Docs startup Almanac raises $34 million from Tiger as remote work shift hardens

As companies continue to delay their returns to the office and find temporary remote work policies becoming permanent, the startups building tooling for remote work-first cultures are finding a seemingly endless supply of customers.

“Companies are finding the shift to remote work is not a one-time aberration due to Covid,” Almanac CEO Adam Nathan tells TechCrunch. “Over the past several months we’ve seen pretty explosive revenue growth.”

Almanac, which builds a doc editor that takes feature cues like version control from developer platforms like Github, has been seizing on the shift to remote work, onboarding new customers through its open source office document library Core while pushing features that allow for easier onboarding like an online company handbook builder.

In the past couple years, timelines between funding rounds have been shrinking for fast-growing startups. Almanac announced its $9 million seed round earlier this year led by Floodgate, now they’re taking the wraps off of a $34 million Series A led by the pandemic’s most prolific startup investment powerhouse — Tiger Global. Floodgate again participated in the raise, alongside General Catalyst and a host of angels.

The company wants its collaborative doc editor to be the way more companies fully embrace online productivity software, leaving local-first document editors in the dust. While Alphabet’s G Suite is a rising presence in the office productivity suite world, Microsoft Office is still the market’s dominant force.

“We see ourselves as a generational challenger to Microsoft Office,” Nathan says. “It’s not only an old product, but it’s totally outmoded for what we do to today.”

While investors have backed plenty of startups based on pandemic era trends that have already seemed to fizzle out, the growing shift away from office culture or even hybrid culture towards full remote work has only grown more apparent as employees place a premium on jobs with flexible remote policies.

Major tech companies like Facebook have found themselves gradually adjusting policies towards full-remote work for staff that can do their jobs remotely. Meanwhile, Apple’s more aggressive return-to-office plan has prompted a rare outpouring of public and private criticism from employees at the company. Nathan only expects this divide to accelerate as more companies come tor grips with the shifting reality.

“I personally don’t believe that hybrid is a thing,” he says. “You have to pick a side, you’re either office culture or ‘cloud culture.’”

#almanac, #alphabet, #articles, #ceo, #cloud-computing, #economy, #general-catalyst, #github, #human-resource-management, #major, #microsoft, #onboarding, #productivity, #recruitment, #software, #startup-company, #startups, #telecommuting, #tiger-global

3 strategies to make adopting new HR tech easier for hiring managers

Recruiting for technical roles can be challenging. There are often too many roles to fill, too many or too few candidates to interview and not enough time to get it all done and develop relationships with your key stakeholders: Hiring managers and the executive team.

Working with talent acquisition (TA) leaders and technical recruiters can help companies scalably, accurately and fairly assess potential candidates’ technical skills to fill high-value engineering roles. Technology also offers many advantages that help achieve TA objectives. But in my experience, many TA and HR leaders get frustrated when new tools fail to launch or deliver underwhelming results, because they aren’t adequately adopted, trusted or utilized by end users.

I find that hiring managers are more open-minded to “mechanical” or automated hiring tools if those tools aren’t evaluated on their own, but are evaluated relative to status quo hiring processes.

All of this leads to technical decision-makers and stakeholders developing a natural skepticism for mechanical or automated hiring tools. If your hiring managers seem doubtful about using tech for hiring, here are three strategies to help them embrace hiring tools.

Expect skepticism, it’s natural

Researchers studying how to make scientific hiring tools more effective have discovered an interesting phenomenon: Human beings are naturally skeptical of tools that outsource our decisions (Highhouse, 2008). Left to our own devices, we are hardwired to trust gut instinct over external data points, especially when developing and nurturing new relationships, including who we work with.

Scientists have offered up a few explanations for this preference of gut over data. Some people consider external, mechanical decision-making aids as less trustworthy because of a lack of familiarity with how they work, or because using them reflects poorly on the decision-maker’s value and worth as a leader or manager.

It could also be because there’s a fear of surrendering control and agency to a tool that doesn’t seem to consider or understand context clues. However, research has shown that people make better choices when using mechanical decision support tools than when either humans or mechanical tools make decisions alone.

#column, #ec-column, #ec-enterprise-applications, #ec-how-to, #hiring, #hiring-engineers, #hr-tech, #management, #personnel, #recruitment, #startups, #tc

Beware the hidden bias behind TikTok resumes

Social media has served as a launchpad to success almost as long as it has been around. The stories of going viral from a self-produced YouTube video and then securing a record deal established the mythology of social media platforms. Ever since, social media has consistently gravitated away from text-based formats and toward visual mediums like video sharing.

For most people, a video on social media won’t be a ticket to stardom, but in recent months, there have been a growing number of stories of people getting hired based on videos posted to TikTok. Even LinkedIn has embraced video assets on user profiles with the recent addition of the “Cover Story” feature, which allows workers to supplement their profiles with a video about themselves.

As technology continues to evolve, is there room for a world where your primary resume is a video on TikTok? And if so, what kinds of unintended consequences and implications might this have on the workforce?

Why is TikTok trending for jobs?

In recent months, U.S. job openings have risen to an all-time high of 10.1 million. For the first time since the pandemic began, available jobs have exceeded available workers. Employers are struggling to attract qualified candidates to fill positions, and in that light, it makes sense that many recruiters are turning to social platforms like TikTok and video resumes to find talent.

But the scarcity of workers does not negate the importance of finding the right employee for a role. Especially important for recruiters is finding candidates with the skills that align with their business’ goals and strategy. For example, as more organizations embrace a data-driven approach to operating their business, they need more people with skills in analytics and machine learning to help them make sense of the data they collect.

Recruiters have proven to be open to innovation where it helps them find these new candidates. Recruiting is no longer the manual process it used to be, with HR teams sorting through stacks of paper resumes and formal cover letters to find the right candidate. They embraced the power of online connections as LinkedIn rose to prominence and even figured out how to use third-party job sites like GlassDoor to help them draw in promising candidates. On the back end, many recruiters use advanced cloud software to sort through incoming resumes to find the candidates that best match their job descriptions. But all of these methods still rely on the traditional text-based resume or profile as the core of any application.

Videos on social media provide the ability for candidates to demonstrate soft skills that may not be immediately apparent in written documents, such as verbal communication and presentation skills. They are also a way for recruiters to learn more about the personality of the candidate to determine how they’d fit into the culture of the company. While this may be appealing for many, are we ready for the consequences?

We’re not ready for the close-up

While innovation in recruiting is a big part of the future of work, the hype around TikTok and video resumes may actually take us backward. Despite offering a new way for candidates to market themselves for opportunities, it also carries potential pitfalls that candidates, recruiters and business leaders need to be aware of.

The very element that gives video resumes their potential also presents the biggest problems. Video inescapably highlights the person behind the skills and achievements. As recruiters form their first opinions about a candidate, they will be confronted with information they do not usually see until much later in the process, including whether they belong to protected classes because of their race, disability or gender.

Diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) concerns have had a major surge in attention over the last couple of years amid heightened awareness and scrutiny around how employers are — or are not — prioritizing diversity in the workplace.

But evaluating candidates through video could erase any progress made by introducing more opportunities for unconscious, or even conscious, bias. This could create a dangerous situation for businesses if they do not act carefully because it could open them up to consequences such as damage to their reputation or even something as severe as discrimination lawsuits.

A company with a poor track record for diversity may have the fact that they reviewed videos from candidates used against them in court. Recruiters reviewing the videos may not even be aware of how the race or gender of candidates are impacting their decisions. For that reason, many of the businesses I have seen implement an option for video in their recruiting flow do not allow their recruiters to watch the video until late in the recruiting process.

But even if businesses address the most pressing issues of DE&I by managing bias against those protected classes, by accepting videos there are still issues of diversity in less protected classes such as neurodiversity and socioeconomic status. A candidate with exemplary skills and a strong track record may not present themselves well through a video, coming across as awkward to the recruiter watching the video. Even if that impression is irrelevant to the job, it could still influence the recruiter’s stance on hiring.

Furthermore, candidates from affluent backgrounds may have access to better equipment and software to record and edit a compelling video resume. Other candidates may not, resulting in videos that may not look as polished or professional in the eyes of the recruiter. This creates yet another barrier to the opportunities they can access.

As we sit at an important crossroads in how we handle DE&I in the workplace, it is important for employers and recruiters to find ways to reduce bias in the processes they use to find and hire employees. While innovation is key to moving our industry forward, we have to ensure top priorities are not being compromised.

Not left on the cutting room floor

Despite all of these concerns, social media platforms — especially those based on video — have created new opportunities for users to expand their personal brands and connect with potential job opportunities. There is potential to use these new systems to benefit both job seekers and employers.

The first step is to ensure that there is always a place for a traditional text-based resume or profile in the recruiting process. Even if recruiters can get all the information they need about a candidate’s capabilities from video, some people will just naturally feel more comfortable staying off camera. Hiring processes need to be about letting people put their best foot forward, whether that is in writing or on video. And that includes accepting that the best foot to put forward may not be your own.

Instead, candidates and businesses should consider using videos as a place for past co-workers or managers to endorse the candidate. An outside endorsement can do a lot more good for an application than simply stating your own strengths because it shows that someone else believes in your capabilities, too.

Video resumes are hot right now because they are easier to make and share than ever and because businesses are in desperate need of strong talent. But before we get caught up in the novelty of this new way of sharing our credentials, we need to make sure that we are setting ourselves up for success.

The goal of any new recruiting technology should be to make it easier for candidates to find opportunities where they can shine without creating new barriers. There are some serious kinks to work out before video resumes can achieve that, and it is important for employers to consider the repercussions before they damage the success of their DE&I efforts.

#column, #diversity, #glassdoor, #human-resource-management, #labor, #linkedin, #opinion, #recruitment, #resume, #social, #social-media, #social-media-platforms, #startups, #tc, #tiktok

LinkedIn is launching its own $25M fund and incubator for creators

When LinkedIn first launched Stories format, and later expanded its tools for creators earlier this year, one noticeable detail was that the Microsoft-owned network for professionals hadn’t built any kind of obvious monetization into the program — noticeable, given that creators earn a living on other platforms like Instagram, YouTube and TikTok, and those apps had lured creators, their content, and their audiences in part by paying out.

“As we continue to listen to feedback from our members as we consider future opportunities, we’ll also continue to evolve how we create more value for our creators,” is how LinkedIn explained its holding pattern on payouts to me at the time. But that strategy may have backfired for the company — or at least may have played a role in what came next: last month, LinkedIn announced it would be scrapping its Stories format and going back to the proverbial drawing board to work on other short-form video content for the platform.

Now comes the latest iteration in that effort. To bring more creators to the platform, the company today announced that it would be launching a new $25 million creator fund, which initially will be focused around a new Creator Accelerator Program.

It’s coming on the heels of LinkedIn also continuing to work on one of its other new-content experiments: a Clubhouse-style live conversation platform. As we previously reported, LinkedIn began working on this back in March of this year. Now, we are hearing that the feature will make an appearance as part of a broader events strategy for the company.

Notably, in a blog post announcing the creator fund, LinkedIn also listed a number of creator events coming up. Will the Clubhouse-style feature pop up there? Watch this space. Or maybe… listen up.

In any case, the creator accelerator that LinkedIn is announcing today could help feed into that wider pool of people that LinkedIn is hoping to cultivate on its platform as a more dynamic and lively set of voices to get more people talking and spending time on LinkedIn.

Andrei Santalo, global head of community at LinkedIn, noted in the blog post that the accelerator/incubator will be focused on the whole creator and the many ways that one can engage on LinkedIn.

“Creating content on LinkedIn is about creating opportunity, for yourselves and others,” he writes. “How can your words, videos and conversations make 774+ million professionals better at what they do or help them see the world in new ways?”

The incubator will last for 10 weeks and will take on 100 creators in the U.S. to coach them on building content for LinkedIn. It will also give them chances to network with like-minded individuals (naturally… it is LinkedIn), as well as a $15,000 grant to do their work. The deadline for applying (which you do here) is October 12.

The idea of starting a fund to incentivize creators to build video for a particular platform is definitely not new — and that is one reason why it was overdue for LinkedIn to think about its own approach.

Leading social media platforms like TikTok, Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook, and YouTube all have announced hundreds of millions of dollars in payouts in the form of creator funds to bring more original content to their platforms.

You could argue that for mass-market social media sites, it’s important to pay creators because competition is so fierce among them for consumer attention.

But on the other hand, those platforms have appeal for creators because of the potential audience size. At 774 million users, LinkedIn isn’t exactly small, but the kind of content that tends to live on there is so different, and maybe drier — it’s focused on professional development, work, and “serious” topics — that perhaps it might need the most financial incentive of all to get creators to bite.

LinkedIn’s bread and butter up to now has been around professional development: people use it to look for work, to get better jobs, to hire people, and to connect with people who might help them get ahead in their professional lives.

But it’s done so in a very prescribed set of formats that do not leave much room for exploring “authenticity” — not in the modern sense of “authentic self”, and not in the more old-school sense of just letting down your guard and being yourself. (Even relatively newer initiatives like its education focus directly play into this bigger framework.)

