What Does ServiceNow’s Most Recent Acquisition Mean For the Platform?

Last week, on Friday June 3rd, ServiceNow announced they had signed an agreement to acquire Hitch. Hitch, an AI-powered platform helps companies plug the talent gap by aligning employee learning and development to the organization’s workforce planning. With the platform, companies are able to more effectively match people to projects, all from a single platform (something that ServiceNow is known for as well).

So, what does Hitch do?

Imagine this scenario, as described on Hitch’s website.

Your CEO comes to you with a question: “How much data science capability do we currently have in the company?” Your human capital management (HCM) system can tell you how many employees you have with the job title of data scientist, but that’s not what your CEO is asking. The request boils down to this: “We currently have extra demand for data science skills, and I need to know what our current talent supply is to meet those demands today, as well as for the future.”

Organizations everywhere are in a race to acquire skills, but rather than doing so by hiring from outside, the new and disruptive reality is uncovering a deeper level of insight based on your company’s ability to rapidly develop and leverage the talent supply within itself- a new competitive advantage.

Hitch recognized this gap early on and that in fact, the talent analysis process is similar to the management of a manufacturing supply chain. It was clear to them that organizations lack insight into their talent supply chain- the ability to illuminate and match the supply and demand of skills, the ability to mobilize their workforce, and the ability to up-skill and re-skill their talent.

Hitch is a SaaS solution for Internal Talent Mobility. They help companies become more adaptive and innovative by connecting the right talent with the right tasks or roles based on employee skills, experiences, career goals and location. Hitch matches the skills and passions of your people with organizational needs so that business opportunities – whether project-based or full-time – can be resourced from within.

In their press release about the acquisition, VP and GM of HR Service Delivery at ServiceNow, Gretchen Alarcon said “If skills are the new currency for business, insight into these skills is critical to driving talent retention and adapting to evolving business needs.”

ServiceNow is expected to start building Hitch’s capabilities into the Now Platform within the next two releases, beginning with their Employee Workflow solutions, where Hitch’s ability to boost employee engagement and productivity across the enterprise is a natural extension. ServiceNow also expects to later expand Hitch’s features across its portfolio for customer service, IT, and developers.

Also as an aside, Hitch was founded by HR industry veteran Kelley Steven Waiss, who served as CHRO and CIO of HERE Technologies and is led by CEO Heather Jerrehian, a successful serial entrepreneur and one of the founders of the venture capital firm, How Women Invest. Both leaders are expected to remain with ServiceNow post acquisition. We’re excited to see what these women accomplish next as part of the ServiceNow team!

Besides the technology capabilities, what else does this acquisition mean for ServiceNow? 

To answer shortly – it’s all about growth. ServiceNow has long dominated the market in areas like IT but within the past three, three and a half years, we’ve seen ServiceNow make huge plays in the areas of HRSD, Employee Experience, CSM, and more. As a leader in experience platforms, ServiceNow’s acquisition of Hitch puts them on more even (or perhaps, more than even) footing with direct skills technology and talent marketplace competitors like Workday, SAP, and Oracle.

While ServiceNow doubled down on their HRSD offerings during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, with new capabilities in hybrid work management, workplace scheduling, and employee portals, acquiring Hitch is a step forward in extending their employee-facing applications. They will be adding a new set of skill-based tools for employee learning and growth, allowing ServiceNow to move deeper into the new market. A market that has already proven its huge potential for growth as companies fight to hire and retain top talent.

Interested in learning more about the acquisition and the future of Hitch within ServiceNow? Check out the recent Q&A with Jerrehian and Steven-Waiss.