Lots of toys for good boys... Meaning HR tech startups in Estonia

The saying 'springing up around us like mushrooms after rain' becomes instantly more interesting when you find out it refers to tech startups. Where there are tech startups there is money or something like that (okay, okay... I know the saying goes for fire but my version is much nicer). Now, when the long intro is done I can just as well tell you - we will be talking about HR tech startups. In recent years it has started HR startups in Estonia have just started to spring out of nowhere. We made our selection carefully and listed the 18 best ones below. Take a look!

So, startups. Let’s talk about startups. Specifically about startups in Estonia – the country has become famous for the sheer number of such companies, international IT centers and other technological inventions. Besides the obvious tech startups that have grown in a insanely fast rate in just few years, there are also the little players, who regardless are no less awesome. Our field is HR, so we will be concentrating on HR startups. But before we will dwell on those, I will discuss the essence of startups in general. 

A startup is a business that is trying to win market share with a new product, service or a business model. Startups are expected to have a plan how to grow go global fast. Considering Estonia’s size, it only makes sense to try and expand your business to foreign markets. In order to fulfill that ambition, a startup tries to to get investors. That’s why investors put their money in startups – the growth rate is expected to be fast, therefore they will get their money back and maybe even double it.   

Although there are several definitions for a startup, I like the one where the business doesn’t quite have a defined business model. That is a business that is not quite sure what it is that they will be charging their customers for. Usually all they know is the field of action and the technological invention that they want to offer their customers

Startups will always make an effort to fulfill some new ideas, offer a some technological tool or repackaging well known ideas in a new field. That’s why startups should be supported. Several big corporations have startup programs to discover new innovative ideas to take over the market or they use startups to find new talent. People who make startups are the kind who will put their whole energy into fulfilling that dream, in order to make something that will help other companies and people to progress. 

Estonia is surprisingly rich in the the field of HR startups, you could even say we have more that any other European country. The list given in this article is specifically with the HR field, we have exempted project management and planning tools, also we have left out time and productivity management and goal making, otherwise the list would be even longer. Some of the examples made in this articles lie somewhere in between 

We have arranged the list according to the date of inception. We are willing to add to the list – all ideas can be sent to: karl.laas@upsteem.com. All commentary is welcome as well.


1. Upsteem.com 
   Field: Talent management
      Founded 2010,
   CEO Karl Laas

 

Upsteem.com is a cloud based talent management system for giving feedback and to help people progress. The main functions are 360 degree evaluation, performance interviews, goal-making. There are several other modules in the systems such as surveys, feedback and training. It is also suited for bigger organisations and they fulfill various technical tasks. B2B, clients are businesses with 50+ employees; the software is offered within projects in conjunction with consultations or for a constant use in organisation. The are further customization options and data-analysis services.


2. PARiM 
   Field: Shift planning tool
      Founded 2012
   CEO Riho Muttik   

ARiM is a diverse tool for planning shifts and for time management. It was initially meant for making rotas in security services. Teams are divided between objects. It is also suited for creating rotas for event planning and to manage work in locations. Both a mobile and a desktop application. The head office is located in London, UK. Several international and UK customers.


3. SportID 
   Field: Sport benefits management
      Founded 2012
   CEO Marti Soosaar

SportID help employers effectively motivate its workers by sending them to exercise classes. SportID simplifies the process of giving employers sport benefits, making contracts with sporting facilities, compensating checks and inspiring workers. Many of the clients and big and medium companies. International example is Zenefits.

4. Weekdone
   Field: Team collaboration
      Founded 2012
   CEO Jüri Kaljundi 

Weekdone is a tool for teamwork, with its help teams can create, share and align their weekly plans. It’s based on Google’s famous OKR method. It helps teams get their plans sorted and achieve their goals. International clients mostly from the USA.


5. GoWorkABit
   Field: Short term workforce hire
      Founded 2013
   CEO Kristjan Vanaselja

GoWorkABit is a short-term workforce rental portal. GWB is the winner of an Estonian business brainstorming competition Ajujaht finalist. GWB was founded as the Estonian market was in desperate need for quick workforce and also the workforce was asking for a way to work flexibly and without too much commitment. This is an obvious change of the work culture in the 21st century. Let’s all take a bite of work! 


