The best companies in HR are…

Note: This was supposed to be a Day 2 post from HRDemo. While it was written in the present tense, due to circumstances beyond my control…namely Sarah White, Anna Brekka and Lisa Watson, I was unable to quite finish the linking and posting details.

For those of you following my tweets you’ve probably noticed that I’m in Vegas at something called the HRDemo Show. I’m enjoying my time here and yesterday wrote about the apples to apples comparison of HCM Systems here at the show. Today, the demos are varying wildly from Video Interviewing to University Relations Recruiting Software. Hardly an apples to apples situation.

So…I’m forced to come up with a theme. A way to get all of this information to you in a concise and hopefully readable way.

The best companies in HR are:

1) Taking risks. The common denominator at the HR Demo Show? All these companies were willing to take a risk on an inaugural event. That should tell you something about the companies and the people who work there.

2) They’re asking What If? From SilkRoad’s ResumePal to RecSolu’s communication platform that makes the college recruiting process easier, these companies are identifying pain points, and then getting down in the muck (code) and solving problems. And their client rosters can barely fit in a PowerPoint presentation.

3) They’re listening to their customers/users. if I had to pick only one theme from this conference it would be this. From rolling out beta tests and integrating client feedback before release to creating vibrant user communities, the best companies are focusing on what their clients (GASP!) want.

4) They’re willing to invest. Whether it’s in a killer interface, a totally blazing new functionality or high level research that can take their product to the next level, these companies are willing to invest in new stuff. Take Monster’s 6Sense Technology, they’re building and moving in a direction that not a whole lot of analysts predicted and getting great results.

5) They’re learning how to craft their message for multiple markets. As John Sumser wisely pointed out, the “audience” here was a crazy quilt of analysts, IT folks, HR buyers and company owners. Learning how to sell into each one of these, demo-ing to multiple audiences simultaneously is quite the challenge. And the best companies? Are up for it.