Empowering Smart Workforce Decisions While Leveraging Talent as a Competitive Advantage

Michael Beygelman

Claro is like a reinvented Google for workforce-related information. It combines talent search, workforce analytics, and data visualization into one unique user experience. Organizations use Claro to find diverse talent faster, do competitive talent benchmarking and workforce planning, gain early insights in potential employee disengagement, and perform employee attrition modeling.

The world is becoming more data-driven but HR and Recruitment lack cohesive tools to leverage “big data” in order to help companies hire and retain diverse talent. Big data changed a paradigm; people used to say, “I would like to find a needle in a haystack” but now they say “I want to find a unique piece of hay.” This new problem is orders of magnitude more complex.

Claro has always admired what Google did to help society tackle the big data problem as a result of the proliferation of the Internet. They built the world’s best Search Engine, Google Trends, Analytics, and Google Alerts, etc., but Claro asked itself “imagine if we decided to build a Google for only workforce-related content, knowing what we know now, what would we build?”

The answer was actually quite simple – Claro would build an infrastructure based on the latest NoSQL technology that could scale over time without any limitations, and the company would develop a data visualization environment that would enable users to interact with data instead of seeing run-on lists of not-always useful information. And while the answer was indeed simple, the technical execution and the journey to realize this revolutionary technology solution has been intellectually challenging.

 

A Thought Leader at the Helm

Michael Beygelman, Claro’s Founder and CEO, has been named an HRO Superstar by HRO Today Magazine and named to the Staffing 100 list of most influential people in staffing and recruiting. He is a frequent speaker and author on emerging HR technologies, and has spoken at People Analytics and Future of Work conference, at Oracle Open World, HCI conferences, ASA conferences, HRO Today Forums, TalentNet Live, HR Technology Conference & Exposition, LOGIN, and countless other HR and Recruiting events around the world.

Michael was one of the founders and the inaugural Executive Director of the HR Technology and Services Association, has built disruptive HR technology businesses and developed new technology-enabled service models like Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO). He is both a seasoned entrepreneur and a public company executive. He is acknowledged in developing new engagement models to support the ongoing shift towards enabling the Gig-economy workforce and has been cited as a thought leader in emerging technologies like Blockchain; he holds a Professional Certificate in Blockchain for Business from the Linux Foundation.

 

Workforce Analytics as a Competitive Advantage

Claro is a pioneer in educating companies about the benefits of leveraging Workforce Analytics to make better decisions about talent. They envisioned an evolving HR suite that would increasingly rely on facts and data instead of gut feel and emotion – a “datafication of HR” – to develop and execute corporate strategy. Claro’s unwavering pursuit of developing “a reinvented Google for workforce information” technology platform that combines talent discovery, unique talent market insights and competitive talent benchmarking, employee attrition modeling, and advanced visual data storytelling into one unique user experience has elevated capabilities of HR and Recruitment organizations within forward-thinking companies that value diversity and corporate social responsibility.

 

An Innovative Culture for Better Performance

At the core, the company’s honesty with itself and its culture of “we build crappy software, which often has bugs,” keeps the Claro team humble. And as Beygelman jokes around, “ when we go to work every day we strive to improve and make it less crappy.” The company releases product updates every week as a demonstration of its commitment. Claro doesn’t ever schedule time to innovate as if this was something that can be done on-demand. On the contrary, innovation is what Claro does every day because it’s part of the company’s culture, it is who they are. “We ask ourselves, is this the best way of doing something, and if the answer is no then we find a better way to do it,” Beygelman commented.

It is with this mindset that Claro ultimately pioneered the idea of building a Google-like technology narrowly focused on workforce information, enabling its clients to find relevant insights, interact with those insights visually and in a way that helps them make better talent decisions, and allowing them to track those insights over time to help them spot relevant trends. The company also uses the latest technologies like Elastic at the core of its infrastructure, which enables it to scale globally. And while companies like Google and LinkedIn are amazing – Claro is a big admirer! – these mature companies are now at a phase of their evolution where they are iterating instead of innovating. Google presents search results via endless pages with lines of text, while Claro shows information visually so people can interact with it; a picture really is worth a thousand words!

 

A Different View on A.I.

Terms like AI garner headlines and many companies are riding this hype train with ill intent, but in reality, when Claro thinks about HR Technology, it doesn’t really see any “real” Artificial Intelligence. And the company thinks – for now – that’s probably a good thing since society would be in trouble. Claro recently wrote an informational piece on this topic titled, “A.I. FOMOsapiens Fuel Rise of HR Tech Precogs.” Beygelman commented, “what you really see today is some good machine learning (ML), even better and faster execution of programmatic rules, and a little bit of augmented intelligence (AI),” but as a leader in technology Claro has been at the forefront of calling out many HR technology marketing hypesters claiming to use Artificial Intelligence in their software. The company invites people to read their recent article on this topic as, at the very least, people are likely to find it mildly entertaining.

 

Notable Achievements and Recognitions

Claro was named a top ten HR Analytics and Workforce Management technology platform by HR Tech Outlook and was a recipient of the Red Herring Top 100 North America award. Claro was also named one of the best places to work at in New Hampshire by FlexJobs and a Top 10 Tech Startup by the Tech Tribune. The company has been mentioned in notable publications like the Harvard Business Review and SHRM.

 

Flourishing Beyond Initial Challenges 

Ongoing access to Capital has historically been one of Claro’s challenges. The company is building game-changing technology that reinvents how people think about finding and interacting with workforce-related information, but it was founded in the Boston – New York corridor of the United States where many investors want to know “why the company doesn’t have more than US$1 million in sales a few months after launching its beta.”

Beygelman thinks one reason could be that some regional investors don’t understand that it might take more than a few million dollars in financing in order to build a minimally viable product (eg. a prototype) and use it to identify product-market fit; then build a commercially-viable product, and develop and validate a scalable and repeatable revenue hypothesis if the technology startup is actually endeavoring to build something truly innovative. Forward-thinking investors want to build companies that help business and society move forward, while traditional investors want to know your three-year forecast without taking into account that you’re a nine-person startup, including one salesperson, and you have no statistically relevant historical revenue trends. Imagine when Google or LinkedIn or Facebook was founded; if they were mandated to demonstrate exponential revenue growth before having identified product-market fit in order to raise Seed-stage funding, would they exist today? In all likelihood, probably not.

 

Vision Towards Future

There are two not-necessarily obvious but distinct paradigms within the Workforce Analytics space. The first is “what is the data and what does it say,” and the second is “how do you present and interact with the information,” Beygelman commented. Many companies are saturating a web browser or a PowerPoint slide with myriad data elements and calling that Workforce Analytics, but Beygelman thinks that the sustainable growth of analytics will require simplification and visualization of data to make it more easily consumable. Claro recently did a presentation on this topic at People Analytics and Future of Work conference in London.