A blog in English. Something you guys are not used to on my Dutch blog, but I have to make an exception this once. HR Tech World in Paris is an international event with lots of international companies, so it would be a shame not to present these in an international language.
The HR Disrupt part of HR Tech is the part I usually look forward to the most. The ‘new’ start-ups that present themselves. Learning about really interesting new developments in our field. Here are the ones I feel are worth watching over the next few years.
Appical to be honest I got to know a few years ago on HR Tech world in Amsterdam. So it’s not really new, but I still think they are worth mentioning. They have a great application for pre- and onboarding. The next step in recruitment, is getting people to stay excited about their new job during the onboarding periode. Very often this is a problem. First of all because of ‘processes’. No entry badge, no logins, signing forms, etc. The second reason is because people feel inadequate. They are coming into a new company, they need to learn the ‘language’, they need to learn more about the culture and sometimes they really need to learn skills or specific knowledge. Appical has an app that helps companies do this, company specific.
For the Dutch readers: this is what I wrote about them two years ago when I met them for the first time.
When people asked me on the conference who I, as a recruitment tech watcher, thought had the most chance of becoming a genuine game-changer, I send them to Harver. Harver’s pitch on this years conference was: toilet paper is the only useful application for the resume. A resume often tells you what someone has done and for how long. It tells you nothing about how well they did. It tells you nothing about what someone can or wants to do. Haver focusses on the first: how good is someone really. And they do this on ‘customer facing jobs’. Right now they are huge in contact centre’s, worldwide. They have a brilliant test that reduced the cost of hiring and onboarding in one dutch Call centre (their showcase) by several hundred thousand euro’s a year. I believe in actually testing people for their skill, in stead of assuming that the fact they did a job means they were good at it is the future. Harver helps shape that future.
An actual new start-up I met for the first time in Paris was the French company with a big American influence Praditus (operating worldwide). What they do basically is assessments for the people already in your company. But in stead of the standard assessments they seem to go one step further. They don’t just look at your skills and see what can be approved, they also look at your passions. The thing I like about these tools is the fact they can actually advice someone, both employee as HR, to help this employee into a totally different direction. So maybe your salesman has both passion as well as the skills, because they test broadly, to be an IT developer or an HR director.
Probably the most interesting one I’ve met was the originally Bulgarian Majio. I know, the name is terrible and figuring out their web address (maj.io) is one heck of a job. The potential for their product however… I love. What they are building has the potential to be as ground breaking as Haver and I hope they can pull it off. They are building matching software, not only on the hard skills, but on the cultural fit as well. But in a way that I think is much better than anything I’ve ever seen.
The hard skills matching is what companies want right now. And this is relatively easy. Not that many do it well, but it can be done. Textkernel has a pretty good matching engine and Talentbin is pretty good too. But where I think their unique added value is going to be is in the cultural fit matching. And this is why: They don’t just do a cultural fit on ‘this is what we believe the culture is’. They do a fit on linguistic matching. They wat a company is presenting itself says everything about a company. Not the words itself, but the type of words used. So they analyse blogs and other communications from a company and based on this, they get the genuine culture. And then they do the same with candidates. Not who you say you are. Not a test. But your actual behaviour (trough your digital footprint). Testing is nice, but asking someone how he or she acts in certain situations isn’t that representative. Asking someone always leads to ‘conscious’ behaviour, while 90% of everything we do is subconscious. They measure your actual behaviour. And with machine learning, this can be a really great addition to matching. So Majio is the one I was most exited about and I’m going to watch closely the next couple of years.
One I liked, but isn’t groundbreaking, is Includeed. I like them because the address a topic that is hot and that needs to be addressed. Diversity intelligence. The address is from a different standpoint than most. They don’t look at the hard numbers, but at the perception. It’s not about ‘how many women are in top management positions, but how do women in the management positions feel they are treated. How do the handicapt feel they are being looked at within the company. They then give dashboards and advice on how to improve, since a divers workforce that feels respected works better. There are two reasons I like them.
- The measure something else than most. Not ‘how good are you’re programs’, but how well do they actually work.
- They talk the ‘language of the business’, and relate a better diversity to direct business results (money).
What they do and how they do it isn’t ground breaking. But I do like them and I think they probably have a nice market potential in Holland as well.
The last start-up I think is worth mentioning is Wellevue. Not really recruitment, but they have a simple and interesting product. Their product looks a bit like Appical, but with a totally different target market. Their help companies better live their culture and brand. Their app challenges employees to do tasks and challenges and make photographs of it and share these with the rest of the company. So for example if ‘good work-life balance’ is a cultural value, they might challenge people to make a work-life balance photo and share it. If ‘healthy living’ is a value, show you are exercising during working hours. Stuff like that. It’s great for both culture ‘guarding’ as well as cultural change. Because culture is in the small things, the actual behaviours of your employees. The app can be ‘campaign based’ or ‘open all the time’. Personally I think campaign based will probably work best, with different challenges every now and again concerning a certain value, maybe one that management is feeling is ‘slacking off’. It might also work very well for cultural change programs, because now it’s not just the ‘talk’ but also the ‘walk’.
Wellvue too isn’t ground breaking or earth schattering in my opinion, but I love them because they have such a simple product. So easy to explain and when they told me I thought: this is too smart, it should have been there ages ago. Those are often very good ideas.
What I liked about this years HR Tech World event was this. Some of the parties, also existing companies, told me they were finally doing the things I’ve been expecting for some time. Video recruitment that can advice based on micro expressions if someone is lying (will go live in 2016), cultural matching based on linguistics and online behaviour (Majio), testing and ‘assessments for all’ (Harver) that will make the resume obsolete in many cases. We are getting to the future I was hoping for 5 years ago.