Friday 4 November 2011

#HRTechEurope – iTalent competition (and congratulations to MIIAtech)


   I think most peoples’ favourite session on the first day of HR Technology Europe, perhaps tied with Thomas Otter’s opening keynote, was the first ever European italent competition run by Jerome Ternynck, CEO or SmartRecruiters (who won the US italent competition at the HRDemo show in the US last year).

This competition is HR’s (or at least emerging recruiting technology’s) version of the X Factor.  Basically, the format of this was that six shortlisted technology start-ups each had five minutes to present their technologies.  We, the judges then voted on these, and the conference participants added their voice, and level of applause, quite literally through a noise meter on Jerome’s phone.

You can watch the process here.

The winner of the competition was MIIAtech with their natural language CV search technology, Goldfish, which closes the gap between structured and unstructured data.  This is something to do with the system’s semantic layer, but I got a bit lost by this (why is why I only gave MIIAtech a 7 out of 10 for my vote).  So here’s the official spiel:

“With MIIAtech’s GoldFish technology, users can phrase their search questions in natural language.  Both the CVs and the job profiles within the database will be analysed and matched.  The result is that the user receives only the best and most relevant matches between candidates and job profiles.  No more mismatches like ‘speaks French’ with ‘worked in France’ and similar classic errors.  With GoldFish, you’re able the find the ideal candidate, much faster and significantly more accurately that with any traditional keyword search.”



Well done, Stephane Lernout.

And well done Jerome – it was a great, fun session with an amazing line-up of judges, which I was honoured to be part of alongside Craig Fisher, William Tincup, Geoff Web, Thomas Otter, Gordon Lokenberg (‘the new Bill Boorman’), Peter Gold, Katherine Jones and Jonathan Campbell:


I voted largely (though not totally) along social lines – though not so much who I know best, but how much effort the founder and their company has been putting into getting to know me.  You’ll probably think that’s a a poor basis for judging, but you’re not going to get me apologising for it.  I think increasingly technology companies are going to succeed or fail based upon their social klout (small k), not just by the ‘quality’ of the functionality itself (eg BeKnown vs BranchOut).

(I also think it’s the way that most people vote – at least I know it!)

These were my top three pitches – with social justifications:


#3.   Stephane Le Viet, Work4Labs: 8

This one is a bit of a cheat as I don’t think Work4Labs have made any efforts to get to know me or win me over, though I did see Stephane present a rather longer overview at Onrec recently, and was suitably impressed.  What I do see though, is a number of Work4Us customers singing the product’s praises, which of course works even better than doing it themselves (which is why customer case studies work better than product demos at conferences!).


#2.   Lisa Scales, Tribepad: 8

I see Lisa around a fair bit (at conferences, and on the twitter stream etc), and like the way she supports their product in the background, eg when Colin Minto presents what G4S have been doing with Tribepad, she’s there, but in the background, looking proud, and maybe doing a bit of tweeting, but that’s about it.



Hey I said this was HR’s version of the X Factor.  You surely don’t think you’re going to find out about (x the x) my winner without a big dramatic pause do you?  Try coming back tomorrow!


Yes, #1 has to be BraveNewTalent (with a vote of 9).  I think the technology is potentially quite neat, though with a couple of 3’s, not all of the judges were convinced.  But from a social influencing perspective, they’re clear winners.  I’d back any team that includes Lucian Tarnowski, Maren Hogan, James Mayes, Jimmy Kyriacou, Charlie Duff and Gautam Ghosh (who am missing?).


Well done guys (even if you didn’t win – it’s the opportunity to contribute to gen y-ers, right?).




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