HR Tech World’s disruptHR: the ones to watch

Arctic Shores managing director Robert Newry collects top prize at disruptHR
Arctic Shores managing director Robert Newry collects top prize at disruptHR

For the last three HR Tech World events, Faye Holland has interviewed and assessed dozens of companies who believe they have something unique to offer. Here she provides a whistlestop tour of the contenders in last week’s disruptHR contest at the HR Tech World Spring congress in London.

Every HR Tech event produces an interesting mix of true HR technology start-ups alongside more established software companies, as well as regional specialists offering up their new HR technology for delegates.

Each of them attend for different reasons – some to test their approach, others to find investors and, of course, most want to find new customers.

Who won disruptHR?

The disruptHR competition placed the top three finalists as follows: third place went to HROnboard, second Impraise, with the winner by one point, Arctic Shores.

Although each finalist had something sound to present, only Arctic Shores truly brought disruption to the competition – with a new model for attracting and assessing millennials and addressing diversity, its solution was niche, but relevant if you are challenged with apprenticeship and graduate recruitment.

Employee engagement forerunners

Employee engagement remains prevalent with new tech companies, but I am starting to wonder if we are seeing the same kind of overload as we have done in the past with recruitment start-ups.

The big questions are: what are you doing differently, and what new problem are you solving? I’m not sure all this year’s engagement technology suppliers can answer that.

However some of them stood out – starting with Cabanna, who I first interviewed last autumn. Providing a social platform for employee engagement, the organisation has learnt a lot since its first foray into HR Tech. It is still in beta, but expecting go live in June 2016.

Finalist Impraise brings a mobile, social and real-time solution for continuous feedback – it has a great user interface, strong usability and insights, but it will need to keep pushing boundaries to compete with the other engagement companies doing the same thing.

And finally, fellow finalist Praditus, which focuses on creating more fulfilling careers and highly engaged workplaces. All of them are certainly worth a look if engagement is your priority.

Ones to watch

For analytics, it is hard to beat the Workometry solution from last autumn, but really interesting is Peakon, whose solution focuses on intelligent data collection that enables management decisions.

Dublin-based TandemHRSolutions is trying to reshape performance management within organisations by focusing on upskilling managers.

And for energy, you cannot beat Susanna Rantanen from with its culture-mapping tool – still at very early stages but they are certainly on our radar.

Notable mentions

Around the topic of future of work I was interested in finding out more about Peachy Mondays and its kit-bag of engagement tools – anonymous feedback, follow-up questions, pulses, any-time feedback with dedicated company “hotlines”, even the ability to upload previous surveys and more. As a start-up it’s now ready to branch out into the enterprise space.

Next, Wellevue who I first met 18 months ago have really come on – if you are looking to build on the fun element of culture, its gamification offering is a clear leader.

And finally HROnboard – which, as the name suggests, focuses on the legal, compliance, and paperwork side of onboarding. With an immediate target of 7,500,000 “onboards”, it is ready to take the UK by storm, and I think they’ll do it.

Hats off to all the disruptHR companies. They put themselves out there each year – some will succeed, some will not, but what is evident is that they constantly challenge and put innovation into the HR space.

More information on all the HR Tech disruptHR interviews can be found here.

Faye Holland

About Faye Holland

Faye Holland works with a range of technology firms as an external consultant providing strategic, implementation and communications expertise. She has a strong HR network around the globe from advisors, analysts, providers and enterprise customers, and stays ahead of all the latest developments through activities such as involvement in the blog squad for HR Tech.


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