In 2015, HR Technology Will Be a $8.1 Billion Industry

This week I’m in San Francisco where I’m happy to report that my family will be relocating in the next few months. It’s the hotbed of human resources technology which is important especially since it’s expected to be an $8.1 billion industry in 2015. That’s nearly a $2 billion growth since 2011, and as a practitioner you might understand why you’ve been receiving more intense sales calls and emails from those HR technologies service providers.  There’s gold in them hills.  That means you.

HR Technologies Advancement

Aside from that, there are a lot of advances happening in recruiting, human resources and technology.  I’ve taken a look at some interesting products this week including SortBox,, 1-Page Proposal and Virtrue.  Keep in mind some of these technologies I’m mentioning are also my clients, but it still doesn’t taken away from the cool, interesting, and different work each one is doing.  Right now for many practitioners the technology process is choppy.  We move from system to system juggling multiple passwords and sign ons.  We add new HR services on top of old ones hoping that they will improve the process. Since the systems don’t communicate and integrate with one another, we fill the gaps with weekly or monthly conference calls and spread sheet reports.

Recruiting Technology Integration is Key

Integration is a huge focus for technology service providers in this industry. Conference vendor halls most known for reaching attendees and potential buyers of product are also great for partnerships and integration.  These relationships are critical to making the end user’s experience more pleasant while also being key to technologies looking to sell to those HR folks.

The challenge that HR softwares like the ATS (applicant tracking systems), which is one of the first HR technologies were built as storage databases and warehouses is that they were strictly designed for compliance and records retention.  They were not made to search or engage job seekers or build talent networks.  They were intended for one purpose, an electronic filing cabinet.  This poses a challenge as systems and software now demand collaboration, engagement, and conversation.  HR technology is alot like a classic car, and the new owner wants a automatic windows, warming seats, and park assist.  The car was simply not built to accomodate such systems.

The History of Recruiting Technology

What you see below is a graphic I designed that looks at the history of recruiting technology and the different trends that have developed over time.  It’s an interesting look seeing how ATS have moved from compliance and database tools and we are seeing the need for them to be so much more. For those of you interested in seeing how mergers and acquisitions in the industry have played out and changed our industry over the last 8 years, click here.

Where do you see HR and recruiting technologies heading?  Is there a process, program, or service you’d like to see more of?  Sound off because I guarantee the innovators in the HR technology space who are working late nights hustling and developing these products want to hear from you.


 FTC Disclosure: Some of the companies listed above are my clients, but I was not paid to mention them in this post. I’m currently an investor with Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Jessica Miller-Merrell (@jmillermerrell) is a workplace change agent, author and consultant focused on human resources and talent acquisition living in Austin, TX. Recognized by Forbes as a top 50 social media influencer and is a global speaker. She’s the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource and host of the Workology Podcast.

Reader Interactions


  1. Ken Winters says

    Good luck with the move Jessica. Be great to connect after you settle in as we are near Santa Cruz. RE: your question, I would like to see a technology that accelerates the hiring process as first part of the “hire slow fire fast” mantra is wrong in my opinion.

  2. Sara Seed says

    Through our market research at Primate, we’ve heard that businesses are looking for tools to identify qualified candidates without having to sort through all the resumes they receive. For many small and medium-sized businesses, the screening process can be terribly inefficient for busy hiring managers.

  3. René Bolier says

    Thanks for sharing Jessica. I think there is a lot of need for technology that will help companies have to recruit less. I also see a big opportunity for (light) assessment/screening tools. Will you be living in SF in October? I’ll be visiting SF that month, would love to have a chat.



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