With authenticity becoming an increasing priority for people — and maybe more so as we have started to blur the lines between work and home because of Covid-19 and the changes that it has forced on us — I can’t help but wonder whether LinkedIn will use this opportunity to rethink, or at least expand the concept of, what it means to spend time on its platform.

#clubhouse, #coach, #enterprise, #facebook, #linkedin, #recruitment, #snapchat, #social, #social-media, #social-media-platforms, #social-networks, #software, #stories, #tiktok, #united-states

Workstream’s text-based recruitment tool gets a $48M bet from BOND and beyond

It isn’t only tech giants that are struggling to fill open roles with talented individuals, it’s your local Jamba Juice, too.

Since 2017, San Francisco-based Workstream has been working on an answer to recruitment for the hourly worker. The subset of employees are in high demand right now by employers managing high turnover, as the labor market evolves amid the pandemic. These tailwinds in mind, Workstream announced today that it has landed a new round of financing to scale its recruitment efforts.

Workstream has raised $48 million in a Series B round co-led by Mary Meeker’s BOND and Coatue, with notable investors including Zoom CEO Eric Yuan and DoorDash CEO Tony Xu. Jay Simons, a GP at BOND and former president of Atlassian, joined Workstream’s board of directors. The raise comes a little over one year since Workstream raised $10 million in a Series A led by Founders Fund.

Per CEO and co-founder Desmond Lim, Workstream landed 12 term sheets in 9 days. He chalked up the interest to investors appreciating his startup’s differentiation among the flurries of other recruiting tools out there.

Even in the crowded world of recruitment software, Workstream has been able to carve out some attention for itself by focusing on text-based recruiting. Front-line and deskless workers are often the most disconnected members of the global job force due to a lack of access to company-issued e-mail addresses. Thus, by Workstream communicating with candidates over text, it is able to give workers on the go some real-time updates. This differentiation of mobile-based recruitment has helped bring down the time to hire for employers too, by bringing candidates in by going to where they already are.

Lim, who grew up in Singapore with parents who both spent their days as hourly workers, sees this strategy working. In July, his company filled more than 18,000 jobs. Down the road, Workstream wants to serve hourly workers in healthcare and retail.

“There’s a football field [of software] for hiring software engineers,” Lim said. “But if you think about hiring for this space, there’s very few of us – and I think that has really helped us to go far from a team point of view, client sales, and even trying to raise funding.

While Workstream didn’t disclose specifics on revenue, it said that it has experienced “10X” ARR in the past year. One signal that it’s doing ok? The company has 1,500 customers across 10,000 different stores, which include the likes of McDonalds, Subway, and of course, Jamba Juice. Lim claims that Workstream has 20% market share in the top 20 brands.

Workstream views itself as an end-to-end recruitment tool for the hourly worker, but its distribution is still tied to the some 25,000 job boards that it partners with to post listings. Lim said that his company is more focused on the “recruitment and engagement” bit of hiring, “helping to push people through the funnel very fast” versus trying to get them in the funnel in the first place.

#education, #future-of-work, #hiring, #recruitment, #tc, #work, #workforce, #workstream

When it comes to diversity in hiring, businesses are their own worst enemy

Over the past year, companies have continued to make ambitious pledges to address bias and systemic racism in the hiring process. But the track record of previous corporate diversity efforts is shaky at best. Is this time going to be different?

The answer will depend on whether companies are able to look inward to understand and dismantle the long-standing practices that too often keep skilled workers locked out of opportunities. That’s because when it comes to equity and inclusion in hiring, businesses are often standing in their own way.

It’s not that hiring managers and corporate executives don’t want to effect change. Rather, over the past year, well-meaning business and HR leaders invested in short-term, one-time solutions — like hosting events or donating to nonprofits. Make no mistake: Those aren’t necessarily bad ideas. But they’re not systemic and they’re not sustainable. It’s like saying where you’re going on vacation without building the roads you need to get there.

Today’s business leaders are using yesterday’s tactics in an attempt to address tomorrow’s problems.

This reliance on tried-and-true solutions is common across nearly every facet of society — hence the popular proverb that military generals “fight the last war, not the next one.” Today’s business leaders are using yesterday’s tactics in an attempt to address tomorrow’s problems. And if companies don’t take a more strategic, data-driven approach to diversity, we’re going to look back a year from now and find that despite the best of intentions, no more progress has been made.

What will it take to make good on our good intentions and put that systemic change into action? Research — and our own experience as corporate leaders — points to a few potential solutions.

First, stop thinking of the college degree as the best proxy for skills. A body of research indicates that the correlation between educational attainment and job performance is weaker than we might think — and that degree requirements systematically disenfranchise Black and Hispanic candidates.

Not only that, but screening based on a bachelor’s degree automatically leaves out 60% of American workers, including the more than 70 million people without four-year degrees who have the skills to succeed in higher-wage jobs (sometimes called STARs, for Skilled Through Alternative Routes).

Companies can take action right away to address this challenge. That could include new strategies that measure skills directly. IBM has long been a pioneer in this space through its commitment to skills-based hiring, which enables the company to make hiring decisions based on what candidates can do, not the pedigrees they’ve earned.

It could also include following the lead of companies like Capital One, which hires based on aptitude — and provide internal learning and development and on-the-job training opportunities to help new hires learn the skills they need to succeed on the job. The advantages of these approaches are obvious: Hiring based on skills rather than degrees opens up a much wider talent pool, increases value in terms of wages and can lead to more loyal employees and higher retention rates.

Second, recognize that when it comes to how you invest your budget and effort, training is at least as important as recruiting. As the pace of technological change accelerates and the need for digital talent grows, it’s become increasingly clear that talent poaching is an “expensive zero-sum game” that leaves companies scrambling — and paying a premium — for the same small pool of talent.

This challenge is even more acute in the context of diversity and inclusion. If Company X recruits a minority candidate who’s already had a successful career at Company Y, has that really contributed to building a more inclusive workforce in any meaningful way? The net number of workers in the industry is the same — you’re just playing musical chairs with the labor market. That may be appropriate for senior leadership roles, but it will never grow the top of the funnel if the same strategy is applied to entry-level or more junior positions.

The real way to move the needle isn’t simply to commit to hitting diversity numbers for your organization — which all too often incentivizes lateral hiring from competitors — but to provide jobs and career advancement opportunities to those who otherwise are unemployed or underemployed. Investing in training can support these efforts by both expanding the talent pool and giving companies a better return on their investment than traditional recruiting models.

Last but not least, facilitate better communication within the enterprise. No one sets out to build inequitable talent pipelines. But talent-acquisition professionals — like most professionals — have limited time and huge remits. As a result, especially in technology and data-oriented fields, there is a growing disconnect between HR departments that post jobs and the business departments that leverage the talent.

For understandable reasons, HR departments aren’t directly connected to the workflows for specific roles, which often leads to job descriptions that include laundry lists of requirements and look like “buzzword salad.” This ends up turning away the best and the most diverse talent, who often screen themselves out because they don’t meet every single requirement.

Building stronger connections between hiring managers and the rest of the enterprise can help create a clearer understanding of what skills are most important — and keep businesses from screening out qualified candidates before they even get a chance to prove themselves.

Systemic change is never easy. And that’s especially the case in a recovering economy and a tightening labor market, where businesses are under more pressure than ever to fill open roles. But inflection points like this one also create opportunities to think and act differently, rather than falling back on the status quo. From the C-suite to hiring managers and other frontline decision-makers, times of turmoil and transformation may be the best opportunity to translate aspiration into meaningful action.

That’s the challenge that stands before U.S. businesses now: investing in a more systemic approach to equity and inclusion so that we can build a world of work that reflects the values to which we all aspire.

#column, #diversity, #human-resource-management, #opinion, #recruitment, #talent, #talent-management, #tc

SmartRecruiters raises $110M at a $1.5B valuation to expand its end-to-end recruitment platform

The global Covid-19 pandemic had a chilling effect on a number of industries and their workforces, resulting in mass furloughs and layoffs. But now, with countries now taking steps back to “normal”, that has been leading, in many cases, back to a hiring surge. Today, SmartRecruiters, one of the companies that has built software to handle that process more smoothly, is announcing $110 million in funding to seize the moment.

The funding, a Series E, is coming in at a $1.5 billion valuation, the company confirmed. Silver Lake Waterman is leading this round, with previous backers Insight Partners, and Mayfield Fund also participating.

The investment will be used in two areas. First, SmartRecruiters plans to continue expanding business — its primary customers are large enterprises with Visa, Square, McDonald’s, Ubisoft, FireEye, Biogen, Equinox and Public Storage among them, and the plan will be to bring on more of these globally. Jerome Ternynck, SmartRecruiters’ CEO and founder, pointed out that one of its clients made a move recently in which it had to swiftly ramp up by 10,000 people in 90 days.

“That is the scale of the great rehire that we are aiming to serve,” he said.

And second, it plans to hire and invest more in product. Specifically, Ternynck said the company is looking to build more intelligence into its platform, so that it can help customers find ideal matches for roles and provide them with tools to automate and reduce the busy work of managing a recruitment process.

This is a notable area for growth, and one that smaller startups have also identified and are building to fix: just yesterday, one of them, Dover, announced a Series A.

Ternynck likes to describe SmartRecruiters as “the Salesforce of recruiting”, by which he means that it provides a system of record for large enterprises who can manage 100% of the process of recruitment, from sourcing candidates to hire.

“In recruiting tech, we are the mothership,” he said, with some 600 vendors integrated into its platform — a mark of how fragmented the wider industry really is.

(Salesforce, incidentally, is an investor in SmartRecruiters, and while right now it’s not directly working with its portfolio company to build recruitment into what it operates as essentially a massive CRM behemoth, it’s an interesting prospect and seems like a no-brainer that it might try to some day. Ternynck would not comment…)

There are already a lot of application tracking systems in the market that can handle the basics of logging candidates and managing their progress through the screening, interview, references, and hiring/rejection cycle — Ternynck, in fact founded and sold one of the pioneers in that space, But the problem with these is that they are limited and often work within their own silos. He refers to these ATS systems as “the first generation” of recruitment software, a generation that is now getting replaced.

There are some big changes driving that evolution, and specifically SmartRecruiters’ growth. One key area is the bigger shift in “digital transformation”, precipitated by the pandemic but also a bigger shift to cloud-based computing and evolutions in big data management. Fragmentation is rife in recruiting, but we now are equipped in the world of IT with many, many ways of navigating that and using the wide amount of information out there to our advantage.

But there is another, more epistemological shift, too. Recruitment, and talent in general, has become a critical part of how a company conceives of its future success. Get the right people on board and you will grow. Fail to hire correctly and you will not, and you might even fail.

“This round and our progression signals the fact that CEOs have been forced to care more about recruiting,” he said. They want want to hire the best, he added, but that is fundamentally different from how recruiting has traditionally been approached, which is focused on cost per hire.

“This means recruiting is coming out of the administration function and into value add and sales and marketing,” he added. (That’s another interesting parallel with Dover which has gone so far as to conceive of its recruitment approach as “orchestration”, a word more commonly associated with sales software.)

The pandemic has had an impact here, too: employees and “hires” today are not what they used to be. It has become more acceptable to work remotely, and what people have come to expect out of jobs, and what roles they are coming from when applying, are all so different, and that also demands a different kind of platform to engage with them.

Indeed, that bigger area — sometimes referred to as “the future of work” — is part of what attracted this investment.

“Hiring talent and building human capital is more complex and important than ever, and SmartRecruiters is well positioned to help companies attract and land top talent,” said Shawn O’Neill, Managing Director and Group Head, Silver Lake Waterman, in a statement. “Their scale and customer growth are testament to their strong leadership and industry leading platform. We are excited to help fuel SmartRecruiters’ next growth chapter.”

Interestingly, Ternynck noted that even despite the mass layoffs and furloughs experienced in some industries in the last year and a half, SmartRecruiters has seen business grow, even through some of the worst moments of Covid-19. Over the last 12 months, bookings have grown by 70%, he said. That’s a mark of how recruiting priorities are indeed changing, regardless of whether it’s a SmartRecruiters, or another kind of company entirely — and there are many, from Taleo and Cornerstone, through to smaller hopefuls like Dover, and even Salesforce — who might reap the spoils longer term.

#enterprise, #funding, #hiring, #personnel, #recruitment, #smartrecruiters, #talent, #tc

Dover raises $20M to bring the concept of ‘orchestration’ to recruitment

Despite being one of the earliest adopters of using the world wide web to disrupt how its business is done and connect with more potential customers, the recruitment industry ironically remains one of the more fragmented and behind the times when it comes to using new, cloud based services to work more efficiently. A new startup is hoping to change that, and it’s picked up some funding on strong, early signs of traction.

Dover, which has built what CEO and co-founder Max Kolysh describes as a “recruitment orchestration platform” — aimed at recruiters, it helps them juggle and aggregate multiple candidate pools to source suitable job candidates automatically, and then manage the process of outreach (including using tools to automatically re-write job descriptions, as well as to write recruitment and rejection letters) — has raised $20 million from an impressive list of investors.

