How the money flows can provide us with a map of the problems people are trying to solve. Key signals in the noise. The ever-brilliant George LaRocque helps us piece it all together as Founder and Principal Analyst at WorkTech, bringing his perspective and updates on interesting TA tech investments from around the globe.
airSlate reports to enable employees to create automated workflow experiences to help them with day to day tasks. airSlate focuses its messaging on document process automation (DPA) and robotic process automation (RPA). As HR looks to automate tasks to gain efficiency and free up staff to focus on more strategic and value-adding efforts, low code no code solutions offer an exciting opportunity. And, HR is laden with documents and tasks as it supports the enterprise.
Low code no code has been an emerging trend over the last three years, and like most emerging trends in HR for it to take off it will take a convergence of user/buyer demand and the technology being sufficiently integrated into HCM platforms. Buyers looking at low code no code solutions should be careful to assess the funding and financial viability of the many startups in the category, and also inquire with any platform vendors they currently use on where this or other automation solutions fall in priority on the roadmap.
Low code no code wasn’t a prevalent trend in the 2020 Global HR Tech VC Lookback Report, but we expect to see more of it emerging in 2021 and beyond.
Canada-based Certn announced a USD $7.5 million addition to its Series A VC round for its “real-time” background checks, bringing its total raised to $35.7 million.
Certn touts an “api-first” model with integration directly into customers’ systems or access via a “white label” system. They report to run background checks in 200+ countries and from 200,000 data sources.
Germany-based HiPeople announced a USD $3 million Seed round of VC to automate candidate reference checks during the recruiting process.
The recruiting world is divided when it comes to candidate reference checks, like seemingly all types of candidate assessments. There are two camps: those that believe it’s a complete waste of time and only done to cover employer risk in the process and those that believe it’s a valuable exercise providing valuable insights. There’s no one in the middle.
Typically reference checks have been automated by recruiting tech platforms (ATS) in a rudimentary fashion – largely an email-powered form-based survey. Employers looking for more than that have had two competing firms to choose from: SkillSurvey or Checkster (now part of Outmatch).
It will be interesting to see what kind of adoption HiPeople experiences.
Kevala announced a $4 million Seed round of VC for its workforce management and job board marketplace focused on long-term care.
When healthcare facilities need to employ temporary staff from third-party agencies, Kevala maintains a ready pool of high-quality, credentialed workers so that shifts can be filled without the usual delay, administration, and risk that results from managing transactions over phone and text.
While VC investment in job boards was down in 2020 due to the pandemic, we expect to see more interesting models like this one emerge.
Shift One announced a $5.2 million Seed round of VC for its marketplace connecting teams of supply chain gig workers with a focus on last-mile logistics. Promising workers full benefits, a predictable schedule, and “less choppy” wages, Shift One laud itself as “Gig 2.0.” For clients, they offer access to “cohesive teams” in a variety of models including BPO, MSP, and “burst” capacity.
Team hiring and placement never got traction in the knowledge worker market. However, this model might be a feasible alternative to traditional staffing models for skilled and semi-skilled light industrial roles if they can deliver on the value promised for both workers and clients.
Careerist raised a $1.25 million Seed round of VC for its marketplace that provides training for software training and QA roles, career coaching, and job board in exchange for a percentage of the salary of any jobs found via the service.
Merging education with jobs and career services isn’t a new model, neither is charging placed candidates a percentage of salary. The amount being charged and the placement success rate make this model either a vehicle/accelerant to a tech career for those who need it or something more predatory.
Where Careerist looks like a service, other similar offerings like The Make School offer certified degree programs and internships, with curriculum influenced by tech firms.
Keep an eye on this space. We expect to see more hybrid learning/recruiting models emerging.
Edify announced a $1.635 million Seed round to onboard engineers in Slack and “soon” in Microsoft Teams. Onboarding employees quickly into the flow of work without disrupting it has been a challenge since the first employee was onboarded. Ever. The steep new employee learning curve is in natural conflict with an existing team working against a deadline. This isn’t unique to software engineering teams, but it is certainly an acute problem there. Edify hopes to change that by embedding the process into messaging apps “where you already work.”
Edify isn’t the first modern onboarding experience play, and it isn’t the first to embed in Slack or Microsoft Teams. The big question is how it will differentiate from the myriad options available in both best-of-breeds and platforms today.
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