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What's the "Uber" of HR?

Let's stretch your HR muscles today.  There's a service called "Uber" that some of you are incredibly familar with, and some of you have never heard of.  Here's the simple rundown:

Uber is a service that uses an app to set up a luxury car, cab or ride-sharing service in 35 cities in the US.  Cars are reserved by using a mobile app. Using the app, customers can track their reserved car's location.  Users of Uber open the app in the city they're in, schedule a car to pick them up and don't need cash - the entire fee is handled via a credit card registration that's required to have an Uber account.

So it's an app that handles setting up a car in major cities. Big deal, right? Uber shots

Here's the big deal - recent news on venture capital investments and Uber from AllThingsD:

"According to a Delaware filing by Uber Technologies, it has sold stock in the fast-growing privately held transportation service to private equity giant TPG. In addition, according to sources who have seen other stock documents, Uber has also taken a major investment from Google Ventures.

The overall valuation for the San Francisco company, according to the document — filed on August 1 — and also sources, is $3.5 billion."

Let that soak in a bit.  It's an app that serves as a middle man to scheduling luxury cars, cabs and ride-sharing.  It's an app and it's worth 3.5 BILLION people.

3.5 Billion.

Which begs the question - is there anything in HR or recruiting that could be disrupted to deliver a market opportunity along the lines of Uber?

I don't know, but it's a question worth asking.

What's the Uber of HR?

I've been thinking a bit on this, and it's hard to come up with something.  You can think about recruiting and its subsequent location of jobs and candidates, and that's obviously something, but so many people are already chasing that.

Me?  I think the Uber-sized opportunity might be putting random employees in need of advice with a upscale HR pro in their time of need.

Think about it.  You're an employee in trouble and you need advice on how to navigate any type of situation in your company.  And like a luxury car/cab/ride-share, you're willing to pay for it - you just need to be connected.

Uber for HR puts you in touch with a HR pro who will be your hidden agent in that situation.  You fire up the app, deterimine the people available for a call, say you want to connect and boom...

We charge your card and the HR pro is calling you to counsel you and make sure you don't get thrown in jail - to the best of their ability - with all the necessary liability waivers.  It's a one time deal - just like a car ride - no committment beyond that.

Over time, we'll even have the equivalent of luxury car/cab or ride-sharing for the type of HR pro we connect you with.  But you'll pay for the luxury model.

Uber for HR.  Coming soon to a messed-up situation near you.  

(UPDATE - Uber's revenue is projected to be at a run rate of $125 Million - so you can throw that in your head when you think about the 3.5B valuation...)


bob weigand

I don't think the future will be modeling the uber model in an HR world.

I believe the continual use of Big Data will give us business information like we have never seen and based on that the use of human capital. I am already seeing early signs of it in the world of healthcare which is where I work.


I like the App idea, and this could work for small to mid sized companies. For the bigger fish, I'm sure internal counsel will not appreciate it nor will HR administrativors

David Hughes

Round C financing was for $285M, led by Google Ventures with TPG as the ride-along. Total funding to-date for Uber now $307M. Big valuations come from totally disruptive advances in service or product delivery. Uber is an awesome concept with even better execution. I use them twice a week, at least.

As to the Uber of HR, I like how your idea of on-demand HR advice for consumers fits in with the growing "free agent" framework that high performers work in. Good idea KD!



Nice thoughts, innovative too !!!

On-demand Smart Service Desks are really effective and reducing query resolution cycle time.

Uber of HR - seems to be workable at least in knowledge industry.


Hi Kris! As someone who has used the Uber service in New York I love the melding of these two ideas, and I also love your insights on the industry. I use UltiPro (from and I am always curious about the future of the HR industry, along with HCM and everything else that businesses can use to grow, strengthen, and increase efficiency! I do wonder how HR could be fashioned into an app-style of management for tracking big data.

I just discovered your blog, I love your conversations! :)


Ibrahim Kabadayi

Hi Kris,

I loved your post, showing the exact pain points. Seems like what we did for oursourcing HR counseling with
Platform is using online live video technology, which you get the recording after a call.
They help cv screening and recruitment, everything is transparent companies choose their own HR experts suitable. Companies get the video recording of the interviews.
Also the experts are helping candidates to improve their interview practices. They can use these interview practices as an online video resume, they are already made by HR experts.

CMO & Founder

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