Chicago startup Anthill wants companies to rethink the way they promote and train their workforce, and help them better engage with and retain their best employees.
Anthill, founded in 2020 by Muriel Clauson and Young Jae Kim, is an HR startup that’s created what it calls “talent mapping” software, which gives companies data about all of their employees, including their skills, interests, career development goals and more. Companies use the data to help fill open roles in the business, know when to re-skill and train workers, and generally better understand their workforce.
Employees also interact with Anthill’s software to get development resources and learn about new company opportunities. Its chatbot feature for employees uses psychometric testing and artificial intelligence to encourage employee development and help companies meet their talent needs. The goal, Anthill says, is for companies to have a more comprehensive understanding of their talent pool, and understand when an employee is a good fit for an open position.
“We really feel like we’ve created a win-win for the employer and the employees,” Clauson said. “We’re helping the employer make strategic talent decisions, but we’re also helping that employee develop their career at the company and beyond.”
To grow the business, Anthill raised $1.24 million Tuesday in a round led by Origin Ventures, a Chicago VC firm that’s backed companies like Grubhub, Cameo and Tovala. Anthill was one of Chicago Inno’s 21 startups to watch in 2021.
Clauson said Anthill provides some traditional HR software tools around employee experience and retention, including data around diversity and inclusion and job satisfaction. But where the startup really differentiates itself is its development and re-skilling, Clauson said. Anthill can help companies spot employees who are best positioned to be trained up for new roles, and help identify workers that can benefit from additional development.
Anthill also offers the ability to identify internal employees who are capable of handling a task outside of their department. So if a company has a hiring freeze, for example, it can find an employee from a different department who can get the job done. Clauson said Anthill is the first such software program to make this possible.
Anthill is designed for large enterprises, and its customers include Verizon and ConAir. The startup, which participated in the 2020 Techstars New York accelerator program, is intended to be used by a company’s entire workforce, from the c-suite down to the warehouse, Clauson said.
“We’re finding employees love it just as much as the employer does,” she said.