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HR Tech Practitioners Love, Jd Conway’s Favorite Worktech

Here are more HRTech tools recommended by our expert council that you should check out!

Phil Strazzulla
HR Tech Expert, Harvard MBA, Finance and Software Nerd
April 16, 2019
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jd conway head of talent acquisition at BambooHR

We recently chatted with BambooHR’s head of Talent Acquisition JD Conway about what HRTechnology he’s using, as well as some general advice on how to buy HRTech.

For context, BambooHR is a 500 person venture backed software company based in Salt Lake City, UT.  JD leads talent acquisition and added over 200 new employees over the past year.

These are my notes from talking to JD about HRTech.  I hope you can learn from his insights, and that this will put a few new solutions on your radar that you may have not heard about in the past.

Advice on Finding and Vetting New HRTech

In addition to sharing some of his favorite tools below, we also chatted about some of his general advice for People leaders when it comes to HR software.

Plan for the future

Many HR teams wait until they are really feeling the pain before they start the search for a given piece of technology.  If you don’t prepare early, you run the risk of finding yourself in a desperate situation and making the wrong decision on what vendor to partner with.

Ask yourself what your company will be struggling with will be 12-24 months down the line, and how you’re planning to deal with them.  Start to learn about the various tools and services out there that can help you meet these challenges now, so that you can make an informed decision when the time comes.  

Of course, preparing requires time and expertise.  When you identify a problem, delegate who on the People team is going to be responsible for starting to research that area.

Don’t underestimate implementation

One other area that many HR teams underestimate when it comes to the costs of software is implementation.  The costs of training, data migration, lost time learning new software, etc can all add up fast.

It’s important to ask vendors very concrete questions about implementation – what tasks need to be done, by whom, and how long they will take.  What specific recommendations can they offer?  The more detailed the answers, the more confidence you can have that implementation will be a success.

Get your metrics in order first

Lastly, People teams need to get their basic HR and talent acquisition metrics down pat before attempting to move forward with any new initiative.  Having a baseline allows you to understand how your new initiative drove down cost per hire, increased employee retention, etc.

Visualization of HR stats for a company

This allows you to focus on what’s working, cut what’s not, and gain the confidence of internal stakeholders.  At BambooHR, there is no budget for new tools.  JD simply has to prove 6-12 months out that the new initiative has decreased cost per hire, time to fill, etc.

HRTech JD Loves

Here are the tools that JD thinks are worth taking a look at within the worlds of HR and talent acquisition software.  In no particular order:

Comparably: Comparably allows companies to see the health of their online employer brand.  In addition, current employees can add reviews after signing up with a verified corporate email.  This cuts down on the chance of a negative review from a disgruntled ex employee, but allows prospective hires to get the real view of the company from people that are currently there.

Comparably homepage

Glassdoor: While Comparably has more functionality that he likes, Glassdoor has more reach as well as solid analytics.  So, JD uses both.

LinkedIn Recruiter Light: This tool allows you to add pay per click job postings, view analytics, and leverage a lot of the sourcing capabilities of LinkedIn Recruiter.  But, it’s a lot more affordable for smaller companies who aren’t hiring as much.

HireVue: Video interviews can save recruiters a ton of time. BambooHR was one of the first clients and is still partnering with them.

HireVue video interview demo screen

SparkHire: Another great video interview solution, especially for smaller companies.

Paradox: This is a great recruiting AI chatbot that allows for pilots before scaling.  The ROI here will be all about decreasing the amount of time recruiters spend on repetitive tasks.

BambooHR: Of course, there is a little bias here ☺.  But, BambooHR’s ATS gives great insight into how recruiters spend their time.  Plus, they have a full HCM suite that includes an offer letter and onboarding tool, all of which fit seamlessly into their HRIS.  

BambooHR demo sign up page

Teamatics: Not enough companies have Internal Hiring and employee growth tools that are designed around skill-set gaps and clarity of opportunity. JD has met with the owners of this company, and has been impressed by how responsive they have been adapting their new UI.  You don’t have to worry as much about variant backfill and have greater retention if you clearly develop the skill sets that are already there!

Employeereferrals.com – JD got in as an early customer and was able to influence the product.  It’s grown into a great employee referral tool.

Employeereferrals.com analytics screen

Boon: Boon is another referral tool.  It’s an emerging company but you can tell the people who made it are recruiters as there’s a great interface for employees, candidates, and recruiters.  


Are you interested in sharing your favorite HRTech?  Shoot us a note, we’d love to hear what you use on a day to day basis!

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Phil Strazzulla

Phil is the founder of SelectSoftware Reviews, a website dedicated to helping HR and Recruiting teams to find and buy the right software through in-depth, expert advice. Phil started his career working in venture capital before getting his MBA from Harvard Business School.

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