Onwards HR wins 3rd annual Pitchfest competition

A start-up that helps HR automate employee separations has won $25K.
By: | September 30, 2021
Judge Mike Smith, CEO of Randstad Sourceright, presents Onwards HR CEO Sarah Rodehorst with the 2021 Pitchfest winner's check.

Onwards HR, a female-owned tech platform that helps HR automate employee separations and provide a smooth, supportive employee exit experience, is the winner of the 2021 HR Technology Conference & Exposition Pitchfest.

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“[Employee separation] is the dark side of HR that nobody has touched,” Onwards HR CEO Sarah Rodehorst said Thursday. “How many talent acquisition companies are out here? How many separation automation companies are out here?”

The employee exit process is often difficult, time-consuming and error-prone, and U.S. businesses largely waste resources managing separations, Rodehorst said.

Onwards HR can help guide HR leaders through creating a separation event, justifying employee selection, calculating severance, generating an agreement, and tracking notification, delivery and signature, she said. Rodehorst said the start-up also can get a new employer client set up with its platform in less than a week.

Related Catching up with Pitchfest winner Ben Brooks of Pilot

David Solot, chief science officer at Sciolytix, accepts the Talent Experience prize check from judge Joanne Estrada, SVP digital innovation at Randstad.

In addition to the title of Pitchfest winner, Onwards HR received a check for $25,000, courtesy of Randstad Innovation Fund, and booth space at next year’s HR Tech Conference.

The Pitchfest competition featured pitches from 33 companies across all segments of the HR tech market space, including payroll, internal mobility, recruitment and more.

Final round judges were Mike Smith, CEO of Randstad Sourceright, which sponsors the Pitchfest competition; Joanne Estrada, SVP digital innovation at Randstad; and Emanuel Cotronakis, executive vice president at LRP Media Group. Judges’ scores consisted of 70% of the total score and audience voting rounded out the remaining 30% of the overall score.

Sciolytix, a software company that provides simulations to measure sales performance, won a $5,000 Talent Experience prize, also sponsored by Randstad.

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Nick Otto is HRE’s senior digital editor. He is a professional communicator with more than a decade of demonstrated accomplishments in newspaper and trade publishing. He has spent the past five years covering the employee benefits space and holds bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida. He can be reached at notto@lrp.com or follow him on twitter @Ottografs.

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