Disruptive HR Tech Trends for RecruitersAt the conference last week, there were tons of startups trying to get the attention of reporters and Venture Capitalists (VC’s.) Tons of products? Yes. Tons of new ideas? Absolutely. From what I saw, most software products centered around one five things, Communication Tools, Bots,  Artificial Intelligence (AI),  the “Gig” Economy, and Virtual Reality (VR).

Disruptive HR Tech Trends for Recruiters

There used to be a hard line between tools that we used for our professional lives and tools that we used for our personal lives.  That line is more blurred than ever. There is a crossover that allows us to use one device for all of our professional and personal needs.

1. Communication Tools

When it comes to social media, people are pulling back from living life in public and are going to more one-on-one or one-on-few conversations. This is why messaging apps seem to keep growing in popularity.  It makes sense; they are cheaper than SMS; they are faster than email, and you can send practically anything you want from any mobile enabled device.  Gone will be timelines and feeds, and it will give way to heavier use of bots and private messaging.

The folks at Facebook, who also own WhatsApp, understand the push for the future of messaging.

But more than just messaging, there are new communication tools that are emerging. Take a look at:

List (Previously “The List App”)

li.st is a new way to create and discover lists about anything and everything. You can share your experiences, opinions, and expertise through richly formatted lists that include text, photos, and locations.


Cloud communications platform for building Voice & Messaging applications on an API built for global scale.


Flock is a free chat service for work and business environments that speeds up and simplifies communication within teams and organizations.


Disruptive HR Tech Trends for Recruiters2. Bots

Bots are software apps that automate tasks that are time sucks. For example, a bot can help you order pizza, update your calendar or send out messages.

What we hear about lately are “chatbots” or bots inside of messaging apps that when used feel like you are having a conversation with a human. Kind of like those automated voice systems when you call customer service, just a text version.

Why are we hearing so much about them now?

One key reason: The technology that powers bots and AI  software, is getting better and smarter all the time. This is part because of:

  1. The use of bots in messaging platforms, such as Slack, WeChat, Facebook Messenger and Kik
  2. The growth of web-based APIs used for mobile and partner integration
  3. Recent advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI), including natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning.
  4. The increasing number of mobile devices. We no longer have to be at our desk to get messages.

Here is Kik CEO Ted Livingston’s take on it:

3. Machine Learning / Natural Language Processing (NLP) / Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Machine Learning, NLP, and AI are often used interchangeably, but there really are differences as to how they work.

Machine Learning

Machine Learning is one example. At first it may sound scary but really it is not. And it is not the same thing as AI. Machine learning happens when computers are fed algorithms and can then determine trends.
The benefit is that when it gets new information, it can make predictions.

To break it down even further, let’s say you want to teach a computer to make spaghetti. So you would program it to boil water to a certain point, teach it when to put the noodles in and take them off. With machine learning, you just show it 100,000 different videos of people making spaghetti and then show it 100,000 where people fail at making spaghetti and let it figure it out.

Natural Language Processing (NLP)

Natural Language Processing (NLP) is a branch of AI that allows computer systems to communicate better with humans. This is more than just teaching a computer a bunch of words.  It actually allows computers to analyze what you are saying (or typing) so that you can communicate with it as if you were talking to a friend. Like the example, we see with Viv. IT allows the computer to understand language.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)Disruptive HR Tech Trends for Recruiters

They have been working on Artificial Intelligence since the 1960’s. AI has to do with the intelligent behavior of computers. This goes further than just learning how humans talk.  Technolopedia explains AI this way:

Artificial intelligence is a branch of computer science that aims to create intelligent machines. It has become an essential part of the technology industry. Research associated with artificial intelligence is highly technical and specialized. The core problems of artificial intelligence include programming computers for certain traits such as:

  • Knowledge
  • Reasoning
  • Problem solving
  • Perception
  • Learning
  • Planning
  • Ability to manipulate and move objects

Programmers are simply looking at more ways to make computers smarter.  And they are slowly succeeding. It is evident that this trend is not going anywhere soon.


Launched by the people who brought you Siri, the coolest AI technology launched was Viv. Viv is a virtual assistant that

Like with Siri, Viv wants to build a conversational and smart layer that lets you interact with various services. But Viv is taking everything one step further. It’s more personal, it’s more ubiquitous. More importantly, there’s a developer platform to add more services. A demo is worth a thousand words.

Without further ado, meet Viv:



4. The “Gig” Economy

People want to work when they want to work how they want to work. We see companies like Uber, Lyft, and Italy-based Vicker is dependent on employees that are looking for ways to earn a living that won’t take over their lives; they want flexible work. And workers are getting picky.  They want to name their hours, benefits and want people to fight over them like the Divas they are. Look at

Some companies are building software that claims to find top talent looking for new positions, but most of these candidates fall into this gig economy mentality. Look at Hired. Hired claims to have three steps.  Anser some questions, company make offers with UPFRONT compensation and then, not only will the ideal candidate get a job, they will get $1,000. Let’s assume the candidate gets there; the salary is good, but they still want more.  Next, they can go to Woo, but even more parameters around what they want and get a “better” job.  (at least a job with more of what they want, until they get sick of that job.) If that doesn’t work, they can play a game at Scoutible or MercerMatch, and get hired somewhere else.

