Tag Archive for technology

“Awesome New Startups for HR” – #HRTechConf

hrt_17thannualAs I mentioned the other day, one of the sessions I’m looking forward to at next week’s HR Technology Conference & Exposition is  “Awesome New Technologies for 2014”. Another not-to-be-missed session is “Awesome New Startups for HR” which will be held on the morning of Friday October 10th. This is the first-ever session of its kind at the conference. The session is described as one that highlights innovative HR solutions that disrupt the status quo and, according to conference organizers “The “Awesome New Startups for HR” session will introduce attendees to the best of the best of  these organizations, as each company will demonstrate its solutions and show how they can make an impact, push the envelope and force the bigger, more established players to stay on their toes.”

Exciting! (IMHO)

The organizations selected to present at this session are:

Ajax Workforce Marketing Ajax Workforce Marketing’s BrandAmp shows employees how advocacy benefits them as individuals, gives them the opportunity to opt-in to the company’s brand and uses their choices to get HR and marketing the feedback they need to know which parts of the brand resonate with employees. The results include a stronger, clearer employer brand, tighter integration of the employer brand into the master brand and more effective social recruiting.

BlackbookHR BlackbookHR will be presenting its new Network Insights product called RNA. The solution provides an interactive visualization of the informational and relational networks in an organization. Insights from RNA are used to drive performance in talent optimization, change management and leadership effectiveness.

Data Morphosis The Data Morphosis Group designs and builds interactive, next-generation talent software that transforms human capital information into fluid, visual insight. During the session, the company will showcase its latest module, “Talent Scan” – software that takes talent strategy into the boardroom, delivering commercial advantage using best-in-class data visualization.

Fuel50 Similar to “LinkedIn” for the workforce, Fuel50 enables employees to gain a line of sight into career opportunities across the business, helps managers initiate and engage in better career conversations and provides organizations with the tools to deliver compelling and uniquely customized career propositions to every employee, thereby impacting engagement, retention and even increased revenue per employee.

QUEsocial QUEsocial will provide an overview of its next-generation social recruiting platform,which uniquely blends employer branding content distribution, gamification and analytics into an easy-to-use SaaS Platform.

Zenefits Zenefits is a free, cloud-based HRIS that automates and eliminates time-consuming HR-related paperwork and gives businesses a single place to manage their payroll, benefits and compliance. Employers can sync directly with their current payroll, health insurance and other third-party systems, or use Zenefits to set up and connect with new payroll and benefits providers.

In addition to the “Awesome New Startups for HR” session, attendees can learn more about the newest companies changing the face of the industry in the HR Technology® Conference’s first-ever Startup Pavilion.

The 18 companies exhibiting at the Startup Pavilion are:


I hope to see you in Vegas but if you aren’t able to join us make sure to follow #hrtechconf for all the updates!

Six “Awesome New Technologies for HR” – #HRTechConf

hrt_17thannualOne of the events I’m looking forward to attending at the HR Technology Conference & Exposition is the “Awesome New Technologies for 2014” session. This has always been a popular session at the conference and for 2014 there is a new twist as there will be two sessions; one session will highlight startup companies and the other will allow more established providers to show their solutions.

On Thursday October 9th we’ll get to see the six established companies showcase their products with live demonstrations. Conference co-chair Steve Boese has pointed out that “The HR industry is characterized by constant change and shifting market demands, necessitating that even the most established providers continually develop new solutions and enhancements in order to remain competitive. The companies featured in the ‘Awesome New Technologies for HR’ session have shown their ability to keep up with this evolution and create cutting-edge solutions that promise to improve every aspect of HR.”

Demonstrating their products during this session will be:

Castlight Health

Solving the problem of managing ever-rising enterprise healthcare costs, Castlight provides large companies with a “one-stop” cloud-based enterprise technology platform that enables HR leaders to understand and control spending. The Enterprise Healthcare Cloud starts with transparency and offers analytics, dashboards and reporting to help executives design and manage benefits and enable employees to shop for quality, affordable healthcare in a highly personalized way

Cornerstone OnDemand

Cornerstone OnDemand solves the age-old problem of forgetting the names and faces of colleagues and managers in a company with its all-new people matching game on Cornerstone Mobile. With the game, players can test their knowledge and get to know fellow team members in a fun and interactive way.


