HR Technology ConferenceI sat down for lunch yesterday and took out my phone and dialed-up the web site for the HR Technology Conference, which is going down in Chicago next week.

Surprisingly, the site wasn’t optimized for a smartphone. The irony that a conference touting itself as “tech” made me pinch-and-tap my screen in order to see the agenda wasn’t missed.

Maybe I should’ve paid more attention to the other part of the name: HR. Perhaps no other industry in the world is less tech savvy and risk embracing as human resources. Instead of irony, the better word might be apropos that the HR Technology Conference has a web site better suited for 2008 than 20016.

Regardless, HR Tech is now the must-attend conference for those who care most about new technologies in our industry and the players that provide said solutions.

So, as HR Tech celebrates its 19th year, here is a breakdown of what I care about most.


  • Jobs2Careers. The company built on managing metrics better than just about anyone else is introducing predictive analytics for job ads. I got a briefing of the product in the fall and am interested in seeing it in action.
  • CareerBuilder. The company is trending away from job ads and moving hard to the technology services hoop. I’m interested to hear more and see how they present themselves. Goodbye forever orange Chuck Taylor’s?
  • Kununu. The Glassdoor competitor who recently partnered with Monster will be in the house. I’m interested to hear how this European-based player is looking to take on the States.
  • Entelo. Their founder is wicked smart, they recently raised a Series B and I can’t believe no one has acquired them yet. Want to see what they’re up to and what the future holds.
  • TINYPulse. The conference is jam-packed with employee engagement solutions, but this is probably the only one that matters.


  • Jon Bischke, CEO, Entelo, “Mega Session: Two Decades, Four Tech Revolutions and Billions of Dollars Later – Why Is Hiring Still So Hard?” Smart company. Hearing what their CEO has to say can only make me a little smarter.
  • Christy Childers, Global Employer Brand Manager, Dropbox, “Impact Your Employer Brand: How Dropbox Delivers With Engaging Content.” Dropbox is doing some cool things. I’m interested to learn the tactics around their employer brand strategy.
  • Gerry Crispin, Principal and Co-Founder, CareerXroads, “Referrals: Talent Acquisition’s Best Bet or Toughest Challenge?” The godfather. I never miss a chance to see Gerry present, as I always feel smarter after doing so.
  • Jason Seiden, Founder & CEO, BrandAmper “HR and Marketing Unite: Joining Forces to Beat the Talent Odds.” Solid presenter. Great topic. We are all marketers. I’m looking at you, HR.
  • Leela Srinivasan, CMO, Lever, “HR and Marketing Unite: Joining Forces to Beat the Talent Odds.” More marketing-get-in-bed-with-HR goodness. Lever is doing some cool things.

Of course, the extracurriculars are where the magic really happens. After hours is when lips get loose and the information flies. It’s when you hear about the up-and-coming companies that aren’t in the exhibit hall and it’s a time to reconnect with old friends and make new ones.

Should be a good time. Get ready, Chicago, because there ain’t no party like a human resources technology party. If you’re going to be there, feel free to hit-me-up on Twitter via @joelcheesman.

About the Author

joel-cheesman-headshotJoel Cheesman has over 20 years experience in the online recruitment space. He worked for both international and local job boards in the late ‘90s and early ‘00s. In 2005, Cheesman founded HRSEO, a search engine marketing company for HR, as well as launching an award-winning industry blog called Cheezhead.

He has been featured in Fast Company and US News and World Report. He sold his company in 2009 to He was employed by EmployeeScreenIQ, a background check company. He is the founder of Ratedly, an iOS app that monitors anonymous employee reviews. He is the father of two children and lives in Indianapolis. Yes, he’s on Twitter and LinkedIn. You can hire me too.