The Bee’s Knees of HR Technology 2013

LAS VEGAS — I spent last week at the 2013 HR Technology Conference at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. For the first time, I wasn’t able to attend a single educational session, and instead spent all day every day in the pressroom, meeting with solution providers to discuss their latest and greatest product offerings.

While years past have featured much more in the way of new and innovative technologies, conversations this year had more to do with improving user experience (UX), developing more sophisticated use cases for social and mobile, and improving analytics capabilities. Presentations were impressive nonetheless, and I returned home with plenty of food for thought.

After going through my notes, I wanted to highlight the products I was most interested in – the Bee’s Knees of HR Tech, as I call it. To be sure, this isn’t an exhaustive list. On the contrary, the themes and functionality discussed are only the tip of the iceberg of innovation that I will be writing about in the months ahead. 



What it is: RoundPegg is an emerging leader in Culture Management Software – that is, tools for measuring and managing company culture in order to drive business performance.

How it works: There are four primary applications in the RoundPegg arsenal: CulturePegg is the internal culture assessment and monitoring application; HirePegg is candidate culture fit assessment application; TeamPegg gives managers insight into the personalities of their direct reports for improved conflict resolution and tailored coaching; and EngagePegg monitors employee engagement from the bottom up in real time.

roundpegg culture values survey
Why it’s valuable:
RoundPegg is taking a much more holistic approach to culture and fit than I’ve seen in the space recently. For years, we’ve talked about the importance of company culture – both in terms of its role as a primary driver of business performance, and its impact on a company’s ability to attract and retain talent. RoundPegg’s suite of applications are taking these conversations to the next level, and giving hiring companies the ability to understand culture from the inside out.

CulturePegg and HirePegg enable users to leverage culture data and insights to make more informed hiring decisions. With CulturePegg, business leaders can evaluate culture alignment across the organization or down to specific teams – and can identify values profiles of the most effective new hires.



What it is: For job seekers, Glassdoor is a resource for finding and researching job opportunities, salary information, and potential employers.  For employers, it’s a platform for connecting with candidates, highlighting job opportunities, and managing employer brand.

How it works: Glassdoor is driven by user-generated content, with users anonymously submitting salary information for specific roles and locations, as well as insider tips for interviewing at employers past and present. It’s also a hotspot for employee reviews of thousands of companies. More recently, Glassdoor has begun offering sourcing and brand management tools for employers, who are increasingly using Glassdoor user data to inform strengths and weaknesses in their processes – and investing time and resources to make necessary improvements.

Kyle 10-16-2013

Why it’s valuable: Glassdoor has created something that was missing from the Talent Acquisition process for years: accountability. By inviting users to submit reviews of employers past and present – and encouraging them to provide feedback on both positives and negatives – Glassdoor gives job-seekers the ability to get past the job description and get an inside scoop on prospective employers. And as many companies are learning, the employer brand you broadcast and your reputation as an employer aren’t always aligned.

Glassdoor is sitting on a goldmine of candidate feedback and demographic data, and while it has begun offering some reputation and employer brand management tools, I think this is only just the beginning.


What it is: At its core, Findly is a Talent Acquisition platform. While it features basic functionality of an applicant tracking system, however, it sets itself apart with social tools and mobile-friendly UX for all. Additionally, it offers candidate relationship management (Waggle), an award-winning employee referral platform (Swarm), and analytics and reporting (Comb).

How it works: Findly does a lot – too much, in fact, to explain concisely. As such, I’m going to talk about the application I was most impressed with, and which was named a Top HR Product by Human Resource Executive: Swarm.

There are two things I like about Swarm. The first is that it’s a great example of gamification done right. Swarm fosters healthy competition to power its referral program, and rewards desired outcomes with badges that have real value. Swarm can be used to set up referral teams while also tracking individual performance.

On the administrative side, Swarm offers functionality for monitoring performance of your employee referral program. For example, by examining the number of eligible candidates (internal and external) for new jobs, Swarm can predict the number of referrals needed to fill a role. It can also be used to limit the number of referrals received for roles that are easier to fill by adjusting the reward allotted. 

swarm screenshot 1

Why it’s valuable: Swarm is a great product for companies looking to improve their existing employee referral program, as well as for companies who don’t have a formal process in place. The degree of automation available is a lifesaver for companies with small or otherwise inundated HR departments, as it takes much of the heavy lifting out of the launch of these types of programs.

Honorable Mentions:

As I said, this was only the tip of the iceberg. Other products that piqued my interest included:

Jibe – Great recruiting analytics tool, which tracks every single interaction between candidates and recruiters. Also of note: social CRM.

SmartRecruiters – This lightweight, cloud-based recruiting solution is growing up fast. Following its official venture into enterprise talent acquisition, I think its simple approach to the Talent Acquisition suite will take the company far.

Jobvite – With the complete redesign of their UX – including addition of video interviewing and mobile-friendly interface – Jobvite continues to do great work.

Work4 – An excellent example of Social Talent Acquisition functionality – both in employer branding and social sourcing. Work4 has me convinced that Facebook will give LinkedIn a run for its money as recruiters’ go-to channel for sourcing passive candidates.

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