Tiger Global led the Series A round, with Founders Fund, Abstract Ventures, and Y Combinator also investing. Dover was part of YC’s Summer 2019 class (which debuted in August 2020), and Founders Fund led its seed round. Since leaving the incubator, it’s picked up more than 100 customers, mostly from the world of tech, including ClearBanc, Lattice, Samsara and others, even larger companies that you might have assumed would have their own in-house orchestration and automation platforms in place already.

“Orchestration” in the world of business IT is commonly used for software built for the fields of sales and marketing: in both of these, there is a lot of fragmentation and work involved in sourcing good leads to become potential customers, and so tech companies have built platforms both to source interesting contacts and handle some of the initial steps needed to reach out to them, and get them engaged.

That, it turns out, is a very apt way to think of the recruitment industry, too, not least because it also, to a degree, involves a company “selling” itself to candidates to get them interested.

“I would say recruiting is sales and marketing,” Kolysh said. “We’re comparable to sales ops, but sales is 5-10 years ahead in terms of technology.”

Recruiters, especially those working in industries where talent is at a premium and therefore proactively hiring good people can be a challenge, are faced with a lot of busy work to find interesting candidates and engage them to consider open jobs, and subsequently handling the bigger process of screening, reaching out to them, and potentially rejecting some while making offers to others.

This is mainly because the process of doing all of these is typically very fragmented: mot only are there different tools built to handle these different processes, but there is an almost endless list of sources today where people go to look for work, or get their names out there.

Dover’s approach is based on embracing that fragmentation and making it easier to handle. Using AI, it taps platforms like LinkedIn, Indeed and Triplebyte — a likely list, given its initial focus on tech — to source candidates that it believes are good fits for a particular opening at a company.

Dover does this with a mix of AI and understanding what a recruiter is looking for, plus any extra parameters if they have been set by the recruiter to carry this out (for example, diversity screening, if the employer would like to have a candidate pool that is in line with a company’s inclusion targets).

Dover also uses data science and AI to help calibrate a recruiter’s communications with would-be candidates, from the opening job description through to job offer or rejection letters. (Why dwell on rejection letters? Because these candidates are already in short list, and so even if they didn’t get one particular job, they are likely good prospects for future rolls.)

“No human wants to write 100 cold emails per week but on the other hand, there are many ppl to hit up,” Kolysh said of the challenges that recruiters face. “When a company is seeing a lot of growth, it needs to scale fast. You just can’t do that with a human anymore.” Kolysh — who co-founded the company with Anvisha Pai (CTO) and George Carollo (COO) — said all three founders experienced that first-hand working at previous startups and trying to recruit while also building the other aspects of the business. (They are pictured above, along with founding engineer John Holliman.)

Given how much orchestration has caught on in the world of sales, there is a strong opportunity here for Dover to bring a similar approach to recruitment, based on what seems to be a very close understanding of the flawed recruitment process as it exists today. Whether that brings more competitors to the space — or more tools from some of the bigger players in, say, candidate sourcing — will be one factor to watch, as will how and if Dover manages to make the leap to other industries beyond tech.

But for now, its usefulness for a particular segment of the market is also what caught the eye of Tiger Global.

John Luttig, the partner who led the round for Tiger Global, noted in an interview that most recruiting tools in the market today might best be described as point solutions, addressing scheduling, or interviews, for example.

“It’s the full stack here that is appealing,” he told me. “And it’s automated, which is particularly valuable for early and mid-stage tech companies, to keep candidates from falling through the cracks. It also saves time from having to build up big recruiting departments. And because Dover owns all that work, those working in recruitment can instead focus on culture building, or assessing the candidates.”

#dover, #enterprise, #funding, #personnel, #recruitment, #startups, #talent, #tc

WayUp merges with Yello to diversify recruitment

Despite studies, statistics and oh-so-many pledges, a vast number of companies continue to struggle with recruiting diverse talent. Some say that it’s not the pipeline problem, it’s an issue with how recruitment rounds and technical interviews are conducted. Others point to success with hiring entry-level diverse talent, but then companies fail to retain and reinvest in those individuals as they progress through their career.

While entrepreneurs continue to poke at the gap between talented, diverse individuals and scaled recruiting, a new merger today between two venture-backed companies paints an ambitious picture of what a promising solution could look like.

Today, WayUp, a sourcing platform for diverse candidates, announced that it is merging with Yello, a recruitment software company. The two HR tech companies will operate under Yello as a legal entity but continue to keep their independent branding with a now combined 200 employees.

“We can send all the diverse applicants into applicant tracking systems or CRMs, but if companies don’t have the automation workflow, and the tools and analytics that they need to make sure that those candidates are truly making their way through, then these candidates are sitting in a black hole,” Liz Wessel, co-founder and CEO of WayUp, said in an interview with TechCrunch.

Wessel’s realization of the “black hole” that candidates fell into soon turned into conversations with Yello, which she describes as the “most robust [candidate relationship management solution] in the market for early career.”

Now, by combining forces, the startups will be able to create an end-to-end recruitment tool that helps aggregate a group of diverse candidates who have varied backgrounds from across core and non-core schools, ethnicity, majors, location, gender and ethnicity, and then place them with recruiters into a software-powered job funnel.

Data-driven diversity

Wessel has spent the past seven years building up WayUp around the concept of “data-driven diversity.” The platform differentiates from other sourcing and job platforms by asking candidates to self-report race, ethnicity, gender and veteran status. As a result, employers, which are WayUp’s clients, can prioritize diversity when hiring, while early-career professionals can explore curated opportunities based on their profiles.

More recently, WayUp launched a dashboard to help employers see where their recruiting process loses diverse candidates. While that dashboard was WayUp’s first foray into the world of candidate recruitment management, today’s merger with Yello suggests it was just foreshadowing the partnership to come.

Yello handles recruitment processes for companies, from top of funnel events such as career fairs through virtual candidate engagement and interview scheduling. The company has landed clients like Johnson & Johnson, Tableau, eBay and Adobe for its sourcing, engaging and placing software.

“They provide a ton of automation workflow to make it so that companies can significantly, quickly, efficiently and easily get applicants through in a fair and equitable way,” Wessel said. “Companies often don’t struggle with, ‘how do I get more applicants’ at the early career stage, it’s really, ‘how do I get the most qualified, diverse talented candidates hired’.”

Yello’s been working on a sourcing arm for years in its campus recruiting solution. Now, with WayUp, the database will grow to over 6 million candidates across 7,000 campuses. Candidates, while self-reported, are 71% Black, Hispanic or female, along with “tens of thousands” of veterans, a statement about the merger disclosed.

“In addition to offering a powerhouse of data, recruiters will benefit from the automation opportunities of two solutions from a single company,” said Corey Ferengul, CEO, Yello, in a statement announcing the merger.

Yello, which didn’t previously have an explicit diversity angle in its software product, is now adding WayUp’s database of talent to its suite of services. And WayUp, which didn’t previously have a candidate relationship management tool, now can offer one to its talent.

Handshakes

Even with 6 million early market professionals in its sphere, the companies have a billion-dollar competitor worth paying attention to. Handshake, which last raised money at a $1.5 billion valuation, is a networking and recruitment platform for college students. The job recruiting tool recently passed 18 million users across thousands of universities, including some 120 minority-serving institutions, which include Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and Hispanic Serving Institutions in the U.S., as well as community colleges. Handshake’s focus on diversity isn’t as marketed as WayUp’s, but its footprint, as well as a curated network that brings HBCUVs into conversations with its 550,000 employer clients, shows its commitment to underrepresented groups. Canvas, another venture-backed startup in the HR tech world, similarly offers a recruiting platform that is based on self-reported data, aimed at helping diverse candidates land jobs.

With WayUp joining Yello’s brand, it is strengthening its competitive advantage over Handshake, Canvas and other competitors by adding software services to its recruiting tool. It’s been almost four years since both Yello and WayUp last raised venture capital money, but the move to merge doesn’t appear to be a lifeboat, as Wessel pointed out that her company beat sales expectations four quarters in a row.

“Yello isn’t competitive to Handshake at all,” Wessel said over e-mail. “I’ve never heard of one of them winning a deal over the other and we only compete with Handshake if a company isn’t prioritizing D&I as their main goal. [For what it’s worth], we’ve yet to lose an RFP for D&I sourcing.”

Long-term, it’s unclear what’s stopping more companies from combining CRM tools with talent tools, Handshake included.

“It’s really hard,” Wessel said. “We have both an Enterprise-grade software that took a decade to build to get it where it is today.”

#college, #corey-ferengul, #dei, #early-stage, #handshake, #hiring, #hr-tech, #liz-wessel, #ma, #recruitment, #talent, #tc, #wayup

Frontier launches with $2.8M round by NFX, to let low-skilled job candidates book their own interview

Frontier, which bills itself as a “new kind of vertically-integrated jobs marketplace” launches today with a $2.8M investment round led by NFX in the US, and backed by London’s firstminute Capital, FJ Labs, Cyan Banister, Ilkka Pannanen, Alex Bouaziz, Liquid 2 and several other funds and angels.

Frontier’s schtick is that it pre-tests applicants, weeds out the best candidates, and then allows them to directly book interviews with the employers, thus saving time and money in the hiring process.

But Frontier isn’t going after complex roles here. Its aimed at companies who need a high volume of low-skilled workers. Among its customers so far are Carrol’s (the largest franchisor of Burger King) and Concentrix. 

Elliot O’Connor, Founder and CEO of Frontier said: “We believe the hiring experience is a fragmented workflow for both employer and jobseeker, which dramatically slows down the time-to-fill for positions and leads to rigid labor markets  – something the world can’t afford right now. To fix hiring, a platform must own more of the hiring funnel than job platforms currently do, and use that position to redefine the experience.”

Elliot told me over a call that they are not using an algorithm in the AI sense of the word. It also removes unconscious bias by applying skill-based assessments: “We’re focused on high volume, low skilled workers, so for example, customer support or retail or warehouses. So we’re just assessing for things like typing speed etc. No one’s going to look at the resume. It’s a rule-based system so that the company does get to set the rules themselves. There’s no AI.”

He added: “We’ve gone and eaten up a lot of the different pieces of software that are out there and combined them into a single vertically integrated whole. So we’ve got a screening software that’s basically modular so every customer gets their own screening, according to their own criteria and the machine does it for them. So at the interviews they’re going to have qualified candidates.”

Pete Flint, NFX General Partner said: “Frontier is changing the entire talent sourcing process by providing an on-demand experience that’s already present in so many parts of life. Shortening the window of finding work and making hires is creating substantial benefits across large segments of the labor market. The network effects embedded in Frontier’s product and business model make it completely different to the traditional incumbents.”

#alex-bouaziz, #articles, #artificial-intelligence, #burger-king, #ceo, #cyan-banister, #elliot, #employment, #europe, #fj-labs, #london, #pete-flint, #recruitment, #tc, #united-states

Goodbye CVs — As work went remote, companies flocked to a startup dumping CVs for skill tests

As companies scrambled to re-orient themselves last year during the pandemic, one thing was clear: the shift to remote working had come sooner than anyone expected. With this came a fundamental shift in how businesses would have to hire new talent. And the question was, were managers going to laboriously sift through CVs in a crisis situation, or would the need to hit the ground running fast force them towards assessing skills over CVs?

One startup decided to take advantage of the situation.

HR tech startup from The Netherland, TestGorilla, came up with a way of hiring people through short, skills-based tests, which had the added advantage of removing the unconscious bias brought about by snappy CVs which might help a very non-skilled person get ahead, and keep out skilled but less qualified recruits.

The startup says its bet paid off and 9 months later they claim to have garnered over 1,500 corporate clients, including the NHS, Sony, PepsiCo, and Bain & Company.

TestGorilla has now raised $10 million in a Seed funding round, led by SaaS-specialist VC, Notion Capital, Partech, Jeff Weiner´s Next Play Ventures, and Indeed co-founder Paul Forster, Peakon co-founder Phil Chambers, and Justworks co-founder Isaac Oates.

TechCrunch understands that the round was hotly contested, with the round closing in only two weeks after receiving multiple separate offers.

Launched by serial entrepreneur, Wouter Durville, and former Bain & Company Partner, Otto Verhage, TestGorilla remotely assesses cognitive abilities, soft skills, specific job skills, culture fit, motivation, and language proficiency. By replacing CV screening, it also aids the removal of unconscious biases in the hiring process.

Wouter Durville, Co-Founder of TestGorilla told me over a call: “We’re removing bias because we’re making hiring very data-driven. Instead of just looking at a CV and looking at the big brands mentioned or the picture version of the person or how connected you are to a person, we are saying, hey, use these tests and test for different things that predict job success like cognitive ability or personality to fit with your culture. Then based on all the data you can automatically sort to see all your candidates, from the best to the worst, then make a decision on who you will invite into your recruiting process.”

Jos White, General Partner at Notion Capital said: “This is a big deal! A super competitive round that almost every VC wanted to get into. They are literally upending the hiring process with a platform that is more democratic, more global and ultimately a much better predictor of job success. Companies are in a major war for talent and yet only armed with a penknife. TestGorilla can open up new talent pools, break down barriers and help candidates and companies find each other. We are leading the round but the angel investors are literally a who’s who of HRtech because they know that this company is the future of hiring and addresses so many of the challenges that companies are facing.”