5. Virtual Reality (VR)

How are you sharing your story? Like AI, Virtual Reality seems like some scary weird new age product.  But there is some real consumer use here.  Rather than watching an environment via pictures and videos, we are putting people in the experience. For example, you can feel like you are in a center seat Madison Square Garden watching a game. Or feeling not that you are watching a concert, but you are actually at the concert or other live events. Startups like NextVR and Modsy are creating practical uses for 3D and VR moving from goggles and headgear and moving into mobile devices.


What does this mean for Recruiting?

So here is what the future of recruiting will looks like to me.  Abby wants a job in Dallas, so she asks Siri or Viv or whatever new technology is out there by then, what jobs are available for Web Developers in Dallas. She sees a few she likes and says “apply.” Done. In 1/10 of a second, she has applied for five jobs.

Then she plays a few games, like Scoutible or MercerMatch to see if she can find any other positions, and a few more come up.  She says “apply” again. Now in 2/10 of a second, she has applied to 8 jobs.

Disruptive HR Tech Trends for RecruitersShe wants to make sure that there is some element of work-life balance, stable benefits and three weeks vacation, so she goes to Hired or Woo spends a few minutes answering some questions. Then goes to Yuemey, joined the Dallas network group, adds some pictures she has on her phone, and instantly is told who in Dallas can help her find a job and within minutes gets a job interview through the Yuemey app.

Before going to the interview, however, she is sent an AI link that allows her to see exactly what the environment looks like. She can literally see her potential desk, co-workers, break room and neighborhood where she could be working. She now goes to the companies Facebook pages and types in /directions and immediately gets a message back with the companies address and how to get there, requests Uber to pick her up through Facebook and is off to her interview. And all of this is done without ever picking up the phone or using anything other than Android or iPhone apps. (Sorry Maureen.)

This is not to say that potential candidates will never have to engage with people.  There will always be a people aspect but, applying for jobs is going to get quicker and quicker and even more automated. What used to take hours, then minutes will soon take mere seconds.

And that is what I learned from the trends from some of the startups at TechCrunch Disrupt. Don’t worry, none of these apps will work without companies wanting to post open positions to jump on it now before you get left behind.

Remember, even though some of the startups  I have mentioned were not made for recruiting,  but it is easily recognizable how these technologies will be integrated into the future of HR Tech.

#TCDisrupt NY 2016 Technologies Disrupting HR Tech that Support the Trends


devRant is where developers can express how they really feel about code, tech, and the people that make programming super unique (for better or worse)


With Hired, your job search has never been easier! Simply create a profile & vetted companies compete for you, reaching out with salary & equity upfront.


With HireTeamMate handling all the recruiting, marketing and vetting, hiring managers can focus on what’s truly important – hiring the right person.

Jitjatjo (Coming Soon)

Mobile Marketplace for real-time resourcing and temporary sourcing.


Identify candidates who wouldn’t otherwise apply and who most closely fit your ideal trait profile. Great talent is everywhere, but recruiting staff cannot be. Avoid the dreaded resume drop black hole and let the Mercer Match search engine find you the best candidates anywhere.


MintMesh is a platform for crowdsourcing referrals from their trusted networks to solve needs and problems. Users can actively engage with their network to provide referrals and be rewarded.


Scoutible is a game-based hiring platform, using immersive mobile games to pinpoint perfect-fit candidates for jobs. Scoutible’s patent-pending technology identifies players’ unique cognitive and personality traits through gameplay, then spots opportunities where players’ attributes match those of companies’ proven top performers. Play for free, learn your strengths and get scouted.


UpScored is the only career discovery tool for job seekers that uses advanced technology to provide curated & personalized job recommendations.


Top tech and finance companies send interview requests to you with upfront salary offers. You decide where your next job will be.

Vicker (Based in Italy)

In Vicker, there are thousands of selected employees are ready to meet all your needs. Practically everything you can not, you do not want or do not know someone can do it for you. Advert by setting the price you are willing to pay and choose the worker who will do it for you.


Vrse is a leading VR company, whose mission is to tell extraordinary stories in virtual reality. Vrse uses custom-built tools and their own VR app to create and distribute the most innovative, story-driven experiences in VR today.


WOO lets people find out how much they’re in demand in the tech industry so they can make smarter decisions about their career.


With visual profiles, location-enabled groups, A.I. and social tools, Yuemey makes navigating career relationships natural and easy.

**Editors Note:

RecruitingDaily nor I were paid or compensated in any way for the Startups listed here.  The ones listed were the ones that I thought would be the most interesting to our readers. Full disclosure,  I did, however, went to a Mercer Luncheon and got a pink mustache from Lyft.






By Jackye Clayton

Jackye is an acclaimed thought leader and inspirational speaker on recruiting and DEIB topics. She brings years of experience recruiting across a variety of industries including tech, HR, legal, and finance. In her role as VP of Talent Acquisition and DEIB, she leads all related work at Textio, provides critical expertise to customers, and serves as a leading voice in the products Textio creates for the broader ecosystem. Jackye has been named one of the 9 Powerful Women in Business You Should Know by SDHR Consulting, one of the 15 Women in HR Tech to Follow by VidCruiter, and is on the Top 100 list of Human Resources Influencers by Human Resource Executive Magazine.