It took me over a week to write this blog, I was a bit overwhelmed by what I saw at last week’s HR Tech conference in Las Vegas and I wanted to let it all sink in.  This conference has gotten so big and, in many ways, so much better than other conferences for background screeners.  I remember going to my first HR Tech conference in Chicago so many years ago, there were only a few rows of booths and maybe a few hundred people at most.  Last week, if I had to guess there were over ten thousand people and an exhibit hall that was as large as any other conference I’ve been to in the past 20 years.  From a screening perspective I can’t say that all our customers were there, but if you didn’t attend you missed out on a huge networking opportunity.  Technology and innovation are the future of the industry.  If you are sitting on the sidelines and waiting, now would be a good time to get on the bus, or maybe a fast car because you have a lot of catching up to do.

Here are some of the things that I saw; to the many people who I talked to that said “Jason, please don’t blog on this….” No worries!!

  • Background screeners are in the marketplace! API’s allowing screeners to plug into applicant tracking systems, HRIS systems and the gig economy (the Ubers of the world) has been embraced across the industry.  This has been a long time coming and a nice evolution from the days of the HRXml Standard.
  • Everyone is talking about Blockchain! I see a ton of potential in Blockchain in the screening industry, I just don’t understand how its monetized yet.  The concept is awesome and the disruption is needed, but I’m not clear on how we get our customers to shift from buying something one way to embracing it in a completely different manner.  I think you will start to see some pretty exciting things with this tech in the coming years.  Also exciting is that Cleveland is now known as “Blockland” so I’m encouraged that a lot of this is coming from my hometown.  Bernie Moreno, start watching the HR sector.
  • Vetty, a newcomer to our industry, is getting noticed by everyone! Every time I walked by the Vetty booth there was a different background screener talking to them.  These guys are super smart, they are bringing some very cool technology to the market and they are moving fast.  Keep a keen eye on Mike and Subrat, they very well could be the next big thing in screening!
  • I saw another demo of SterlingNow, Sterling Talent Solutions small business offering. I had another demo in June at the SHRM conference but this one was way better.  This platform is so cool and so easy to implement.  According to David Bloom and Lou Paglia this can be deployed and customized in less than a day and the platform can lay on top of most other technologies.  If marketed properly Sterling can easily own the SMB market!
  • InfoMart has been spending a lot of time innovating. Aside from their small business platform which was recently announced, they continue to push their biometric authentication charged candidate portal, ASAP ID.  I love this, the ability for an applicant to kick off their application using biometrics and facial recognition is not only revolutionary but also kicks off a positive candidate experience.  I spent a lot of time with Tammy Cohen and Marco Piovesan and their enthusiasm alone could sell this.  Once they start to really push this, it could change the way we all look at the applicant experience.
  • Accurate Background continues to not only innovate, but also dominate in several different areas. Starting with their new website, one gets the sense that they are just easy to work with.  Their site is clean, easy to navigate, not cluttered with nonsense and is welcoming. This says that my experience with them will be the same.  I’m a sucker for the simple things!  I’ve known Dave Dickerson since he was my rep at CDB InfoTek in 1997.   I remember him calling me at home and telling me he was going to start a background screening company, well look at what he’s done!  According to their Inc 5000 listing they were over 115 million in revenue in 2017 and I hear that number is much higher today.  Well done Dave!
  • Other things of note: the industry is growing! Everyone I talked to said business was way up, acquisitions were helping their business and API’s continue to help them grow into new industries.  Many of the reps at HireRight/GIS are still unsure of what their future holds but most are sticking it out and waiting to see what happens.  ClickBoarding, the brainchild of Curt Marks former owner and CEO of Verifications Inc., is an onboarding platform that is performing very well.  If you’re a screener and don’t have a solution for your client, they can white-label what they have for you and allow you to compete in a whole new way!

If you have never been or never exhibited at HR Tech before, consider it for next year.  You are missing out on a huge opportunity by not showing up.  Twenty years ago, we were all selling to security and loss prevention departments, later it morphed into human resources being our customer, tomorrow we will all be selling to IT departments by having a simple plug and play background screening solution.  Need help figuring this all out, hit me up!