Report Summary

Report: The 2020 Index of Intelligent Tools in HR Technology: The Birth of HR as a Systems Science
Date: October 2, 2019, HRExaminer.com
Report Details: 119 pages, Version 1 October 2, 2019
Author: HRExaminer, John Sumser
Price: $599
Summary: The 2020 Index of Intelligent Tools in HR Technology is the third annual edition of HRExaminer’s detailed coverage of the growth and development of Artificial Intelligence in HR Tech. It builds on the prior year’s work and is the culmination of deep quantitative and qualitative research.


Multi-copy Licenses Available

Email John Sumser or call (415) 683-0775 for multi-copy license prices.

Report Detail

HRExaminer is proud to announce the publication of its latest industry report:

The 2020 Index of Intelligent Tools in HR Technology: The Birth of HR as a Systems Science.

This year’s work marks a change in several key areas:

  • We added a quantitative survey. We collected 542 responses to our 28 question instrument. The top-level results are presented in Chapter 2: Reseach Findings.
  • We grew our base of companies from 70 to 110. The demos and phone interviews lasted 450 hours in total. Our discoveries, impressions, learnings, and new questions are detailed in Chapter 3: Landscape.
  • 2019-10-02-hrexaminer-ai-report-pullquote-1-200x221px.jpg

  • We’ve added an implementation tool. Co-Author Heather Bussing has developed a step-by-step guide to probabilistic decision making using the outputs of intelligent tools.
  • The ethics section goes deep on the potential consequences for employees but also picks up the notion that there are ethical responsibilities to the organization as well.
  • The Forecast zeroes in on the evolution of the Data function in the HR Department. People Analytics, Intelligent tools are a small part of of a larger trend that requires HR to establish a Data Department.
  • We coordinated research with an active enterprise customer. Now that HR tech tools are standard offerings, we wanted to better understand how they are marketed and sold. An HR Leader at a Fortune 500 company recently assembled a team of interns and senior employees who conducted extensive research on vendors providing Personality and Values assessments. Their work is included in Appendix 1 and includes useful tools for buyers of these services.

The last item is of particular significance. Analysts can see things that are not apparent from other perspectives. That said, it is rarely possible to adequately capture the experience of being a client who must deal with trench-level salespeople. Collaborating with and offering feedback and guidance to in house research teams seems like just the right thing to expand the credibility of analyst opinion.


Report Overview



The report is intended for use by three different groups of people. We want to simplify and explain the wave of change brought by intelligent tools:

  • Practitioners and buyers who want to have a clear view of the changing technology landscape and its implications for the future of work and the future of HR.
  • Vendors who build and deliver intelligent tools who want a clear picture of the competitive playing field and its ongoing evolution.
  • Investors making decisions about the market for tools and how it is changing.




  1. Research Findings
  2. We surveyed 542 working HR Practitioners at all levels. Here’s how they see ‘AI.’ Lots of experiments and plenty of failure to go around.

  3. Landscape
  4. What’s happening in the marketplace. The elements, ideas, vocabulary, and tools.

  5. The HRExaminer 2020 Watchlist
  6. The 12 most interesting companies, in our opinion. Each company is described and used as an example of an underlying principle.

  7. Broad Industry Trends
  8. What we learned in 450 hours of demos and interviews.2019-10-02-hrexaminer-ai-report-pullquote-2-200x277px.jpg

  9. From Data to Decisions
  10. How to use probabilistic data to make decisions: a pratical guide.

  11. Ethics
  12. Ethics is becoming a central issue in HR. This is a primer beginning with bias.

  13. Forecast
  14. Data is becoming the heart of HR. Here’s how that develops.

  15. Assessing Values
  16. We partnered with an enterprise company to understand values assessment.

  17. Methodology
  18. What we did and who we talked to.

  19. Conflicts
  20. Our paying clients over the past five years.

  21. Acknowledgments
  22. It takes a village.




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