6 HR technology platforms to watch

$2 Billion has been invested in HR & Recruitment Technology since 2016. Some of the trends include Automation, AI, cloud technologies, expanded video interviewing, sophisticated assessment, gamification, diversity and people analytics. Overall, the HR and recruitment industries are becoming just a lot more data and technology driven and it’s a very exciting time to get involved.

Mapped is clearly a small part of a much bigger story, so here are some other platforms to keep an eye on for performing different tasks.


Ayra Website

‘Arya’ is an AI assistant for recruitment. The platform “reads” job descriptions, identifies the job requirements, and then uses 3 channels (social media, your applicant tracking system (ATS) and job boards) to find a shortlist.

The important bit is the machine learning; Arya takes feedback and, overtime, develops a company and role personalised assessment of what good looks like.

The case studies are impressive; for example, Resource Solutions tested her for 4 weeks and found that, although initially kind of stupid by week 4, Arya’s shortlist performance matched the quality of human recruiters and could also produce 8x as many candidates in a 40 minute period. Yikes.


Julie Desk


Julie Desk Website

This is not so much exclusively HR tech, but one which recruiters will find particularly useful. Trying to book meetings and coordinate interviews can sometimes feel like whack-a-mole, so enter ‘Julie Desk’.

Julie is an AI personal assistant who schedules meetings and manages calendars. This works by cc’ing her into an email and Julie will organise it based on different preferences.

The two best things about it are that it’s built with natural language processing (NLP) which, in short, means it’s just like talking to it as a person, and secondly that she is supervised 24/7 by humans, which many (myself included) will find faintly reassuring.

They reckon that if you have 5 appointments a day Julie will save you about 4 hours a week (or two, 8 hour working days in a month).


Crystal Knows

Crystal Knows Website

This is highly impressive, and/or slightly terrifying depending on your perspective. ‘Crystal Knows’ analyses publically available data and then does a personality analysis, allowing the user to draw up a personality report on anyone. It then looks to predict behaviour and make recommendations about how to engage with that person.

I’m always quite sceptical about this sort of claim. However, I tried it on 5 colleagues (without their knowledge) and the results were to say the least uncanny… On my own I thought it was about 70% accurate, but others seemed to think much more so.

This kind of analysis of online behaviour and will undoubtedly take off if it’s allowed to (not a given in wake of Cambridge Analytica), and will get a lot more sophisticated and accurate over time, pulling in multiple sources like twitter, Linkedin, Instagram etc.


Culture Amp

 Culture Amp Website

This Australian company just raised $40 million in series D funding are it’s not hard to see why.

Essentially, it’s a replacement to the annual employee satisfaction survey. Rather than the one off splurge of feedback, the platform collects a more consistent stream of comments, underpinned by some really interesting analytical and benchmarking features.

It may sounds like a simple idea – and at one level it is – but, what sets it apart is the top notch execution and analysis behind it. They already have a highly impressive client list which will only improve over time.



Applied Website

Applied’s position is that decision making is rife with unconscious bias and most ways of assessing people for a job are quite ineffective.

Their solution is elegant – a platform designed to hire people on the basis of the work that they can produce, not who they are. To make sure that no bias creeps in, everyone is anonymised and assessed based on short bespoke work samples. These are then distributed and marked by a set of assessors.

You might think this will be time consuming but, surprisingly, it’s not really as the time saved down the line makes the difference. Impressive stats include  3x increase in conversion of interviews to offers made, 50% reduction in churn within the first 6 months of new hires, 1/3 reduction in time to hire, 67% reduction in sift times and 2-4x in increase in ethnically diverse candidates.

Behind the deceptively simple idea is some sophisticated analytics allowing you to measure assessors’ relative generosity, the effectiveness of different work samples at predicting success and impacts on different groups. Very cool stuff.



Mapped Website

This is us; so take this ringing endorsement with a pinch of salt.

Nearly every bank, professional service firm or demanding graduate program requires people to demonstrate their numerical, problem solving and analytical nous. Not only are those skills vital, but also one of the single most statistically valid way of predicting future performance, vastly outperforming unstructured interviews, CV’s or personality assessments (read our article on Predicting High Performers).

However, what was out there wasn’t perfect, and Mapped was created to address two major challenges:

  1. Diversity: Psychological quirks were significantly distorting the results of assessments. For example, men outperformed women by up to 25% in traditional numerical assessments. It was not because of ability, but because of phenomena like risk appetite i.e. men would guess if unsure, while the ladies would leave the answer blank. Mapped has used some clever behavioural science based design to eliminate this issue and many others to ensure a level playing field.
  2. Testing what counts: Nothing out there was built to meaningfully differentiate between the top 20% of candidates, or standardised against top finance and consulting applicants. They also were not testing enough different things too much focussed on numerical skills or spatial awareness, not enough on real problem solving and logic. Mapped was built by real business people as well as psychologists to test what counts and better predict performance.




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