Over at HRTechEurope last week and as per the previous year, one of my highlights was the iHR contest. A handful of young tech firms with the potential to disrupt get a time-limited “pitch n demo” opportunity, with points awarded from analysts and VC’s. All obviously get some great exposure and while the winner is by no means guaranteed success, it certainly can’t hurt.
I know I can fall prone to living in a social/recruiting tech bubble and that my news feed is heavily US/UK biased. I therefore take this as a great opportunity to look at things either from the wider HR market, or from regions which perhaps I don’t watch as carefully as I might. There were certainly a couple of competitors who stood out for me:
- IntuneX of Finland have some fascinating ideas which I want to research further
- ScioMino (home side advantage, team from the Netherlands!) have a social data mining product – currently available for companies only, but I’d buy a personal license as soon as it becomes available (possibly end of this year I hear…)
- TalentBin of the US were worthy winners (imho, based on the tech they’ve built, the solidity of business model and the commercial progress made) – if I was a dev-focussed recruiter, I’d buy this over almost any other product)
Actual companies aside though, my main observation concerns those not in the room. The contest was held in the main auditorium. I reckon there were around 1,000 people at the conference… but a large majority were hanging around exhibitor booths and the bar in the conference hall. In the main auditorium for the contest, less than 200.
These were companies from the US, Middle East and Europe who plan to disrupt traditional HR technology over the next 2-5 years. The vast majority of the attendees were either HR buyers or corporate vendor/exhibitors. Those outside the room chose to miss out on a focussed, rapid-fire view of the future.
Are they so secure as to believe the status quo will ensure? If I’d been in either group, I’d have been scouting future purchases, acquisitions, competition, etc. As it was, the bloggers and independent consultants showed the most interest.
Technological change has never hit this pace before. Established markets such as travel, publishing and music are being forced to reinvent in accelerated timescales, from threats they’d never imagined.
HR as an industry needs to wake the hell up and take a good look at the future when the opportunity is so beautifully presented.