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Tech Investment Surges, SAP Tackles Employee Experience with Work Zone and More HR Tech News

November 11, 2020 Digital Workplace
Mark Feffer
By Mark Feffer

Remote work. Digital recruiting. Online collaboration. Analysts call it all disruption but HR technology investors call it opportunity. And during the third quarter of 2020 they jumped to take advantage, pumping more than $1.6 billion into HR technology.

That comes from the quarterly report by market analyst George LaRocque, senior vice president of insights at UNLEASH, an events and digital media company, and founder of advisory firm HRWins.

The report suggests two factors were at play. First, pent-up activity: Investors held back during the second quarter so they could get a sense of where the market was headed. Once they did, the second factor surfaced: A number of deals began to take shape.

Investors largely invested in areas where they saw clear market demand, the report said, focusing on areas, such as collaboration and communications, learning, wellness, core HR and safety, that have been in high demand since the pandemic forced many companies to move to remote and distributed work. To take one example, the online learning market is projected to grow by $188 billion from its pre-pandemic size to $319 billion by 2025.

Breaking it down by category, more than $866 million was invested in human capital management solutions in Q3. About $612 million went into talent management, but just $168 million was invested in talent acquisition. That’s the lowest amount since 2017 for companies in the recruiting market, and probably not surprising given current business conditions and the job market, the report suggested.

SAP Preps Launch of Work Zone for HR

When SAP’s Work Zone for HR is released on Nov. 20, the software giant will plant another stake in the employee experience ground.

Announced in June, Work Zone for HR offers access to business tools, information and communications through a single user interface. Rather than switch from one application to another while they work, users can tap into more tools and information from one place. So, it can be used across an organization to integrate the use of separate systems.

SAP and its HR technology unit SuccessFactors continue to stress the importance of experience to human capital management systems. Organizations need help as they grapple with engagement and efficiency in a workplace that’s increasingly dispersed and under pressure to perform.

In a blog post, Amy Wilson, SuccessFactors senior vice president of products and design, said the employee experience suffers when users are forced to juggle multiple applications. Employees log into 10 or more applications to accomplish what Wilson called "straightforward" tasks. SAP research indicated that 74% of employees believe their work experience would improve if they had better technology, she said.

Since launching its "human experience management" approach in 2019, SuccessFactors has argued that HCM systems work best when they’re truly intuitive and present their capabilities in the flow of work. In addition to SuccessFactors modules, Work Zone connects solutions from partner apps as well as other products.

Wilson described Work Zone for HR as a “personalized digital workplace” where users can access everything they need to do their jobs and personalize their experience to match their priorities. Besides allowing users to customize their dashboards, Work Zone surfaces content and insights relevant to them.

ADP Adds ZipRecruiter to Workforce Now

A new integration will make ZipRecruiter available through the ADP WorkForce Now Recruitment module. The integration allows recruiters to access profiles and tools with the aim of helping identify candidates who align to their needs. ADP said the link builds on both its existing integration with ZipRecruiter and ADP’s own work in data and technology. Features include:

  • The ability to distribute jobs across more than 100 sites, reaching over 30 million candidates each month.
  • Use of ZipRecruiter’s sponsored job posts.
  • Smart-matching technology that identifies candidates and invites them to apply.
  • Flexible job slots that allow employers to swap jobs or pause searches.
  • Ability to view applications in real time directly in Workforce Now.
  • One-click apply.

Along with the integration, ADP announced new embedded recruitment capabilities powered by ADP DataCloud, its people analytics and benchmarking platform. Among these is Profile Relevancy, a tool that helps score, assess and match candidates to a specific job opening.

Last year, ADP added features to DataCloud in a move to improve its user experience and leverage machine learning. At the time, Jack Berkowitz, ADP’s senior vice president of product development, said the enhancements were designed to make data more accessible and understandable for employers.

PayScale Launches Partner Data Marketplace

PayScale announced Data Marketplace, a recommendation engine that suggests pertinent third-party salary survey content to users of its MarketPay survey management tool. CEO Scott Torrey said PayScale’s intent is “to help customers by providing access to the diversity of salary data they need to price jobs accurately and in the easiest way possible.” Data Marketplace will help customers streamline the self-service process, he said.

Data Marketplace will surface data even when employers aren’t aware they need it — something PayScale’s partners are sure to like. PayScale says the product will save employers time and help them develop more accurate pay policies. Among the third-party providers participating in Data Marketplace are Mercer and Empsight International, a consulting firm that provides specialized surveys to multinationals.

PayScale said it will continue to seek new partners for Data Marketplace. To spearhead that effort, the company recently hired Derek Beebe, who had been senior director of talent and rewards at Willis Towers Watson.

News Briefs

LinkedIn launched new jobs and hiring features including a new Recruiter and Jobs platform, which makes it more efficient for managers to hire candidates. The launch brings LinkedIn Jobs, Recruiter and Pipeline Builder into a single platform. launched an on-demand video-screening platform. Employers access the platform through a SaaS subscription, while candidates can connect through any device. The company said the platform can scale to handle hundreds or thousands of candidates.

Sprout Social announced an integration with Glassdoor allowing users to access employer reviews from within its platform. The integration allows employers to prioritize and respond to postings more quickly and use tags to conduct trend analysis or identify new topics of content.

Workforce management platform Quinyx acquired Widget Brain, an automated scheduling tool. The acquisition will allow Quinyx customers to automate their labor optimization process through Widget Brain’s AI technology.

ClearCompany released a new Employee Engagement Survey Suite. The package allows clients to execute employee feedback surveys and track results right from within ClearCompany’s Talent Management Platform. The suite enables custom surveys, pulse surveys and templates that allow for quick ramp-up.

High-volume hiring platform Fountain launched multi-cloud and single sign-on capabilities for any app in an enterprise’s talent acquisition stack. The company said single sign-on will streamline the user experience and boost productivity, while multi-cloud features allow more flexibility in setting up redundancy and choosing providers.

Tallo will integrate jobZology’s career assessment tools into its platform to connect talent to training, careers and employment through the use of analytics and digital technology. Individuals will be able to leverage jobZology’s assessments to gain personal insights on different industries and occupations, while schools and workforce centers will gain a virtual career guidance platform, predictive recruiting and counseling and enhanced data on career pathways.

Globalization Partners unveiled a “Self-Service Global Expansion Experience,” which makes tools to address country-specific onboarding requirements more readily available to users. With it, employers can choose new countries to expand into, approve costs to hire identified talent, generate locally compliant employment contracts and issue insurance benefits.

People on the Move

Guild Education, a specialist in online learning and tuition reimbursement, named Natalie McCullough as president and chief commercial officer. Previously, she was president and COO of Domino Data Lab, and a general manager at Microsoft. (PR Newswire)

Talent acquisition software company Yello named three new executives: Maureen Polte and Kathy Sharo joined as vice president of product and vice president of marketing, respectively. Rick Glickman will become CFO and COO. (PRWeb)

Benefitfocus appointed John Thomas to the newly created role of chief data officer, to lead the company’s data strategy and work with its technology organization to define and deliver new data-driven applications. He was formerly executive vice president of data science at Red Ventures. (PR Newswire)


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