackle it with all their might, design a solution that helps solve that problem and launch it while providing amazing customer experiences that supports “adoption stickiness”. Of course they’re not all like this but I enjoy working with the ones that do to help them be wildly successful.
At this years’ HR Tech Conference there are a number of start-ups that will be showcasing their stuff, and a couple who will be at the show but not presenting. Here is a list of those that I will be paying close attention to. They each solve different problems, but the one thing they share in common is data. The core of each of their platforms leverages the power of data to drive their effectiveness. Data analytics is still very new to the HR industry but I’m excited about how far it has come and where it’s headed.
In no particular order…
This Australian start-up is launching their new platform at the conference. Check them out at booth # . You’ll know they’re Australian when you get there… “my mouth is staying closed”!! They have built a unique platform that can be best described as “employee pulse survey meets social network”. The once a year, grossly expensive and ineffective employee survey is dead—the CueZero tool is light, flexible and provides leaders with a user-friendly and data-rich dashboard that enables them to maximize their abilities to build world class organizations.
Plasticity Labs, a Canadian start-up is not presenting or exhibiting at the conference but will be there. I strongly encourage you to make the effort to meet with them (let me know if you’re interested and I’ll hook you up). The core of their platform is to enable organizations to build awesome corporate cultures. The mobile and web app combines neuroscience and technology to teach employees the psychological skills of the happiest, highest performers to create highly engaged cultures. I was impressed with what I saw in a recent demo.
QueSocial has been tearing it up in the HR tech space recently. They were named “Top Product of the Year” by HR Executive Magazine and were awarded the 2014 Silver Stevie for Best New Software Product in HCap Management. The platform easily enables the sharing of on-brand content to recruiters and employee ambassadors. Further, it leverages gaming to push the adoption process, which I personally love. Through the power of content I can’t think of a better concept to help organizations attract and retain the best talent.
Another Canadian company based in Vancouver 7Geese is a social performance tool for continuous feedback, coaching, recognition and goal tracking. They know the annual performance review is worthless, meaningless, and frankly dead. There is nothing more powerful than keeping all of your employees constantly connected and in-tune with what’s going on in the business. I see these types of tools becoming mainstream within HR.
New York-based CultureIQ, who are backed by Tony Hsieh’s VegasTechFund are tapping into a trend — focusing on boosting employee engagement. The core of the platform is collecting employee insights, evaluating these insights through a data-rich and user-friendly dashboard and then supporting leadership implement culture initiatives. I would describe CultureIQ as a technology with a consulting/services add-on. This makes a lot of sense to me because the most difficult part of workplace culture change is driving the change.
I have been advocating for a long time that Recruiting is broken. Traditional methods of screening and assessment are horrendous at accurately identifying top talent. The resume, the in-person interview and reference checks. They all stink! jobFig fixes this problem by evaluating key behavioral and personality traits that predict overall performance and fit. They’re also launching a completely overhauled platform at HR Tech next week. I’m looking forward to seeing what Co-Founder Ravi Mikkelsen has up his sleeve when he unveils the tool.
Based in Europe, Celpax are the creators of the ‘DailyPulse’ tool, which is a hardware and software to determine employee moods in real-time. The interesting thing about the simplicity of this concept is the data, which is presented on a real-time dashboard can be used by leadership as a way to identify trends, ongoing temperature check or get alerts. In an age where access to real-time and high-quality data is craved this interesting tool provides it.
This is a really concept that I like. Rallyteam is described as an employee empowerment platform that lets people help out with internal opportunities they are passionate about. The idea behind it is to positively drive employee engagement, which we all know has a huge impact on business results. The reason why I like this concept so much is because time and time again in the work that I have done in employee engagement, a lack of opportunity to learn, develop skills, advance and take on new assignments is one of the top reasons for disengagement.
I checked out Persona Labs website and I think I have a handle on what it is they are trying to accomplish. It’s a gamification tool that identifies top talent—a.k.a. recruitment tool. It incorporates psychometrics into the data analysis process, which I like because it has been proven that psychometrics more accurately predicts top talent. I am definitely checking these guys out because if they can leverage the popularity of games to more successfully build employer brand equity and recruit better talent then they’re onto something.
BlackbookHR’s platform called ‘Sense’ helps companies retain their best employees. It measures engagement, satisfaction and influence of employees and provides a rich real-time dashboard for leaders and people managers. The best way to think of Sense is it combines surveys with analytics and engagement, all in one place. They’re also the creators of DisruptHR, the popular event that is starting to spread like wildfire across North America.
My humble opinion is for you to do your homework In advance of the conference and pick out the tech vendors that you want to check out. Schedule it into your calendar and make it happen. The start-up companies I talked about in this post are my suggestions but I likely have different objectives than you do. Whatever the case may be, these are the guys I’ll be mingling with at the conference.