Human Resource Executive® Announces Winners of Top HR Products of 2018 Awards

10 New Products Representing Excellence and Innovation in the HR Vendor Community Selected

Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, UNITED STATES

HORSHAM, Pa., Sept. 10, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Human Resource Executive® magazine, the premier publication focused on strategic issues in HR, today announced the winners of the Top HR Products Awards. The annual award competition is designed to uncover the best new HR products. The winning selections will be featured in a special display in HRE’s booth at the 21st Annual HR Technology Conference & Exposition®. Attendees will also be able to view self-running presentations about each of the top products at the HRE booth during the conference.

Each year, the editors of Human Resource Executive® perform an extensive evaluation of the Top HR Products submissions. They also include as a part of the decision-making process input from a panel of outside experts and analysts. Winning solutions are selected based on their level of innovation, value added to the HR function, intuitiveness for the user and ability to deliver on what they promise. After considering many strong submissions, the judges selected the following 10 solutions as the Top HR Products of 2018:

AllyO, Sunnyvale, Calif.

Cloud-based AllyO uses artificial intelligence to manage traditional inefficiencies and lost job applicants caused by a poor candidate experience, overburdening and menial task-driven recruiting processes (read: costly), and a lack of visibility/control for HR and recruiting leaders. AllyO overcomes those hurdles by using what it calls “deep workflow” and “conversational” AI to completely automate end-to-end recruiting. It engages job candidates via texting over both web and mobile platforms. It is multilingual, offers quick deployment, and integrates and scales with existing HR systems and processes.

Avature Contingent Workforce Management
Avature, New York

Avature Contingent Workforce Management is a single-platform solution that tracks contingent workers throughout their employment life cycle. It’s a full talent-acquisition platform through which recruiters can source new talent or engage with previous contractors. Companies can use Avature as a direct-sourcing strategy in which contractors create profiles to highlight their skills, apply for open projects, and update their compensation data and availability. Or, using the Agency Management Portal, employers can keep all communication and activities with outside staffing agencies in one location. The Hiring Manager Portal lets users submit and approve project requisitions, review candidates and schedule interviews, as well as rate contractors on skills and project deliverables at the end of an assignment.

Businessolver, West Des Moines, Iowa

Sofia is a virtual personal-benefits assistant that uses natural-language processing and machine-learning technology to address employees’ benefits questions. Working in conjunction with the company’s benefits-administration system, Sofia builds capabilities and knowledge over time to provide users with more relevant and accurate responses. Responses are then delivered by text or voice (Sofia currently speaks six languages—with many more coming by year’s end). Using sentiment analysis, she’s able to detect emotions behind a call or chat to improve the user experience. Sofia saves transcripts of each conversation to the employee’s benefits-administration record and can be accessed via a computer or mobile app.

EY Navigate and EY TaxChat
EY, New York

As part of the EY Personal Finance suite of offerings, EY Navigate and EY TaxChat allow HR leaders to give workers tools aimed at achieving financial wellness. EY Navigate helps employees break down complex financial-planning tasks—such as debt management and retirement planning—and develop personalized action plans. It contains three sections—My Goals, Learning Center and Work with a Planner—and integrates the employer’s benefits and rewards with an employee’s overall financial picture. EY TaxChat is an on-demand, tax-preparation mobile application that connects employees with EY U.S. professionals in an easy-to-use, secure online environment, making filing personal taxes simpler and faster. After answering a few basic questions, users receive a fixed, low-fee quote to prepare their taxes.

IBM Watson Candidate Assistant
IBM, Armonk, N.Y.

IBM Watson Candidate Assistant is designed to match job seekers with an organization’s open positions they're best qualified for based on their skills and background. Candidate Assistant analyzes a user’s resume and then sifts through job openings, using its job-matching capability to deliver personalized job recommendations. The product’s chatbot function, built on IBM’s Watson cognitive platform, is pre-trained on more than 60 commonly asked questions from job seekers. Clients can modify, add or change the questions based on reports that Candidate Assistant provides, and have the option of adding their own custom content to the platform or having IBM help them create it.

Swarm Innovation Profiler
Swarm Vision Inc., Los Altos, Calif.