#co-founder, #cvs, #economy, #entrepreneurship, #europe, #general-partner, #isaac-oates, #justworks, #nhs, #notion-capital, #private-equity, #recruitment, #serial-entrepreneur, #sony, #startup-company, #tc

eqtble, a platform that uses data analytics to create healthier workplaces, raises $2.7M seed

A composite photo of eqtble founders Ethan Veres, Gabe Horwitz and Joseph Ifiegbu

eqtble founders (from l to r): Ethan Veres, Gabe Horwitz and Joseph Ifiegbu

“People are the backbone of any organization. People are more important than the product. Without people, you don’t have a product,” says Joseph Ifiegbu, who is Snap’s former head of human resources technology and also previous lead of WeWork’s People Analytics team.

Ifiegbu’s startup, called eqtble, wants to give HR teams the same kind of detailed analytics that product, sales and marketing departments have had for a long time, with the goal of creating more engaged and inclusive workplaces. The company, a Y Combinator alum, announced today it has raised $2.7 million in seed funding, led by Initialized Capital, with participation from SB Opportunity Fund, RS Ventures and other venture capital firms and angel investors.

Ifiegbu joined WeWork’s People Analytics team in 2017, when the company had a total of about 2,000 employees. By the time he left in 2020, that number had grown to 15,000 people. One of Ifiegbu’s first hires at WeWork was Gabe Horwitz, the first data scientist on the People Analytics’ team and now eqtble’s co-founder and chief product officer. The startup’s third co-founder and chief technology officer is Ethan Veres.

At many companies, especially ones that are growing quickly, workforce data is scattered across different HR software, including human resources information systems (HRIS), engagement platforms, benefit programs and employee surveys.

Because information is so fragmented, companies can miss important correlations. For example, they might not see the links between why top employees are quitting and how long it typically takes to promote people, or overlook pay inequality. This in turn impacts a company’s culture, including its approach to diversity, equity and inclusion, and ability to retain talented people.

 

As WeWork was rapidly scaling, the People Analytics team built tools to analyze data from across the company.

“There were a lot of questions being asked, like what is our promotion like? What is our attrition, are we hiring more men than women? There were all these questions and bottlenecks in our processes, and we wanted to have an understanding of our employees,” says Ifiegbu. “So we built systems to capture all that data, clean it, structure it and deliver dashboard insights to our leadership.”

The process took about two years, and the People Analytics team eventually grew to 15 people. Ifiegbu and Horwitz realized there were many companies that needed the same kind of analytics, but didn’t have WeWork’s resources. This prompted them to start working on eqtble.

“It took us such a long time and quite a bit of money because we had this team [at WeWork],” he says. “So how do we build something that delivers these insights to them, but doesn’t take that much time to do it, because we realize it’s very important that leadership and decision makers have the data to make decisions about their employees.”

How eqtble works

The current version of eqtble can be onboarded in six weeks, and Ifiegbu says the company’s goal is to shorten that process to just two days. Eqtble is sector agnostic and its target customers are high-growth companies that have between 250 to about 3,000 employees.

The human resources analytics platform can collect data from more than 100 sources (including Workday, ADP, Oracle, PeopleSoft, Qualtrics and Culture Amp, to name a few), and deliver insights and visualizations about four main areas: talent recruitment, workforce, engagement (including attrition, or when workers quit) and compensation.

A screenshot of HR analytics eqtble's dashboard

One of eqtble’s summary dashboards

One of the things the platform can help HR teams do is identify why top candidates are declining offers.

For example, one of eqtble’s clients realized that their hiring managers were being passed more applications than they had time to look at. This created a bottleneck, because they weren’t able to interview people quickly enough. Other clients saw that candidates were dropping out because the interview process was too long.

“If you as an organization are saying ‘we’re going to have six rounds of interviews, it’s going to take three months to interview, you’re going to lose out on good candidates,” says Ifiegbu. “Other people are closing candidates within one to two weeks.”

Using data to increase diversity, equity and inclusion

It’s easy for a company to make DEI pledges, but even the best of intentions don’t result in progress if an organization isn’t willing to scrutinize itself. Because eqtble combines data from across a company, it can highlight potential issues before decision makers realize what is happening.

“Last year, all the companies were saying, ‘oh, we’re going to do this, we’re going to do all these things,’ and it’s like, ok, great, you can say anything, but the truth is you cannot change what you don’t measure,” says Ifiegbu.

For example, a company might be be proud of having a workforce that is divided equally between men and women, or that has a large percentage of people of color, when the reality is that many of them aren’t getting raises or being promoted into management roles.

“That 50/50 doesn’t mean anything if you don’t see representation at higher levels for women and people of color. What we’re doing is showing you a picture of your organization. If you can see the different parts of it, you can see the parts you can improve on and take actionable steps, not just lip service for the media,” says Ifiegbu. “Eqtble surfaces places you can improve or places where you are doing well so you can keep doing that.”

Ifiegbu is excited that the HR analytics space is gaining attention. “I feel like using data to drive decisions is such an important thing, and ultimately builds a healthier company.”

The seed funding will be used to grow eqtble’s engineering team and its platform’s machine learning and visualization capabilities, and user acquisition.

In a statement, Initialized Capital partner and president Jen Wolf said, “Important organizational issues like DEI or equitable compensation are not simply a box a company can check, they take honest commitment. Companies willing to make that commitment shouldn’t have to wait months or be discouraged by the financial investment it takes to understand the data they already own to make these meaningful changes. The eqtble team knows how to solve this, and they’re empowering other companies to do so.”

#compensation, #dei, #eqtble, #fundings-exits, #hiring, #hr-analytics, #human-resources, #initialized-capital, #recruitment, #startups, #talent, #tc

Beamery raises $138M at an $800M valuation for its ‘operating system for recruitment’

Online job listings were one of the first things to catch on in the first generation of the internet. But that has, ironically, also meant that some of the most-used digital recruitment services around today are also some of the least evolved in terms of tapping into all of the developments that tech has to offer, leaving the door open for some disruption. Today, one of the startups doing just that is announcing a big round of funding to double down on its growth so far.

Beamery, which has built what it describes as a “talent operating system” — a way to manage sourcing, hiring and retaining of people, plus analyzing the bigger talent picture for an organization, a “talent graph” as Beamery calls it, in an all-in-one, end-to-end service — has raised $138 million, money that it plans to use to continue building out more technology, as well as growing its business, which has been expanding quickly and saw 337% revenue growth year over year in Q4.

The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board (Ontario Teachers’), a prolific tech investor, is leading the round by way of its Teachers’ Innovation Platform (TIP). Other participants in this Series C includes several strategic backers who are also using Beamery: Accenture Ventures, EQT Ventures, Index Ventures, M12 (Microsoft’s venture arm) and Workday Ventures (the venture arm of the HR software giant).

Abakar Saidov, co-founder and CEO at London-based Beamery, told TechCrunch in an interview that it is not disclosing valuation, but sources in the know say it’s in the region of $800 million.

The round is coming on the heels of a very strong year for the company.

The “normal” way of doing things in the working world was massively upended with the rise of Covid-19 in early 2020, and within that, recruitment was among one of the most impacted areas. Not only were people applying and interviewing for jobs completely remotely, but in many cases they were getting hired, onboarded and engaged into new jobs without a single face-to-face interaction with a recruiter, manager or colleague.

And that’s before you consider the new set of constraints that HR teams were under in many places: variously, we saw hiring freezes, furloughs, layoffs and budget cuts (often more than one of these per business), and yet work still needed to get done.

All that really paved the way for platforms like Beamery’s — designed not only to be remote-friendly software-as-a-service running in the cloud, but to handle the whole recruiting and talent management process from a single place — to pick up new customers and prove its role as an updated, more user-friendly approach to the task of sourcing and placing talent.

“Traditional HR is very admin-heavy, and when you add in payroll and benefits, the systems that exist are very siloed,” said Saidov in the interview. “The innovation for us has been to move out of that construct and into something that is human, and has a human touch. From a data perspective, we’re creating the underlying system of record for all of the people touching a business. So when you build on top of that, everything looks like a consumer application.”

In the last 12 months, the company said that customers — which are in the area of large enterprises and include Covid vaccine maker AstraZeneca, Autodesk, Nasdaq, several major tech giants, and strategic investor Workday — filled 1 million roles through its platform, a figure that includes not just sourcing and placing candidates from outside of an organization’s walls, but also filling roles internally.

The work that Beamery is doing is definitely helping the business not just pull its weight — its last round was a much more modest $28 million, which was raised way back in 2018 — but grow and invest in new services.

The company said it had a year-on-year increase of 462% in jobs posted across its customer base. A year before that (which would have extended into pre-pandemic 2019), the number of candidates pipelined increased by a mere 46%, pointing to acceleration.

Beamery today already offers a pretty wide range different services.

They include tools to source candidates. This can be done organically by creating your own job boards to be found by anyone curious enough to look, and by leveraging other job boards on other platforms like LinkedIn, the Microsoft-owned professional networking platform that counts “Talent Solutions” — ie recruitment — as one of its primary business lines. (Recall Microsoft is one of Beamery’s backers.) It also provides tools to create and manage online recruitment events.

Beamery also offers tools to help people get the word out about a role, with a service akin to programmatic advertising (similar to ZipRecruiter) to populate other job boards, or run more targeted executive recruitment searches. It also provides a way for HR teams to create internal recruitment processes, and also run surveys with existing teams to get a better picture of the state of play.

And it has some analytics tools in place to measure how well recruitment drives, retention and other metrics are evolving to help plan what to do in the future.

The big question for me now is how and if Beamery will bring more into that universe. There have been some interesting startups emerging in the wider world of talent IT (if we could call it that) that could be interesting complements to what Beamery already has, or provide a roadmap for what it might try to build itself.

It includes much more extensive work on internal job boards (such as what Gloat has built); digging much deeper into building accurate pictures of who is at the company and what they do (see: ChartHop); or the many services that are building ways of sourcing and connecting with contractors, which are a huge, and growing, part of the talent equation for companies (see: Turing,  RemoteDeelPapaya GlobalLattice, Factorial, and many others).

Beamery already includes contractors alongside full- and part-time roles that can be filled using its platform, but when it comes to managing those contractors, that’s something that Beamery does not do itself, so that could be one area where it might grow, too.

“The key reason enterprises work with us it to consolidate a bunch of workflows,” Saidov said. “HR hates having different systems and everything becomes easier when things interoperate well.” Employing contractors typically involves three elements: sourcing, management and scheduling, so Beamery will likely approach how it grows in that area by determining which piece might be “super core” the centralization of more data, he added.

Another two likely areas he hinted are on Beamery’s roadmap are assessments — that is, providing tools to recruiters who want to measure the skills of applicants for jobs (another startup-heavy area today) — and tools to help recruiters do their jobs better, whether that involves more native communications tools in video and messaging, as well as Gong-like coaching to help them measure and improve screening and interviewing.

It might also consider developing a version for smaller businesses to use.

Questions investors are happy to see considered, it seems, as they invest in what looks like a winner in the bigger race. TIP’s other investments have included ComplyAdvantage, Epic Games, Graphcore, KRY and SpaceX, a long run in a wide field.

“Leading companies worldwide are prioritising recruitment and retention. They are turning to Beamery for a best-in-class talent solution that can be seamlessly integrated with their business,” said Maggie Fanari, MD for TIP in Emea. “Beamery’s best-in-class approach is already recognized by top-tier companies. I’m excited by the company’s vision of to use technology to support long-term talent growth and build better businesses. Beamery is the first company to bring predictive marketing and data science into recruitment. They are a truly innovative company, building a vision that can shape the future of work – the company fits all the criteria we look for in a TIP investment and more.”

#beamery, #enterprise, #europe, #funding, #hiring, #hr, #job-boards, #jobs, #labor, #recruitment, #talent

Gloat raises $57M to reinvent the internal job board

A lot of the focus in recruitment these days has been on better technology to connect people to job opportunities at new organizations, but that also leaves a wide opening to focus on one of the other big funnels for finding work: internal transfers. Today, a startup that is building tools to improve that experience is announcing a big round of funding to expand its business.

Gloat, which has built an AI-based platform that it sells to organizations to power their internal job boards, has picked up $57 million in funding, money that it will be using both to continue both for business development, but also to continue adding more features to its own platform, for example to expand deeper into openings for contractors and to open up more opportunities for secondments at other businesses, and to extend into front-line positions alongside the knowledge worker roles for which the AI is currently optimized — in short, to improve career agility for people embedded at, and valued by, an organization, who may want to explore opportunities there instead of, or even alongside, looking elsewhere.

Accel is leading this Series C round, with previous backers Eight Roads (a part of Fidelity), Intel Capital, Magma Venture Partners, and PICO Partners also participating.

Gloat is not (ahem) gloating about its valuation, but we understand that it is in the region of around $400 million (but note, it’s a wide region so might be as low as $300 million or as high as $500 million: we’ll update when and if we learn more). The Tel Aviv-based startup has raised $92 million to date and counts big companies like Unilever, Pepsi, MetLife, HSBC and ADP among its customers.

