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Companies Fail to Take Advantage of Tech Spend, SmashFlyX Streamlines Interviewing and More HR Tech News

October 28, 2020 Digital Workplace
Mark Feffer
By Mark Feffer
Despite economic uncertainty and a surge in layoffs, U.S. employers are continuing to invest in HR technology, and more than two-thirds of them anticipate continued spending into 2022.

But while they’re planning for future needs, most employers aren’t taking advantage of their existing technologies or the capabilities of existing tools, according to an HR tech pulse survey by insurance and risk management firm Gallagher, based in Rolling Meadows, Ill.

Over the last two years, the great majority of HR tech dollars (82%) went to automation. That compares to the 51% used for tools that support strategic activities such as developing and maintaining human capital strategies.

In a separate 2020 Benefits Strategy & Benchmarking Survey, Gallagher found that 85% of employers don’t have an HR tech strategy that aligns with their overall organizational plan. That might reinforce the pulse survey’s finding that more than a third of HR leaders (38%) have difficulty getting leadership to buy into their technology investments. “Leadership doesn’t understand the value of the investment” was the most commonly cited reason.

More than 90% of HR leaders said HR technology has helped support workforce well-being during the pandemic. However, technology that supports basic administrative functions was seen as the most valuable, for example payroll at 59%, time and attendance at 48% and mobile access at 37%.

Even though cloud services make it easier to expand the use of software solutions, most companies aren’t taking full advantage of their HR suite. Only 29% of employers use at least three-quarters of their HR tech capabilities, Gallagher found, while 40% use half or less. The main reason for such under-use: a lack of processes that can optimize HR tech to support the organization’s workforce strategy. Notably, 51% of employers—including 39% of large companies—have no process in place at all.

“Formal processes are needed to effectively govern both strategy and vendor relationships, to monitor and deploy new software releases,” said Rhonda Marcucci, Gallagher’s HR & Benefits Technology practice leader. She attributed the lag in optimization to “the fast pace of innovation” in HR tech.

Vendors and investors are thinking more strategically than many employers, Marcucci believes. “The market solved for automation years ago, but employers, especially those with less than 500 employees, have been slow to catch up,” she said. Organizations today “need to look beyond automation and focus on how new or optimized existing technologies can support their people strategy and deliver on big organizational goals,” she said.

OutMatch Acquires Pre-Hire Assessment Platform

OutMatch acquired the assessment company FurstPerson, a specialist in pre-hire simulations. The company said FurstPerson’s simulation tools complement its video interviewing capabilities as well as OutMatch’s broader assessments, which measure communication skills, motivation and other traits.

In addition, Dallas-based OutMatch said a new talent-decision management platform uses technology such as FurstPerson’s to provide end-to-end hiring solutions. The platform ties candidate screening, assessments, video interviewing and artificial intelligence into a single integrated experience, which the company said will drive speed, efficiency and engagement while removing bias. FurstPerson headquarters are in Chicago.

The company also launched a gamified culture assessment for OutMatch Assess. After candidates complete two brief assessments, clients can determine how each individual aligns with both their current and ideal organization culture.

OutMatch CEO Greg Moran said integrating technologies such as FurstPerson’s will help the company “meet customers where the market is heading—toward an automated, candidate-driven experience."

SmashFlyX Adds On-Demand Interviews

Symphony Talent incorporated on-demand interviewing into its recruitment marketing platform, SmashFlyX. The module, called SmashFlyX On-demand Interviewing, automates one-way video and audio screening in an effort to streamline the work of recruiters and hiring managers as they evaluate each candidate’s fit and skills.

Among other things, the module allows talent acquisition teams to automate CRM workflows to kick-off on-demand interviews at specific moments, such as after a virtual event has ended, or route them to a specific pipeline. Recruiters can then access the interviews from within their candidate profile.

The candidate experience is built around a conversational interface, the company said. “Video interviewing is new for a lot of people in our current environment, and if we can make it more approachable and less stressful, it’s a win,” said Lisa Bordinat, senior vice president of assessments and customer care for the New York and London-based company.

News Briefs

Santa Clara, Calif.-based Upwork and Fort Lauderdale’s Citrix Systems expanded their relationship to provide access to specialized, flexible talent. Their new offering, Upwork Microapps for Citrix Workspace, is designed to simplify the identification and onboarding of talent by helping employers post jobs and review both proposals and profiles of the candidates who submitted them.

Consulting giant Accenture and ServiceNow, based in Santa Clara, Calif., formed a business group to help customers accelerate digital transformation and address operational challenges. The companies said the Accenture ServiceNow Business Group represents “a significant multi-million dollar investment” from both firms over the next five years. The group combines professionals from both organizations who have expertise in transformational workflow and platform development, marketing, sales and business development in a number of industries.

More than 86% of the businesses surveyed by the Association for Talent Development have increased their use of video in learning over the last five years. Some 91% expect video use to increase between now and 2025. In a report, "Video for Learning: Engaging, Reaching, and Influencing," Alexandria, Va.-based ATD said the movement’s driven by the need to deliver training to dispersed employees, to deliver a consistent message and to meet increased demand for just-in-time learning.

High-volume hiring platform Fountain, based in San Francisco, announced new features that attract and engage applicants as more companies increasingly rely on remote recruiting and hiring. The features include live and on-demand video interviews, a universal talent view, a recruiting chatbot, branded career sites, advanced resume parsing and geolocation.

New York City sourcing technology provider nextSource and San Francisco-based Shortlist Project announced a partnership through which they’ll provide a direct sourcing solution for contingent workers. The partnership pairs nextSource’s employer of record, agent of record, and 1099 certification services with Shortlist’s Freelancer/Workforce Management System. closed a $125 million Series D funding round, which it will use to expand and scale its recruiting technology platform. Led by General Catalyst, the round brings the Mountain View, Calif., company’s total funding raised to date to more than $180 million. Other participants include Capital One Ventures, Foundation Capital, IVP and Lightspeed Venture Partners. Eightfold said it’s more than quadrupled sales since closing the previous round of funding in April 2019. The company has customers in 110 countries. They include AirAsia, Bayer, Capital One and Micron.

People on the Move

HR Acuity hired Greg Fraser as chief product officer. He’ll lead the company’s product and platform efforts, including its focus on data and analytics and the development of new solutions. He joined from the travel platform Rocketrip. Before that, he was senior vice president of product at Investopedia. (PR Newswire)

Travis Parsons joined Korn Ferry as senior client partner in the firm’s global technology practice, based in Silicon Valley. Previously, he worked for competitor Spencer Stuart as an executive recruiter. (Korn Ferry)

HealthJoy, a “benefits experience platform,” appointed Patricia Pechter, MD, as chief medical officer. HealthJoy uses an AI-powered virtual assistant to help users navigate health benefits. Pechter will oversee clinical care operations and identify new services. (PRWeb)

Radiance Technologies added Jamie N. Jones as director of Radiance University, responsible for corporate learning and talent development initiatives. Before joining Radiance, she led HR teams at several defense technology firms. (PR Newswire)


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