Transform 2024: 5 Key Sponsor Takeaways

March 20, 2024
0 min read
The Finch team poses at the company booth during Transform 2024, an HR conference.
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Finch Head of Partnerships Runae Lee shares his key takeaways from Transform 2024. Learn what eye-opening learnings an event sponsor took away from this year's conference.

Runae Lee is the Head of Partnerships at Finch. He’s spent years working in the human resources industry, where he’s seen first-hand the evolution of employment technology. At Finch, Runae leads our efforts to partner with leading HRIS and payroll providers as we work to create a more standardized and connected employment ecosystem.

Want to collaborate with us? Get in touch with our team and join industry leaders like Gusto, UKG, BambooHR, HiBob, and more.

I didn’t have “watch a live performance by Flo Rida with a cameo from Flavor Flav” on my 2024 bingo card, but that’s the thing about Transform—the HR conference of the moment is full of surprises. 

Some Finch colleagues and I attended the Las Vegas event last week, where we got to talk shop, meet hundreds of like-minded HR tech professionals, and celebrate Finch being named a finalist in the Transform Awards’ Innovators category: “Transformative Tech of the Year.” 

Most importantly, we came back energized and with fresh insights into the state of employment technology. Here are my key takeaways from Transform 2024.

1. Enthusiasm for AI remains high, but the best is yet to come

Artificial intelligence, like many emerging technologies (crypto, Web3, 3D TVs, AR/VR, etc.), was a bit oversold last year, when seemingly all vendors added "AI-powered [fill in the blank]" to their marketing materials. That was scaled back a touch this year, as most tech companies refocused their attention on their core products, but there is no doubt in anyone's mind that AI is coming. 

I had more than one friendly debate with other attendees in which I sided with the skeptics, but we all agreed that it’s critical we prepare our workforce for the fundamental changes AI will bring in the coming years. That means it’d be prudent to invest in the employees who are most likely to see their jobs disrupted by training them on new skills or upleveling their current strengths. 

Bottom line, AI is having its “moment” with technologies like ChatGPT and DALL-E already in the hands of consumers; but the reality is, it's been around for years. It's already being used, but in ways that are behind the scenes and mundane. However, investment in AI is accelerating and undoubtedly creating the next wave of disruptive tech that will change the way we work and play. Let's start preparing for that future.

2. Is the HRIS undergoing a renaissance?

A slew of employment technologies across various verticals, from people analytics to ATS, have recently launched their own HRIS: Chartop, Workable, and Lattice to name a few. Seemingly a trend, it begs the question—why?

I have a few theories. 

First of all, HRIS is easier to build than a full-fledged payroll system. But alongside payroll, HRIS has true platform power. Point solutions need to be in sync with systems of record like BambooHR or HiBob, since they also house important employee data. So it would make sense that these point solutions want to bring HRIS in-house to deliver a more seamless, unified experience to customers. 

In speaking with these companies, a recurring theme became abundantly clear: customers who are fanatical about your products and services want you to solve more of their problems. Tech companies are very sensitive to customer pain, and will build adjacent products where there is strong demand and where they feel confident that they can deliver something unique and truly special.

3. Integrations are table stakes

This one wasn’t much of a surprise, but it’s worth mentioning just how much this concept permeated the entire conference. Long gone are the days where integrations were a value-add. Employers want modern solutions, and every vendor touts their "seamless" and "automated" workflows to attract new buyers. This means that today’s leaders need to adapt their integration and API strategies to fend off new-age, tech-forward upstarts that feature integrations out of the box for customers. 

For many of the new solutions on the block, the SMB segment is still paramount; but all big companies started out small, and as the winning SMBs grow, even the tech-forward platforms will likely need to look to outside solutions like Finch to continue scaling their integrations and expanding upon the integrated experiences they offer to their customers.

4. Invest in people, not products

This probably won’t come as a surprise to any seasoned venture capital folks, but it was definitely a strong learning for me. I attended several VC panels during Transform, and at least one of the speakers noted something that stuck with me: Products change over time; founders do not. 

Their point was that when investors are evaluating a company, what they’re also asking themselves is if they believe in the people that are building the product. You can’t exactly fire a founder. Meeting in person is crucial, because it helps both parties gauge each others’ personalities and the other intangibles that don’t stand out on a Zoom call or in a slidedeck. 

This doesn’t only apply to VC. Meeting remotely is fine, but there’s something electric about meeting prospects, customers, or partners in person that we need more of. We all want in-person events to come back because there’s no better way to build rapport and trust.

5. Transform brings the energy

A conference is a conference is a conference—until it’s not. Transform really took the monotonous and breathed some life into it. I was so invigorated by the passionate group of People leaders and early stage founders in attendance, from CHROs and their teams to CEOs pounding the pavement for their companies with fire in their bellies (and probably too much caffeine).

To put it simply, Transform just had good vibes. Who could argue with a welcome reception complete with hors d'oeuvres served under a massive tent and a live drum line? 

Where will we see you next?

While we eagerly await Transform 2025, our team is busy preparing our conference schedule for the next few months. If you’re attending the NAPA 401(k) Summit or SHRM Annual Conference, swing by our booth to say hi and learn about Finch’s Unified Employment API. Or try it yourself for free

97% of HR professionals say it’s important for your app to integrate with their employment systems

Learn more in our State of Employment Technology report ->

97% of HR professionals say it’s important for your app to integrate with their employment systems

Download the report to learn more

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