Ben Reuveni, Gloat’s CEO who co-founded the business with Amichai Schreiber and Danny Shteinberg, said he got the idea for the company while working as an engineer focusing on storage at IBM after IBM acquired a smaller company where he was working. This was his first job after spending time in the Israel’s IDF, and so after six years of working first for the startup and then IBM in effectively a similar role, he had itchy feet and wanted to do more.

But the problem, he said, was that although IBM did have internal job boards, it was hard to see how his expertise mapped on to the opportunities that were available. And that is before you consider the interface or any of the other aspects of user experience of using these tools. On top of this, when you are considering large enterprises the size of IBM, chances are that they are not focusing too much on individualized career development or talent retention for most people at the lower end of the wider pay scale.

“I really had only two options available to me,” he said. “Look for new jobs outside the company, or try to look internally. The fact was that exploring outside was easier than looking internally.”

It turns out that his experience was not unique. Internal job boards, he said, typically have atrocious engagement, in the single-digit percentage of staff.

Reuveni eventually did move on from IBM, to start Gloat. The company’s central premise is to build a job board tool that it sells to bigger enterprises — the kind that employ thousands of people and already have job boards — so that they can better hold on to talent rather than losing it to others because they — the employee and the employer — haven’t found the right role for a particular person who wants to switch gears.

It does this first of all by way of making the barrier to using Gloat very low: it initially can be integrated with whatever recruiting software or tools that an organization might already be using to source and internally advertise their job openings, which it then channels through its system and algorithm.

Secondly, it starts to build profiles not just of jobs, but of people in the organization and the skills that they have to match with those jobs. That is to say, Gloat’s taken what has typically been a very one-sided, and one-directional effort and turned it into one that goes both ways. To source information on employees — who can signal to Gloat that they would like to look for new opportunities — it looks at employment records, resumes, LinkedIn profiles, and perhaps a little input from the employee directly: all of this is ingested into its AI to help match a person to openings.

In cases where those skills are not quite right for what an employee wants to do, they get guidance on what they need to learn, and might also get options for “part-time” work within the organization where they can pick up experience they may still lack. (This is not unlike the career development tools that LinkedIn has built to bolster job hunting on its platform.)

Meanwhile, the department looking for a new person is getting sent referrals through the system, but it can also proactively use the Gloat database to find people to tap.

All of this is interesting but it leaves out a tricky variable, in the form of a manager.

What if you are working in a tense environment or simply don’t get along with the person to whom you directly report? Or what if the manager is possessive and doesn’t want to encourage you to leave? Considering that management is often evaluated not just on their own performance but on how well their teams do, it can be a risk to lose someone good.

Gloat’s system requires managers to endorse a worker as part of the process, so while some might be genuinely happy to see people they value continue to go upwards and onwards, couldn’t that also blow up this whole system in a bad way in those other cases?

Reuveni brushed that scenario aside when I brought it up, describing Gloat as a “win win situation” for managers, too, who will be motivated to help because the platform helps them find the right replacements. “Every manager can open a part-time project or internal job with their product,” he said.

I’m not fully convinced that may always be the case. But on the other hand, if you’re in a tough situation in your current placement, maybe looking at other organizations, or just using the more standard job board approach (which remains active, from what I understand), both would be better options anyway.

In the meantime, the company is looking to keep stretching the concept of “internal hires” into a much wider set of circumstances.

That will include providing openings to existing contractors looking for new contract roles when their current assignments end; or moving from a company to a similar role at another organization, as long as it’s non-competitive with your current employer (something that also comes up, Reuveni said, when a company is conducting a mass restructuring and is attempting to help affected employees find jobs elsewhere); or providing more analytics to HR teams, managers and other higher-ups who want a better look at the state of talent at their companies.

With talent retention and brain drain continuing to be big issues in a number of industries, it seems like a ripe time to address all of that.

“As companies are adapting their workforces to be more flexible and take advantage of remote workers, new tools are needed to optimise productivity and ensure equality of opportunities,” said Philippe Botteri, Partner at Accel, in a statement. “Gloat pioneered the Talent Marketplace to solve that, and it’s now becoming a strategic tool for global enterprises. Some of the world’s largest, most forward-looking companies are benefiting from the workforce agility enabled by Gloat’s AI-powered platform. The Accel team is looking forward to partnering with Gloat on the next stage of its journey, bringing this fundamentally new way of developing talent and managing work to every global enterprise.”

#funding, #gloat, #hiring, #jobs, #labor, #personnel, #recruitment

As the economy reopens, startups are uniquely positioned to recruit talent

We are amidst a sprawling renegotiation between employers and employees as to the very nature of work, and no one has more leverage than skilled technologists — many of whom feel unmoored from their current jobs.

Our 2021 Technologist Sentiment Report — which in the second quarter polled technology professionals who mostly work at bigger organizations — shows 48% tech professionals expressed an interest in changing companies this year, up from 40% in the fourth quarter of 2020, and a big jump from 32% in the second quarter last year.

It’s a unique moment, one that creates an unusual opportunity for startup founders on the hunt for talent.

Fast growing upstarts have a lot of advantages. Bigger companies may be more likely to attempt to recreate the office environment of the past — especially if they have leased space and a built environment that will be difficult to unwind. Startups are often non-traditional and may be able to react to create the hybrid work environments many technologists crave as the economy reopens.

While all startups are certainly not focused on being disruptive, they often rely on cutting-edge technology and processes to give their customers something truly new. Many are trying to change the pattern in their particular industry. So, by definition, they generally have a really interesting mission or purpose that may be more appealing to tech professionals.

A migration of tech talent just as the economy is revving up would be disruptive and could also play to startup strengths. The market for tech talent is already strong: tech hiring has increased every month since November, according to our last tech jobs report released in May. Great data engineers, developers, business analysts and the like are in red-hot demand, and unemployment in tech is just above 2.4% percent, versus 5.5.% percent in the economy overall.

#column, #ec-column, #ec-future-of-work, #entrepreneurship, #labor, #personnel, #recruiting, #recruitment, #startups, #tech-jobs, #tech-recruitment

Poor onboarding is the enemy of good hiring

The world of hybrid work is here, and the usual 10-minute intro call, swag bag and first-day team lunch are just not enough to make your new employee feel welcome.

While many companies have found a way to interview and select candidates in a fully remote environment, fewer have spent time and resources on aligning the “pre-boarding” and onboarding process for the new hybrid world of work. Many employers still rely on old ways of welcoming new hires, despite our totally changed work environment.

It’s important to capitalize on candidates’ enthusiasm and eagerness from the moment the offer is signed, instead of when they log in on Day One.

In our experience at Greenhouse, where we help companies as diverse as BuzzFeed, HubSpot and Intercom hire talent across their organization, first impressions can make or break a candidate’s chances of staying at a company.

In fact, 69% of employees will stay for more than three years if their onboarding experience is good, while 20% will leave within 45 days if it’s bad. That difference is costly, as it takes, on average, around $4,129 and 42 days to fill a position.

Replacing someone can cost up to 50%-60% of their annual salary. At the same time, 58% of organizations said they were guilty of centering their onboarding processes on administrative and paperwork requirements alone.

Here is how we advise our clients to set up every new hire for success right from the start.

The company’s Day One comes long before the candidate’s Day One

Most of us can remember the excitement (and anxiety) of receiving and signing an offer for a new job. It’s important to capitalize on candidates’ enthusiasm and eagerness from the moment the offer is signed, instead of when they log in on Day One.

#column, #ec-column, #ec-future-of-work, #ec-how-to, #employment, #human-resource-management, #labor, #onboarding, #recruitment, #startups, #telecommuting

Canvas lands $20M so tech’s biggest companies can find diverse talent

Ben Herman and Adam Gefkovicz launched Jumpstart in 2017 with a clear mission: to make the world more equitable via a more fair and balanced hiring process.

The company released its “Diversity Recruitment Platform” in July of 2018 with the aim of helping people earlier in their careers get a “jumpstart” via technology.

Over the years, the startup’s mission has evolved beyond helping college grads to helping all employees — regardless of career stage — get a fair shot at jobs. And it’s doing that by teaming up with hundreds of companies — such as Airbnb, Bloomberg, Coinbase, Samsung, Lyft, Pinterest, Plaid, Roblox, Audible, Headspace and Stripe — to help them hire a more diverse pool of candidates.

Demand has accelerated exponentially, and the San Francisco-based startup saw its revenue grow “3x” in 2020 compared to 2019, although execs declined to provide hard figures. Considering its broadened focus, Jumpstart has rebranded to Canvas and announced today that it has closed on $20 million in funding. Early Stripe employee and angel investor Lachy Groom and Sequoia Capital co-led the round, which included participation from Four Rivers Capital. The raise brings Canvas’ total raised to $32.5 million.

“We knew we were only scratching the surface of our vision, and knew we had a solution that could reimagine diversity hiring for everyone,” said co-founder and CEO Ben Herman. “You know how everyone has a CRM? We believe every company should have a DRP, which is a diversity recruitment platform. That’s the category we want to create and we want to be the largest in that space.”

No doubt that the Black Lives Matter movement in the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder helped, well jumpstart, the company’s efforts. Canvas is able to sell its offering as more companies “are being held accountable for their promises of equity and hiring diverse talent,” Herman said.

“Hiring diverse teams is not only a matter of corporate social responsibility,” he added. “Diversity and inclusion are a competitive advantage and strategic priority for every company in today’s landscape. We believe representation is a huge part of what we stand for. So we want everyone to be able to create their own canvas, and to be able to paint their own picture.”

Canvas describes its SaaS offering as a “fully virtual” recruiting platform that is based on self-reported data. About 87% of candidates on its platform disclose their demographic information (which it says is 7x the industry standard), according to the startup. Canvas also says it gives companies the ability to narrow down the priority groups and talent it wants to focus on by filtering over 75+ self-reported candidate data points.

The startup claims that it’s different from others in the space for that reason, among other features.

“Unlike other solutions that might utilize inferred data that could be inaccurate or illegal, Canvas helps create a more accurate data set to identify diverse candidates, helping to solve the core problem of talent discovery,” Herman said. 

It also — unlike some diversity hiring platforms — does not rely on artificial intelligence, a fact that Herman is actually proud of.

“We don’t believe that AI is the future. It’s not about getting someone’s gender or ethnicity based off of their name, or to inform the hiring decision without candidates knowing,” Herman told TechCrunch. “It’s all about how to empower talent to self-identify…We want to enable the talent to own their data, and truly be able to represent themselves in unique ways. That’s not leveraging AI.”

Canvas also gives companies a way to design, promote and run events, such as webinars, aimed at hiring diverse talent.

The startup also wants to get to a place where companies are working together “to complete the diversity data gap.”

“The problem is about accessibility, and so we want to give equal access to anyone and everyone — from all companies to all candidates,” Herman said. “And so that is really the most important part of what we are creating — the ability for companies to share data.”

So, how does it measure its own success? Canvas claims that 56% of all hires on the Canvas platform are made from underrepresented groups (URGs), and that it helps employers achieve a 30% reduction in time to hire.

Herman is not your typical startup founder, having dropped out of high school and starting his own recruitment agency at the age of 21. His tenacity is one of the things that attracted Sequoia partner and Canvas board member Mike Vernal to back the company.

“When we first met Ben, it was clear that he was…a natural-born talent scout,” Vernal told TechCrunch. “He thought there was a better way for the industry to work — one where companies and recruiters were more collaborative and used technology to build stronger, more diverse teams.”

Since its initial investment in the company, Vernal believes building diverse teams has never been more important.

“Those teams create better products, make stronger business decisions, and it’s just the right thing to do,” he said. “We believe companies can do a better job sourcing underrepresented talent using Canvas than on their own.” 

Canvas plans to use its new capital to expand the product into other industries and verticals beyond technology and continue to address the recruiting process for later stages of people’s careers. The company currently has 70 employees and expects to have 100 by the end of 2021.

As mentioned above, hiring diverse talent is becoming a bigger priority for big tech companies (such as HP) and startups alike. Earlier this year, diverse hiring startup SeekOut raised $65 million. The company has built out a database with hundreds of millions of profiles using its AI-powered talent search engine and “deep interactive analytics.”

#artificial-intelligence, #board-member, #canvas, #coinbase, #diversity, #economy, #employment, #funding, #fundings-exits, #hiring, #human-resource-management, #jumpstart, #lachy-groom, #lyft, #mike-vernal, #pinterest, #recent-funding, #recruitment, #san-francisco, #search-engine, #sequoia-capital, #startup, #startup-company, #startups, #talent, #tc, #venture-capital

Upstream, a Miami-based professional networking platform, raises a $2.75M seed round

If you’re reading this, there’s a pretty good chance you have a LinkedIn profile with your digital resume and hundreds — if not thousands — of professional connections. But how many of those people do you actually know well, and, more importantly, do you ever connect with them and meet others from their networks?

“You don’t go to LinkedIn to meet people. You don’t hang out and spend meaningful time there,” said Alex Taub, co-founder and CEO of Upstream, a new professional networking platform that just closed a $2.75 million seed round, bringing their total raised to $3.25 million. The round was led by Ibex Investors and managing partner Nicole Priel (who joins the board) and includes participation by 8-Bit Capital, Human Ventures, NYVP, Converge Venture Partners and a number of angel investors.