6. Teleport
   Field: Job market research
      Founded 2014
   CEO Sten Tamkivi

Teleport gives digital nomads the data they need to decide in which corner of the Earth they could live and work. In other words, if you are employed in the tech field, Teleport gives you all the necessary information to make up your mind if you want to work in a different culture. The portal has a wide range of data on salaries and living expenses. It will also help you ease your moving and traveling process. Teleport’s goal is the promote the free movement of talent, regardless of country boundaries. B2C.


7. Jobbatical
   Field: Workforce exchange platform
      Founded 2014
   CEO Karoli Hindriks

Are you a highly valued specialist and you are looking for new challenges and also want a bit of change from you day to day work? Do you want to connect work and travel? Jobbatical is the global workforce exchange platform which goal is to offer a temporary work placement in a different culture. B2B2C.

8. Skillific 
   Field: Automated recruiting
      Founded 2014
   CEO Rainer Aunpuu   

Skillific is en route to developing an artifical intelligence that would be able to fulfill all tasks that currently can be done only by real recruiters. Their Artifical Intelligence based talent search engine help discover and select only the best candidates from all sorts of sources.

9. SinuLab
   Field: Personel developement
      Founded 2014
   CEO Maarit Vabrit-Raadla  

A talent management platform. Project is still in the beginning phase and all services are offered mainly through the investment input of a client. The platform and service is being developed according to the wishes and needs of the first clients. It’s goal is to create a cloud based talent management software that will help to effectively manage workers developmental and competency related needs.

10. Clanbeat  
  Field: Team leading
  Founded 2015
  CEO Ragnar Sass


Clanbeat was created to support meaningful one-on-one’s withing teams and help gather and remember tasks and issues that need to get done. Is best suited for team use in organisations that don’t have a strict central talent management policies.


11. Somno 
     Field: Vacation time management
  Founded 2015
  CEO Armido Hirvelaan


Somno cloudbased platform is created to manage team calendar and to keep an eye on vacation allowances and times. It has an interface to Slack. It sends emails about the acceptance or rejections of vacation application and hep managers delegate the work and substitutions for the absent colleague. Suited for agile organisations.


12. Recrur
  Field: Recruiting
  Founded 2016
  CEO Marit Alaväli

Recrur is an ATS – recruitment tool which helps the work of recruiters within an organisation. The application helps you browse the profiles of candidates, manage recruitment projects and make notes. Integrations to portals and an option to aggregate job applications and applicants who have come from various channels. Currently have their first clients in Estonia.


13. HireHunt.io  
  Field: Recruiting
  Founded 2016
  CEO Andriy Bondarenko


HireHunt.io is a recruitment solution made by three young Ukrainian men studying the University of Tartu. It is directed to the technology sector to help find the perfect candidates. It is an aggregate that helps recruiters make a base selection. The product is in its initiation phase.



14. Teamscope.io 
  Field: Recruitment, Team analysis
  Founded 2015
  CEO Alo Arro

Teamscope.io is meant for team compatibility
analysis. It gives out badges and recognition. Was initially designed as a tool for investors to see if and how much potential the startup team has to become successful.


15. Zerply.com 
  Field: Creative industry recruitment                       Founded 2009
  CEO Christofer Karltorp


Zerply was made to find talents in the creative industry. The application helps individuals in the film industry find the next project when one ends. They have offices in Tallinn and Los Angeles.



16. Talent Atlas, LKM Associates 
  Field: Recruitment
  Founded 2015
  CEO Liis Tiideberg


Talent Atlas is a recruitment solution for agencies which can also be used without the use of a middleman. The release of the new beta has been planned to take place early 2017. Currently in the process of targeting customers.


17. Vivic.work 
  Field: Work design
  Founded 2015
  CEO Klaas-Jan Reincke

Vivic.work focuses on work design. The goal is to design our everyday work in a way that the doer would enjoy it fully. The services are offered in three fields: 1) work design training's; 2) measuring of staff engagement and work flow; 3) making changes to work design – consultations. It’s an a science backed startup for which inception the work and data of both Estonian and Dutch scientists is used. As a technological platform it offers tools to measure flow.

X. Achoo 
   Field: Social intranet
      Founded 2011-2013, not active
   CEO Andrus Purde

The goal was to create an in organisation social network that would enable users to mark down their achievements and praise one another. Very similar to continuous feedback and recognition functions. Competition were Yammer and other bigger service providers. Andrus Purde has written in the obituary for the project that the death of Achoo was brought by the lack of focus and issues in the team. The obituary on Achoo’s experience is one of the most thought provoking that has been written on Estonian startups.

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