When I last left you, I was just entering the offices of TrueBlue/PeopleScout in Chicago. In Part 2 (and Part 3) I’ll be highlighting some of the amazing people I met on this unexpected 24-hour journey to HRTechTank Chicago. For those of you unfamiliar, here’s an overview of this great event:

“The most promising HR Tech companies in the US will present and discuss their products with investors and industry thought leaders. The purpose of #HRTechTank is to connect, educate and promote innovators in the Human Resource Management & Recruitment software space.”

This great organization hosts 12 annual events all over the world every year. It’s a great place to meet other innovators in the HR field and get unabashed feedback on the ideas and products. For more information, be sure to visit https://hrtechtank.com/demo-days/ — their full 2017 schedule is up and includes San Francisco, New York, and Chicago as the US cities. Be sure to connect with Andrei Majewski if you’d like to get involved or get more information.

The day consisted of a series of keynotes, panel discussions with industry experts, and technology presentations by early stage companies. I’m going to call to attention some of the great ideas, companies, and people that you should get to know in HR technology.

One of the first people I met once I arrived was Geoff Webb, Global Innovation and Technology Leader for TrueBlue. In this role, he heads up the Innovation Program that develops and executes innovation for the TrueBlue global client base, examining new and innovative technology solutions. Geoff was the gracious host for the day, opening the doors of their offices to a bunch of strangers from all over the world. If you are looking for an expert in Social HR and someone ultra-connected in the recruitment innovation world, he’s your guy.

I also got to spend a significant amount of time with Vincent Petrescu, co-founder of TruCrowd. Many of you have probably heard about Indigogo entering the Crowdfunding arena recently. The guys and gals at TruCrowd are well ahead of the game, opening doors for small companies like ours to get access to investment capital from a much larger pool of potential investors. Did you know that people can invest as little as $100 into companies, getting real equity in exciting new companies while helping boost the economy? This is all news to me, and Vincent and his team have provided a wealth of knowledge in this exciting and emerging new space. I’d highly recommend checking them out if you are seeking creative ways to fund your company — we certainly are!

After some opening words by Geoff and a great keynote by Andrei on the intricacies of selling to HR and trends in HR tech investment, we moved into a panel discussion moderated by Ward Christman of HR Tech Advisor. Be sure to check out Ward’s company if you are looking to grow your HR tech business and make some great connections with potential partners, clients, and investors. The panel discussion focused on successful HR technology partnerships and integrations panel and featured some great panelist including:

In this panel, the group provided awesome insight into how to best leverage HR technology partnerships within organizations. The quote of the day (Ward will likely dispute this) came from Laurie.

We say almost the same thing every day at Imagine Careers around the value of building trust through transparency.

The second panel discussion of the day focused on HR buying. This discussion centered around tip and trick and methods both for buying as well as selling HR technology products. Since many of the presenting companies later in the day were earlier stage, much of the conversation centered around specifically helping these companies navigate these waters. This great panel consisted of:

  • Monica Bonifield — VP of HR for National Education Servicing, an organization that develops, markets, originates, and services education financial products.
  • David Whan — HR Executive and Former Director of Global HR for John Deere
  • Lynn Miller — President & Principal Analyst, LEM Advisory Group, an organization that helps research and technology companies design and develop innovative strategies
  • The aforementioned Geoff Webb

To say that these sessions were tremendously informative is an understatement. I’d highly recommend checking these individuals out and learning more about their organizations.

Thanks for checking out part 2 of 3! Next week, I’ll share with you some of the amazing companies that presented their innovative and transformative HR technologies, as well as the great investor panel that shared their knowledge and insights with the attendees in part 3.