“Your LinkedIn network is not a good representation of who you actually know and how well you know them. We see these places that LinkedIn isn’t particularly focused [on] and believe there are opportunities for multiple big companies to better serve the needs of professionals,” Taub added.

Unlike LinkedIn, Upstream focuses on generating meaningful connections between its members, and one way they go about it is by hosting digital events that start with a speaker, followed by breakout matched sessions that are five minutes each.

To get a sense of the product, Upstream invited me to be the speaker at last Friday’s “Upstream Social,” where I talked about my work as a journalist and then coincidently got matched with two founders — one in Brazil and the other in Boston. The week before, the guest speaker was U.S. Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey.

To me, the experience felt like LinkedIn meets Clubhouse meets Hoppin.

Upstream, which is pre-revenue and is Miami-based, is a company whose founder was attracted to the Sunshine State from NYC during the pandemic. Taub and his family signed a two-year lease here and plan to reevaluate their residence in the summer of 2022; they are one of the movers who are cautiously optimistic about the tech industry’s recent explosion in the Magic City.

The origin story

Taub and his co-founder, Michael Schonfeld, are both serial entrepreneurs, having built and sold Social Rank for an undisclosed amount before launching Upstream in October 2020. The impetus for the company came as a solution to a struggle Taub faced in his daily life.

“Throughout my life, regardless of the job I’ve been in, I spend my time making introductions, connecting people and helping friends hire rock-star talent. Like many people, I get energy from helping others,” Taub said. “When COVID-19 hit and the job market took a dive last March, the number of requests for help I received increased 100X. I noticed quickly that my speed of responding to emails and brain capacity to connect the dots became the limiting factor in getting people help,” he added.

So it’s no surprise that Upstream started as a product where people could ask for help, and others from the community pitched in. The company now has more than 200 communities (similar to LinkedIn groups), and about 75% of the people who attend an initial Upstream event return for a second one.

“I joke that we are building a product that people need because I need it. We feel that we are the right team to solve this problem because we so desperately want it ourselves,” Taub said.

#alex-taub, #cory-booker, #human-resource-management, #human-ventures, #ibex-investors, #labor, #linkedin, #miami, #michael-schonfeld, #nicole-priel, #recent-funding, #recruitment, #social, #social-networking, #startups, #tc, #united-states, #upstream, #work

Taking stock of the VC industry’s progress on diversity, equity and inclusion

Let’s be clear: The venture capital industry has lacked diversity. The good news is the industry is working to improve itself.

To begin with, as an industry, venture capital can only improve what we measure. In 2016, we set out to develop a rigorous methodology for tracking progress on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in venture capital, and to measure and benchmark those data through our biennial VC Human Capital Survey.

The goals of the survey — powered by the National Venture Capital Association, Venture Forward and Deloitte — are to collect demographic data on the VC workforce across all firm types, sizes, stages, sectors and geographies, as well as trends on firm talent management and recruitment practices. We’ve learned that progress can be slow and seem discouraging, but we’ve also captured evidence that diversity (and firm practices to advance diversity) is increasing in some areas, even as other areas have unfortunately not seen the same pace of change.

To begin with, as an industry, venture capital can only improve what we measure.

We fielded the survey in 2016, 2018 and 2020, and released the outcomes of the third edition last month, featuring data (as of June 30, 2020) collected from 378 firms, a marked increase from 203 participating firms in 2018. Furthermore, more than 145 firms signed the #VCHumanCapital pledge to publicly commit to submitting their DEI data.

At a high level, the data showed that improvements in diversity among investment partners have largely been driven by the hiring and advancement of female investors, while there has been little progress in the equitable representation of Black or Hispanic investment partners.

However, the demographic composition of junior investment professionals reflects greater diversity and wider adoption of diversity-focused talent management and recruitment practices suggest some cause for optimism. The industry still has a long way to go, but here are some of the key insights and changes we identified from the latest survey.

Intentionality associated with improved diversity

More firms are explicitly assigning responsibility for promoting diversity and inclusion internally — 50% of firms have a staff person or team tasked with this responsibility (compared with 34% in 2018 and 16% in 2016). Simultaneously, diversity and inclusion strategies have become more widespread; 43% of firms have implemented a diversity strategy (against 32% in 2018 and 24% in 2016), while 41% have an inclusion strategy (versus 31% in 2018 and 17% in 2016).

This intentionality translates to improved diversity outcomes. Firms with dedicated DEI staff, strategies and programs achieve greater gender and racial diversity on investment teams and among investment partners. The increased emphasis on DEI is also a broader ecosystem trend. More firms report that limited partners and portfolio companies have requested their DEI details over the past 12 months.

Encouraging signs in talent recruitment and development

Venture firms are relatively small and turnover is generally low, but 21% of firms in 2020 reported their number of senior-level investment positions had increased, while 43% said their number of junior-level positions had expanded. Meanwhile, the demographic composition of junior investment professionals reflects higher gender and racial diversity, a positive leading indicator for the diversity of future investment partners.

As overall DEI strategies have become increasingly widespread, more firms have also developed DEI-focused recruitment and hiring programs — 33% of firms have formal programs, while 74% have informal programs, both reflecting steady increases from 2016. Firms were also more likely to report that they typically seek external candidates for open positions than they did in 2018.

However, firms continue to largely rely on internal networks for recruitment, which often encourages homogeneous hiring outcomes. Between the 2018 and 2020 surveys, there was little change shown in the use of narrow recruitment methods to find external candidates; notifying peers in the VC industry (78%) and notifying the firm internally (59%) were the strategies cited most often. The exception was posting on third-party websites like LinkedIn or in newsletters, a strategy reported by 54% of firms in 2020 (a substantial increase from 37% in 2018), which presents one avenue to reach a broader audience of candidates outside of existing networks.

Assessing inclusion remains a challenge

Once talent has come on board, inclusive culture and retention become key metrics of DEI progress. More firms are implementing programs dedicated to leadership development, mentorship and retention, with about two-thirds reporting informal versions of such programs (20 percentage points higher than in 2016) and 20% of firms reporting formal programs.

Assessing inclusion through the VC Human Capital Survey is challenging because we survey one representative per firm, and one person cannot speak to the degree of inclusion felt by others. However, we added a new question to the 2020 survey to gauge how firms themselves are assessing inclusion. While 41% of firms reported having an inclusion strategy, only 26% said they conduct surveys of their employees to assess inclusion.

Subjective factors remain a key consideration in promotions

Well-structured, consistently applied policies for career advancement are critical to ensuring that diverse talent reaches the most senior decision-making levels of the industry. About 20% of firms reported having formal DEI programs focused on promotion (up from 5% in 2016), while 65% of firms have informal programs (compared with 39% in 2016).

Although DEI programs focused on the promotion of employees are more widespread, subjective factors remain a key consideration for promotion decisions, which can lead to unequal and biased outcomes.

Almost all firms reported that “contributions to the performance of the fund” (90%) and “deal origination” (82%) were very important or important factors in considering promotions. However, the factor most often rated highly was “soft skills,” with 94% of firms saying it was very important or important. These types of subjective factors present significant opportunity for unconscious bias to creep in and can detract from the weight given to objective measures more demonstrably relevant to performance.

Maintaining momentum

The results of the third edition of our survey are timely, coming on the heels of a year in which social justice and racial equity have been the subjects of sharp national focus, policymakers have sought to increase access to capital for underserved communities, and the VC industry has shown a renewed focus on DEI. The survey shows where the VC industry’s efforts should be focused and also serves as an important reminder of the intersectional needs of DEI-focused initiatives.

The data show that progress within one demographic element can be more nuanced when considering people who represent multiple marginalized communities (e.g., the percentage of investment partners who are women has steadily increased, but the percentage of investment partners who are women of color has not).

The pace of DEI progress has been slow and uneven in some areas, but there are reasons for optimism. On April 6, NVCA, Venture Forward and Deloitte hosted a discussion with industry leaders to further examine the latest survey results and to address DEI challenges, opportunities and strategies for the industry. More firms are prioritizing these constructive conversations, both within their firms and publicly with industry peers. More firms are acting in a collaborative spirit, adopting thoughtful and concrete DEI strategies and acting with intentionality and urgency.

If the industry can continue to build upon this momentum and commitment around DEI efforts, we can reach a tipping point that will translate to meaningful progress reflected in future editions of the survey.

#column, #deloitte, #diversity, #human-resource-management, #national-venture-capital-association, #recruitment, #startups, #talent-management, #venture-capital

Microsoft launches Viva, its new take on the old intranet

Microsoft today launched Viva, a new “employee experience platform,” or, in non-marketing terms, its new take on the intranet sites most large companies tend to offer their employees. This includes standard features like access to internal communications built on integrations with SharePoint, Yammer and other Microsoft tools. In addition, Viva also offers access to team analytics and an integration with LinkedIn Learning and other training content providers (including the likes of SAP SuccessFactors), as well as what Microsoft calls Viva Topics for knowledge sharing within a company.

If you’re like most employees, you know that your company spends a lot of money on internal communications and its accompanying intranet offerings — and you then promptly ignore that in order to get actual work done. But Microsoft argues that times are changing, as remote work is here to stay for many companies, even after the pandemic (hopefully) ends. Even if a small percentage of a company’s workforce remains remote or opts for a hybrid approach, those workers still need to have access to the right tools and feel like they are part of the company.

Image Credits: Microsoft

“We have participated in the largest at-scale remote work experiment the world has seen and it has had a dramatic impact on the employee experience,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in a pre-recorded video. “As the world recovers, there is no going back. Flexibility in when, where and how we work will be key.”

He argues that every organization will require a unified employee experience platform that supports workers from their onboarding process to collaborating with their colleagues and continuing their education within the company. Yet as employees work remotely, companies are now struggling to keep their internal culture and foster community among employees. Viva aims to fix this.

Unsurprisingly, Viva is powered by Microsoft 365 and all of the tools that come with that, as well as integrations with Microsoft Teams, the company’s flagship collaboration service, and even Yammer, the employee communication tool it acquired back in 2012 and continues to support.

There are several parts to Viva: Viva Connections for accessing company news, policies, benefits and internal communities (powered by Yammer); Viva Learning for, you guessed it, accessing learning resources; and Viva Topics, the service’s take on company-wide knowledge sharing. For the most part, that’s all standard fair in any modern intranet, whether it’s from a startup provider or an established player like Jive.

Viva Insights feels like the odd one out here, especially after Microsoft’s kerfuffle around its Productivity Score. The idea here is to give managers insights into whether their team (but not individual team members) are at risk of burnout, for example, in order to encourage them to turn off notifications or set daily priorities (a good manager, I’d hope, could do this without analytics, but here we are, in 2021). It’s also meant to help company leaders “address complex challenges and respond to change by shedding light on organizational work patterns and trends.” Sure.

Because this is Microsoft in 2021, there’s also a lot of talk about employee well-being in today’s announcement. For most employees, that means fewer meetings, more focus time and turning off notifications after work. Obviously there are technical tools to help with that, but it’s really a question of company culture and management. I’m not sure you need analytics integrated with LinkedIn’s Glint for that, but you can now have those, too.

“As the world of work changes, the next horizon of innovation will come from a focus on creativity, engagement and well-being so organizations can build cultures of resilience and ingenuity,” said Jared Spataro, corporate vice president, Microsoft 365. “Our vision is to deliver a platform for the employee experience that helps organizations create a thriving culture with engaged employees and inspiring leaders.”

#computing, #enterprise, #human-resource-management, #intranet, #linkedin, #microsoft, #microsoft-viva, #recruitment, #satya-nadella, #sharepoint, #software, #successfactors, #yammer

Jobandtalent tops up with $108M for its ‘workforce as a service’ platform

Madrid-based Jobandtalent, a digital temp staffing agency which operates a dual-sided platform that connects temp workers with employers needing regular casual labor in sectors like transport and logistics, has added €88 million (~$108M) to its Series C — bringing the total raised following an earlier (2019) closing of the round to €166M.

The 2009-founded startup has raised more than $290M to date over its decade+ run but describes itself as just at the beginning of a journey to make a dent in the massive and growing market for temporary work, expecting demand to keep stepping up as more sectors and processes go digital in the coming years.

Jobandtalent says more than 80,000 workers have used its platform to secure temp gigs in the last year across the seven markets where it operates in Europe and LatAm (namely: Spain, UK, Germany, France, Sweden, Mexico and Colombia); while 750+ employers are signed up to “recurrently manage a large part of their workforce”, as it puts it, including XPO, Ocado, Saint Gobain, Santander, Bayer, eBay, Huawei, Ceva Logistics and Carrefour.

It’s focused on competing with traditional staffing agencies such as Adecco and Randstad, though other similar startups are cropping up to cater to an ever more precarious temporary employment market. (And Uber, for example, launched a shift-finder app experiment called Works, back in 2019, also targeting demand for on-demand labor — but doing so in partnership with staffing agencies in its case).

Jobandtalent reports the number of workers looking for temp jobs on its platform doubling every year, while it’s grown revenue to €500M and says it’s hit positive EBITDA.

The beefed up Series C funding will be put towards expanding into more markets and doubling down on growing its existing footprint, it said today.

