Industry News While You Were on Holiday

Peter Weddle

The Holiday period brought more of the same to close out 2019 in the talent acquisition technology industry: new products, many of which were described as advances in AI; private equity and venture capital investments; and acquisitions. There were other products and trends, of course, but those were the big three. Which begs the question: is all of this activity a bubble or sustainable growth?

If it’s the former, you’d better start implementing your exist strategy. If it’s the latter, now’s the time to focus on what stimulates customer satisfaction (and retention).

How do you know which it is? Take a look at the potential tipping agents – the factors that could push the industry in one direction or the other.

External factors, of course, could play a big role. A recession. A trade war or, worse, a shooting one. These are major market movers, but there’s nothing we can do to affect them beyond our (important) role in the selection of government leaders.

The only alternative, then, is to focus on internal factors – those within our industry. With them, we do have some juice. There are a lot of moving parts in our business, however, so it’s hard to know which deserve the most attention.

If we take capable products as a given, then just two such tipping factors warrant that kind of attention: implementation support and tech stack integration.

The former has to do with our role in providing quality information, training and ongoing assistance so customers optimize their use of our TA products. The latter acknowledges our role in integrating our products into each customer’s existing TA technology suite so they optimize both our product’s performance and that of the entire stack.

Both are critical, whether your company is a job board offering programmatic ad buying or one that offers a chatbot for candidate interactions, whether your product works at the top of the funnel, deep within its recesses or throughout the entire process.

We can’t control the economy or world affairs, but we can influence the customer’s satisfaction with and faith in the products we provide. And focusing on these tipping factors will do that.

Peter Weddle

Industry News During the Holiday Period

Do We Have an AI Safe Word?

Have you noticed the recent appearance of serious academic research that is calling into question the validity of using AI to make candidate selection decisions? Don’t worry — there’s probably no need to cancel your current contracts, but things are about to get interesting. The HR tech industry has been notoriously opaque about how their products work. One well-known firm calls me every month to ask about scheduling a demo. I ask them to send me their validation study, and any other peer reviewed research that supports the use of their technology to make selection decisions. During my most recent monthly conversation, the salesperson surprised me by agreeing to send over a proper study. A few minutes later, an e-mail arrived with an attachment. It was an eight-page document containing not a single number. (On the other hand, it did contain several cartoon drawings. So there’s that.)

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Survey: Two-thirds of global staffing firms to adopt AI-driven ATS by 2021

It looks like 2020 is going to be a major year for artificial intelligence in the recruiting space. According to a recent global survey, two-thirds of all staffing firms polled will adopt AI-fueled applicant tracking systems (ATS) by the end of the coming year. The global Artificial Intelligence in the Recruiting Industry benchmark survey, from CEIPAL, an SAAS front- and back-office staffing company operations vendor, found that 79% of enterprise staffing firms (with more than 100 recruiters) will have done the same.

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HackerRank acquires Mimir, an online platform for computer science courses

HackerRank, a popular platform for practicing and hosting online coding interviews, today announced that it has acquired Mimir, a cloud-based service that provides tools for teaching computer science courses. Mimir, which is HackerRank’s first acquisition, is currently in use by a number of universities, including UCLA, Purdue, Oregon State and Michigan State, as well as by corporations like Google. HackerRank says it will continue to support Mimir’s classroom product as a standalone product for the time being. By Q2 2020, the two companies expect to have an initial release of a combined product offering.

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Jumpstart nabs $8.5M led by Sequoia for a recruitment platform that aims to increase diversity

When it comes to calibrating for an optimal workforce, diversity and inclusion have become a more prominent priority for companies in recent years. Today a startup that’s built a recruitment platform to help organizations source and hire in a more holistic way is announcing a round of funding to capitalise on a rise in demand for its services. Jumpstart, which provides a way for organizations to tap into a wider pool of candidates, who themselves have been more carefully ordered by way of Jumpstart’s algorithms, is today announcing that it has raised $8.5 million.

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Meet Maqqie! The Dutch recruitment platform that lets you manage your entire professional life bags €1M

Dutch recruitment startup Maqqie has recently secured €1 million from two new investors, bringing the total amount raised to €1.7 million. The company intends to use this funding to accelerate and expand its business. For the uninitiated, the Maqqie app matches supply and demand on the labor market based on smart algorithms. It then automatically facilitates everything that is needed to establish cooperation within a few minutes. The entire process is arranged through the app right from planning, time registration, and invoicing. The tool is available free of charge for end-users: companies and employees.

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Marketware Adds Embark Physician Recruitment & Onboarding Solution to Industry-Leading Growth Suite

Marketware, a leader in healthcare relationship management and analytics technology, released today Embark–a web-based physician recruitment and onboarding solution designed by, and for, healthcare recruiters. Embark is the latest addition to Marketware’s already robust Growth Suite, adding to the company’s physician relationship management (PRM), healthcare business intelligence and physician marketing tools.

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Personio raised $40M in Series B investment led by Index Ventures

Personio, the German human resources and recruiting platform, has raised $40 million in a Series B round from international venture capital firm Index Ventures, the backer of many successful businesses including Dropbox, Slack and Zendesk. Existing investors Northzone and Global Founders Capital also participated in the new investment round. The funding will help Personio in its push to become Europe’s leading provider of human resources software for small and medium-sized companies (SMEs). More than 1,000 clients in 35 countries, with anywhere between 10 and 2,000 employees each, are already using Personio for their HR and recruiting processes. In total, over 150,000 employees and several hundred thousand applicants are currently being managed with Personio.

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