Curated Intel from the Talent Tech Industry
October 17-23, 2022:
• Buzzing into Europe: Contingent worker-focused Beeline acquires SMB-focused Utmost;
• Venting on vendors: Sapient Insights survey shows growing unhappiness with HR tech providers;
• Recognizing that it ain’t either-or: AI advancements don’t mean human intelligence is obsolete;
• Bracing for a correction: Wall Street turns bearish on Facebook & Google’s digital ad businesses;
• Uncovering new talent sources: Africa’s tech talent accelerators attract VC funding & Big Tech.
• Yesterday’s Recruitment Marketing strategies will no longer work – the expectations and behaviors of today’s candidates are just too different from those of the past. So, how must Recruitment Marketing evolve to regain its effectiveness? That’s the focus of the TAtech Leadership Summit on Recruitment Marketing. Designed for both corporate and industry thought leaders, this event is all about identifying the new Best Practices of Recruitment Marketing – those that will yield positive results in 2022 and beyond. So, join us on December 1 at Boston University in downtown Boston, MA USA.
Contingent worker-focused Beeline acquires Utmost
As companies across the world grapple with shortages of skilled labor, they are increasingly turning to freelancers, contractors and consultants to fill the gaps and get projects over the line – these are known collectively as contingent workers. However, it can be tricky for HR and finance departments to keep track of contingent workers, and particularly pay them on time. This is where technology can change the game. Founded in 1999, US-based vendor management system (VMS) Beeline has been providing tech solutions for employers like Disney, Amazon, McDonald’s, Meta and Pfizer who rely on a large number of project-focused contingent workers. Over the past few years, Beeline’s growth strategy has included acquisitions – examples include OnForce in 2014 and JoinedUp last year. It has now added a fourth acquisition by buying European-headquartered Utmost, a next-generation extended workforce company – it is spending some money from its recent influx of funding from Stone Point Capital. Utmost was founded by two former Workday product experts – it aims to help organizations have a better view of their employees and contingent workforce, and therefore identify (and fill) skills and talent gaps more quickly and efficiently. It is particularly focused on small and medium-sized businesses.
Survey Shows Growing Dissatisfaction with HR Tech Vendors
Although investment in HR technologies remained strong last year, buyers expressed more dissatisfaction with technology vendors' solutions, according to the recently released 2022-2023 HR Systems Survey from Sapient Insights Group. The survey also found that organizations using technology to help drive strategy rather than just compliance produced significantly higher business, HR and talent outcomes. Respondents to the Sapient survey reported that weaknesses in some providers' platforms were exposed by the demands of the COVID-19 pandemic, leading more to consider replacing systems in areas like payroll or time and attendance. Many respondents also said the "year of grace" they gave vendors amid the pandemic had come to an end. Over half (54 percent) of companies with more than 500 employees plan to increase HR tech spending by an average of 21 percent. This continues a five-year trend of gradually growing investment in HR platforms and applications, with the only dip occurring in 2020, the pandemic's first year. The survey [also] found a 7 percent decline in overall vendor satisfaction ratings and a 6 percent decline in overall user experience ratings. Vendor satisfaction among respondents dropped most significantly in learning, HR analytics and compensation systems. Overall, HR users said they were looking for improved support from vendors, continued enhancements to the user experience, more-reasonable costs for things like adding new modules to platforms, and improved reporting capabilities.
AI Coming Of Age: Lessons For Startups
In 1956, a young mathematics professor at Dartmouth College organized a group of computer and cognitive scientists to develop ideas about thinking machines and called the subject “artificial intelligence” (AI). Today, according to Fortune Business Insights, the AI industry is currently valued at $387.45 billion and is expected to reach $1,394.30 billion by 2029. The internet revolution over the last few decades was the primary catalyst for this growth, as technologists and users explored new horizons—search, social networking, e-commerce—and these applications left behind a tsunami of data debris. To manage that debris, we need AI. Now, technologists are exploring the possibility of Artificial Super Intelligence (ASI), intelligence that surpasses human intelligence. So, is AI coming of age? Yes. The evolution is not going to stop. But, in order to effectively use AI, businesses—and startups in particular—must judge intelligence on its own merits rather than dissecting the categories of “human” or “artificial.” In this information age, we will need both kinds of intelligence, so there’s no point in pitting one against another. Businesses must make the most of both human intelligence and artificial intelligence in order to thrive.
Facebook and Google face skeptics on Wall Street this week amid digital ads collapse
Wall Street is bracing for disaster in online advertising. Following disappointing results from Snap last week and a 28% plunge in the stock price that sent the company’s value to its lowest since early 2019, investors are now turning their attention to ad giants Meta and Alphabet as well as reports this week from Twitter and Pinterest. They’ll also hear from Amazon and Microsoft, which have big ad businesses of their own. The flurry of reports comes at a time of extreme skepticism in web and mobile advertising. Facebook parent Meta shares are down more than 60% this year, and the company is expected to report a second straight drop in revenue. Alphabet, which has slid 30% in 2022, is forecast to report single-digit sales growth. Aside from one quarter at the beginning of the pandemic, that would mark the weakest period for Google’s parent since 2013. The economic downturn and fears of a recession have many marketers reining in spending. At the same time, Apple’s iOS privacy change from last year continues to punish companies — notably Snap and Facebook — that have historically relied on user data to target ads.
Africa’s tech talent accelerators attract students, VC funding as Big Tech comes calling
Tech giants are increasingly looking for tech talent in Africa, where the number of developers reached 716,000 last year, up 3.8% from 2020, according to Google. In the last six months, Microsoft and Amazon have been on a recruitment drive that came along with enticing offers including relocation to their hubs in the U.S. and Europe, endearing themselves to the small but growing talent pool amid tough competition from other tech giants like Google, as well as startups. This demand for African developers is expected to continue, buoyed by the effects of the Great Resignation, which led employers to search for new talent elsewhere, and as tech behemoths like Google, Oracle and Visa expand their operations in Africa. Yet as demand rises, the number of new developers entering the market is disproportionately small, mainly because traditional education institutions in most African countries have been slow to revamp their courses to keep up with job market demands and the fast-evolving world of technology. On the other hand, the gap between demand and supply has unequivocally steered the launch of new developer schools and propelled the growth of existing ones in recent months, many of which are gaining the attention of global venture capitalists.
The Recruitment Marketing Revolution of 2022
Yesterday’s Recruitment Marketing strategies will no longer work – the expectations and behaviors of today’s candidates are just too different from those of the past. So, how must Recruitment Marketing evolve to regain its effectiveness? That’s the focus of the TAtech Leadership Summit on Recruitment Marketing. It’s all about identifying the new Best Practices of Recruitment Marketing – those that will yield positive results in 2022 and beyond. Coming up on December 1 at Boston University in downtown Boston, MA USA, this unique one-day event is specifically designed to promote connections among busy corporate and industry leaders. Its program provides a deep dive into the top of the recruiting funnel with plenty of time left over for senior-level peer-to-peer interaction. That makes it the perfect venue for building your brand and generating sales leads. Join us!