HR Tech's Heart Grew 3 Sizes That Day

"It could be his head wasn't screwed on just right.
It could be, perhaps, that his shoes were too tight.
But I think that the most likely reason of all,
May have been that his heart was two sizes too small."

How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Dr Seuss.

Tuesday Randstad announced their acquisition of in pursuit of their "touch and tech" initiative.

Last month Microsoft acquired LinkedIn and revealed their intentions to combine professionals (MSFT's core productivity suite software users) with LinkedIn's social HR Tech tools necessary to maximize these professionals relationships and professional lives.

It's been heady times for HR Tech.

Across the landscape, recruiters, employers, and workers are fast converging on a new reality that delivers a promising answer to the age-old question of "will man or machine define the future of work?

The answers looks to be that it is neither man nor machine that will solely win out – it is man with machine that will pave the road to putting more people to work.

Respected HR Tech expert Josh Bersin calls it "People Analytics" and identifies a much broader, more impactful trend:

"People Analytics means bringing together all the people data in the company (and there is an ever-expanding amount) to understand and address specific business problems:  sales productivity, retention, fraud, customer satisfaction, etc."

Productivity. Retention. Customer Satisfaction – these are the drivers of profitability and growth.

The promise of "people analytics" – or whatever you want to call it – comes at a time when Capitalists, Economists, and Leaders everywhere are struggling to chart a path past our "low growth world".

Accordingly, these announcements are exciting not just for the direct corporate enterprise value creation these acquirers and their customers represent, but for the labor market as a whole worldwide (all 3BN daily workers!).

That's because by answering the age-old question of what the future of the labor market looks like, Randstad, Microsoft, and others are showing a path to greater worker productivity, local labor market efficiency, and corporate profitability: the holy trinity of economic growth.

The capitalist and entrepreneurial spark provided by leading corporations like Randstad, Microsoft, LinkedIn, Monster, Oracle, and others is the clear answer: by combining man with intelligent machines, we can achieve direct growth and profitability for workers worldwide. Workday's recent acquisition (July 2016) of Platfora is another proof point that this emergent trillion market represents outsize promise.

Take another Silicon Valley legend, Oracle, who recently "Bet Billions on Its Future, Sets Sights on Data Analysis" by turning the actual data stored in their $BN/year enterprise database market into newfound dollars:

"The same data-heavy approach can be used in functions of business like procurement, human capital management, sales and service, Mr. Kurian thinks. 'We know how payrolls change around job titles, the rate of salary changes in Silicon Valley versus Bangalore, or how many people in a company are buying a $10 printer cartridge,' he told me in an earlier interview."

So how does this digital and business innovation in the labor markets all add up into HR Tech's heart growing three sizes that fated day that Randstad acquired

  1. As Matt Charney adeptly pointed out, Randstad gets a big book of business and global, tech-enabled lead generation platform that will help speed their time to placement, proving that man with machine is best way to grow Randstad's $BN/year business, and the $400BN+/year staffing market overall.
  2. Microsoft's, Workday's, and Oracle's acquisitions validate the larger $TR/year data opportunity surrounding professional workers and data services. At HIRABL, we've long maintained that the labor market is one of the largest untapped markets on the planet – knowing how it operates at a data-level itself will be worth trillions of direct dollars annually for vendors like Randstad, Monster, LinkedIn, Microsoft, and Oracle, and trillions more in indirect benefits to society.
  3. These acquisitions came at a time of dire need for innovation in the labor markets globally. Outside the US, unemployment remains painfully high. Global leaders like these firms are injecting much needed innovation into local labor markets through their acquisitions and business model changes, which will immediately reduce information asymmetries and unleash macro economic growth.

If this global trend is truly emerging, it may very well indeed be a merry christmas for all this year: workers, employers, and vendors.

"Maybe Christmas," he thought, "doesn't come from a store."
"Maybe Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more!"
And what happened then? Whoville they say,
That the Grinch's small heart
Grew three sizes that day!
And the minute his heart didn't feel quite so tight,
He whizzed with his load through the bright morning light,
And he brought back the toys!
And the food for the feast!
The Grinch carved the roast beast!