Your Weekly Dose of HR Tech: My Review of The HR Technology Conference #HRTechConf

Last week was my HR Nerd Christmas as I was attending the annual, and world’s largest, HR Technology Conference in Las Vegas. It’s one of my favorite conferences to attend, the expo is beyond words, the content has increasingly gotten really good, and they keep pushing the envelope and trying new ways to engage the audience. Hat tip to conference chair Steve Boese and the LRP crew!

What did I like this year at HR Tech? 

– The inaugural Pitchfest was a freaking homerun! 30 companies pitched their product to judges in the middle of the expo hall with giant crowds surrounding the stage. The energy was awesome. People who watched it got to find out about 30 new companies and determine which ones they might want to deep dive later.  6 Finalist emerged, with one winner! (To be fair, all 30 were winners as just making the round of 30 gives each company some great publicity) The finalists were:

Blendoor – (The overall Winner) – is a hiring technology that reduces unconscious bias by hiding data that’s not relevant and highlighting data that is. Their CEO, Stephanie Lampkin, blew everyone away!

ComplianceHR – is the first ever and only, a suite of intelligent employment applications, delivering expert legal guidance at internet speed and scale. Like your own employment attorney without the $500 per hour fees. – Jane is an artificial intelligence platform that makes all of your company’s information accessible through chat. Like having your own HR robot that can answer almost everything!  (This was one of my finalists during my judging – very impressive!)

RelishCareers – a job board platform that helps grad school students and alumni get discovered by employers looking for top talent.

SwarmVision – A globally-validated Profiler to assess your innovation skills. Need to increase the amount of innovation in your company? This was really cool.

Talvista – (The overall diversity winner) -provides a view beyond the noise of unconscious bias, ensuring a skilled talent pool and workforce that is more diverse and inclusive. While Blendoor’s CEO was the best presenter, Talvista had the better technology in this space.

Many of the 30 that presented that didn’t make the final six just weren’t able to articulate what they did and why you should buy them in the 3-minute pitch and 2 minute Q&A allotted. That is super tough! Put yourself in front of anyone right now, start the clock, and tell them why they should use you, over everyone else, in three minutes!  Oh, and surround yourself with hundreds of onlookers!

iCIMS CMO, Susan Vitale, on her panel said that out of their thousands of clients, millions of candidates, they’ve seen a 90% increase, year over year, in candidate traffic coming from Google For Jobs (GFJ). It was just one example at the conference of the impact GFJ is making across the industry that everyone is watching. For decades we’ve conditioned candidates to look for jobs, first via job boards, then via sites like Indeed, and now it will be through Google for Jobs. came out of hibernation to announce a new leadership team, and some new technology, including Monster Studios, which lets you record, edit and publish video job ads from a smartphone in minutes. Loved the tech! And all the data shows video job ads get a higher response rate. Beyond that, Monster, like CareerBuilder and ZipRecruiter, has done a great job helping their clients navigate the job schema around Google for Jobs and they are seeing huge traffic increases. JobBoards didn’t die, they just re-tooled, and are still relevant in the talent attraction game. If you haven’t checked them out in the past 24 months, it’s worth some testing if you’re struggling with your traffic and Indeed is asking you to spend the double amount you did last year.

– Chatbots are everywhere, even if you’re not seeing them, yet. Some of the coolest A.I. I saw was Jane.Ai and AllyO. When A.I. first hit hte market they were extremely careful to say this tech wouldn’t eliminate the need for real humans, that marketing didn’t work, so they are now willing, to tell the truth! It does! That’s what the ROI is based on! Hello! Also, this tech, while not perfect, has exceptional potential and it keeps getting better.

– The future of the HR Tech and TA Tech stack are not a big umbrella, we do everything, enterprise systems (Workday, Oracle, SAP, etc.). The future of the tech stack is something akin to the Apple App Store. You have your base HR Tech platform, let’s say Ultimate Software, and then you go into their App store and pick the best of breed tech you want it to work with! Same with the TA Tech space. You pick an ATS like Greenhouse, then pick all of the TA tech you want it to work with, sourcing, interview, assessments, etc. But, not as it is right now with integrations and separate contracts, etc. Pick your core, foundation tech, then surround it with the best tech on the market that fits your business needs. There were a number of new startups positioning themselves in this space. We want all the advantages of using “one” system, but one system can’t give you all the best tech. For those who want the best tech, in all aspects, your world is coming!

If you’re an HR or Talent Acquisition leader today, one of your core competencies has to be around technology. It used to be that we would just allow IT or the CFO to pick what we used, but we’ve quickly moved into a world where your HR and Recruiting tech stack has a unique competitive and strategic advantage. Future HR and TA Leaders will not be sitting on the sidelines when ‘their’ tech stack is chosen.

If you haven’t been to The HR Technology Conference, or haven’t been for a few years, it’s something as a leader you must put back into your plan for next year! Way too much to learn here about how modern HR and TA practics are running!

4 thoughts on “Your Weekly Dose of HR Tech: My Review of The HR Technology Conference #HRTechConf

    • Jason,

      There’s a bunch of new tech on the market allowing organizations to easily build out those point solutions into an integrated platform. The reality is, it’s super hard for an end to end platform to be good across all aspects.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.