I attended my first HR Technology Conference in Chicago in 2010. After a decade in the business intelligence market, I'd been to a fair number of technology events and expositions over the course of my career.
But what really struck me at that first HR Technology Conference was the breadth and depth of exhibitors, ranging from the global enterprise suite players to specialist HR vendors and a significant number of new, niche vendors whose offerings seemed to be jumping on the ever-shifting "latest and greatest" bandwagon.
As I get ready to attend my third HR Technology Conference, our industry has gone through some seismic shifts: Oracle's acquisition of Taleo, for instance, or SuccessFactors by SAP or Kenexa by IBM, to cite only a few recent examples. In the course of the last two years, dozens of vendors have been acquired, and just as many have gone out of business. But like the heads on a hydra, when one vendor disappears, there always seems to be another ready to take its place (think: social recruiting solutions).
The HR technology market today reminds me of the Business Intelligence market of a few years ago - a wave of major acquisitions followed by the inevitable consolidations, big busts, and startups claiming they've got the silver bullet for solving big business problems. Not to mention the mentality that the times, they are a changing, and that the 'old guard' just doesn't get it.
But here’s what happened in the business intelligence market. That 'old guard' (SAP BusinessObjects, Oracle, IBM Cognos) did survive. In fact, many of them accelerated their pace of innovation, thriving through strategic acquisitions to fill gaps (in the case of SAP, snapping up Xcelsius, FirstLogic, Inxight, etc.) and boosting go-to-market sales and marketing programs built to target their existing install base while continuing to net new business.
The true innovators in business intelligence (Qliktech, Tableau and, more recently, GoodData and Birst, to name a few) were able to secure a spot in the middle of the market and, rather than compete with these established players, positioned themselves as complementary solutions. The laggards, companies like Actuate and Microstrategy, were left to pursue other channels, scraping by to survive. And many firms have come and gone, cautionary tales of how difficult it is to build - and sell - software into lines of business.
Here at Talemetry our goal for the past two years has been to firmly establish ourselves as a true innovator, creating a new market: talent generation. Talent Generation, put simply, is the candidate-facing component of talent acquisition. With our Talemetry Talent Generation platform, organizations can find, attract, and engage better talent with a combination of solutions for recruitment marketing, talent networks, sourcing, and candidate engagement. Moreover, Talemetry partners with an ever-expanding ecosystem of applicant tracking systems, HR service providers, job boards, and social media sites to provide a comprehensive talent acquisition solution designed to complement any HRM product.
The Talemetry team is once again exhibiting at the 2012 HR Technology Conference. We're extremely proud of the work we've accomplished over the past two years and can't wait to share our story - and our results - with you. We're also there to listen and learn more on what you expect from us in the future and what we need to do to meet the needs of a constantly evolving market.
We're coming fully staffed with a team of 10 Talemetry team members with the shared goal of meeting our existing and prospective customers while connecting and strengthening our relationships with our partners, analysts, press, and industry influencers. Of course, it's not all business; we're planning to attend all of the networking events on a very crowded calendar, so chances are that wherever you are, we'll be there, too.
Because we're committed to connections and conversations, our booth is designed to create an oasis of quiet amongst the chaos of the conference, with space where we can actually sit down and talk to our partners and clients.
We'll also have a theatre with a line-up of short 15 minute sessions (click here for a complete schedule) designed to help attendees understand what Talemetry does, why we do it, and how we help our customers solve some of their biggest talent challenges.
Make sure to stop by #Booth443 to see Talemetry in action and talk to our Talemetry team (Amanda Ovenden, Mike Vilimek,Nin Sandhu, Matt Charney or myself). If you're interested in exploring partnerships, our team of Praj Patel, Amanda Carr, Paul Mladineo and Kate Sensmeier will also be around, as will our VP product, Tim Lang and our CEO, Jade Bourelle.
If you'd like to schedule some time at HR Technology to meet Talemetry or any member of our team, shoot me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll make sure to set something up. You can also connect with us on Twitter @talemetry or get the latest #HRTechConf news and views by following #Booth443.
These are exciting times in our industry, and even more exciting times for our team at Talemetry. At the HR Technology Conference, you're sure to see a lot of established global players, emerging new 'hip and cool' vendors and a whole host of wannabes. But there are a few innovative diamonds in the rough - and we're pretty sure you'll agree that Talemetry tops that list.
But when assessing any HR Technology vendor, my advice, simply, is don't get swayed by swag or distracted by crazy promotions or crazier product promises. Focus on your business needs first. And if one of those business needs happens to be recruiting (which is the case at most organizations), remember: we're here to help.