The Bee's Knees Innovation from HR Technology Conference

by Kyle Lagunas

The Bee's Knees Innovation from HR Technology ConferenceFrom mergers and acquisitions to a thriving startup community in human resources and recruiting software, the last year has seen a lot of innovation in technologies. Social, mobile, predictive analytics – there are some really interesting things going on in the industry.

While many new products are certainly “cool,” however, HR practitioners, recruiters, and business leaders are most interested in technologies that make their jobs easier.

Based on candid conversations with industry analysts, in-the-trenches professionals, and a few lunch-table conversations, I’ve put together a list of the most innovative products that are making life easier for folks in HR and recruiting.

I’m calling it “The Bee’s Knees.”

Wowzer – Easy, Breezy Video Interviewing

What it is: Wowzer is a video interviewing application that makes it easy for recruiters to build an interview with recorded questions, and lets candidates record responses on their own schedule, cutting out the more time-consuming aspects of candidate screening.

How it works: Recruiters can create interviews from one page via click-and-record interview questions–or drag-and-drop for previously recorded questions. Interviews can be sent in batches, and deadlines can be set for candidate responses. Recorded interviews can be reviewed, rated, and shared with hiring managers and recruiters.

The Bee's Knees Innovation from HR Technology Conference

What really impressed me with Wowzer is its recently released mobile app for Apple iOS devices. For recruiters and hiring managers, the same review, rate and share functionality has been cleanly adapted to the mobile platform.

The Bee's Knees Innovation from HR Technology Conference

For candidates, the app is especially handy. Because cellular service can be spotty, the Wowzer app downloads interviews to your phone, so you can complete the interview offline.

Why it’s innovative: Considering Deloitte Mexico’s 85 percent cost savings for prescreening after switching to Wowzer, it’s safe to say video recruiting tools are worth your consideration.

But it’s Wowzer’s focus on candidate experience that sets them apart from the herd. Clear instructions and helpful tips put candidates at ease, educating them on the process along the way. And at the end of each interview, candidates have a chance to share some feedback.

Mumur – Custom Surveys, Actionable Engagement Insights

What it is: Using fully configurable surveys and exit interviews, Murmur by CultureAmp offers insights into employee engagement. Murmur delivers data collected in a customizable infographic dashboard, providing line managers and executives with actionable information.

How it works: Murmur’s straightforward interface is designed to make surveys quick and easy for employees, while also gathering valuable information on engagement and morale. Surveys can be completed on the web, or on an iPad or smartphone.

The Bee's Knees Innovation from HR Technology Conference

Feedback on your leaders, your culture, and your people can be filtered by any demographic, and management can drill down to see response variances based on team, department, or company-wide.

The Bee's Knees Innovation from HR Technology Conference

Managers can customize dashboards to focus on up to five engagement drivers like management styles, recognition, and transparency.

Why it’s innovative: Murmur designed its platform to take the heavy lifting out of gathering feedback, and is focused on being easy on employees and useful for managers. It takes some of the guesswork out of engagement and turnover by delivering data in easy-to-understand infographics. It’s truly a powerful–and useful–analytics tool.

Entelo – Powerful Analytics for Serious Sourcing

What it is: Entelo is a candidate sourcing tool with powerful social activity analytics. Entelo’s search algorithm digs deep into the areas of the Web where candidates are showing off their work to find high-quality candidates.

How it works: Entelo’s engine looks beyond keywords in a candidate profile to find a proven track record of clout and ability online. For example, there’s a big difference between an “OK” software developer and an excellent one. Entelo’s search engine goes after the latter.

The Bee's Knees Innovation from HR Technology Conference

It indexes activity in professional communities–such as GitHub, StackOverflow, Dribble, and GrabCAD–and gauges a candidate’s demonstrated expertise in relevant competencies and skills.

Entelo also looks for signals that passive candidates may be likely to consider a new opportunity. For instance, it looks for recent updates to a candidate’s online profiles, or merger and acquisition activity at his employer.

Recruiters can also apply filters for minimum tenure and specific schools. They can also exclude founding members of startups, who are unlikely to jump ship for a staff position at your company.

Why it’s innovative: Entelo’s algorithm tracks more than 70 variables to identify potential movers, and its application of predictive analytics is impressive. Also, by aggregating candidates’ social data in one location, recruiters spend less time tracking it down manually and more time getting quality candidates in the door.

SilkRoad Point – Social Talent Management Done Right

What it is: Silkroad Point is a talent management platform that fuses onboarding, learning, career management, and performance management with social technology. While some talent management tools treat social as an add-on feature, Point incorporates social data throughout its platform to measure employee activity and influence.

How it works: Influence is a valuable aspect of talent management: Influential individuals get recognition, managers identify high-potential employees, and employees have experts to whom they can reach out.

While offering many standard talent management functions (onboarding, learning, performance management), Point also tracks 20 indicators to graph an individual’s expertise in various skills–and makes influence profiles highly visible in the organization.

The Bee's Knees Innovation from HR Technology Conference

New employees looking for an overview of product offerings, or project managers building a new team of experts, can search Point for influencers in the organization. And the more influential an employee, the more likely he or she will appear in a search for relevant skills and competencies.

The Bee's Knees Innovation from HR Technology Conference

Point also enables employees to connect with the people they need to work with to get their jobs done. From day one, new employees connect with coworkers and join relevant groups as a part of the onboarding process.

Employees looking to build skills can search for experts in the company. And aspiring employees can network with coworkers who share similar career paths.

Why it’s innovative: Point does two things very well. First, it simultaneously encourages the sharing of learning content and strengthening of social connections within the organization–which enables employees to take a more active role in learning and career development.

In addition, it helps managers with performance management by providing visual representations of employees’ activity and contributions outside of their job descriptions.

Achievers – Empowered Employee Recognition

What it is: Achievers is an employee recognition tool that helps companies reinforce positive employee behaviors on a daily basis. It implements a formal process for rewarding performance and facilitates peer-to-peer recognition.

How it works: Feedback shared face-to-face or via email can be difficult to track, and doesn’t always have a lasting impact. Using a point-based system where employees and managers can share kudos and thanks, Achievers reinforces the good performance and extra efforts of employees. Points accrued can be redeemed online for rewards, and a concierge service handles the fulfillment of gifts to employees worldwide.

The Bee's Knees Innovation from HR Technology Conference

Additionally, managers can use the platform to create gamified sales incentive programs and leaderboards for motivating and driving performance. Employees are automatically rewarded for hitting targets, and performance data is easily pulled for quick review.

Why it’s innovative: Achievers does more than just reward good employee behaviors; it also features some impressive management-facing functionality. Managers can build custom dashboards to receive performance updates, and reporting and analytics tools provide in-depth views of employee potential, program engagement, and the business impact of rewards.

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4 Things The Apple Store Can Teach Us About StaffingKyle Lagunas is an HR Analyst at Software Advice, an online resource for HR and talent management software buyers guides, demos and more. He reports on trends and best practices in human resources technology.