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Game

Unity lays off 4 percent of its workforce to realign its resources

Unity has laid off hundreds of employees in its offices across the globe, according to Kotaku. The video game software development company known for its popular game engine has reportedly let around 300 to 400 staffers go so far. Layoffs are still ongoing, sources said, so those numbers may be higher by the time the company is done. Unity has confirmed to Engadget that it’s “realigning some of [its] resources,” which has led to the dismissal of approximately 4 percent of its entire workforce. That’s consistent with the report that it has let around 300 people go, since its LinkedIn page lists 8,048 employees.

The company told Engadget:

“As part of a continued planning process where we regularly assess our resourcing levels against our company priorities, we decided to realign some of our resources to better drive focus and support our long-term growth. This resulted in some hard decisions that impacted approximately 4% of all Unity workforce. We are grateful for the contributions of those leaving Unity and we are supporting them through this difficult transition.”

While the mass dismissal affects Unity’s entire workforce, Kotaku said it’s mostly concentrated on its AI and engineering divisions. On Blind, the anonymous messaging board used by workers in the tech industry, posters claiming to be former Unity employees said they were asked to hop on a Zoom call with a manager and an HR personnel. They lost access to their company Slack and email and had to surrender their laptops within 48 hours, but they were apparently given 30 days to find a new role within the company. According to Kotaku, giving them 30 days to find a new role wouldn’t help because the company has instituted a hiring freeze, but Unity told us that’s not true at all. 

One of the publication’s sources said there’s a lot going on within Unity at the moment, including mismanagement and “strategic pivots at a rapid, unpredictable rate.” Whatever the reason is for its reorganization, Unity’s layoffs are just the latest in a string of job cuts across the tech industry. Niantic also recently laid off around 90 employees, or 8 percent of its workforce, to streamline its operations. Meanwhile, Netflix’s latest round of job cuts due to slowing revenue growth had affected 300 staff members. 

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Categories
AI

Workforce analytics platform SkyHive raises $40M

SkyHive Technologies, a company developing workforce planning software, today announced that it closed a $40 million series B round led by holding company Eldridge, with participation from Allegis Cyber, Accenture Ventures, Workday Ventures, and the Partnership Fund For New York City. CEO Sean Hinton says that the proceeds will be put toward growing SkyHive’s operations as the company looks to expand its customer base, as well as supporting ongoing product R&D efforts.

People analytics — also known as talent analytics or HR analytics — refers to analytics that can help managers and executives make decisions about their workforce. While people analytics is a new domain for most HR departments, 70% of company executives cite people analytics as a top priority, according to the management consulting firm McKinsey & Company. However, barriers stand in the way of adoption. In a 2018 Deloitte survey, only 42% of companies said that they were ready to address it.

Founded in 2017 by Hinton, SkyHive analyzes labor market data to enable customers to benchmark against competitors, forecast talent needs, and drive strategy. The platform collects millions of data points to create a database of jobs, skills, and training, integrating with HR systems to automate extraction from existing employee data.

“Reskilling the world at scale and with pace is only achieved by successfully blending art and science,” Hinton said in a statement. “As workforces and communities debate which skills will secure their futures in tomorrow’s economy, our technology is bringing clarity to this long-standing problem. We are helping them build more efficient workforces while closing significant skills gaps in the labor market.”

People analytics

According to a whitepaper from the Society for Human Resource Management: “CEOs are recognizing the importance of talent-related data in managing recruitment, retention, turnover and more. Increasingly, workforce analytics is seen as a critical tool to shape future business strategy.”

Seventy-four percent of companies planned to increase spending on HR tech in 2020, PricewaterhouseCoopers found. That’s on top of the $310 per employee per year they already spent on tech as they worked to manage an average of nine talent apps.

Leveraging AI, SkyHive, which provides an API to support third-party apps, can compare a company’s workforce with industry benchmarks at the individual, departmental, and organizational level to identify gaps and trends. Employees can upload resumes, create profiles, and take skills assessments, which the platform uses to match them with learning resources. On the management side, SkyHive spotlights “high-value emerging skillsets,” aiming to help to reskill eligible professionals.

“SkyHive processes 16 terabytes of data per day globally from across 200 countries and 600,000 individual locations. It maintains more than 700 million profiles and 1.5 billion jobs to create [one of] the world’s most extensive human capital knowledge graph, with 2.5 billion nodes examining more than 6 trillion relationships,” Hinton told VentureBeat via email. “Any company that is undertaking any workforce transformation will benefit by using SkyHive’s technology. [We’re] the only company … that has digitized the fluid classification of jobs and skills, which streams real-time data from labor markets around the world.”

Hinton highlighted SkyHive’s reskilling and upskilling component as a key part of the company’s platform. Workforce education has taken on new importance as the pandemic continues to put a strain on large enterprises. Sixty-eight percent of companies are investing in reskilling and upskilling training to handle changes within the organization, and another 65% train employees on new technologies, according to a recent TalentLMS report.

“SkyHive has invented a methodology called ‘quantum labor analysis,’ which is the application of AI to analyze a workforce at its most granular level. It’s cognifying the world labor economy to support individuals, companies, communities, and countries at better preparing for the future of work,” Hinton continued. “The pandemic drastically accelerated [the adoption of quantum labor analysis] as companies and communities across the world scrambled to adjust to the ‘new normal.’”

SkyHive, which has raised roughly $60 million in venture capital to date, competes with ChartHop, Visier, Knoetic, and Hibob in the growing HR analytics market. But it claims to be engaged with 59% of the Fortune 100, with revenue growth of 300% year-over-year since 2018 and office locations in Vancouver, Palo Alto, Europe, India, and soon New York City.

Grand View Research anticipates that the segment will be worth $2.49 billion by 2025, driven partly by talent gaps and labor shortages.

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