Dice will be presenting #Dice141 job cards, its latest HR technology product innovation. #Dice141 doubles the visibility of tech recruiters’ tweets by combining social, mobile and big data insights to reach the millions of tech pros on Twitter. Recruiters can use these expandable, personalized tweets to break through Twitter’s 140 character limit and showcase all the ins and outs of their positions, making it easier for tech pros to apply on the go.


HireVue InsightsTM, the first candidate and interviewer recommendation engine, examines over 15,000 digital interview attributes to predict which candidates will become top performers and identify which interviewers make the best hiring decisions. Companies can use the power of big data to identify their top candidates and best interviewers based on interaction, hiring and performance attributes.

Ultimate Software

Ultimate Software’s new Talent Acquisition solutions take a fresh approach to recruiting and onboarding to help people find and unlock their potential from the moment they first interact with an organization. Created with state-of-the-art user experience design and accessible from any device, the new solutions deliver a fun, engaging way for people and businesses to connect.


Workday will demo Workday Recruiting, the company’s highly-anticipated application that is seamlessly unified with Workday Human Capital Management (HCM) to equip organizations with complete insight into their talent pipeline, from sourcing through succession, in one system.


I’m looking forward to checking out not just these 6 solutions but also exploring all the other tools, technologies and innovative practices that will be shared during the conference.

I hope to see you in Vegas but if you aren’t able to join us make sure to follow #hrtechconf for all the updates!

HR & IT: Friends, Foes or Partners?

HatfieldClan-EI recently read The Evolving Workplace: Expert Insights, part of a global project commissioned by Dell and Intel. For the study, TNS Global is exploring key future trends and themes pertaining to the workplace and workforce, with a specific focus on understanding the role that technology has played in its evolution

There is some fascinating information in Report #1 as the researchers outline seven trends and their accompanying hypotheses. Among these trends are Productivity (measured in outputs, not hours), Employee-led Innovation, and a revised view of Employee-Employer trust – labeled ‘Values versus Rules’ by TNS Global. We’ve been discussing these trends in the HR sphere for some time now but it’s interesting to read about them from the side of the IT professionals.

One of the interesting trends identified is one called “Many hats of the IT Manager.” The researchers state that as employee aspirations shift and people seek greater fulfillment and happiness at work, the role of the IT Manager will increasingly align with that of the HR Manager. Their hypothesis further states: “Workplace IT of the future will not merely be a tool to accomplish tasks, but constitute a means of recruiting and retaining staff, of managing well- being, and of facilitating personal and professional development.”

There are some global comparisons noted; the perception of the IT role will vary depending upon whether it is based in the East, West or someplace else, but in any event, the authors believe, IT managers will become increasingly responsible for satisfying the needs of employees.

The authors point out that the IT department has often been viewed as a barrier; implementing and enforcing policies and putting in place regulations that block employee development – rather than assisting or encouraging access to technologies that increase employee efficiency or provide satisfaction.

Our friends in IT are warned that if, for example, they don’t offer choice of device or access to software, tools and technologies desired by employees or applicants the organization will lose in the long run; engagement, talent attraction, retention…you name it.

I wonder how this makes the folks working in IT feel?

Let’s face it; if you work in HR, depending upon your organizational experience, you’ve either been best buddies with your IT manager or viewed him/her as the very embodiment of Satan. Over the last several years, more and more IT Managers have come face to face with empowered HR gals and guys who have pushed for the previously unthinkable.

“She wants a cloud-based HR solution? Let employees bring their iPhone when all we’ve ever supported are corporate issued Blackberrys? Unblock Facebook and YouTube and all those social sites? Has my HR lady lost her mind?” thought Joe the IT Manager.

The skirmishes continue. Within the last several weeks an HR leader told me “I would really like to implement xyz, but our IT Department won’t let me.

