By Mark Steyn, Managing Director and CEO of Hudson
Why did Hudson get involved with the HR Tech accelerator?
Tech across the HR and recruitment industry is rapidly changing, enabling new business models and creating a disruptive environment for established participants. Hudson, as a leading talent solutions company, saw the accelerator as an opportunity to get a sense of innovation as it was progressing in and around HR recruitment and technology.
What were your expectations in terms of outcomes before launching the program?
We were searching for two things through the program. 1. To identify technology or new businesses that we could partner with to improve our effectiveness and deliver efficiencies in our business, and 2. Discover opportunities to develop new businesses and business models that would allow us to support our growth as ‘the future of work’ further evolves.
How did the accelerator support the broader strategy for innovation at Hudson?
The accelerator allowed us to engage with a broad range of startup and scaleup companies across a broad spectrum of business areas, including recruitment, training, engagement of a contingent workforce etc. In addition, we took the opportunity to allow staff from across the business to propose business ideas. One of these was selected to participate in the accelerator full-time. During this 12 week period a new business within Hudson was formed and launched to our existing customers.
What insights or learnings can you share with other corporates who are looking to innovate?
At Hudson we have a long history of successful innovation. However, being a large company we know a lot about what we know, but seeing what entrepreneurs across the globe think is relevant to the future of our industry was incredibly valuable. Without doing a full accelerator program with Slingshot together with our partners Seek and UTS, it would have been impossible for us to get exposure to such a large number and high quality of ideas and founders.
What was the biggest challenge during the program?
The biggest challenge during the program was gaining clarity around how we engage and sponsor startup and scaleup initiatives during the 12 weeks. If we were to do this again we would ensure thorough engagement, sponsorship, frameworks for pilots and trials outside of BAU enabling us to get more done with more companies during this short period of time.
What was the biggest benefit Hudson experienced?
During the 12 week program we gained exposure across the business to cutting edge concepts and entrepreneurs. This allowed us to accelerate internal efforts across the business by demonstrating to our people how rapidly startups and entrepreneurs are able to develop and evolve.
What are the outcomes delivered (e.g. customer deal, investment, trials, etc) by the program to date?
We are trialing cutting edge video technology identified and tested during the program to support our screen and selection of candidates for clients across our business, early results look promising.
What is next for Hudson?
Hudson is currently in discussion with a number of Startups around becoming both an equity investor and a client, leveraging our unique assets in APAC to assist promising businesses achieve real scale quickly.