ServiceNow announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire Hitch Works, a company that uses data and AI tools to help map people and skills to projects. The announcement is significant because of the current macroeconomic context for consumers, as well as in terms of how ServiceNow thinks about delivering value to customers.
ServiceNow rarely makes acquisitions, unless it recognizes a company (both skills and technology) that it thinks can fill a gap, and easily integrate, into its Now platform. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Considering the macro context, companies everywhere have to grapple with so-called ‘The Great Resignation’, as employees have spent the pandemic re-assessing how they perceive the work experience and what it means. its them. It may be that they prefer to have a work/life balance after two years of working from home, or they realize that their job does not give them enough purpose.
As a result, employers are under a substantial amount of pressure to both give their employees more flexibility, but also to ensure that they are satisfying career expectations and/or ambitions. .
In hiring Hitch Works, ServiceNow indicates that it understands that employees don’t want to be in ‘any’ job just yet – they want to be in the right job, or working on the right projects. If it can help its customers enhance the employee experience by allowing them to understand where skills are best placed, or will be most important, it in turn will help attrition.
Also, ServiceNow understands that it will secure larger deals with customers if it can deliver returns for them quickly. Following a recent conversation with CEO Bill McDermott, it became clear that his priority, given rising inflation, is boosting productivity for customers.
Whether the option for customers is reducing costs or boosting productivity, the latter is a more value-driven scenario. Ensuring that employees do projects that match their needs and skills, strengthening their experience, is one way to ensure that workers are more productive.
What we know
ServiceNow said the Hitch Works acquisition will allow it to help customers meet talent gaps by linking employee learning and development with workforce planning, on a single platform. It cited recent IDC research, which states that CEOs in North America believe that managing the talent skills gap is “the biggest risk to affect business in 2022”.
The goal is to use Hitch Works ’AI and ML technology to help managers determine which employees are best suited for projects based on skills and interests.
Gretchen Alarcon, VP and General Manager of HR Service Delivery at ServiceNow, said:
If skills are the new currency for the business, insight into these skills is essential in driving talent retention and adapting to evolving business needs,
But management practices have previously been siloed, with multi-point solutions and fragmented processes not working together. At Hitch, ServiceNow will streamline intelligence skills into a platform to help business leaders match employees to meaningful work.
Hitch was founded by HR-industry veteran Kelley Steven-Waiss, former CHRO and CIO of HERE Technologies, before Hitch Works was founded. The company is led by CEO Heather Jerrehian, an entrepreneur and one of the founders of venture capital firm, How Women Invest. Both leaders are expected to remain with ServiceNow when the acquisition is complete.
AI-powered skills intelligence is the foundation for future work.
The merger with ServiceNow enables us to measure our capabilities and talent mobility solutions in a global ecosystem of business leaders, managers, and employees. Together we will make work more meaningful and purposeful for employees and deliver better business results for companies.
ServiceNow and Hitch said the acquisition will allow companies to provide equal access to employment and development opportunities, “regardless of who an employee knows or how well they network. “. Over the past year, ServiceNow has added new solutions to its Employee Workflow portfolio to support employees, including Employee Journey Management, enabling employee learning and workflow feedback.
Steven ‑ Waiss of Hitch said:
A productive and dedicated worker is the greatest asset of an organization.
As we emerge from the pandemic and face the challenges of the Great Resignation, employee experience is the key difference in winning talent in the 21st century. ServiceNow will advance Hitch’s vision of creating the next generation of workforce and skills solutions.
ServiceNow expects to close the acquisition in Q2 2022. ServiceNow will build Hitch’s capabilities on the Now Platform, starting with its Employee Workflow solutions – eventually expanding to customer service, IT, and workflow developers.
What I take
Clearly ServiceNow sees this as a tactical and strategic acquisition, one that is directly related to its focus on the employee experience. This focus on ‘experience’ is an attempt to help customers see value directly from the Now platform, helping them with issues in mind within the macroeconomic context. Obviously we don’t yet have use cases to quantify Hitch’s effectiveness on the Now platform, but this is something we’ll be pursuing in the coming months.