I Found The Next Great HR Technology

Finding the Next Great HR Technology

Coaches seated from L to R: Trish McFarlane, Kyle Lagunas, Madeline Laurano, and George LaRocque

“Finding the Next Great HR Technology” session was an incredibly fun session to be a part of at the 19th HR Technology Conference . The session might have only been about 70 minutes, but the process started earlier this summer. As coaches we were tasked with pouring over the companies that submitted to be considered and selecting our two to work with the final selection and the big event.

Preparing for this session was real work for these vendors. While they should be able to explain what they do, the value in it, and show the bits of the product that demonstrate that in a total of five minutes, they are rarely in that position. Our job as analyst coaches was to help the vendors hone their stories and demonstrations. Given the number of vendor pitches, stories, and demonstrations that we all see every year this is actually fun for us. At the same time, it’s feedback we normally get paid to give. So, speaking for myself, it was a nice change to be giving this feedback with no remuneration expected. Just a common interest: making this five minute story, the best it can possibly be.

All of the coaches in this year’s session were analysts that I respect and enjoy as people. That said, the competitive banter started in July. We’re all very supportive of each other professionally, and as it turns out we are all competitive. (In a fun, collaborative way, of course)

There were four coaches this year, and we each selected two vendors to coach. If we did our jobs right, the several thousand people in the audience would all get to see 8 incredible HR technology stories, selected from hundreds, that could help them address several challenges in their workforce.

Eight incredible HR technology stories, but only one winner. At the end the audience voted.

And the winner was: Lifeworks

The Next Great HR Technology Winners: Lifeworks with coach, George LaRocque

And their coach was: Me!

Lifeworks combines employee directory services, your Employee Assistance Program, rewards, feedback and recognition, all in one simple app that was built with the employee in mind as the primary user. We’re moving from wellness to “wellbeing” and products like Lifeworks are leading the way. They see incredible user engagement in their app. Users log in 3 times per day on average.

Why did I select Lifeworks? Today’s HR leaders are looking to put the employee at the center of the employee-experience. As obvious as that sounds, most of the technology that has been developed for HR in, well forever, has had the HR user in mind. Lifeworks delivers value to the employee in the form of assistance, feedback, recognition, and deep discounts at leading brands ($$) that keeps employees coming back to Lifeworks. Their app is so easy to use and see the value. I knew it would resonate with the audience at HR Tech.

I also coached the 3rd place winner: The Chemistry Group

Third place Great New HR Technology finisher, The Chemistry Group, with their coach, George LaRocque

The Chemistry Group has real experience and customers that have re-engineered the way they approach hiring based on The Chemistry Group’s intellectual property delivered via non-intrusive assessments. Their customers are not forced to participate in a “war for talent”, because using The Chemistry Group’s approach and technology, talent becomes abundant. And, yes, I did just use the words “assessment” and “non-intrusive” in the same sentence. The Chemistry Group’s system has helped employers at large international brands improve in diversity and inclusion, quality of hire, and more. They can also tie their work to real business results.

Why did I select The Chemistry Group? What The Chemistry Group demonstrated was a candidate sharing their Facebook profile with Chemistry Group customer, SAP, and based on The Chemistry Group’s correlation of social profiles and their assessment science, the assessment is done in the background and the candidate is both directed down a tailored experience, with the jobs they are the best “fit” for, and the candidate gets immediate feedback as to why. That is awesome. That is new. The world of assessments may never be the same.

Both Lifeworks and The Chemistry Group demonstrations were performed from mobile devices and the employee’s perspective. Both teams were incredibly coachable – not something I can say for most teams I run into.  They approached this session with an incredible amount of respect for the audience and truly wanting to deliver their best, most transparent, view to their companies and the value they deliver.

Congrats to both of my teams! I can’t wait to defend my title as the winning analyst coach and finder of The Next Great HR Technology!

Most of all: Congrats to HR leaders everywhere. Take a look at these two technologies, because their kind of employee-centric innovation is true to the spirit of #HRWINS

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