40+ Top Global Influencers in HR Tech of 2018
published by , on 01/09/2018

By Neelie Verlinden (Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Digital HR Tech)

Ambrosia Vertesi – VP People Duo Security | Co-Founder HR Open Source

Ambrosia is one of those impressive people who seem to have more hours in a day than the rest of us have. She’s an HR and Facilities Executive at Duo Security, a company that helps organizations protect their applications and systems against hackers by delivering an easy and effective cloud-based security system.

But Ambrosia also is the Co-Founder of HR Open Source, a knowledge sharing community of almost 5000 HR and Recruiting practitioners in 60 countries globally.

Their aim? To develop a global peer network. A knowledge bank that will enable practitioners to elevate the field to become more progressive and ultimately build better organizations. And it even gets better: at zero cost.

Erik van Vulpen – HR Analytics Expert and Writer

Erik is a well-known writer and an entertaining speaker on HR analytics. He is the Co-Founder of, the largest People Analytics community in the world. Erik regularly writes articles for Digital HR Tech too.

Kieran Snyder – CEO of Textio

Kieran is the Co-Founder and CEO of Textio, a data-driven platform that supports companies in their recruitment process by predicting – and hence improving – the performance of their job listings. 

Andrew Spence – HR Transformation Director at Glass Bead Consulting

Andy is an experienced management consultant who specializes in the design and implementation of new HR operating models to deliver business goals. He has an MSc in Cognitive Science and Artificial Intelligence and works at the intersection of people, technology, and organizational development. 

Oh, and he’s a very entertaining speaker and writer too.

Kristen Pressner – Global Head Human Resources, Roche Diagnostics

Kristen is a global business leader and HR executive who is passionate about unleashing people’s potential and creating high-ROI organizational change.

Besides that – and perhaps even more interestingly – Kristen is a great speaker. If you haven’t seen her popular and very honest TEDx talk on unconscious bias I suggest you watch it right away.

Soumyasanto Sen – Advisor/Evangelist/Investor in People Technologies

Soumyasanto blogs, speaks, and spreads the word about people technologies and digital transformation.

As a Co-Founder and Partner of People Conscience, he also provides mentorship and coaching to start-ups and entrepreneurs. Striving for a better future and collaborating corporates in leading and adopting Digital Transformation with the right mindset, strategy, leadership and cultural change.

Frida Polli – CEO and Co-Founder of Pymetrics

We continue our list with another female CEO and Co-Founder, Frida Polli. Frida heads Pymetrics, an HR tech start-up that, in a nutshell, applies proven neuroscience games and elements of machine learning & AI to reinvent the way companies attract, select and retain talent.

Tim Sackett – President of HRU Technical Resources   

Tim has more than 20 years of experience in recruiting and selection, mixed with some solid experience within the HR generalist world. He’s an HR Pro, Dad, and a Backup Point Guard on his over 40 men’s team as he puts it on his blog.

Tim’s specialties include Talent Aquisition, Employment Branding, Performance Management and Succession Planning.

Trish McFarlane – CEO/ Principal Analyst, H3HR Advisors

Trish McFarlane is the author of the HR Ringleader blog and the CEO and Principal Analyst for H3 HR Advisors. She is also the CEO/ Co-Founder of HRevolutionize, LLP.

A former HR executive and HCM product leader with over 20 years of experience in Big 4 public accounting, PR, healthcare, manufacturing, and IT, Trish brings that knowledge to her clients as an analyst and advisor.

Bill Kutik – Host and Managing Editor at Firing Line with Bill Kutik

Bill Kutik is a leading independent expert on HR technology. He’s also the host of ‘Firing Line with Bill Kutik’ on YouTube, a broadcast-quality video series. Bill has written hundreds of columns for 27 years, organizes and moderates panels and has built the world’s largest conference, HR Tech, from 1998 until 2013.

Alexia (Lexy) Martin – Principal, Research and Customer Value at Visier Inc.

Alexia is definitely among those seasoned professionals I was talking about. Her specialties include People Analytics, Workforce Analytics, Value analysis and HR Tech. She did extended research on HR technology adoption and was the author of Sierra-Cedar’s HR Systems Survey. Among other things.

Volker Jacobs – CEO and Founder of TI People

Before he founded TI People, Volker Jacobs held an executive position with global responsibility for HR consulting and HR technology at CEB. With TI People, he helps companies define their own digital HR agenda so they can transform and innovate their people management.

Stela Lupushor – Founder and Chief Re-framer at Reframe.Work Inc.

Stela is the founder and Chief Re-framer at Reframe.Work, a consulting firm that advises organizations on how to future-proof their workforce and work environment in light of demographic shifts, disruptive technology, value chain disintermediation and human behavior evolution.

Before, Stela established and led the People Analytics functions at Fidelity Investment and TIAA where she developed analytics capabilities across the organizations and enabled data-driven workforce decision-making.

Tom Haak, Director of the HR Trend Institute

Tom has an extensive experience in HR Management in multinational companies. He has a keen interest in innovative HR and how organizations can benefit from trend shifts.

His areas of expertise include HR strategy, recruitment, talent management, HR trends and people analytics.

