This week Mollie Lombardi and I had the pleasure of joining the folks at PeopleMatter for Collaborate ‘15 – their annual user conference in Charleston, SC. Let me start by saying it was the first trip to Charleston for both of us, though it certainly won’t be our last. The city boasts a world-class food scene and an incredible amount of US history, as well as enough charm to impress even a Texan or two. It’s also home to a fast-growing HR cloud technology provider.
PeopleMatter’s annual event brought together HR leaders from organizations in service industries, primarily restaurant, retail and hospitality – though their CEO Nate DaPore characterizes their target market more broadly as organizations with a mostly hourly workforce, high turnover, and distributed locations. They also tend to work with a lot of franchise organizations – sometimes with the franchiser, the franchisees, or both. They have a fairly unique combination of offerings reflecting the needs of this audience: modules for hiring, learning, and scheduling, and the event’s big announcement of partnering with Reliant Talent Management Solutions to offer performance management as well.
Given the industries they serve, it’s not uncommon for users to be new to talent management and workforce management technology. In conversations with many of their clients, the typical starting point was paper or spreadsheets. And indeed, our recent HCM Technology Trends study (listen to the HCMx Radio show discussing the HCM Technology Trends survey here) found that 52% of organizations indicate that their current talent acquisition solution was a first time automation, and 45% say the same of their learning solution.
Knowing how important this transition is, the product team is very focused on the user experience and takes care to make their cloud-based solutions as user-friendly as possible. This is obvious in the platform’s responsive design, simplified workflows, and modern user interface. They also take very seriously the specific requirements of the niche market they serve and are continually looking to build new capabilities into the code base for all users.
Of course, there are plenty of products with updated UX and responsive design. A few other things stood out to us from #PMC15:
- 6-Minute Candidate Assessments. PeopleMatter acquired the assessment company PeopleClues several years ago and touts the assessment capabilities of their hire module as a differentiator. They spent several years developing a shortened pre-hire assessment tool that can be completed on a mobile device in 6-7 minutes while still yielding valid results. While we haven’t seen the full validation studies yet, their clients (many of whom struggle when it comes to assessing candidates quickly and effectively) spoke highly of this feature – which is included in the Hire module.
- Top-Notch Customer Service. Another big announcement made at the conference was the “#1 in Customer Service” award PeopleMatter received from TechnologyAdvice. While any accolade is a nod to the viability of a solution provider, this award is especially important considering the number of first-time users they serve. From the first steps of implementation, and throughout every transaction thereafter, PeopleMatter takes seriously its responsibilities to its client partners.
- A Commitment to Compliance. In most service-oriented organizations, line managers can’t afford to waste time making sure they have the most up-to-date tax, worker verification and HR forms. PeopleMatter shows an ongoing commitment to helping clients stay compliant by keeping forms up-to-date within the system ensuring the right one is available every time.
PeopleMatter’s solution may not be at the bleeding edge of technological innovation, but it knows the market it serves and is committed to helping them make the transition to better business results through technology. And their focus on security and reliability, their R&D processes, and assessment capabilities are quite state-of-the-art. With four global data centers, a robust customer feedback process, and a disciplined development strategy led by VP of product development Kay Lucas, the organization is clearly positioning itself for continued growth in both product offering and technology scalability.
-Kyle Lagunas, Talent Acquisition Analyst, Brandon Hall Group