HR Tech Start-ups to watch (October 2016)

Bas van de Haterd Op 02 november 2016
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hetechAlthough this is a Dutch blog, this is an English article, since it’s about international players in the HR Tech Start-up world. About 6 months ago after HR Tech in London I wrote this article and I did a follow up for one of them: Arctic shores. So the ones mentioned in March won’t be mentioned again. But I did meet some exiting new start-ups that I’ll be watching over the next (few) year(s).

A recap of the cool start-ups I’ve met on HR Tech World congress in Paris.


screen-shot-2016-11-01-at-10-57-22Potentially the most game changing start-up I met was Intervyo from Israel. They have a complelty digital interviewing tool that combines AI with all the newest technologies like micro expressions and voice analyses. You have an interview with a virtual persona, who asks you questions and records your answers. But not just your real answers, also your micro expressions and voice. Based on that it makes a character assessment that it shares. This technology enables you to have an interview with every applicant. The technology is pretty smart. If you for example say to the woman on screen she looks good, she will respond by reminding you this is a professional interview.

The video you produce during the interview is analysed based on facial an intonation analyses to build an personality report. Deep natural language processing will do a semantic analyses of your answers in order to determine the quality and relevance of your response. So in stead of just a resume, you’ll have much more information on each and every candidate.

I think it has the potential to be game-changing as far as the technology goes. I’m not sure about the company though. They were foggy about the science behind some technologies used and the team wasn’t that well received by many of the HR Tech influencers. And you do need friends in the scene in order to succeed. This will only work if it integrates with other applications, like ATS’s and you need good relations in order to do that as a start-up. The product has lots of potential, but I have my doubts about the company.

Candidate ID

Candidate ID is not earth moving, but pretty cool nonetheless. This British / Scottish start-up build a tool to ‘add on’ your talent pipeline or ATS. What it does basically is it measures the activilty of your candidates and according to that it ranks them on likliness to be open to an offer. They give you the tools for an optimized content strategy towards your database in order to make it a talentpool. So you start communiting to all those people what once applied at your company. You send them intersting content, articles, video’s, etc. They track who clicked. Who clicked where. Who went where. So every candidate has a score. So when you search your ATS for let’s say: IT consultants and you get 25 suited resumes, you know based on the past interaction who’s most likley to be interesed in an offer. So in stead of calling all 25. or starting at the top and hoping for the best, you have a ranking who likes you company the best.

It’s a nice add on, that uses ‘conversation’ data to rank your talentpool on most interested in your company. It’s a nice tool and both founders are likeable people, so I think they will have little problems in working with ATS’s and sorts to get their tool integrated. To be honest, I’d expect them to be bought by an ATS in a few years time.


screen-shot-2016-11-01-at-12-36-01Beamery is in what it wants to accomplish similar to candidate ID, but on steroids. Beamery calls itself a talent CRM. It tracks candidates, helps with data analyses, synchs everything from e-mail conversations to data on websites visited and builds a profile of a candidate that usually sales builds on prospects. It then enables to build tailor made e-mails, landing pages and based on that treats the candidate they way he’s used to as a customer. So they don’t call themselves an ATS, but they do what an ATS originally promised it would.

A joke within recruitment has always been that an ATS (Applicant Tracking System) does everything but track the applicant. This system does track the applicants, but doesn’t do anything else. It’s not an ATS in the sense that it has all the process functionality.

My 2 cents: beamery has a nice product, but it’s in between a rock and a hard place where the market is concerned. It’s not an ATS, but I think it’s too close to being one that ATS’s won’t like cooperating with them. Yet they cannot go to war head on, since they are lagging too much ATS functionality. I’ll be watching Beamery, but most interesting will be how they develop. Will the become a full fledged ATS? Or will they be bought by one? Or ….


Peerpilot is a Danish start-up I liked. It’s a selection tool for highly educated workers that need to work a lot in teams on innovation or problem solving jobs. So basically, I think it would be a great tool for many engineers, maybe IT (consulting) that need to work in teams, government officials and so on. Probably best suited for graduates, but well applicable for more experienced hires too I think.

What they do is they build a business case for all applicants to solve together. The systems measures both the interaction between team members as well as the quality of their responses. Several things are measures. First of all it looks at your activity. Do you start, or do you wait for someone else to start? Do you have your own ideas? Or do you primarily build on others. Do you build on others? Or are you always just focussed on your own idea? How do you respond to other amending your ideas? Do you amend all ideas, or do you pick the best ideas from others? How good are your ideas (rated by both your peers as well as the company your applying at). All this builds a profile of you as a candidate. Both you team player skills get tested as well as your ability to generate or amend good ideas.

For a specific target audience, I like this tool a lot. It quantifies the work you will be doing within a team and it measures pretty much everything that’s necessary to be a good team player.


Talentwunder is a sourcing tool from Germany. It basically searches all the major social media networks on candidates. So it goes beyond just searching Likedin. It looks in over 35 networks, both local networks (like Xing in Germany, Viadeo in France and Goldenline in Poland) as well as specialist networks (like Stack overflow and Github for IT, but also local nursing or engineering networks). It then gives you an overview of the people that fit you criteria. The profiles are however very limited. You can select a filter ‘e-mail address necessary’, but that’s seriously limits your results. They also give ratings on ‘likeliness to change jobs and to relocate’ based on smart algorithms. It’s unknown how well these indicators actually are.

Talentwunder in potential can become a decent sourcing tool, but in quality right now it’s not even close to Monster’s Talentbin. I admit, Talentbin is only suitable for IT, Talentwunder searches everything but does that with much less information it offers a recruiter. The fact they can’t supply all data about all the candidates for me is a downside it. I will be watching them, since the tool has potential, but they would need to improve the tool before I’d recommend it to my customers.


The only non-recruitment HR tech tool to watch in this article is the German start-up Teambay. It’s a feedback tool, but before you stop reading, it’s different from the other’s (Peakon, Tandem, and Impraise) I wrote about in march. They are not a real time employee feedback tool, they are a ’employee to corporate’ feedback tool. Anonymus, continues feedback and conversations. It’s a tool that helps strengthen your company culture and implement change.

You can ask your employees a simple question, based on the happiness at work principles. Happy workers are more productive, but what makes people less happy than they could be? It often hard to pinpoint the exact source of discontent, with simple anonymus questions you can. It combines this simple question solution with the option of an anonymus ideabox. You can simply gather good ideas and build on those. Also you can set a ‘thank you on Monday’ question. It’s proven that by thanking someone for something he or she did, they become happier and more productive. Teambay simply facilitates this process.

Teambay isn’t ground breaking technology, it isn’t a technological masterpiece, but it’s something that offers a solution for a genuine issue in many companies. Not knowing what’s really an issue and laying the groundwork for change by listening to ideas rather than people.

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