T3 – @Uber is jumping into HR!

This week on T3 I take a look at the ‘uber’ popular ride-sharing company Uber. Uber for Business made its debut at the HR Technology Conference this year selling itself as a legitimate HR technology company for HR and TA pros. So, how does the Uber we all know, make that jump over to the HR and TA side of technology?

Uber figured that all of us in HR and TA have to get our candidates and employees from point A to point B. One part of the Uber HR platform is a simple interface to help you and your employees manage the expense part of your employees using Uber and getting reimbursed or work-related rides. This side of the platform also allows you to award employees with rides as well.

The other part of the software allows HR and TA to manage candidate rides. You have a candidate coming in from their airport at 9am, it’s easy to schedule an Uber to pick them up and bring them to your office, and well as take them back to the airport when they’re done. Traditionally, this most likely done through a car or taxi service where you called and set this up manually. Now it can be done through the platform.

The industry analysts have panned Uber’s entry into the HR space as basically a non-technology play. I love the analysts, but most haven’t worked a real HR job in years, if ever, so how practitioners would use Uber’s platform is probably very different than what analysts believe HR really needs.

I can imagine most recruiting coordinators will love the Uber for Business platform. It’s a pain in the butt constantly calling and setting up transportation for candidates each and every week. To be able to do this through a dashboard is a significant time saver and it has the added benefit of being charged to one place.

On the HR expense side of the function, Uber of Business might be helpful to some, but probably a little less so, since it’s not just managing your ‘ride’ expenses, it’s about managing all business travel expenses. But, there are other functions for the HR pros like Uber’s ability to help you offer and manage employee commute perks. That would allow you to offer new employees or awards to current employees to pay a certain number of rides per week, month, etc.

Uber also allows HR to set up specific ride rules to match your internal travel policies, so you can be assured those are automatically followed by technology. No, Jimmy won’t be able to tell you he had to take Uber Black when in reality Uber X was available! Also, it allows employees to let you know when a normally non-approved ride is with a client, so it should be approved.

The reality is Uber is branching into many areas outside of just its normal ride-sharing service. Will Uber be a big player in the HR and TA tech space? Probably not, with its current offering, but it’s more intriguing that they are looking at the HR Tech marketplace, to begin with. Uber has the money and resources to do just about anything they want, so they will be someone to keep an eye on.

T3 – Talent Tech Tuesday – is a weekly series here at The Project to educate and inform everyone who stops by on a daily/weekly basis on some great recruiting and sourcing technologies that are on the market.  None of the companies who I highlight are paying me for this promotion.  There are so many really cool things going on in the tech space and I wanted to educate myself and share what I find.  If you want to be on T3 – just send me a note – timsackett@comcast.net Also, I advise HR and TA tech companies. Interested? Let’s talk. 

6 thoughts on “T3 – @Uber is jumping into HR!

  1. I’m making the prediction that in 1 month we start to see articles about how HR follows up with the Uber driver to ask them how the candidate getting the ride acted and then correlating that to the hiring decision.
    Employees are already using Uber for business travel and submitting the expense for reimbursement. While this allows us to proactively reserve the ride for a candidate, calling it “HR Technology” seems a bit weak – when we book airplane tickets for our candidates to travel in for an interview do we refer to that as “HR Technology” as well?

    • Dan – Ha! I’d be more into the idea of the hiring manager calling the driver and piping in the call over Bluetooth to offer them the job! That would be cool : )

      In terms of what is HR Tech, anything that helps a HR person get their job done (or replaces them) to me seems HR Tech. Just like we consider video platforms for interviewing HR Tech (when they could also be used for other use cases).

      • I think what drives a lot of inefficiencies in the Recruiting world is the fear of grabbing other tools and processes and applying them to our needs to get things done. Too often, we refuse that solution unless is clearly labeled “HR Tech”. we get so caught up in ignoring it because of the lack of label.

  2. Thanks for this Tim — I had no idea! Has this been reported on in the media at all? Would love links.

    I think they are solving a real problem (candidate transportation — booking, billing, etc.). This also eliminates the A/P work of reimbursement as well, which often costs more to process than the value of the expenses!

    Interesting about perks, and other aspects of Uber for Biz. I’d love for them to tie in their Uber Rush service (courier) as those of us in biz cities also waste a lot of time with courier services.

    • Ben,

      I did not see a news release, it came from a small 10X10 booth at HR Tech. It seemed like they didn’t even know if organizations would have interest in it, but let’s go to a show and see what happens.

      My guess is they are still messing around with it and seeing what sticks from the HR side.


      • Tim – thanks for intel – BREAKING NEWS WITH TIM SACKETT : P

        Uber for all of its flaws does many things well, including experimentation. They actually use Google Sheets as a back end for some niche products so they can quickly build and learn, before architecting more robust tech.

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