With so much happening in HR Tech in the past six months, the month of June seems like a pause before the next surge of investments. The volume of activity in June has dropped when compared to earlier five months in 2018.
The month brought along a mixed bag of news from various quarters. And technology will continue to play a pivotal role as these stories unfold.
The Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker while referring to a job reportedly said in a press conference “Of course, it has to be led by a man, because it is a very challenging position”. The airline later issued a formal statement emphasizing the importance of gender equality in their workplace. This incident suggests that removing the bias is a long and arduous task and technology can certainly help companies improve. With many recruitment technology solutions are focused on assisting in the removal of all forms of bias, the prominence of these technology solutions is likely to rise in upcoming months.
In other news, the South Korean government brought in legislation to restrict the total number of working hours per week from 68 to 52. The government hopes this legislation would help in helping employees maintain the work-life balance, improve quality of life and boost employment. The Indian labor laws prescribe a work week of not more than 48 hours. The real challenge is to help companies analyze and identify individuals and groups who are routinely overworked using HR technology. While many HR technology solutions capture this information, with focus on such legislation they should actively prescribe solutions to help companies comply with the same.
In this context, it is heartening to see companies like Ceridian and Limeade launch new features that help companies proactively identify attrition risks especially in high performing individuals and also suggest specific action/s that managers can take to reduce the risk.
Before we move to the specific mergers, acquisitions, and funding news from the HR Tech space, here’s a look at the Airbus campaign to recruit talent for the digital enterprise. This ad campaign implies that they are seeking individuals comfortable working with robots and automation. It indicates how every enterprise is now a digital enterprise by default irrespective of their industry.
Some significant news from HR Tech market in June 2018 are:
- Running a successful skill development and placement practice is hard work and Trilogy education seems to have cracked that code. Their USD 50 million Series B; gives further impetus to their plans on developing IT skills in aspiring candidates and matching them to local business needs.
- Darwinbox and Upside LMS, both companies focused on providing innovative HR technology solutions have announced a strategic alliance. This alliance in the Indian HR Tech space underlines global trends of similar nature where HR Tech companies are increasingly choosing to focus on their core offering while partnering with other specialized solution providers to hopefully create a win-win solution for all stakeholders.
- Kryon released an AI-based solution that helps HR identify processes that should be automated and then helps define the approach for RPA (Robotic Process Automation). We reckon RPA as a product would be a niche category that would evolve rapidly and will impact most support functions including HR.
- Interest and activity in healthcare related solutions especially in the North American market continue to be high. Alight solutions acquired Compass Professional health services provider to further bolster its offering in the “health and wellness” category.
- Surveys have been an important part of the HR arsenal. There is an emergence of interesting players in this space. Workxo’s acquisition by QuestionPro signals consolidation in this space. While the emergence of SixSents signifies specialized players focused on a particular category or industry, in this case, the physician.
- Beamery has raised Series B of USD 28 million to further build its offering focused on global enterprise customers. It attempts to ensure that the entire talent acquisition spectrum of operations is run through its product suite and this infusion of funds is expected to help them develop on that vision.
- Another specialized company Reflektive, offering performance management solutions has acquired Shape Analytics and will embed this capability in Reflektive solution, indicating the importance of analytics in point solutions.
There’s a growing trend of “industry-specific HR technology companies”, which pose a threat to industry agnostic HR Tech solution providers. The example is Raken, which is focused on the construction industry and is building applications for its specific needs. It raised USD 10 million in Series A and we are likely to see such industry-specific players either buy or build a strategic alliance with HR Tech companies to build unique and seamless experience for their customers.