HR Tech World start-up stage: Who made the grade?

Last year, Robot Vera won the coveted grand prize and €10,000 for its AI recruitment robot

One of the most hotly anticipated elements of the HR Tech World conference series – now known as Unleash – is the start-up stage, which celebrates innovative new companies in the HR tech sector.

This year in Amsterdam was no exception, with hundreds of start-ups nominated for the competition, showcasing systems that do anything from automating interview processes to streamlining employee feedback.

Artificial intelligence, unsurprisingly, featured highly, and Robot Vera, an AI recruiting platform, took away this year’s grand prize and €10,000 in sponsorship funding.

Robot Vera came out on top after making it to a list of five finalists. Here’s a look at the companies that made waves in this year’s competition.

The winner

Robot Vera

Robot Vera saves recruiters time by selecting candidates from CVs uploaded to job sites, according to their requirements.

Hailing from Russia, Vera can call candidates to tell them about the job, send job descriptions to all interviewees and even hold the video interview. “She” also reduces duplication of effort by removing any repeated CVs, so companies are not emailing candidates twice.

Robot Vera also keeps records of recruitment activity, calculating the cost of responses and time taken to interview, so businesses can easily see how much they have saved through automating parts of the process.




Enboarder is an onboarding tool that claims to put people before paperwork. It cleverly creates a workflow for new starters so managers can see, for example, when they have formally accepted an offer, or be prompted about preparing for their first day.

The system coaches managers through the onboarding process and simplifies the administration side, so they can spend more time communicating with the new starter and making them feel welcome.



Aimed at improving workplace diversity, Vercida enables employers to attract candidates from different talent pools in a proactive way. The company’s name stands for Values, Equality, Respect, Culture, Inclusion, Diversity and Accessibility.

As well as using traditional search terms such as location, jobseekers are able to filter employers according to the work they are doing to promote diversity and inclusion. By the same token, employers can highlight their values and inclusive features, such as a age ranges or LGBT initiatives.

Vercida also contains a growing database of more than 3,000 articles relating to employers’ work on diversity. Over 100 employers are already using it.



Unlike traditional payroll providers, Payzaar claims to be able to aggregate different payroll system and service providers globally so businesses can choose which mix works best for them.

It can be integrated with existing solutions so organisations do not have to rip out their old payroll systems, and customers can change their mix of suppliers if desired, without being locked into long-term arrangements. A statistics dashboard informs organisations how their payroll is being spent and where they’re getting the best return on investment.



VCV claims that the average recruiter spends 21 hours to select three people from 250 CVs, before carrying out a face-to-face interview. Its AI robot recruiting platform will save recruiters more than 20 hours.

VCV’s search bot screens hundreds of thousands of CVs to match candidates with job descriptions, offering applicants a choice of preferred channel for initial communication. After a quick online chat or phone call, candidates can pre-record video answers to pre-determined interview questions. Recruiters can then decide whether to bring them in for a face-to-face interview.

To save even more time, VCV can use facial recognition and predictive analytics to screen candidates, only sending the best ones for the job.

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