Swarm Innovation Profiler is an assessment tool aimed at enabling users to identify the innovative strengths of their workforce. Drawing from four rounds of global research, the tool helps employers determine their own organization’s “culture of innovation” and identify the kinds of talent for which they should be recruiting. It features a dashboard that allows HR and business leaders to view a person’s innovation-related skills (drive, disrupt, create, connect, think) and then use those insights to assign him or her to the right project or team. It can also be used to make smarter retention decisions, as well as to help develop the right kind of innovation training.

Media Cloud (M-Cloud)
Symphony Talent, New York

Billed as the industry’s first vertical-technology stack for recruitment media, M-Cloud is a self-contained system driven by Symphony Talent’s AI engine and takes the inefficiencies and guesswork out of recruitment marketing. It allows talent-acquisition leaders to apply programmatic, real-time, results-driven media optimization by focusing on outlets that provide the best fit and highest-quality candidates. It also continually refocuses company efforts on the most important jobs for both active and passive candidates. Campaigns can be geo-targeted to multiple locations and job titles can even be tested for each location. It also works for brand ads such as banners, mobile ads, pre-roll video, native ads, social ads and general search ads such as Google. With M-Cloud, companies only buy those impressions likely to result in quality applications.

Textio Hire
Textio, Seattle

Textio Hire is an “augmented-writing” tool designed to ensure that recruiters have a greater chance of getting a reply from emails to targeted candidates. The software uses a predictive engine built to automatically learn from a continuously updated data set of actual emails and their performance metrics, which are used to help recruiters write messages and job descriptions that will resonate with candidates. Textio Hire analyzes messages as they’re being written and flags words or sentences that could be problematic or could potentially turn off candidates and suggests replacements. Every recruiting email written in Textio Hire is assigned a Textio Score, which rates its overall effectiveness, from 0 to 100. Recruiters can use Textio Hire while creating messages in LinkedIn or Gmail via a browser extension; similar capabilities for Microsoft Outlook are planned for an upcoming release.

Xander by Ultimate Software
Ultimate Software, Weston, Fla.

Xander uses natural-language processing and machine learning to help HR leaders and the organization better understand what employees are feeling and thinking; it then uses those insights to prescribe personalized actions. Through the platform, HR can take text-based, open-ended survey responses, performance reviews and more, and break down these inputs into sentiment, emotion and workplace themes. Drawing from these data, managers and business leaders are better able to coach their employees. Xander automatically surfaces more than 70 workplace themes that identify what employees are discussing and more than 100 emotions, all reportedly with around 90 percent accuracy. 

Visier People: Learning
Visier, Vancouver, Canada

Visier People: Learning was developed to help organizations measure the outcomes of their learning and development programs. The analytics platform allows companies to merge data about their training initiatives with information from talent-management, HR and business systems to provide a comprehensive look at the efficacy of L&D efforts. The solution enables business leaders to analyze the impact of training on everything from retention to engagement to promotions, and to forecast potential pain points, such as expiring certifications. The cloud-enabled platform prepares a primary overview of L&D data, and organizations can then perform their own deep dive into the numbers to generate personalized analyses of the most pertinent business outcomes.

About Human Resource Executive®
Human Resource Executive® was established in 1987 and continues today as the premier publication and website focused on strategic issues in HR. Written primarily for vice presidents and directors of human resources, HRE provides these key decision-makers with news, profiles of HR visionaries and success stories of human resource innovators. Stories cover all areas of human resource management, including talent management, benefits, healthcare training and development, HR information systems, relocation, retirement planning and employment law. For more information, visit

About the HR Technology Conference & Exposition®
Founded in 1997, the HR Technology Conference is the world’s leading event on HR technology covering all the latest trends—Talent Acquisition, Employee Engagement, Diversity & Inclusion, Big Data and more! From strategy and selection to post-implementation, HR Tech is a pivotal stop for all organizations on their HR journey. Featuring more than 75 presentations delivered by senior executives from leading organizations, HR Tech never sells speaking slots, resulting in a high-caliber learning experience with real-world lessons and practical takeaways. HR Tech annually attracts industry experts, thought leaders, software vendors, senior HR executives, HR generalists, HR systems leaders, IT innovators and more. The show is also home to the annual Women in HR Technology Summit, which empowers women within HR and HR technology to grow personally and professionally. Additionally, the HR Tech Conference hosts the world’s largest Expo of HR technology products and services—a number of vendors even choose to announce their latest products for the first time at the conference. There is no better place to touch, compare and contrast the latest solutions from leading vendors in every category, as well as start-ups. For more information, visit


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