Irish tech unicorn Workhuman is set to increase its headcount in Dublin once again and is also planning to hold a large in person HR conference locally for the first time next year.
The company, which achieved unicorn status earlier this year when it was valued at more than $1 billion, has taken additional space in a building adjacent to its existing headquarters in Park West to house the new employees.
“It feels great that during all this turmoil we’ve continued to hire to the point that we are now taking a floor in the building next door because we’re running out of space,” said co founder and chief executive Eric Mosley. He said he doesn’t expect staff to start returning to the office until the autumn.
Mr Mosley said it was too early to say how many people exactly the company would be taking on but that he was keen to expand further, particularly in the area of data science. Workhuman, employs about 600 people in total, of which more than half are based locally. It has hired 100 people over the past year alone as it seeks to deal with increased demand for its platform.
Founded in 1999 and formerly known as Globoforce, the group operates employee reward and incentive schemes on behalf of some of the world’s biggest companies, including Cisco, GE, LinkedIn, Procter & Gamble, Symantec and KPMG. More than six million employees are on the Workhuman platform across 170 countries.
The company has added more than 40 new customers to its platform since the coronavirus pandemic began as employers sought to reward their employees for going the extra mile during the crisis. It is forecasting continued growth as organisations start to bring more staff back into the workplace.
“Staff recognition and reward is just as important as it was in the early days of the pandemic. With many employers likely to adopt a hybrid working model, it will be essential for them to do as much as they can to continue to instil and retain company culture,” said Mr Mosley.
“A lot of relationships have become more transactional and people are feeling more lonely and isolated than before the pandemic, so this is a big challenge that needs to be addressed and obviously recognition plays an important part in this,” he added.
Mr Mosley said the company grew at about 20 per cent last year with growth exceeding 40 per cent during the early months of the pandemic. Workhuman recorded revenue of $617 million and a pretax profit of $88.9 million.
He said Workhuman is to resume its HR focused annual conference next year both in the United States, where it has run since 2015, and in Dublin for the first time.
The success of the conference, which was called Workhuman, is what led the company to rebrand from Globoforce.
The inaugural event had just a few hundred participants but the 2019 conference in Nashville drew more than 3,000 HR professionals. Past speakers have included Michelle Obama, Brené Brown, Arianna Huffington, Viola Davis, Michael J Fox and George Clooney.
Mr Mosley said an in person conference will be held in the US next spring with plans to bring the event to Europe for the first time next autumn. Plans to hold an event in Dublin in 2020 were aborted due to the Covid crisis with the US edition taken online.