My buddy Chris Bailey, Director of People & Organization at PwC, was at SHRM National this year, and I wasn’t. So, he sent along a post for the blog! I asked him to stop by and review Beyond that rebranded as Nexxt. Enjoy!
Make sure you follow Chris on Twitter @CaymanHRGuy!
Whats Nexxt? What Tics? Who’s here? So What!
Ahh, the annual SHRM Pilgrimage, this year set to the backdrop of live Jazz, beads and the all-night antics that is Bourbon St, yes that’s right we are in New Orleans! Alas our owner of this site, Mr Tim Sackett, decided New Orleans wasn’t for him, I’m not sure why but I don’t think Tim has recovered from the last time both he and I were in the same location at the same time (You can read about that by paying $10,000 into the Chris & Tim Cayman Fund for recovering HR peeps). But he has been heard constantly humming along to the sounds of “Now That’s what I call HR” available now on Itunes…..Thus he sent me, his roving eye in the sky to report on what’s hot and what’s not at the SHRM conference.
Now as we all know Tim is a technical genius on the HR stuff…pregnant pause… So he wanted me to look at one thing in particular; a company called Beyond.com (Now known as Nexxt).
Now I was intrigued with Beyond.com as literally when they heard we were coming to review I was sent a press release by a lady called Maren Hogan of Red Branch Media. If you don’t know Maren she is one of the hardest working media pros at the event, not only was she helping Beyond launch this latest iteration of the company but she attended and supported various speakers, went to all the various networking events and even found time to have fun at the Harry Connick Jr’s concert. I say this for no other reason than if you want a lesson in how to network at a conference, build your brand, be seen and be sought out, then simply spend next year as Maren’s shadow. I guarantee you will be exhausted, amazed and light years ahead of where you are now in terms of just how much effort goes into being at the top of your game.
Back to the task at hand, Beyond had their booth draped in black with mime artists, jugglers and a jazz band right up until the countdown clock struck zero hour and then to much fireworks, t-shirt throwing and fanfare they rebranded as Nexxt. A 20 year veteran in the space that has become more “tech-enabled” which at its core is a suite of agency tools that gives recruiters and talent acquisition professionals the ability to create customized campaigns that reach the candidate personas they design.
Does it work?
Sure it does, but so does Indeed, and so do a few smaller players in this space. It’s a little more niche than Indeed with some pretty impressive stats. I ran a search as a job seeker for an HR Director role in the US and had over 7000 results returned (Clearly a demand for HR folk!) The same search on Indeed has just over 8500, so pretty similar job stats. If you are an employer and want to search a CV database there are Millions to choose from, on indeed it tells you they have 7.5 million CV’s in their database. So it certainly proves its veteran credentials. Nexxt is easy to use and its deep dive is also robust.
From a candidate perspective, I really don’t know why they continue to allow Google ads to show up in the job search bar as it cheapens the look of the site. I know I keep reverting back to indeed but when the employers and candidate in your space rate it as the number one recruiting tool you can’t help but compare regardless of the technical difference between the two. The creation of targeted and budget specific advert campaigns is better functionally than Indeed’s filter, so I know results will vary. At the end of the day, it comes down to feel. I like the feel of Nexxt, it feels boutique with some big data behind it. It feels a little more personal and I would certainly test it in niche areas of recruitment. It has clearly been a crowd pleaser but so was Steve Jobs launch of “Next” Computers. The fab PR needs to be backed up by great performance and Nexxt has that ability (unlike Next computers!) so watch this space as I see Nexxt growing even more of a foothold into bespoke campaigns.
So what else went on at SHRM, Dawn Burke, Jennifer McClure, Steve Brown and his new book! Jason Lauritsen, Mary Faulkner and a plethora of other inspiring HR folks who at their heart just talk sense. I heard about other great talent presenting for the first time and I look forward to watching some of the sessions on demand as the next gen is here and making waves! There was also a sighting of the lesser spotted Rueittimann but these reports have not been confirmed.
Tropical Storm Cindy led to 15,000 HR folk turning into professional grade weather forecasters but New Orleans airport was un-phased and carried on operating regardless. Top marks.
Until Next year in Chicago! SHRM17 has broken me!