Suzanne Lucas – The Evil HR Lady

Suzanne Lucas gives career advice, with a little bit of snark. She’s a writer and speaker that helps people have great careers, be better managers and explains to them why in the heck their HR department is asking them to declare their race on that application form.

Suzanne’s articles are highly entertaining so if you haven’t read one yet, I suggest you get to it!

David Green – People Analytics Leader

David is probably one of the most active people I know on LinkedIn. He’s always sharing relevant articles or content by field experts or himself.

David is well-known in the industry and a respected writer, speaker, conference chair and executive consultant on people analytics, data-driven HR and the future of work.

Sharlyn Lauby – HR Bartender

Sharlyn Lauby runs the popular HR Bartender blog. A friendly place to discuss everyday workplace issues. Her articles are easy to read and practical.

Sharlyn is also the president of ITM Group Inc., a South-Florida-based training and HR consulting firm focused on working with companies to retain and engage talent.

Sjoerd Gehring – Global VP of Talent Acquisition and People Experience at Johnson & Johnson

Besides leading the global Talent Acquisition and Talent Mobility organization at Johnson & Johnson, Sjoerd also heads J&J’s Employee Experience efforts and their Millennial employee resource group.

Somehow Sjoerd still finds the time to contribute regularly to and has been featured on Forbes, Fastcompany, Inc. & Business Insider.

Maren Hogan – CEO and Founder of Red Branch Media

Maren is another one of those people who seems to have twice as many hours in a day than I have. Or maybe she’s just twice as productive.

In any case, as the CEO of Red Branch Media, she runs a team of over 20 people that build websites, create marketing strategies, produce over 100 pieces of content a month… and the list goes on.

Oh, and in the meantime, she finds time to regularly write and publish great content on HR, recruitment and running a business.

Barry Flack – Digital HR & Recruitment solutions | HR Tech Advisor

Barry is a seasoned Global HR Executive, leader, and strategist. At the moment, he’s helping to build a leading-edge HR Tech product for the global enterprise market. Hopefully, we’ll find out more soon!

Kathleen Hogan – Chief People Officer at Microsoft

Kathleen focuses on empowering Microsoft’s more than 100 000 global employees to achieve their company’s mission and on creating a company culture that attracts and inspires the world’s most passionate talent.

She’s also on the board of the National Center for Women & Information Technology.

Matt Buckland – VP of Customer Advocacy at Workable

Matt has over fifteen years of experience in the design and implementation of Recruitment and HR strategies. In his role as VP of Customer Advocacy for Workable, he speaks at events and conferences about how we can all hire better.

Matt also runs a blog, the King’s Shilling, that covers topics on – among other things – the future of HR, big data and HR tech.   

Littal Shemer Haim – People Analytics Consultant | HR Data Strategist

Littal brings data science into HR activities to guide organizations towards data-based decision-making about people. She has a vast experience in – among other things – applied research, the usage of statistical modeling, and the constant exposure to HR tech.

On top of that, she’s a great writer.

In fact, it was Littal and her personal challenge for 2018 to salute 365 women in HR (tech) that inspired me to include at least as many women as men in this 40+ Top Global HR Tech Influencers of 2018 list.

Steve Boese, currently Co-Chair of the HR Technology Conference

It’s highly unlikely that you haven’t heard of Steve. That is if you’re an HR professional interested in HR technology. But just in case: Steve has over 20 years of experience implementing enterprise technologies for HR, Recruiting, Finance and Distribution.

He also has his own HR tech blog and, as mentioned above, co-hosts a popluar podcast with Trish McFarlane.

Jackye Clayton – Director of Customer Success at HiringSolved

Jackye is a seasoned HR professional who helps recruiters go from ‘eh’ to ‘ah’ using the latest and greatest technology. She’s recognized as a people expert who puts the Human in Human Resources.

Before she transitioned to HiringSolved, Jackye worked at RecruitingDaily where she had the opportunity to research, test and analyze a lot of HR tech.

Laszlo Bock – CEO and Co-Founder of Humu

Laszlo Bock is probably most known for his book ‘Work Rules!’ and his former role as SVP of People Operations at Google, especially since the company won numerous ‘Best Place to Work’ awards during the time Laszlo was there.

Right now, he seems to be working on an exciting HR tech project called Humu ‘making work better through science, machine learning, and a little bit of love.’ We can’t wait to hear more about it!

Stacy Chapman – CEO and Co-Founder of SwoopTalent

Before she joined SwoopTalent to leverage data for truly effective talent sourcing and hiring, Stacy Chapman had done a lot of other interesting things across the ‘gamut of human capital and recruiting’.

She has designed and launched market-leading human capital management applications at PeopleSoft and founded Aruspex in 2003 to tackle the challenge of the strategic workforce. To name a few examples.

Josh Bersin – Bersin by Deloitte

Josh Bersin is, of course, another one of those experienced veterans. I don’t think there’s anyone in the land of HR (tech) that doesn’t regularly turn to the research of Bersin and his team for insights and information.

Naomi Bloom – Managing Partner Bloom & Wallace

Naomi Bloom is a leading independent voice, strategic advisor, market influencer, blogger and speaker about enterprise HR technology and outsourcing.

