TAtech Global News Bulletin: Comet, hiQ, HiringSolved & more raise money; Monster, BrightMove, SparkHire & more launch new products

Peter Weddle

A weekly summary of trending news & commentary for busy talent acquisition technology execs and professionals.


Yet another reason for job boards to challenge staffing firms:

“Temporary help across the nation is on the rise, growing so rapidly Staffing Industry Analysts described it as a ‘secular shift.’

Almost 3.1 million workers were employed by staffing firms in September, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s a rise of 92,100 since the beginning of the year, the largest 9 month increase since 2014. And the Palmer Forecast is predicting a 3.7% increase this quarter.

That all adds up to a temp staffing penetration rate – temporary workers as a percentage of all workers — of 2.08%, the highest since the government began tallying employment records.”
John Zappe, Temp Staffing, Freelancing: Both Growing Rapidly, TLNT, October 25, 2017

Job Boards & Social Media Sites

Comet, a Paris, France-based on-demand marketplace connecting freelancers with companies, raised €2m in seed funding. Backers included Otium Capital and Kima Ventures. The company intends to use the funds to further develop the marketplace, continue to build its community of tech and data freelancers, and expand in France and other European countries. Comet connects tech and big data freelancers with companies in need of their skills. The platform leverages a matching engine evaluating and selecting the best tech and data freelancers to solve clients’ challenges. Currently, 1,500 freelancers are on the platform.

hiQ Labs, the start-up data analytics company waging a landmark legal battle against LinkedIn over access to publicly available information on the Internet, announced that it is utilizing CrowdJustice to launch a fundraising effort in support of the litigation. The campaign seeks to fund litigation costs, including the cost of its current appeal to the 9th Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals. In August, hiQ Labs won a preliminary injunction in federal court to prevent Microsoft-owned LinkedIn from threatening criminal prosecution if hiQ continued to view publicly available member profiles. hiQ uses this information to provide analysis and insight to businesses that want to retain key employees and optimize talent. Significantly, hiQ only uses information from profiles that LinkedIn members themselves have decided to display publicly. hiQ doesn’t republish the information or sell raw data to third parties, and—despite LinkedIn’s allegations—doesn’t alert employers whenever a LinkedIn member makes a change to a profile.

“Microsoft released a LinkedIn integration with Outlook.com, enabling Office 360 users to view profile information of senders without leaving their inbox. Recruiters will find it far quicker to research candidates, not only because employment, education and other profile data will pop-up with a click, but they’ll also see who in their network they have in common. According to a TechCrunch report on the preview briefing last month, LinkedIn integration will soon be included in the Microsoft CRM, Dynamics 365 for Sales.” Source: TLNT, October 21, 2017

Monster announced the latest addition to its product portfolio, Monster Job Search App, which will help candidates search and connect with opportunities on the go, revolutionizing the ability to apply for jobs from mobile phones. The app requires just three simple steps: (1) Users create a profile in just two clicks, using social media or uploading a CV to populate their work history; (2) Advanced matching technology filters through 200,000 roles to find the most relevant jobs for the user; and (3) Candidates apply for or reject jobs with a single swipe.

Sourcing, Matching, Assessing, Communicating (SMAC) Technology

Allegis Group, a talent solutions provider, is making a significant investment in people aggregator, HiringSolved. HiringSolved will continue to operate as a separate, independent business. The company’s mission is to make hiring better, faster and more human by applying intelligent automation to the recruiting process. This approach enables recruiters to spend less time searching and analyzing information and more time communicating with candidates. HiringSolved’s software products significantly increase recruiter productivity through capabilities such as automated job-to-candidate matching, predictive diversity search, social network mining and analysis, automated internal mobility analysis and seamless ATS, CRM and HRIS integrations.

BrightMove, a provider of cloud-based recruiting software solutions, has introduced a low-per-user, day-to-day-usage applicant tracking software (ATS) pricing plan to provide a new option for budget-conscious organizations. Daily costs – therefore, monthly costs – vary under the new BrightMove ATS Essential plan, depending on: the number of users and active jobs; career portal usage; and the amount of storage used for jobs, applicants and contacts. The Essential plan’s daily pricing is: Users – $.25 per user (1 user keeps account open, at about $7.50/mo.); Career portal – $.25 per portal; Storage for jobs, applicants, contacts – $.10 per block of 1,000, per category; Open jobs – $.05 per job. The beta version of the Essential plan was announced in February under the name CM (consumption model).

JazzHR, a recruiting solutions provider for small and medium-sized businesses, recently announced that it has closed a $6.6 million financing round. Volition Capital led the round with participation from existing investors Birchmere Ventures, Rincon Venture Partners, and others. This round brings the company’s total funding to $25M since launching in 2009. The company will use the investment to fuel strategic product development and accelerate continued ‘go to market’ expansion.

Spark Hire, a video interviewing platform, continues to enhance their product with the launch of video messaging. The capability allows Spark Hire’s 4,000 customers to create, brand, and share videos with anyone, including candidates, new hires, and clients. Video messages come equipped with email notifications, so customers can track when recipients watch their videos. The messages are customizable, allowing content to appear catered to the viewer.

AI & Machine Learning Solutions

Scoutible, a San Francisco, CA-based video game-based artificial intelligence for hiring, has raised $5M in seed funding. The round was led by Learn Capital and Mark Cuban with participation from Great Oaks, New Enterprise Associates, Stanford StartX Fund, and Mindset Ventures. The company intends to use the funds to scale up its capacity to serve even more companies and enable them to build and grow teams. Scoutible provides a game-based AI platform for hiring, using mobile games and machine learning to find fit candidates for jobs. The technology measures a person’s unique cognitive and personality traits through gameplay, then spots opportunities where players’ attributes match those of a company’s proven top performers.

It isn’t exactly talent acquisition, but … Shelley, named for English writer Mary Shelley—best known as the author of “Frankenstein: or, the Modern Prometheus”—is a deep-learning powered artificial intelligence (AI) system that was trained on over 140,000 horror stories on Reddit’s infamous r/nosleep subreddit. She lives on Twitter, where every hour, @shelley_ai tweets out the beginning of a new horror story and the hashtag #yourturn to invite a human collaborator. Anyone is welcome to reply to the tweet with the next part of the story, then Shelley will reply again with the next part, and so on. The results are weird, fun, and unpredictable horror stories that represent both creativity and collaboration—traits that explore the limits of artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Standards & Best Practices

IT suppliers managed to seize on chaotic price inflation following the Brexit vote to maximise their profits, according to the annual KnowledgeBus IT Margins Benchmarking Study. Now in its fifth year, the study reveals the average margins charged by suppliers across the 29 different sectors. In the previous four years, the report has shown buyers becoming shrewder about IT purchases – with a gradual reduction in the average mark-up being paid to suppliers each year. Industry best practice, as specified by the Society of IT Managers, states that organisations should not pay more than a 3% margin to suppliers. However, this year’s study revealed that those margins had risen for the first time ever – up to 18% from 17.6% the previous year. The recruitment sector seemed to have gradually bucked this trend however. The average margin paid in 2016 was 19%, down from 30% in 2014. Source: RecruitmentBuzz

TAprose and TAtech Global News Bulletin are brought to you by TAtech: The Association for Talent Acquisition Solutions.

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• February 12-13, 2018 Scottsdale, Arizona USA: The TAtech Leadership Summit on AI/Machine Learning in Talent Acquisition – the only conference totally focused on the capabilities and impact of AI/ML/NLP in recruitment.

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