January 24, 2019

How A Group of HR and Talent Experts Formed PredictiveHR

PredictiveHR’s SaaS platform utilizes machine learning to gain insight into how a company’s HR team is operating on a day-by-day basis.

The company's Co-Founder and VP of Business Development and Marketing Strategy Scott Santoro spoke with us to talk about the team’s experience in the HR space and how it gives them an advantage working in the HRtech space. Santoro also went into detail on how their software works and how they are constantly updating it to assist organizations that need it.

Colin Barry [CB]: I’m a big fan of the phrase “origin story.” What are the origins behind PredictiveHR?

Scott Santoro [SS]: Our founder, Jamie Troiano and I had worked together for 10+ years in different organizations.  Each time we moved to a new company, the same issues around reporting, the quality of the data, timeliness of being able to report on the data and data integrity were always consistent issues.  In addition, combining our HR data with Finance data was always a challenge; HR and Finance Headcount data never the same which brought up question the integrity of the data. Trying to map this data to external market and industry trends was equally challenging. Jamie and our CTO Charlie Occhinio took upon themselves to build a solution to this problem, which is now our proprietary AI tool AIEr, and Executive Lens reporting suite.

Scott Santoro
Scott Santoro, Co-Founder and VP of Business Development and Marketing Strategy

CB: Similar to other industries, the human resources space has an abundance of problems within it. What are some of the problems that PredictiveHR is looking to solve?

SS: People Analytics, Predictive Headcount Modeling, and Cross-Functional Reporting. The quality, timeliness, and structure of people analytics that supports decision-making. The cost of staff is usually the highest cost within any organization. In addition, those people also have a major impact on a company’s productivity, product or its overall health. The ability to utilize the data that HR “sits on” in a more effective, timely way is what we set out to improve.

Our reporting capability is system agnostic and includes data from outside of HR including Finance systems as well as data from third-party organizations outside of the company.  All of this data in a real-time dashboard can be very impactful. PHRs AI tool has the capability to also utilize the information to build predictive models of staffing, talent, retention, succession, etc. into our suite of dashboards visualizations.

CB: Pretend that I am a new user of the PredictiveHR platform, could you please explain to me how it works?  

SS: PHR is a SaaS platform that enables people analytics by utilizing machine learning to predict talent trends and their financial impacts to business outcomes. The PHR Platform aggregates people analytics, predictive workforce planning solutions and HR systems expertise in a comprehensive data set with a real-time dashboard with rich data visualizations.

CB: Who are some of the clients of PredictiveHR? Are there any use cases that have stood out to you?

SS: Being a newly created startup, we have beta customers that we are continually learning from.  Each has brought an interesting view of how their unique situation can utilize our product and tools.  This has been tremendously helpful for us as we approach the market and fine-tune our messaging. We started with the approach of being a customized solution for our clients, so we value the partnership. For example, one client was interested in learning where and what the skills were of their international employee base.  The information we were able to provided included the cost of staff, location, skill sets, performance, gender, retention, and training of each employee. With this data, they were able to model out a future workforce plan based on their business plan. The results also helped to identify staff that required additional training, utilizing staff that had desired skills and the optimal location based on available resources and market trends that would best service and optimize their business.

PredictiveHR's dashboard in action

CB: How big is the team and are there any other positions that you are looking to hire in the next few months?  

SS: Our team is made up of individuals with years in HR and HR systems.  Each of us has held senior-level roles in Human Resources, HRIS, and Talent Management for companies across the IT, Healthcare, Education, Hospitality and Education industries. Combined with our technology platform, the team brings a unique understanding of the HR industry to our customers. Currently, PHR is made up of 11 people. We are adding to our Product Development and our Talent Acquisition team.  

CB: What is the company culture like at PredictiveHR? Is the company involved with any Meetup groups?

SS: We are all HR and talent specialists. We try to participate across the HR spectrum. This year we participated in NEHRA, SHRM, Boston TA and TO groups as well as HRLF. We are trying to get our company name into the market; we think we have a product that can really help the industry. We are very much a startup cultural!

CB: There seem to be more HRtech startups coming out of stealth mode or starting out. Could you share some advice to aspiring startups who want to get involved with human resources?

SS: Stick with it, believe in your product and leverage your networks! It takes passion and the idea that based on your experience your product and services can elevate the function.

CB: It’s always interesting hearing how a startup came up with its name. How did PredictiveHR come up with its name?

SS: The Predictive capability of our platform is what we thought really differentiate PHR so we wanted to include that in the name somehow.  Yes, there are many that say we can do attrition or hiring calculations “on the back of a napkin approach”, but have all the impacts and trends at your fingertips o model out scenarios is impactful and empowering for HR leaders.

CB: Any other additional comments you’d like to make?

SS: Having been in HR leadership roles is a real differentiator of the PHR team. We have been there and understand the pressures that HR is facing around Talent and Talent Management in this day and market.  People analytics, and really being able to put that data to actionable insights will be an effective tool for managing and keeping talent and increasing a company’s overall productivity. We see the same challenges in each of our customers, lot’s of good data spread across multiple systems, multiple spreadsheets and the HR operations team trying to pull it all together. There has to be a better way and we think we have that to offer.

Colin Barry is an Editor & Staff Writer to VentureFizz. Follow him on Twitter @ColinKrash
Photos courtesy of PredictiveHR