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HR tech’s role in building a workforce for the future

Jill Barthhttps://hrexecutive.com/
Jill Barth is HR Tech Editor of Human Resource Executive. She is an award-winning journalist with bylines in Forbes, USA Today and other international publications. With a background in communications, media, B2B ecommerce and the workplace, she also served as a consultant with Gallagher Benefit Services for nearly a decade. Reach out at [email protected].

In her pre-conference workshop at HR Tech, Stacey Harris, chief research officer of Sapient Insights, spoke about building an adaptable HR systems strategy. She said that HR leaders should always ask themselves this number one question: Is the data I’m getting from my systems helping me make business decisions?

Stacey Harris, Sapient Insights Group
Stacey Harris

This is an excellent viewpoint to adopt this week as attendees evaluate new products, tools and insights from the HR tech community. Identify business decisions on the horizon and assess ways that new implementations can facilitate them for the HR leadership team.

Catch more from Harris at her closing keynote later this week, titled Key Findings from the Industry’s Most Comprehensive Study: The 26th Annual HR Systems Survey.

Skills-based strategies for gender diversity

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Looking to explore skills-based hiring? Then “do something simple, soon,” advised Heather Gilmartin, senior analyst with RedThread Research, during the Women in HR Tech Summit on Tuesday.

In the session, Skills-based Strategies for Gender Diversity, she suggested HR leaders find the business case that will make a difference for their organization and start there with a skills-based strategy. In other words, “don’t boil the ocean,” added session moderator Marily Pearson Hendricks, co-founder and managing partner of WorkTech Advisory.

One emerging trend to consider is that many younger workers are content to work as freelance 1099 employees rather than full-time W-2 workers, says Alicia Mokwa, research director of talent acquisition and strategy for IDC, who also spoke during the session. That means HR leaders will increasingly need to be prepared for a fluid workforce.

Live from the Innovation Summit

The inaugural Innovation Summit is a two-day event that brings HR tech industry start-ups and scale-ups together with investors, venture capital firms and M&A partners. Chaired by George LaRocque, founder of WorkTech, this is the first of its kind opportunity to gather this selection of innovators focused exclusively on HR tech market growth.

We met with members of the leadership team at AppyNow, founder Serge Massicotte and chief strategy officer Martin Mathe, after day one of the summit. Presenting their product in front of this audience, they said, was a unique opportunity to connect with investors who truly understand the HR tech space. “This is a good place to meet up and share perspective” with others in the field, said Massicotte.

AppyHere is at booth 812 at the HR Tech Expo.

Recruiting with empathy

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Hiring platform Greenhouse serves over 7,000 clients, including many companies that are household names and some of the best places to work around the world. In a briefing at HR Tech, Jon Stross, president and co-founder of Greenhouse, told us that the talent dynamic is constantly changing and that often what people hear about employment in the news cycle doesn’t match how job seekers are feeling.

Henry Tsai, Greenhouse chief product officer, added that employment cycles are moving quickly. As most HR practitioners know from experience, the past few years have presented significant shifts in hiring, from layoffs during the pandemic to a shortage of frontline workers to a change in the expectations of the workforce.

This is more than an aspect of the zeitgeist, says Donald Knight, chief people officer at Greenhouse. He affirms that for every stat one hears on the news, real people are involved and that recruiting practitioners have faced incredible challenges in this climate. He says AI-enabled tools can help reduce mundane tasks, giving recruiters more opportunities to focus on sincere and empathetic communication with candidates. Instead, “they can use their time to convey a human approach,” he says.

Find Greenhouse at booth 7116 at the HR Tech Expo.

Two startups advance at Pitchfest

A retirement funds startup and a referral-based talent acquisition solution moved to the final round after competing Tuesday in the opening round of the annual HR Tech Pitchfest competition.

Manifest, a digital solution for transferring 401(k) and other retirement funds, and Collabwork, a TA tool that uses referrals, were selected from a group of 11 startups. They will pitch again Thursday in the final round, competing against two winners from Round 2 and two winners from Round 3. Both of those rounds will be held on Wednesday.

The final winner will receive $25,000 from the Randstad Innovation Fund and a free booth at next year’s HR Technology Conference and Exposition. A second prize of $5,000, also sponsored by Randstad, will be awarded for the best innovative use of AI.


HRE HR Editor Dawn Kawamoto contributed to this report.

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