Workday's Acquisition of HiredScore: A Conversation With Athena Karp on AI

The acquisition solidifies Workday as a leader in providing an end-to-end, AI-powered talent acquisition and mobility solution, helping HR leaders meet today’s evolving hiring and talent landscape. Learn more from the company’s founder and CEO—and now GM of HiredScore at Workday.

We are excited to share that Workday has closed its acquisition of HiredScore.

HiredScore is an industry-leading provider of responsible AI-powered talent orchestration solutions, which enable companies to use explainable AI-driven insights to match, rediscover, and coordinate talent and hiring stakeholders more easily and effectively.

We recently connected with Athena Karp, founder and CEO of HiredScore—and now general manager of HiredScore at Workday—to get her perspective on the great opportunity HiredScore and Workday have to help organizations effectively leverage responsible AI for the HR function.  

HiredScore’s mission is a personal one for you. Can you share the origin story of the company?

HiredScore’s mission—to help companies hire more fairly and efficiently using responsible and explainable AI—is rooted in my own personal experience from my first job out of college at an investment bank, where, during a break, I was struck by the long line for the men’s bathroom while there was no line for the women’s. This isn’t the usual pattern you see in society, and it raised questions for me on gender balance in the workforce. 

This challenge stayed with me over the next few years and was my inspiration to start HiredScore to leverage data science to drive more effective and fair job access and work opportunity, and to focus on how to do that with explainability and responsible AI at the core.

“Together, we will help enrich our solutions to support a resilient and robust talent ecosystem, as well as solve an ever-growing list of HR’s top priorities and most pressing challenges.”

Athena Karp General Manager HiredScore, Workday

How did you channel this mission into HiredScore’s products and the value you’re delivering to the market?

For the last 11 years, we’ve focused on helping employers match talent with opportunity and identify talent aligned with their job requirements, in a consistent way. This includes improving candidate experience and opportunity with talent rediscovery, helping to let interested candidates know of future jobs they may be interested in, as well as helping support employee mobility and enabling existing workers to explore new roles and gigs. We were inspired to help businesses save hundreds of hours of work and reduce the friction of collaborating on HR tasks. 

Once clients go live with our Talent Orchestration solutions, they continually find new ways for how our solutions can be leveraged to solve their fast-changing challenges and top priorities. It's almost like a digital exoskeleton that helps recruiters, HR professionals, and the business use the right technology at the right time to complete very complex work, all while incorporating human decision-making and review.

In other words, HiredScore’s Talent Orchestration leverages explainable and responsible AI to comprehend an organization’s HR data, complex systems, and HR goals and priorities to better enable stakeholders to achieve ambitious objectives and business outcomes. 

How will the combination of HiredScore and Workday help organizations support their evolving talent acquisition and internal mobility needs?

The mandate for recruiters has expanded. They used to be focused on acquiring external talent, but now we’re seeing increasing pressure to achieve internal talent goals, agile workforce agendas—like gigs—and continually raise the bar on candidate, employee, and manager experiences. 

Talent acquisition and management are key functions within every company, responsible for companies’ most critical asset: their people. The combination of HiredScore and Workday will help accelerate our customers’ HR transformation programs and goals, including shifts in operating models. 

What makes the Workday and HiredScore partnership unique?

Our values. As two companies that deeply care about our people, our customers, and our commitment to continual innovation with customers. We build together. 

When we showcase new solutions, we remind our clients that these innovations came from their trust, collaboration, and partnership in creating future products. I think collaborating with customers, and thinking about the end users’ true needs, is what delivers value, and where responsible AI can have impact.

HiredScore was an existing Workday partner. Are there plans to further integrate HiredScore’s products across the Workday platform?

That’s right—Workday already supports a certified bi-directional integration with HiredScore. We're really proud when our customers tell us that we have one of the best Workday integrations. Since becoming a partner, the customer value we deliver through this integration has only continued to improve. 

Now that we’re officially part of Workday, we can expand on our orchestration—from enabling talent acquisition, and activating talent management goals, total talent, contingent talent, and other learning, training, and reskilling objectives.

Together, we will help enrich our solutions to support a resilient and robust talent ecosystem, as well as solve an ever-growing list of HR’s top priorities and most pressing challenges.

Companies are considering the effects of AI and ML on their business and the ethical concerns associated with it. What should they be focusing on?

We all have a shared responsibility to do what’s right, to think about the impacts of these technologies on people, and incorporate a human-in-the-loop approach. Companies should be focused on building out AI principles and governance programs when it comes to AI innovation. 

There are a lot of things technology can do, but that doesn't mean we should deploy technology to do all of them. This is why Workday and HiredScore make sense—our companies have a clear point of view on developing trustworthy AI solutions to solve real business problems that help amplify human potential, and positively impact society.

What excites you most about joining Workday?

First, the people and company culture: there are so many synergies—our values and commitment to responsible AI—and a group of people who are passionate about what they do. 

Second, the customers: being part of Workday enables us to do more than we ever could have done on our own.

And finally, the opportunity together: We started HiredScore to positively impact a space we care deeply about—people and work—and this acquisition is an acceleration of our ability to bring that impact to thousands of companies around the world in addressing their people and work priorities. 

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