Time and budget constraints? Lack of clarity or understanding regarding the business strategies on both sides? Territorial pissing matches?

Undoubtedly all of the above.

But you know what? If you work in HR and are in need of getting some alignment and cooperation from your IT group start with a discussion around these seven trends. Approach the conversation from their perspective. That SHRM Research report you’ve quoted before isn’t going to sway their thinking…but something like this TNS Global report might.

Just gloss over the fact that your IT manager is going to have to start thinking like an HR strategist; that might start a feud akin to the Hatfields & McCoys.

Shhhh…Don’t Tell Anyone But We’re Hiring

whisperIf you attend an HR conference in 2014 you’re more than likely going to find a session or two on topics like employer branding, social recruiting and/or how to build a talent network/talent community/talent pool (pick your poison). Mobile…social…SMS. Creating a dynamic and interactive career site. Effectively using video and images (Instagram!) to share your culture. If you are to stand any chance of hiring the necessary talent (you’re told) you better start managing your talent acquisition programs in a whole new way. Naturally, the implication is that if you are not already doing all of these things you are hopelessly out of date.

Yet, despite all these admonishments, there are a number of organizations that continue to reside firmly in 1998 and see no reason to change.

Look, there are some recruiting practices, decidedly old-school, that continue to work effectively for certain industries, in specific geographies and when targeting particular positions. Within the last week, while going about my daily about-town business here in Baton Rouge, I saw a billboard alongside the interstate advertising a job fair (10 AM – 4 PM!) at Company A, heard an announcement on the local news advertising a job fair at a community college for Company B (9 AM – 3 PM!), and found a flier on the door of a local coffee shop encouraging interested parties to complete an application for barista jobs (ask the Manager!).

Curious as to what was going on across the spectrum of jobs in town I decided to explore the local classifieds; it’s been quite some time since I looked at job listings in the (online) newspaper and I was bemused to see the category for tech jobs is called “computer personnel” – talk about 1998. Am I right?

While many ads provided the URL to company career sites there were a sizable number that did not. Some directed applicants to apply in person while others requested a resume be sent via email.  There were a few for which the only method of resume submittal was via fax or by mailing resume/cover letter via US Mail. Seriously? I need to either track down a fax machine or get a stamp and an envelope?

A fair number of those requesting resumes via email, fax or US Mail did not disclose the name of their organization but rather dropped cryptic clues like “a leading community bank” or “well respected law firm.”  And some, apparently believing what-they-do is akin to the CIA, opted to merely state “Company Confidential.”  (and no…those were not 3rd party recruiters playing the game on behalf of a client).

After musing about this on Facebook someone inquired if, in fact, the “mail to P.O. Box” was a blind ad.  No it wasn’t; the company name was front and center.

But THAT took me down an entirely new rabbit hole because those ‘blind ads’ do still exist. Talk about employer branding all you want; chatter on about demonstrating organizational culture via videos and pictures and storytelling; make the point that HR practitioners should target efforts on only having the most appropriate candidates apply (those who get the culture, brand, story).  Talk about that stuff all you want but remember at the other end of the spectrum from Glassdoor and UPS and Zappos and Sodexo sits the Community Bank of South Louisiana (80 employees!). **

Debbie the HR Manager at CBofSL is instructed to leave the name of the company off when she has a position available above a certain level so the CEO isn’t inundated with phone calls from his golf buddy Jim who want to finangle an interview for his wife’s hairdresser’s son. The powers-that-be don’t want it to appear to customers that the bank has retention issues so jobs are not to be posted publicly. Debbie’s only hope of developing an applicant pool is by using traditional post-and-pray recruitment channels and hoping for the best; she sure can’t head out to any social networks to build a community for secret jobs. And as she doesn’t have the wherewithal to set up a generic email account or sideline something through her non-existent ATS she ends up gathering resumes via US mail to a top secret PO Box.

That’s employment and culture branding right there, isn’t it?

Shhhh…we have secret job openings!

** not an actual organization