“We will keep expanding through Europe and will consider some additional opportunities (the US and some LatAm countries),” co-founder Juan Urdiales told us, noting that its main markets remain Spain and the UK, while its main sectors are logistics, last mile, warehousing and transport.

The lead investor in the expansion tranche of its C round is new investor InfraVia, a French private equity firm, which is putting in €30M — investing via a Growth Tech Fund it launched last year that’s focused on European b2b high-growth tech companies.

Existing Jobandtalent investors, including Atomico, Seek, DN Capital and Kibo Ventures, also participated in the Series C top-up.

Urdiales said the reason it’s taken in another chunk of funding now is because of increased opportunity for growth as the coronavirus pandemic continues to accelerate demand for temping. “The reason why we are raising more is because we are seeing a high potential now to grow even faster than expected,” he told us. “The pandemic has helped us with both workers and employers in terms of adoption of our platform.”

“Covid has accelerated the transformation of many industries. We have seen more adoption of new technologies in the last nine months than in the last five years. The staffing market is experiencing a huge transformation that will be accelerated in the upcoming years, moving from brick and mortar traditional structures to data driven platforms that will improve the experience of both workers and employers,” Urdiales went on in a statement.

“This market is really big and we are just in the beginning of our journey (even though we have been a lot of years in the market now),” he added via email, discussing whether an IPO is on the business’ roadmap in the next few years. “We think that if we continue growing at the pace that we are growing now, and we add some private investors to help us with our growth plans, we may stay private for longer.”

Jobandtalent has been through a number of pivots since kicking off more than a decade ago with the idea of using technology to streamline the messy and consummately human business of recruitment. It started out testing a number of approaches before settling on a linguistics algorithm to parse job ads and create alerts to loop in passive job seekers.

Then in 2016 it pivoted away from enterprise recruitment to focus on mobilizing hiring for SMEs — zeroing in on the growing opportunity for temp job-matching offered by the rise of gig work fuelled by smartphone apps. From there, it’s been honing tools to cater to the needs of employers that are managing large temporary workforces.

The flip side of the rapid growth of ‘flexible’ platform-based labor — and Jobandtalent says it’s eyeing a pool of some 500M temp workers globally — is something that gig platforms don’t usually like to talk about: Worker precariousness.

But that’s something this startup says it wants to help with too. A key part of the proposition Jobandtalent offers to workers is increased benefits vs what a temp might otherwise expect to get.

The average gig platform does not offer a full suite of workers rights and benefits, just as they don’t provide a contractual guarantee of future shifts, as they classify on-demand labor as ‘self-employed’ — even as, simultaneously, they apply mobile technology to tightly manage this workforce (via data, algorithms and their own devices). 

This disconnect, between the level of gig worker rights and platform control, has led to a number of legal challenges in Europe — including in several of the markets where Jobandtalent operates (such as Spain, where Glovo continues to face legal challenges over its classification of delivery couriers, for example; and France and the UK, where Uber has lost a number of employment tribunals over driver status).

EU lawmakers are also eyeing conditions for gig workers — considering whether legislation is needed to protect platform workers’ rights. While some platform giants, like Uber, have already felt politically pressured to offer a level of insurance in the region.

Jobandtalent’s promise is it’s pushing for more perks for temps — leveraging the scale of its platform to get workers a better deal, including by making precarious work more steady (by lining up the next gig) and therefore less uncertain.

“All of the workers have access to the same benefits,” said Urdiales via email when we ask about how Jobandtalent’s perks are structured. “There are benefits such as advance payroll, health insurance, training courses, etc (not all the benefits are available in all countries, it depends on the level of maturity of each country).”

“We want to give any worker that starts working through Jobandtalent access to those benefits and offer a high standard employment treatment, so they have a similar status to what a perm employee has,” he added.

In a press release trumpeting its investment in Jobandtalent, new investor, InfraVia, also suggests the platform makes “temporary work a fulfilling professional step” — by defining “career plans” for temporary workers so they can “progress towards permanent and rewarding positions”.

However when we asked Urdiales what data it has on temp-to-permanent switches that have been enabled by its platform he said this is “not a common thing”.

“Employers are not looking to add workers to their perm workforces, and Jobandtalent is precisely trying to solve that for the workers, trying to give constant employment in different work assignments at different companies so they can find more stability,” he told us, adding: “The market is moving even more into a more precarious temporary employment market, and we believe that in this context a platform like the one that we are offering makes even more sense.”.

The other big carrot for workers to plug into Jobandtalent’s temp work marketplace is convenience: It takes a mobile app-based approach — offering a one-stop-shop for giggers to find their next shift, apply for the temp job (via in-app video interview), sign the contract and get paid, as well as access the touted benefits.

Its streamlining of admin around recruitment and payroll is also of course a key carrot for employers to get on board with Jobandtalent’s ‘workforce as a service’ proposition — which claims an upgraded offer (such as a CRM that bakes in analytics for tracking workforce performance in real time) vs traditional temping agency processes, as well as lower costs and increased numbers of job offers.

Its worker-to-temp job matching tech is designed to take the (temp) recruitment strain for employer customers via a proprietary quality worker scoring algorithm which it calls a Worker Quality Score (WQS).

Urdiales told us the criteria that feeds this score include attrition rate, absenteeism rate — and “some productivity metrics of the workers that we place” — when we asked for details, having found no information about the WQS on its website.

Algorithmic scoring of workers can have obvious implications for worker agency.

Nor is it without legal risk in Europe where EU citizens have rights attached to their personal data, such as access rights, and also (under the GDPR) a right to human review of any purely automated decisions that have a legal or similarly substantial impact on them (and decisions impacting access to work would be likely to qualify).

In a recent judgement, for example, a court in Italy ruled that a reputation ranking algorithm used by on-demand delivery platform Deliveroo had discriminated against workers because the code failed to distinguish between legally protected reasons for being absent from work (such as sickness or being on strike) and more trivial reasons for not turning up for a previously booked shift. (Deliveroo no longer uses the algorithm in question.)

Uber is also facing legal challenges in the Netherlands to its use of algorithms to automatically terminate drivers and to its use of data and algorithms to profile and manage drivers. While ride-hailing company Ola is facing a similar suit over its algorithmic management of gig workers. So EU courts are certainly going to busy interrogating the intersection of app-driven algorithmic management and regional data and labor rights for the foreseeable future.

The European Commission has also proposed a sweeping reform of the regional rulebook for digital services which includes a requirement for regulatory oversight of key decision-making algorithms with the aim of shrinking the risk of negative impacts such as bias and discrimination — although any new laws are likely still years out.

Asked whether Jobandtalent’s worker users are provided with their own WQS and given the chance to appeal substantial decreases in the score — including the opportunity to request a human review of any automated decisions — Urdiales said: “The platform gives them constant feedback based on the main metrics that they can affect (voluntary attrition, absenteeism, etc) with the aim to make them improve at work and consequently improve their ability to get more jobs in the future.”

#apps, #europe, #fundings-exits, #infravia, #jobandtalent, #recruitment, #saas, #temporary-work

H1’s Linkedin for the healthcare industry raises $58 million

The idea sounds almost too simple. Create a version of Linkedin that’s specifically for the healthcare industry, where professionals can find out not just who has what credentials, but also learn about the research those professionals are conducting and the specialties they have.

In the middle of a global pandemic, when industry insiders are all trying to find out who is an expert in particular fields of medicine that are most impacted by a novel virus spreading like wildfire around the world, that simple idea becomes a necessity.

That’s the situation that H1, a startup which just raised $58 million in new financing, found themselves in as the pandemic hit American shores earlier this year.

The company only graduated from Y Combinator in January, and now, less than a year later is closing on over $70 million in total financing.

Doubling down on its previous investment in the company is Menlo Ventures, which along with the growth stage investment firm, IVP, co-led the new financing for the company.

 

Their rationale for investing can be attributed to H1’s explosive growth. The company now has 250 employees after launching from Y Combinator just 12 months ago. Already a player in the US, H1 is looking to expand to Europe and Asia in 2021 and counts 13 of the top 20 pharmaceutical companies as its clients. As of its last tally, the company already had profiles on over 9 million healthcare professionals worldwide.

According to one person with knowledge of the company’s fundraising history, Menlo Ventures was so pleased with the company’s performance that it offered tens of millions of dollars in pre-emptive financing.

“We have created a platform for the healthcare ecosystem to connect in the same way Linkedin connected professional workers in the early 2000’s. There hasn’t been a global platform like H1 before that has connected industry to the right doctors the way H1 does,” said H1 co-founder and CEO Ariel Katz. “This next round of funding, with our excellent investment group, including Menlo who has been a great partner for us, will help us continue to become the largest healthcare professional platform and ultimately create a healthier future.”

Menlo Ventures certainly thinks so.

“When we started working with H1, we could already see early evidence of product-market fit, including both early ‘beachhead’ pharma deals and good logo velocity in smaller biotechs. Feedback from customers was stellar, both in terms of product value and commitment to customer success by the H1 team,” wrote Menlo Ventures partner Greg Yap and JP Sanday in a blog post. “One of our diligence intros even turned into a multi-million dollar customer and investor. But H1 was clearly still at an early stage of maturity for supporting large demanding enterprise customers. Now, at the Series B, H1 has ramped up execution, winning 13 of the top 20 pharmaceutical companies as customers and meeting top-tier venture metrics in gross retention, net retention, and sales efficiency.”

#asia, #companies, #europe, #greg-yap, #healthcare-industry, #ivp, #linkedin, #menlo-ventures, #pharmaceutical, #recruitment, #tc, #united-states, #y-combinator

myInterview raises $5 million for its video-based job recruitment platform

Creating a resume is one of the most frustrating parts of job hunting. Though ubiquitous on social media, videos are still rare on job platforms, even though it’s difficult to capture your personality in a resume. Sydney, Australia-based myInterview wants to turn videos into an integral part of recruitment, with a platform that allows candidates to upload video responses to questions. Recruiters also have the option of using myInterview Intelligence, or machine learning-based tools that create shortlists for competitive openings.

The startup announced today that it has raised a $5 million seed round led by Israeli early-stage venture firm Aleph, with participation from returning investors Entrée Capital and SeedIL Ventures. MyInterview previously raised $1.6 million in pre-seed funding, including from Cliff Rosenberg, the former managing director of LinkedIn’s Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand operations.

MyInterview has been used by more than 2,000 companies, mostly in the United States and United Kingdom. Some of its best-known clients include online supermarket Ocado, retailer B&M and P&O Ferries. It has also worked with Facebook Career Connections and has a strategic partnership with reed.co.uk, the largest job search site in the U.K. So far, more than two million candidates have used myInterview, and the company’s goal is to reach tens of millions of job seekers.

The new funding will be used to expand its sales, product and research and development teams.

MyInterview was founded in 2016 by Guy Abelsohn and Ben Gillman, after they became frustrated by how difficult it was to make their resumes stand out while job hunting. MyInterview started out by offering products for companies to integrate into their existing recruitment systems, but launched a standalone platform at the beginning of 2019, well before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

“We already had very nice traction over 2019 and into the beginning of 2020,” Gillman told TechCrunch. “I like to say that the success we’ve been seeing is independent of COVID, but there’s definitely been an impact in people who are still hiring needing to adopt technology such as myInterview in order to do that more effectively and efficiently with social distancing and the number of applicants coming through because of the market, and the more general adoption of video across the space.”

Gillman said myInterview’s platform can be used to fill almost any kind of job, but it’s generally used for roles, like entry-level positions, that can get hundreds to thousands of applications.

To use myInterview, companies set up a portal with a list of questions and prompts for applicants to answer on video. Applicants have the option of playing back and re-recording their responses several times before they hit submit. Once submitted, myInterview generates a transcript with tags for recruiters to sort through.

Other startups that have recently raised funding to integrate video into the recruitment process include VCV.AI, JobUFO and Willo.

One of the main ways myInterview competes with its rival is myInterview Intelligence. If a recruiter uses myInterview Intelligence, the platform analyzes responses for key words, phrases and tone.

myInterview Intelligence screenshot

myInterview Intelligence screenshot

MyInterview’s AI tools are based on the Big Five Personality Model, one of the main frameworks used by personality researchers. Personality tests, especially ones based on the “Big 5,” have been used by recruiters for years; what myInterview does is automate the process based on video transcripts instead of making candidates to fill out traditional assessments.

By automatically creating candidate shortlists focused on workplace culture compatibility, myInterview’s founders say its machine learning-based tools can help recruiters surface applicants who might otherwise be overlooked. Gillman said the platform also tries to mitigate bias in the hiring process by using a diverse set of data to train its algorithms and working with behavioral psychologists to audit videos. (Other startups using AI to help overcome bias in hiring include RippleMatch, which also recently received funding).

Of course, what makes a group of coworkers click can be hard to define, as with any other kind of relationship. Gillman said myInterview’s team includes behavioral psychologists, machine learning engineers and general engineers, working together to crack the code of building a good team.

For example, some candidates might flourish in a large corporation, where there is a lot of hierarchy and structure, while others might work better in small companies with a family-like environment, he said. “These things are quite tangible, and these are the elements we help to identify, both to the candidate and the employer.”

