HR Tech Update: Recruiting Vendors Try to Stand Out in the HCM-focused Crowd

Oct 9, 2012

I’m here at the HR Technology Conference in sunny but chilly Chicago. One of the best reasons to come to the HR technology show (besides the great people here, the sessions, and parties) is to talk to people and vendors about the new technologies they are working on.

Like many of you, I love to focus on technology as part of my job. But, as I go through the floor here in Chicago, I’ve tried to pull out the recruiting vendors from the rest of the human capital space. As is typical, recruiting is often leading the pack in innovation and new products.

Here’s a brief rundown of the things I’ve seen (and haven’t seen) at the HR Technology show:


This summer, IBM acquired Kenexa. I talked with Kenexa about the new enterprise possibilities, its tablet-focused Rapid Hire product, as well as some wins it has on the RPO side of their business. It’ll continue to get deeper integration with IBM’s business suite, especially as we head into the new year.


I spoke with digital interviewing company HireVue about its award-winning mobile application, its social interviewing app OpenVue, and its integration of its last acquisition, CodeEval. One of the more difficult things to do as you are gaining market share rapidly as HireVue has is to keep an innovative edge. What HireVue seems to want to do is help make the entire hiring and decision-making process easier for recruiters, not just save them money.


Hireology focuses on making selection management easier for non-recruiters. I learned during our conversation that it has internally developed questions, assessments, and selection tools specifically for ease of use for non-recruiters. While no scoring system is perfect, it believes it has a strong enough correlation of success in order to roll out. As it continues to grow, it anticipates it’ll be able to tighten and tweak to adjust based on client feedback.


The recruiting marketing platform Smashfly continues to grow and expand capabilities. Its aim is to be an all-in-one recruiting marketing solution. We talked about its marketing platform where it has built everything from job distribution to a recruiting-specific CRM. The solution is built on a single platform (and single codebase, since it has built all of its technology) but it can turn specific capabilities on and off, depending on customer need.


One company I hadn’t heard of as I rolled into Chicago is CareerBuilder-owned ATS Luceo. The company has European roots but was only recently launched in the U.S.  The company told me that it wants to simplify the recruiting process and make the product easy to use whether you’re the recruiter or candidate. It has also focused on having localization early due to its international presence.


While OneWire has shifted a bit, its community-based, focused approach to recruiting hasn’t changed. It has re-upped its investment in making a great community for finance professionals and will soon be adding more video content that will help candidates understand what it takes to work in the financial industry.


Background screening company TalentWise has continued to push the innovation envelope in an area that is often ignored: pre-screening and background checks. It recently released TalentWise Hire — what it calls a promise fulfilled to its customers. It offers full integration in both recruiting systems as well as leading HRIS systems. The customizability, as well as the focus on ease of use and compliance, helps the company separate itself from other screening providers.


When we last saw candidate sourcing platform Entelo, it just had launched. That was all of a week ago. We talked not just about passive candidate sourcing but also sourcing based on the availability of candidates. It is also hoping to up the partnerships it has with other platforms, tighten integrations, and figure out ways to use the crazy amount of data it collects.

Who Wasn’t Here?

BranchOut has revamped its platform. The Facebook-based business networking and recruiting tool has had some trouble continuing to attract regular users. Its monthly average users have dropped from nearly 14 million to now less than 3 million. A year after being named a top product of the year here at the HR Technology Conference, it is nowhere to be found here in Chicago. We’ll see if the application’s revamp helps BranchOut gets what it wants most: regular users.

Some entertainment

During lunch yesterday, we were treated to guitarist Mike Rayburn. I’m usually not the guy that focuses on entertainment but his guitar playing is both entertaining and technically complex.

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