HR Tech Quick Hits: Meet Ease’s new CTO, Cisco’s hybrid culture plans and automation heats up

Welcome to the HR Tech Quick Hits column, featuring the latest in HR tech partnerships, funding, people moves and compelling data. To make sure you don’t miss any content, subscribe here to receive HRE‘s weekly HR technology newsletter in your inbox. 

Kaki joins Ease

Sudha Kaki, chief technology officer, Ease

Sudha Kaki has joined HR and benefits solution provider Ease as CTO. Formerly serving in tech roles at WebMD and Oracle, the 20-year technology veteran will lead Ease’s efforts to enhance its employee benefits and HR ecosystem for small- to medium-sized businesses. “Sudha’s technical expertise and experience executing innovative strategies will help Ease scale as a leading benefits administration and insurance software solution,” says Ease’s CEO and co-founder David Reid.

HR Tech Number
HR’s hunger for automation has no end in sight, according to the second annual Work Automation Index from Workato, which found that the use of talent recruiting automation grew 316% since last year. “As the competition for top talent continues and ‘work from anywhere’ becomes the norm, HR teams are using automation to stand out and improve the employee experience right from the start,” says the business automation provider.

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HR Tech Funding
Applicant tracking system provider Fountain has extended its November 2021 Series C round by $100 million, bringing the total to $185 million. Fountain continues on an upswing after business tripled year-over-year from 2020 to 2021, according to the company. “This extension … will help us to continue to exceed the demands of the world’s leading brands for high-volume hiring,” says Sean Behr, CEO of Fountain.

Nava Benefits raised $40 million in a Series B round, led by Thrive Capital, to offer benefits tech to small and medium-sized businesses that was once exclusive to Fortune 500 companies. Since 2020, Nava has increased annual recurring revenue by 224% and more than doubled its number of customers, according to the company.

HR Tech Partnerships
HCM provider PayNW has acquired the HCM division of Renewal, a payroll and benefits company based in Chattanooga, Tenn. The Seattle-based PayNW claims to have more than 1,000 clients in the U.S. and a 96% client retention rate.

Enterprise job search engine Getwork was acquired by job search engine Adzuna. Both firms will operate as independent brands but the partnership will allow Adzuna to accelerate its growth in North America. The deal also enables both companies to index job ads directly from more than 50,000 employer websites, including Amazon, FedEx, Home Depot and more.

Spatial data company Matterport inked a deal with learning provider CGS to use its augmented and virtual reality training and support solutions for frontline workers. The companies will collaborate to deliver corporate training using CGS’s TeamworkAR training solution and Matterport’s tech.

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Networking backbone provider Cisco and Emtrain will partner for what they call a “conscious workplace culture for hybrid work.” The project will deliver Emtrain’s in-app training to create inclusive workplaces on Cisco’s Webex platform. “With Emtrain, Webex users can engage and train employees across their global workforce with timely and relevant content focusing on real-life workplace scenarios,” per a press statement.

HR Tech Podcast Episode
Got 60 seconds? If you do—and we all do!—subscribe to The Workplace Minute, a focused and personal-time-respecting podcast produced by Steve Boese, the 2022 HR Tech Conference program chair and HRE columnist. (Register for the conference here.) In the latest episode, Steve looks at what can happen when employers deploy inadequate HR technology. It isn’t pretty, that’s for sure. Listen here.
HR Tech Conference 2022 Update
Do you love all things HR tech? Of course you do. At the upcoming 2022 HR Tech Conference in Las Vegas Sept. 13-16, there are 18 HR Tech Talks on the agenda. Eighteen! We can’t wait to check out the panel entitled, “Applying While Having a Drink? Check!” For more info, check out the entire program here and register here.


Do you have HR technology news or insights to share? Contact HR Tech Editor Phil Albinus at palbinus@lrp.com

Phil Albinus
Phil Albinus is HR Tech Editor for HRE. He has been covering personal and business technology for 25 years and has served as editor and executive editor for a number of financial services, trading technology and employee benefits titles. He is a graduate of SUNY New Paltz and lives in the Hudson Valley with his audiologist wife and three adult children. He can be reached at palbinus@lrp.com and followed on Twitter @philalbinus.

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