#australia, #fundings-exits, #hiring, #job-platform, #recruitment, #startups, #tc

The need for true equity in equity compensation

I began my career at Oracle in the mid-1980s and have since been around the proverbial block, particularly in Silicon Valley working for and with companies ranging from the Fortune 50 to global consulting companies to leading a number of startups, including the SaaS company I presently lead. Throughout my career, I’ve carved out a niche not only working with technology companies, but focused on designing and implementing global compensation programs.

In short, if there’s two things I know like the back of my hand, it’s tech and how people are paid.

The compensation evolution I’ve witnessed over these past 35+ years has been dramatic. Among other things, there has been a fundamentally seismic shift in how women are perceived and paid, principally for the better. Some of it, in truth, has been window dressing. It’s good PR to say you’re a company with a strong culture focused on diversity, as it helps attract top talent. But the rubber meets the road once hires get past the recruiter. When companies don’t do what they say, we see mass exoduses and even lawsuits, as has recently been the case at Pinterest and Carta.

So with the likes of Intel, Salesforce and Apple publicly committed to gender pay equity, there’s nothing left to see here, right? Actually, we’re not even close. Yes, the glass ceiling is cracking. But significant, largely unaddressed gaps remain relative to the broader scope of long-tail compensation for women, especially at startups, where essential measures of economic reward such as stock options in companies are often not even part of the conversation around pay parity.

As a baseline, while progress is evident, gender pay is an unfinished product to say the least. Recently the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found white women earn 83.3% as much as their white male counterparts, while African-American women earn 93.7% compared to men of their same race. Asian women made 77.1% and Hispanic women earned 85.1% as much respectively.

According to Payscale, the ratio of the median earnings of women to men has decreased by just $0.07 since 2015, and in 2020, women make $0.81 for every dollar a man makes. Long term, in calculating presumptive raises given over a 40-year career, women could lose as much as $900,000 over the duration of a career.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Even if we solely left the gender pay gap to just a cash salary disparity, there is something further to see here. However, to quote a famous pitchman, “But wait, there’s more!” And the more — at least in my mind — is far more troubling.

As innovative startups from Silicon Valley to New York’s Silicon Alley and beyond continue to reshape the business landscape, guess how most of them are able to lure bright, entrepreneurial minds? It’s certainly not salary, as when a company has nothing beyond a great idea and maybe a lead to a VC on Sand Hill Road, there’s no fat paycheck or benefits package to offer. Instead, they dangle the proverbial carrot of stock/equity compensation.

“Look, we know you can get $180,000 a year from Apple but we’ll give you $48,000 a year plus 1,000 shares presently valuated at $62 per share. Our board — which is packed with studs from the Bay Area — is expecting that to soar within two years! Wait ‘til we go public!”

This is the pitch, at least if you’re a promising male. But women, historically, have tended to get left out of this lucrative reward package for varying reasons.

How has this happened? Beyond just a furtherance of business culture, while there have been legislative steps taken to address inequities in public company compensation and stock dispersal, there are no regulations as to how private companies distribute or manage the appreciation of stock. And, as we all know, the appreciation can be potentially massive.

It makes sense. Many companies and even naïve job-seekers consider equity as the “third pillar” of compensation beyond titles/compensation (which come hand-in-hand) and benefits. Shares of startups are just not top-of-mind — often ignored or misunderstood — by many who look at gender pay inequities, although that could not be more misguided.

A recent study published in the “Journal of Applied Psychology” found a gender gap for equity-based awards ranging from 15%-30% — even beyond accounting for typical reasons women historically earn less than men, including differences in occupation and length of service at a company. Keep in mind many of these companies will go on to massive valuations, and for some, lucrative IPOs or acquisitions.

It’s a problem I recognized long ago, and it is largely why I agreed to lead our Bay Area startup on behalf of our New York-based parent company AST. I found a commitment to a genuinely equitable culture instilled by a shared moral compass, a belief that companies who care about gender equity perform better and provide better returns, and a conviction that diversity brings unique perspectives, drives talent retention, builds a stronger culture and aids client satisfaction.

In speaking with industry colleagues, I know it’s something CEOs, both men and women, are dedicated to addressing. I believe creating a broader picture of compensation is essential for startups, global conglomerates and every company in between. If you are in a position of leadership and recognize this is a challenge in need of addressing at your company, here are some steps I recommend you implement:

  1. Look at the data: Do the analysis. See if this is truly an issue at your company, and if it is, commit to creating a level playing field. There are plenty of experienced consultants who can help you work through remediation strategies.
  2. Remove subjectivity: Hire an independent arbiter to analyze your data, as it removes the politics and emotion, as well as bias from the work product.
  3. Create compensation bands: Much like the government’s GS system, create a salary grade system that contains bands of compensation for specific roles. Prior to hiring a person, decide which band the job responsibilities should be assigned.
  4. Empower a champion: Identify and empower an internal champion to truly own parity — someone whose performance is judged based upon creating equity company-wide. Instead of assigning it to your human resources chief, create a chief diversity officer role to own it. After all, this is bigger than just pay or medical benefits. This is the culture and thus foundation of your company.
  5. Get your board on board: Educate your board as to why this matters. If your board doesn’t value this, it ultimately won’t matter. Companies have audit committee chairs or nominations chairs. Identify a “culture chair.”

One of the first reports we created is a Pay Comparison Report so there are tools anyone in management can easily use to review stock grants made to all employees and ensure equity between people of different ethnicities or gender. It’s not that hard if you care to look.

When I was graduating from college and Ronald Reagan was in office, we were talking about the potential for women to break the glass ceiling. Now, many years later, somehow we’ve managed to develop lights you can turn on and off by clapping and most of us are walking around with the power of a supercomputer in our hands. Is it really asking too much that we require gender pay equity, including all three compensation pillars (cash, benefits and stock), to be a priority?

 

#column, #compensation, #diversity, #gender, #human-resource-management, #labor, #opinion, #oracle, #policy, #recruitment, #sexism, #startups, #tc, #venture-capital

#Gastbeitrag – Ab in den Funnel – 5 Bereiche, die Startups automatisieren sollten


Startups sind chaotisch? Unsinn. Gerade junge Unternehmen haben die Chance, die Abläufe strukturiert zu gestalten. Schließlich müssen sie nicht Jahrzehnte lang eingespielte analoge Prozesse über den Haufen werfen, sondern können von Anfang an auf automatische Workflows setzen. Der große Vorteil: Anstelle der Mitarbeiter erstellt die Software größtenteils automatisch Reminder und Termine sowie für einzelne Aufgaben und Folgeaufgaben bis ein finales Ergebnis vorliegt. Dadurch gerät kein Follow-Up in Vergessenheit, kein Termin wird übersehen. Einfache Dinge – wie etwas das manuelle Übertragen von Rechnungsbeträgen – übernimmt die Software gleich komplett. Dadurch vergeuden Team-Manager wie auch einzelne Mitarbeiter ihre Zeit nicht länger mehr mit administrativen Angelegenheiten. Im Vertrieb und Marketing haben sich solche Funnels und Workflows bereits bewährt – nun erleben wir ähnlich innovative Arbeitsweisen abteilungsübergreifend in anderen Bereichen. Fünf Beispiele für (teils) automatische Funnels und Workflows im Arbeitsalltag:

Onboarding
Hat ein neuer Kollege tatsächlich alle erforderlichen Stationen durchlaufen, um zu wissen, wie das Unternehmen funktioniert? Tools wie Personio automatisieren den Onboarding-Prozess weitestgehend. Jedes Meeting, jeder Workshop wird terminiert, die dafür erforderlichen Kolleginnen und Kollegen eingeladen. Bevor der neue Kollege nicht die erforderlichen Skills erworben hat, bleiben die dafür notwendigen Termine in der Pipeline. Es folgt Reminder nach Reminder und Termin nach Termin. Bei Finiata haben wir dafür ein “Buddy-Programm” initiiert. Ein erfahrener Mitarbeiter steht dem Neuankömmling zur Seite. Personio erstellt für beide weitestgehend automatisch Termine und Reminder für die erforderlichen Onboarding-Sessions, die einmalig im Vorfeld festgelegt wurden – aber selbstverständlich je nach Abteilung und Level variieren.

Recruitment
Wer kennt es nicht? Eine Bewerbung trudelt als PDF ein, das Feedback aus der Fachabteilung zieht sich hin, irgendwann versandet die Mail und wenn sie wieder auftaucht, ist der Kandidat längst anderweitig untergekommen. Im Recruitment sorgen Workflows dafür, dass alle im Einstellungsprozess involvierten Mitarbeiter zentral in der Cloud gemeinsam bearbeiten. Ist noch eine Einschätzung jenseits von HR von einer Fachabteilung erforderlich, erfolgt dies unmittelbar in der Cloud. Ist eine Bewerbung spannend, wandert der Kandidat in die nächste Stage – beispielsweise zur Einladung zum Bewerbergespräch. Daran an knüpft wiederum die Evaluierung. Reminder für die Bearbeitung der Kandidaten erfolgen automatisch. Abhängig vom Level und dem Fachgebiet der Bewerber variieren die “Funnels”, sind mal kürzer, mal länger – aber die Logik bleibt immer die gleiche: Erst wenn ein finales Ergebnis vorliegt – also die Zu- oder Absage – geben die Tools Ruhe.

Buchhaltung
Tools wie Spendesk oder Pleo automatisieren das Verwalten von Unternehmensausgaben. Statt dass Mitarbeiter Papier-Belege oder Rechnungen als PDF horten und sie dann am Monatsende der Buchhaltung übergeben, erfolgt die gesamte Administration unmittelbar nach der Bezahlung. Einzelne Mitarbeiter erhalten virtuelle oder physische Kreditkarten des Unternehmens. Geschäftsessen oder auch Marketing-Budgets bezahlen sie dann eigenständig – ab bestimmten Beträgen wird selbstredend die Freigabe durch dafür verantwortliche Personen vorausgesetzt. In diesem “Administrations-Funnel” erfolgt fast alles automatisch ab dem Scan der Rechnung mit dem eigenen Smartphone: Die Beträge und entrichtete Umsatzsteuer wird ausgelesen und direkt an die Buchhaltungssoftware übermittelt, die Rechnung entsprechend gesetzlicher Vorgaben archiviert. Alle Ausgaben lassen sich etwa nach Person oder Typ kategorisiert und visualisieren. Schwankungen oder auch Einsparpotenziale fallen dadurch auf einen Blick auf.

Marketing
Im Marketing automatisiert zeitgemäße Cloud-Software die Prozesse weitestgehend. Beispielsweise clustert Hubspot Personen nach ihren Öffnungs- und Klickquoten, um dann Newsletter zu individualisieren. Besonders spannend sind zudem Cloud basierte Verzahnungen von Vertrieb und Marketing. Unter anderem können dann die Vertriebskollegen übernehmen, wenn ein potenzieller Neukunde zwar noch seine Telefonnummer eingegeben, aber eine Anmeldung nicht final abgeschlossen hat – die DSGVO-konforme Einwilligung natürlich vorausgesetzt. Solche Tasks erstellt die Software komplett automatisch in den Workflows der Vertriebskollegen. Idealerweise verteilt sie hochwertige Leads aus dem Marketing dabei gleichermaßen im Vertriebsteam – damit alle Kollegen gleiche Voraussetzung auf Abschlüsse und Kommission haben.

Vertrieb
Vertriebssoftware – Vorbild aller Funnels – bringt jeden neuen Kontakt in Workflows. Kein Lead gerät in Vergessenheit, kein Termin landet nicht im Kalender. Jede einzelne Kontaktaufnahme hält die Cloud-Software fest und erstellt direkt Folgeaufgaben. Bis zum finalen Abschluss oder auch nicht. Und nach erfolgreichem Abschluss, beginnt der Zyklus mit möglichen Upselling-Optionen idealerweise gleich von vorne.

Ein solches Arbeiten im Autopilot erleichtert den Arbeitsalltag ungemein durch weniger Administration, weniger Vergesslichkeit und einem immensen Plus an Zuverlässigkeit. 

Über den Autor
Jan Enno Einfeld ist Geschäftsführer von
Finiata, einem Fintech mit Fokus auf kurzfristiges Liquiditätsmanagement für Kleinunternehmen, Selbstständige und Freiberufler. Finiata nimmt neben dem Kernmarkt Polen Märkte wie Italien, Spanien oder die Türkei für die kommenden Jahre ins Visier. Die Bonitätsprüfung erfolgt komplett digitalisiert und automatisiert. Der Algorithmus “Copernicus” hat sich durch Machine Learning kontinuierlich weiter entwickelt und prüft binnen weniger Minuten die Kreditwürdigkeit der online-Antragssteller – bei einer Ausfallquote von zwei Prozent und einem Gini-Koeffizienten, der 30 Punkte besser ist als der von vergleichbaren Auskunfteien. 

Startup-Jobs: Auf der Suche nach einer neuen Herausforderung? In der unserer Jobbörse findet Ihr Stellenanzeigen von Startups und Unternehmen.

Foto (oben): Shutterstock

#aktuell, #buchhaltung, #gastbeitrag, #marketing, #onboarding, #recruitment, #vertrieb