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The Future of HR Tech (As We See It)

In lieu of shining the interrogation light on candidates, in the future, candidates will peer inside companies.

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This is a follow on to my post from last week about the current state of HR tech.

Let’s discuss the future of this space as we see it. (This is adapted from an email with a prospective investor. Full credit goes to my co-founder Jackson Solway. These are mostly his words, with my two cents thrown in.)

First, a premise:

Recruiting is plagued by information asymmetry. Job seekers want information before they apply, but companies almost never give it to them. Every complaint that “recruiting is broken” traces to this rotten foundation. Nobody—not job seekers, not talent teams—enjoys the current model.

An opinion:

The only path out is through category creation—and whatever works will take more inspiration from consumer platforms than HR-tech.

It’s telling that we, as an industry, don’t even have a commonly shared name for this. Something like “professional dating” is close...but lame.

Our hypothesis, rather firmly held, is that any solution will be 1) dead simple, and 2) relentlessly focused on the desires of job seekers.

Two points of inspiration:

Zillow: Home-buying is a fabulously complex process, and the idea of moving gives most people anxiety. Yet today people ‘Zillow surf’ for hours at a time. Why? Zillow transformed your deepest fears into an escape to your vision for a better life. Zillow’s magic trick is comically simple: Nice photos (that are searchable and have a lucrative CTA).

Tinder: Back in the day, Match approached dating as a complex matchmaking problem. Thus the high-stakes 40-question assessment forms. Stressful! Tinder didn’t buy it and just showed us nice photos…of people we might want to hook up with. Aspirational! (Though rather shallow and hedonistic.)

The world of recruiting—and by extension, the wider labor market—will likely follow this pattern. My question to you is: What’s the magic medium?  

A viable future:

We're betting on short-form video—packaged in a consumer app experience.

What kind of videos? People at your company talking about the things that have historically been gated behind walls of fear, PR, and naivete. In lieu of shining the interrogation light on candidates, in the future, candidates will peer inside companies.

Simply, people want to know who they’ll work with if they take a job.

Might sound silly, especially in the context of a multi-variable matchmaking challenge...but you get my point :)

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