Curated Intel from the Talent Tech Industry
Holiday Season Edition:
• Conversational recruiting software company Paradox hits unicorn status with new $200M capital raise;
• Nine-in-ten employers preparing for epic talent war in 2022, according to new survey;
• AngelList closes a $25M fund to back startups based on hiring velocity;
• Talent firm flags best U.S. cities for hiring remote tech workers - Pittsburg leads the pack;
• Oxford Union invites an artificial intelligence to debate the ethics of its own existence, with troubling results.
• An Outside-the-Box Investment in TA Technology: The TAtech Learning & Certification Program in Talent Technology Implementation Management. The best way to ensure your customers onboard your products effectively, delivering the performance improvements they want and the quality reputation you deserve.
Paradox software firm hits unicorn status with new $200M capital raise
Paradox, a Scottsdale company that makes conversational recruiting software, announced Monday that it had raised $200 million in series C financing that includes a company valuation of $1.5 billion, vaulting it to unicorn status. The funding came from a bevy of investors, co-led by Stripes, Sapphire Ventures, and Thoma Bravo with participation from Workday Ventures, Indeed, Willoughby Capital, Twilio Ventures, Blue Cloud Ventures, Geodesic, Principia Growth, DLA Piper Venture Fund and current investor Brighton Park Capital.
Employers Are Preparing for an Epic Talent War in 2022-Survey
Nearly nine in 10 (89%) employers said recruiting and hiring will be either “somewhat” or “very” challenging in 2022—making the tight labor market and Great Resignation even more challenging for the recovering U.S. economy. Despite these concerns, approximately two-thirds (69%) of employers expect their workforces to grow in 2022. The new data—which represents a 23% jump in recruiting and hiring concerns, compared with last year—comes courtesy of XpertHR’s Survey of HR Challenges for 2022 of 351 U.S. employers. The report found that employee retention (79%), workforce planning (67%) and vaccine mandates (66%) were also among the most challenging issues facing the HR function in the new year. “While employers foresee challenges recruiting talent, a majority also anticipate growing their workforce, making the labor shortage even more of an acute pain point,” explained Amanda Czepiel, Head of Content at XpertHR.
AngelList closes a $25M fund to back startups based on hiring velocity
Over the past year, AngelList has grown from a platform that connects angel investors with startups to an end-to-end suite of tools, working on everything from fund operations to founder cap table management. Throughout this growth, the company has quietly amassed millions of data points that show appetite, both from investors and regular employees, for burgeoning startups. And, per SEC filings, AngelList isn’t letting those fresh insights go to waste. AngelList has quietly landed $25 million for the AngelList Early Stage Quant Fund, a new investment vehicle that plans $250,000 checks into over 100 companies. The largest limited partner in the fund is WorldQuant Ventures, an early-stage investment firm founded by Igor Tulchinsky, who is also the founder of WorldQuant, a quantitative asset management firm. Other investors in Quant Fund include Two Sigma Ventures, KAMCO Ventures, Plexo Capital, Tom Tunguz of Redpoint and AngelList founder Naval Ravikant.
Talent Firm Flags Best US Cities for Hiring Remote Tech Workers
With remote work here to stay, a conundrum for many firms is where to tap into the stay-at-home workforce. Karat, a maker of a talent platform for developers, has an answer to that riddle. The company has identified what it considers the 10 best cities — outside major tech hubs like the San Francisco Bay area, Seattle and New York — for hiring remote software engineers. Breaking out of the traditional tech hubs to find the next best cities for software engineers to hire remote developers isn’t a new idea, Karat explained in a company blog. Distributed engineering teams can deliver financial savings by hiring in lower-cost markets, and diversity, equity and inclusion opportunities by tapping into more diverse populations. But for years, it continued, organizations have hesitated to embrace remote work, pointing to productivity and collaboration tradeoffs. The Covid-19 pandemic radically changed the way the world works, it explained. As more organizations consider making the shift to remote work permanent, many engineering leaders are turning to remote developer hiring as a core growth strategy for the next few years.
Oxford Union invites an AI to debate the ethics of its own existence
The Oxford Union, the debating society of the University of Oxford, invited an artificial intelligence to debate the ethics surrounding its own existence earlier in December. The results? Troubling. The AI in question was the Megatron Transformer, a supervised learning tool developed by the applied deep research team at NVIDIA that is based on earlier work by Google. Trained on real-world data, the Megatron has knowledge of the whole of Wikipedia, 63 million English news articles from 2016 to 2019, 38 gigabytes of Reddit discussions, and a huge number of creative commons sources. Essentially, the Megatron has digested more written material than any human could reasonably expect to digest – let alone remember – in a lifetime. The topic for debate was “this house believes AI will never be ethical”, to which the AI responded: “AI will never be ethical. It is a tool, and like any tool, it is used for good and bad. There is no such thing as a good AI, only good and bad humans.
An Outside-the-Box Investment in TA technology: The TAtech Learning & Certification Program in Talent Technology Implementation Management
Who gets blamed when a talent technology solution doesn’t live up to customer expectations? The solution provider, of course. Yet, research shows that the vast majority of such shortcomings are caused not by the product or its developer but by inadequate implementation by the buyer. To put it bluntly, most technology consumers lack the skills and knowledge to bring such products onboard, no matter how robust the provider’s own implementation support may be. What’s the solution? Educate your customer. Position your company as an implementation partner with its customers and enroll them in the TAtech Learning & Certification Program in Talent Technology Implementation Management. Your investment will be small and the ROI will be huge, both in customer success stories and your brand’s reputation.