#HRTechConf: Larger Companies Innovating, Siloes Being Destroyed, and Women in Tech Get Their Due

Last week’s HR Tech Conference brought together some of the greatest minds and technologies under one roof. People have long talked about how this is the ONE show everyone should go to, and in that respect, I was not disappointed.

The conference kicked off with two new events, both held in the morning and early afternoon of day one. The Women in HR Technology event focused on empowering women and creating more inclusivity in technology roles.

In the traditionally male-dominated technology industry, there are many successful women leaders introducing new ideas, developing transformative solutions and leading their companies to success. We are proud to hold this long overdue ‘Women in HR Technology’ event, which will not only showcase more than 15 of the most successful women changing the industry, but also provide new insights for how other women can create their own professional roadmaps.HR Tech Conference co-chair, Steve Boese (@steveboese)

Boese is correct when he states this event is long overdue. At Talent Tech Labs, we’re actively supporting the women who are impacting Talent Acquisition Technology.

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The HR Hacklab

Guided by Joe Gerstandt (@joegerstandt) and Jason Lauritsen (@JasonLauritsen), The HR Hacklab was my next big stop leading to on-the-spot new HR tech solutions. These additions remind us that even the conference, which was built to facilitate leading edge tools and companies, can see the value in trying new things—especially when they focus on the people who use all the tech on display.

Some of the greatest discoveries didn’t surround the showcased tools or sessions. Watching the transition many later stage companies, like IBM, are making to be more innovative is unbelieveable. These organizations are observing and listening to what the early stage companies are doing, and following through with innovative measures themselves.

While I observed serious innovation in the earlier-stage companies, there were many companies trying to impact the same systems, namely the Applicant Tracking System. As you can see from our ecosystem, the ATS is already a massive sector for innovation within the space. But while we did see some repetition in the startups showcased, one standout really…well, stood out.

One of my favorite introductions includes the New Zealand-based Aotal who walked me through the Talent App Store, a platform built to solve the HR technology problems employers face today. The exciting angle of this tool is its ability to identify, develop, and deploy small pre-integrated apps that work alongside even the most rigid talent management systems. The apps are specifically built for one function, which means they expertly provide a necessary bridge in a company’s missing talent function. It also allows organizations to easily try new products, because their existing data will be seamlessly integrated.

While this has been tried in the past, the difference here is that the Talent App Store is not tied to any one ATS. The Talent App Store allows all the point solutions to connect together. If this can scale, it will be a boon to forward thinking Talent Acquisition pros who genuinely want to tie best of breed solutions together to create their own process workflows (we discussed this a bit in our Volume 5 Trends Report).

The sessions didn’t disappoint either. Elaine Orler (@elaineorler), CEO and co-founder at Talent Function Group, discussed the burning question of what is trending in Talent Acquisition technology and what it could mean for modern recruiting initiatives. Orler discussed navigating the inundated world of trending technology and how to understand what will meet the needs of candidates and employers. To our delight, Talent Acquisition was a trending topic at the conference, as evidenced by Tim Sackett’s blog excerpt below:

A Talent Acquisition Tech Stack is starting to emerge and the HR Tech Stack (HRIS core providers) folks are trying to stop this from happening by offering up their own watered-down, vanilla version of what you really need. The reality is today, HRIS providers don’t offer up the same level of TA technology that you can get from TA-specific tech vendors. What I haven’t seen yet is the TA Tech vendor community providing a model of what that TA Tech stack looks like – the first one to do that effectively will have a huge advantage in positioningTim Sackett

Exhibitors Phenom People brought their dynamic team of talented leaders to share a belief of what it takes to transform the Talent Acquisition market. People are looking for inspired jobs that make them happy, and Phenom People have the desire to bring the next phenomenal hire to their clients, even if it means redefining the way we recruit.

The “most impressive booth presence award” definitely goes to WayUp for their amazing dorm room facade and team spirit. The huge team was highly energetic and really got their message across!

No HR Tech would be complete without a few after hours meet and greets. This year we stopped by the amazing dinner hosted by Jessica Miller-Merrell (@jmillermerrell) and Advanced Resources (@advresources) at RPM Steak for great conversation on new technology. And of course, our team, alongside Allegis (@AllegisGlobal), hosted our own dinner, attended by some of the most forward-thinking group of experts in Talent Acquisition.


Did you have a favorite part of HRTech? 

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