I’ve had a chance to sit down and go through my notes from one of my favorite conferences of the year and here are my 50,000-foot takeaways from The HR Technology Conference!
– The numbers were way down from 2019, but almost every single person I spoke with knew that would be the case, but kudos to LRP and the team for moving forward and finding a way to make this work. The Expo was still fantastic. The keynotes were still great. Those that showed up were as active in engaging as ever and it was a thoroughly enjoyable week talking shop with peers and friends.
– There are way too many “Coaching” technologies on the market and trying to come to market, and it’s strange. I get it, everyone, except me, wants to be a life coach. But honestly, most of this tech is some form of vaporware or marketplace, not actually technology, and I don’t see any HR Leaders clamoring for Coaching tech. I would estimate of the startups I saw, 30% were some form of coaching tech.
– I moderated the best panel at the conference! I’m just going to state the facts! I had Kris Dunn, Madeline Laurano, and Kyle Lagunas on a TA Tech panel I moderated and it was magic! Why? We are all friends, we love this industry, we do our homework, and it literally becomes an unfiltered great conversation amongst peers about stuff and questions people really want to know about. No agenda trying to position a product or sell a service, just real practitioner talk. Many attendees came up afterward and said that the panel was the best thing of their entire week at HR Tech!
– The 3rd Annual Pitchfest was again one of my favorite events. OnwardsHR won the contest, and second place went to Sciolytix. OnwardsHR is separation management technology and Sciolytix is assessment technology specifically for hiring sales professionals. Ironically, both of those came out of the semi-final that I was judging and Emceeing. That’s one of the hard things about the competition. I actually thought in my semi-final I had 4 of the best startups out of the entire 33, but only 2 from each semi-final can move on. Maybe a nice addition might be giving each judge a “Golden Ticket” to give to one company that can also make it into the final. I had great judges with me, but we are all looking at things from a different frame of reference. Also, I don’t know the exact percentage, but it felt like 50% of the startups were either female, non-binary, or trans-led, which was amazing!
– Who would have got my “Golden Ticket”? The team at Shaka! GenZ, Female Founded employee engagement, connection, and culture technology. In my opinion, they had the cleanest pitch of anyone, truly polished, and understood the market. Strong tech, strong branding. If I had to put money on a startup that I think will make it long-term, with the little we find out about them in an event like this, I’m betting the team from Shaka.
– As you can imagine, the TA Tech space is totally going insane right now. Internal Mobility is another piece that folks are pouring money into, and we are starting to see hybrid-work tech emerging. How do we manage the logistics and performance of disparate teams and work environments?
– The two names I heard more than any others from attendees were “HiredScore” and “Eightfold“. That’s awesome for those brands. One of the problems is, along with the name I was asked, “Now, what do they do, really?” Nice to have that brand awareness, but this demonstrates one of the issues we have right now. All of the TA Tech companies are bleeding into each other and they can do a lot of stuff, including these two. So, defining who and what they are is a challenge. If a buyer can’t define you, they tend to shy away. But, that doesn’t seem to be the case for either of these technologies as I think their client base is driving referral sales from positive interaction and results.
I’m looking forward to The HR Technology Conference 2022 being held back in Las Vegas on September 13-16th! See you there!