The 2022 SHRMLabs Better Workplaces Challenge Cup competition highlights the most innovative HR technology startups today.
Four finalists were selected from over 150 initial submissions. They will go on to make their last pitch to a panel of judges, as well as an audience of investors, leading HR professionals, fellow innovators and the media. The pitch fest will be held June 14 at the SHRM Annual Conference & Expo 2022 (SHRM22) in New Orleans, and the winner will be announced from the SHRM22 Main Stage by SHRM Chief Knowledge Officer Alex Alonso, Ph.D., SHRM-SCP.
Here's a look at one of the finalists, Vinco, based in Monterrey, Mexico.
Lissy Giacomán, co-founder and CEO of Vinco, spoke with SHRM Online about the product and how it improves work and the practice of human resources.
SHRM Online: What does your product do?
Giacomán: Vinco serves as a bridge between employers seeking to upskill and retain their workforce, working adults who want to earn credentials, and educational institutions looking to drive their enrollment online. We make it easy for HR teams to upskill their employees at scale, and we do so by connecting their employees with more than 2,000 top educational programs for working adults and by providing personal coaches to help workers be successful students, all while improving employee retention and productivity.
SHRM Online: How does the technology improve the workplace?
Giacomán: Education is the bedrock of all human progress, and every day there are more educational programs available, especially online. However, access to these programs is not equitable. At Vinco, we focus on helping historically underserved and undereducated populations, the operational base of companies, to connect with more and better educational opportunities and prepare the workforce for the jobs of the future. In Latin America and across the globe, there's a huge skills gap that's only accelerating. We work to reduce this skills gap as we democratize access to education through a win-for-all model for companies, universities, employees and society.
SHRM Online: What specific HR problem does the technology solve?
Giacomán: We solve two main problems for HR. First, in companies, there are usually hundreds or thousands of employees per HR manager, so it's difficult to attend to the educational needs of every employee individually. Through our technology and services, we make it easy for HR teams to upskill their workforce at scale, addressing the company's needs and providing personalized support.
Second, employee attrition rates keep increasing, especially through the pandemic. For example, cashiers now usually stay between two to three months at companies, and the associated costs to recruit and retrain new employees are high. At Vinco, we use education as a tool for retention. By supporting employees with their education, such as attaining their high school or college degree, they stay much longer at a company.