Is Yahoo Entering the HR Technology Industry?

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Chances are earlier this week  you probably missed a series of events that might forever change HR technology. Yahoo acquired Vizify, (read a review here) a career mapping and infographic tool based in Portland, Oregon, but the real story is Yahoo’s two acquisitions combined what they plan on doing with these new HR technology.

Since Marissa Mayer took the lead as CEO of Yahoo in 2012, she has oversaw 37 acquisitions with two of those being in HR technology. In 2014, there have been six acquisitions in HR Technology (click here to read the list or HR M&A). For Yahoo, Vizify was the second HR acquisition in the last thirty days with the former being Distill which it happened February 13th. While the Vizify acquisition is interesting. I’m more excited about both combined. Distill is a scheduling, testing and video interviewing tool used to hire more effectively similar to the likes of HireVue.

What do these two acquisitions mean for Yahoo and more specifically, how does this change the future of HR Technology? Mayer’s 2014 CES keynote speech might have give us clues into Yahoo’s interest in HR technology.

Vizify Driven by User Experience

Vizify offers a unique way to aggregate and display content and information for the purposes of the career, workforce planning or organization charts but more likely for users who are creating visual content or links to display and share that are pretty. It’s user experience focused which is a subject that every technology should be focusing their time, effort, product and money. Either way, I see a great use for user experience. Although, I secretly really want Vizify’s technology at Yahoo to be used for HR Technology. I am dying for a customizable and easy to use corporate org charts that integrates with my HRIS and other HR technologies.

Organizing the Inbox

This is possibly more important for scaling and growing Yahoo which could be organizing the workplace. Quite possibly adding video technology and better integration with work calendars using Distill’s technology could allow for an enterprise level communication software that builds upon a corporate email platform that directly integrates with a professional.

Contextual

Yahoo, like everyone else is moving towards a more contextual user experience that uses your search, email and instant messaging to make recommendations and suggestions based on your email conversations in the performance of now. Imagine if this contextual user experience was actually used internally within an organization. Employers would know when employees are disengaged, looking for work or are looking for growth opportunities internally. Employees can receive customized training and learning opportunities, productivity hacks based on their internal usage, calendar and meetings as well as email communication and optimal scheduling suggestions or travel updates based on their regular commuter routes to work and other facilities.

Focus on Mobile & Distill 

Since employees spend 13 hours of a week managing email, it’s not surprising that Yahoo like all their competitors are focusing on mobile for email, search or video. In the corporate world, mobile is becoming more important. Email essentially doesn’t work on mobile because of the screen size and long winded messaging. Personally, I use my subject line to focus on my most important message to the sender because with push notifications on mobile, it’s often the only thing you see. When Google Glass launches beyond beta later this year, users will find that email dictation and reading is so easy while long-winded email responses are extremely challenging. It’s hard to perfectly dictate a 400 word email flawlessly. (Damn you autocorrect)  Distill offers some nice mobile capabilities especially with the video interviewing side of the house and technology. Other video interviewing companies like WePow and HireVue offer both users recruiters as well as job seekers a mobile experience that isn’t dependent on a desktop or wifi technology, just LTE or 4G.

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