HR Tech 2022 Recap: A Rising Tide Lifts All Ships

After attending the international HR Tech Conference in Las Vegas this past year, we wanted to share our thoughts and what caught our eye in the expo hall this year

Brett Ungashick
OutSail HRIS Advisor
July 4, 2023
user comparing HRIS systems

The HR Tech Conference had what seemed to be its most successful year ever in 2022. There was a palpable energy and excitement from the attendees, most of whom had to miss the past two years due to the coronavirus.

With so many people back under one roof again, there was much to discuss and many trends to pick up on. Here are a few of the topics that we came away thinking about

Rising Tide

HR Tech has been on the rise for years, but the growth trajectory dramatically accelerated during the pandemic. Without in-person work environments, companies became much more reliant on digital employee files, cloud-based technology systems and tools that could support productive and engaged employees.

Investment by venture capital firms into the private HR Tech sector went through the roof over the last 24 months and the publicly traded HR tech platforms continue to outperform their peer groups.

With all of this money pouring into the industry, it is no surprise to see such exuberance at the industry's main event. Most of the software companies are growing rapidly, adding customers and seeing their team's balloon.

One of the common challenges being discussed at this year's event was simply not having enough bandwidth to implement and service all of the new customers.

This rising tide is lifting all boats in the HR Tech industry and creating new opportunities for businesses of all shapes and sizes.

Less Global

The biggest takeaway from HR Tech 2021 was the rise of the global employment providers. Vendors like Deel, Papaya Global and Velocity Global all made their first major appearance at the conference which was a sign of all of the success they had experienced during the pandemic.

Fast forward a year and some of that momentum has been taken out of the sails of the global payroll and global EOR vendors. Many of those companies relied on high-growth tech companies to buy their products but the economic slowdowns and venture capital cool off has made it so these customer bases are less cash-rich.

Still, it was a bit surprising to see that the only major vendor with a large presence at the event was a relative upstart called Atlas.


One of the benefits of the rising tide in HR Tech was that it was very easy for companies to raise new rounds of venture capital funding every 9-15 months. Now that markets are starting to cool off, however, we are seeing some companies face bigger challenges.

Companies that took on a lot of venture capital debt, but were unable to find sufficient traction during the upswing will be under immense pressure to find a buyer over the next year.

The Namely acquisition was announced right before the show started, but I have a feeling that won't be the only major transaction we see before HR Tech 2023

What was the atmosphere like at the HR Tech Conference in 2022?

The conference experienced a surge in energy and excitement, with attendees enthusiastic about discussing emerging trends and developments after the challenges posed by the pandemic.

How did the pandemic impact the HR tech industry?

The pandemic accelerated the growth trajectory of the HR tech industry, leading to increased reliance on digital solutions for remote work environments. Investment by venture capital firms surged, driving rapid growth and expansion in the sector.

What were some common challenges discussed at the conference?

One common challenge discussed was the struggle to keep up with the demand for implementation and service due to the rapid influx of new customers. This rising tide of demand presented opportunities but also logistical challenges for HR tech companies.

What was the trend regarding global employment providers compared to the previous year?

While global employment providers had a significant presence at the conference in 2021, there was less momentum for them in 2022. Economic slowdowns and a cooling off of venture capital investments impacted their customer bases, leading to less visibility for these vendors at the event.

What was the trend in terms of consolidation within the HR tech industry?

The rising tide of investment in HR tech led to easy fundraising for many companies. However, as markets began to cool off, some companies faced challenges, particularly those with high levels of venture capital debt and limited traction. This trend may lead to increased consolidation in the industry, with companies seeking buyers to navigate financial pressures.

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Meet the Author

Brett Ungashick
OutSail HRIS Advisor
Brett Ungashick, the friendly face behind OutSail, started his career at LinkedIn, selling HR software. This experience sparked an idea, leading him to create OutSail in 2018. Based in Denver, OutSail simplifies the HR software selection process, and Brett's hands-on approach has already helped over 1,000 companies, including SalesLoft, Hudl and DoorDash. He's a go-to guy for all things HR Tech, supporting companies in every industry and across 20+ countries. When he's not demystifying HR tech, you'll find Brett enjoying a round of golf or skiing down Colorado's slopes, always happy to chat about work or play.

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