Still, she finds time to focus on some of her other interests that include – among many other things – writing, painting and improving gender diversity in tech leadership.

Meghan M. Biro – HR and Tech Evangelist

Meghan M. Biro is a globally recognized Talent Management and HR Tech brand strategist, analyst, digital catalyst, author, and speaker. She’s the Founder and CEO of TalentCulture and the Founder of the #WorkTrends Community.

As if that isn’t enough, she is also a regular contributor at Forbes, Huffington Post, and Entrepreneur, to name a few.

Alan Walker – #ChatTalent Editor | Webinar & Podcast Host | HR Tech Lover

Alan is the editor and host of #ChatTalent, an online platform that creates and curates a wide range of content aimed at supporting anyone who works in talent (recruitment, talent acquisition, HR, etc.) to build great organizations.

And it doesn’t stop there.

Alan also is the Co-Founder of TheTalentFinders, an innovative talent consultancy ‘born out of the experience, passion, and frustration of two normal guys over several cups of coffee’, as Walker puts it himself.

Jessica Miller-Merrell – Founder of @Workology

Jessica is the founder of Workology, a popular HR blog and community for HR professionals. Through Workology, she also hosts a podcast.

On top of that, Jessica writes, trains and speaks on all things human capital. She has more than 15 years of industry experience as an executive leader, consultant, and analyst.

Her specialties include (among many others): Candidate Experience, Workforce Planning, Human Resource Initiatives and Employee Retention.

John Sumser – Principal Analyst at HRExaminer

John is the principal analyst for HRExaminer, an independent analyst firm covering HR technology and the intersection of people, tech, and work. His work includes profound research into the ‘nooks and crannies’ of HR tech to identify and explain rapidly evolving trends.

HRExaminer is John’s vehicle to cover emerging ideas, the state of the industry, and the executives who operate in it via podcasts and written commentary.

Stacey Harris – VP, Research and Analytics

Stacey is another one of those seasoned HR tech veterans. She has been a leading member of the HR practices and technology community since 2007 and launched the Bersin & Associates HR research practice.

Stacey has conducted groundbreaking research on High-Impact HR organizations, enterprise HR technologies and key practices across the talent management spectrum. 

And yes, there’s more.

Stacey co-hosts the HR Tech Weekly Radio show and frequently speaks and/or facilitates HR events in the US.

Juan Luis Betancourt – CEO of Humanintelligence

Juan Luis is the CEO of Humanintelligence, a culture analytics and AI-based recruiting SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) solution.

With Humanintelligence, Juan Luis runs the first company that actually measures company culture accurately. As such, they help companies hire for culture fit (in case you’re not sure; culture misfit is one of the most common reasons employees leave a company prematurely) and can reduce their turnover by 35% while optimizing employee performance.

Joelle Emerson – Founder & CEO at Paradigm

Before she founded Paradigm and long before the #metoo movement, Joelle was a women’s rights employment lawyer. She represented women in gender discrimination and sexual harassment litigation and advocated for policies – on all levels – to ensure equal pay and other workplace protections for women. 

It’s her legal experience that inspired Joelle to found Paradigm, a strategy firm that partners with leading tech startups and Fortune 500 companies to build stronger, more inclusive organizations.

Adam Gordon – Co-Founder and CEO of Candidate.ID

Adam has years of HR and recruitment experience and co-launched Candidate.ID in 2016.

Candidate.ID is a dedicated talent pipeline software company that enables recruitment marketers to demonstrate the effectiveness of their work and reduces time-to-shortlist by 60%.

Sarah Brennan – Talent Acquisition and Engagement Strategist

Sarah is an advocate for improving the impact of technology on people, business, and the future of work. She also runs the HR Tech Blog, is the co-founder of the Women of HR Blog, and the Principal Consultant of Talent Acquisition at Cornerstone OnDemand.

Sarah wants to create a new conversation about how hiring, talent, and companies are impacted by changing technology.

Jochen Bessemans – ex HR Tech Valley matchmaker between HR & HR Tech, now Umital

Jochen is was HR Tech Valley evangelist till september 2018. HR Tech Valley is a Belgium bases ecosystem of HR tech companies that enables HR and organizational leaders to focus on people rather than processes. Now is is co-leading Umital, founded to speed up the realization of corporate strategy by stimulating and measuring continuous (informal) learning. 

Jeanne Achille – CEO of the Devon Group | Program Chair, Women in HR Tech

Jeanne has been the Founder and CEO of the Devon Group for 24 years now. The Devon Group is an independent tech (including HR tech) PR firm that has launched and represented numerous tech products worldwide.

Jeanne is also this year’s program chair for the Women in HR Tech Summit.

Jason Averbook – CEO and Co-Founder at Leapgen

Jason is an executive, consultant, author and thought leader with a broad understanding of how tech can be applied to common business problems and help organizations realize the benefits of such solutions.

With Leapgen, Jason drives the Future of Work in organizations all over the world and encourages HR leaders to build a better workforce experience based on empathy-driven design thinking principles.

(This article was originally published on

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