HR Tech in 5 Minutes! #HRTechConf

Gang! I’m at ‘The’ HR Technology Conference this week in Chicago. Steve Boese, Co-Chair of the conference, has added some really exciting and fun content to the program and I attended a session yesterday called “Discovering the Next Great HR Technology Company”.

It’s a Shark Tank-style presentation where 8 up and coming technologies were picked from an applicant list of 150 to present to a panel of HR Tech experts and ultimately the crowd voted on who they believe is the next great HR Technology. It was fast and furious, and actually fun to watch!

The companies that got chosen were all winners (that’s what we say when we feel bad for the losers!):

  • Invesitpro – Employee relations investigation software. Not sexy, but the most practical of the bunch and something almost everyone I spoke to said, “I’d use that!”
  • Clinch – Candidate CRM, microsite builder, powerful recruitment communication tool.
  • Qwalify – Spoke about their new product called Talent Dojo – scalable two-way communication to find out if a candidate is the right fit for you, and you for them.
  • RolePoint – Employee referral automation talking about their new product for internal Talent Mobility.
  • LifeWorks – Employee engagement app and recognition.
  • Chemistry – Candidate assessment using unstructured data, so basically assessing your candidates without making them take an assessment.
  • Click Boarding – Onboarding, but very personalized.
  • HighGround – Performance management reinvented, very cool UX.

Here’s what we learned: 

1. 5 minutes is too short to try and do a demo in front of a giant crowd. It turns into people talking way too fast and flying through screens and seems confusing.

2. If you only have 5 minutes you need to get three things out: 1) Tell me what you actually do and how I will use you in my daily life. 2) Give me your twitter name so I can tweet about you at the conference during this session – you get 5 minutes of free publicity, help me out! 3) Invite me to a full demo later to see the full show. None of the 8 did this. 6 of the 8 I’m still not sure what they actually do!

3. Love this format and the audience loved the format. Most practitioners won’t come to your booth for a full demo, but they do want to know what’s out there and if they have an interest in finding out more about you. I could see this going to ten or twenty minutes and being even better!

4. If you only have 5 minutes, it’s a risk to rely on technology to tell your story! (Which is very ironic being that this is a technology conference!) But the reality is you’re relying on conference wifi, other people, a foreign environment.  The people who fared best just told a 5-minute story about what it is they solve.

5. British, Irish, Australian accents play really well with an American audience. We believe those accents are smarter, even when they’re not! So, even if you’re an American company, find a Brit to get on stage and sell your product!

Check out all of the eight vendors highlighted in the session. All the tech was awesome and did different things.

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