The pandemic has led to an increasingly unique situation for the workforce. Unemployment rates remain high. Remote working is the new normal. The reliance on technology grows by the day. HR Tech companies have to be more creative than ever to mitigate these constantly shifting issues.
In this roundup we highlight the Summer’s major news stories of innovation, automation and integration in the continued wake of COVID-19. What companies are partnering up to create better candidate experiences? Which tech giant leads the work-from-home initiative? Who is inventing new algorithms to combat location-based hiring difficulties? Find answers to these questions and more below.
Global employee engagement company Reward Gateway added Open API capabilities to its Employee Engagement Platform. The addition allows clients and other third-party HRIS’s to connect to Reward Gateway’s existing platform to automate HR processes and help develop new applications.
COO Rob Boland said their goal is to tap into the creativity of software developers everywhere. “This API is part of our strategy to make Reward Gateway intelligence easily accessible and to accelerate innovation within our industry.”
HireRight announced a new partnership with Zoho Recruit on August 5. HireRight’s background check, drug testing, education verification, and electronic Form I-9 and E-Verify solutions will integrate with Zoho Recruit’s applicant tracking system to create an end-to-end recruitment to hiring process.
Features of the new integration will include real-time status updates, single sign-on access to enhanced reporting, text-message invitations to candidates, and mobile optimized support.
Sora revealed a $5.3 million initial funding round for its low-code/no-code HR solution. Low-code/no-code solutions allow companies to use pre-packaged blocks of code that require no coding skills to develop automated workflows.
The company states their dedication to help overwhelmed HR teams create great employee experiences. Sora can automate all employee management and experience tasks, such as sending emails, collecting and updating employee data, and updating the status in some shared spreadsheet. It can also connect to an existing HRIS, ATS or other tool to allow for an integrated experience.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai officially announced an extension for remote working. "To give employees the ability to plan ahead, we are extending our global voluntary work from home option through June 30, 2021 for roles that don't need to be in the office," Pichai said via email memo on July 27.
Google joins multiple other companies who press for remote work until September 2020 or beyond, including Facebook and Microsoft. The tech giant’s decision will certainly affect how other companies approach work-from-home as the pandemic marches forward.
HCM company Paycor launched Paycor Pulse in July, an employee engagement solution that utilizes natural language processing to change written data into employee sentiment insights.
The service aims to put an end to processes like annual reviews, which Paycor calls “antiquated” and “cumbersome.” Pulse will use AI to analyze employee-centric data to measure factors such as engagement levels, career satisfaction and relationships with management.
Glassdoor announced it is partnering with sister company Indeed to provide new offerings to help employers attract, recruit and hire quality talent more efficiently.
Employers will be able to reach job seekers on both Glassdoor and Indeed through Indeed job advertising products. They will also gain access to a bundle of products including Glassdoor's Employer Profile and Indeed Company Pages Premium, which enables employers to easily share their information across both platforms in order to attract a wider talent pool.
Companies will be able to access reviews and ratings from both Glassdoor and Indeed within the Glassdoor Employer Center in an add-on coming out this fall.
About 10 years ago, IBM developed P-TECH (Pathways in Technology Early College High School) to foster diversity in STEM careers. On July 20, IBM announced they were doubling down on that mission by offering 1000 paid internships to P-TECH students.
Vice President of HR and Talent Obed Louissaint wrote enthusiastically about creating more open and equitable pathways to STEM careers, stating “We will continue the fight to bring new faces to the tech industry that truly reflect the demographics of our communities.” IBM’s initiative is another major example of the tech industry’s focus on diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
The newly-launched SAP Fieldglass External Talent Marketplace is a platform where businesses looking for temporary workers can connect with staffing companies to quickly fill open positions. It aims to mitigate rising unemployment due to COVID-19 while also saving money for struggling businesses.
Staffing firms Corestaff Adecco, Experis, Guidant Global, KellyOCG and Randstad U.S are participating in the marketplace, which is set to expire on December 31, 2020. General Manager Arun Srinivasan reassures that the expiration date isn’t permanent however, saying “If we go down a path where there’s still a need for the solution because of the pandemic, we’ll definitely consider extending it.”
In July, Jobvite announced that it purchased Indianapolis AI and data science firm Predictive Partner to strengthen its end-to-end talent acquisition suite. CEO of Predictive Partner Morgan Llewelyn will be rebranded as Jobvite’s Chief Data Scientist to “oversee a team leveraging AI through automation, predictive analytics, data science, machine learning, natural language processing, and optical character recognition.”
Llewelyn is particularly excited about this merger's ability to leverage AI across the entire employee lifecycle, saying “the future of AI in talent acquisition rests in a unified approach that learns across the entire candidate journey from prospect to employee. Jobvite will use this unified approach to deliver more transparency, increase automation, mitigate bias, and improve the candidate experience.”
AI-powered workforce intelligence, technology, and service company Workforce Logiq unveiled a new IQ Location Optimizer that makes use of three patents:
Geo-Selection Engine: Analyzes the job description and other employer-specific requirements to find the best locations for talent recruitment. Gives recommendations based on metrics such as geo-specific talent supply and demand gaps, salary profiles, willingness to engage with the company, existing office locations, quality of life metrics, local commuting patterns, and more.
Remote Role Recommender: Determines whether a certain role should be staffed on site, near remote, or in a fully remote arrangement. The model considers the employer’s corporate culture, role requirements, and industry.
Role Collaboration Index: Identifies the frequency and importance of collaboration with coworkers to ensure successful delivery of projects and tasks for similar type roles.
The IQ Location Optimizer is a direct response to the increase in remote work made necessary by the coronavirus pandemic. Workforce Logiq hopes the product will allow companies to take advantage of the unique situation to “make faster, smarter, and more cost-effective workforce decisions in today’s hyper-uncertainty.”
Just three months after the tragic passing of founder Shawn Leavitt, Brightside announced that their first round of funding accumulated $35 million. The financial wellness company offers personal assistants and a planning app to help their customer’s employees improve their finances. In turn, businesses see an improvement in productivity and retention.
Brightside’s mission is clear, according to CEO and co-founder Tom Spann. “All of us at Brightside are excited to help millions more families. And, in doing so, create the future of how working families access financial services.”
Cloud-based talent management company PeopleFluent rolled out its new recruiting platform in June. PeopleFluent Recruiting provides multiple talent acquisition appliances into one solution including SMS capabilities, CRM and nurture campaigns, and workflow management tools.
Stephen Bruce, Managing Director of PeopleFluent, commented on the need for a fully integrated recruiting system. He stated that PeopleFluent Recruiting will have detailed talent management data, interview self-scheduling, third-party integrations and mobile apps “all wrapped around a world-class user experience for recruiters, managers, employees, and candidates.”
Salary.com released Job Architect, a job description management tool to keep job descriptions accurate and up-to-date. The company offers Job Architect as a stand-alone product or as a part of Salary.com’s CompAnalyst, their compensation data solution.
Job Architect helps HR departments standardize job descriptions and automate the process of market pricing jobs. According to founder/CEO of Salary.com Kent Plunkett, “We’re seeing unprecedented upheaval in how companies are defining jobs and managing the work that people do. Job Architect helps companies manage their job content library to get job descriptions right and optimize the performance of their people.”
Enterprise cloud application WorkDay announced plans to integrate their platform with Salesforce’s new Work.com to help businesses safely return to work. The pairing will equip joint customers with insights and tools to help them prepare for reopening while facing COVID-19.
President and COO of Salesforce Bret Taylor assured that “... by integrating WorkDay employee data directly into Work.com, we’re making it easier for employers to centralize critical data and get their businesses up and running again.”
The partnership will provide multiple functions, including:
Tracking regional health statistics to assess site readiness, while also using data to optimize office space for social distancing and management of safety supplies.
Assessing worker location preferences or viability by health-screening.
Creating a phased approach to bringing workers back based on criticality, shift management, and location capacity.
Identifying the skills they have or will need in the future, allowing them to determine where they have the best opportunities to upskill their workforce.
New smart employee app Blink officially launched on May 20. Blink has already raised $9.1 million, led by venture capital firm Partech. Their goal is to protect the “deskless” workforce - those who work in industries such as construction and manufacturing. The app allows companies to send information directly to workers’ cell phones, reducing coronavirus transference risks from in-person and paper communication.
In addition, employees can access rosters, complete digital forms for leave, absence and accidents, access digital payslips and feedback in real-time to managers on issues and concerns impacting them.
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