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About the Authors:
Corey Greendale
Corey Greendale
Managing Director
Corey Greendale, with over two decades of experience at First Analysis, works with entrepreneurs as an investor and as an advisor on growth transactions to help build leading software and human capital businesses. He leads the firm’s efforts in the future-of-work area, learning technology, and the human capital sector, and his thought-leading research in those areas has been cited for excellence in the Wall Street Journal’s “Best on the Street” survey, Forbes and the Financial Times. He serves on the boards of Amplifund,, Netchex, SynergySuite, Visage and Yello. Prior to joining First Analysis in 2000, he was a development analyst at Systema Corp., where he designed training programs for several large pharmaceutical companies. He earned an MBA with high honors from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa.
Chris Tran
Christopher Tran
Senior Analyst
Christopher Tran is a senior analyst with First Analysis. Christopher joined the firm in 2020. Before graduating from DePaul University in June 2020, Christopher spent his senior year working at Praxis Capital Management, a Chicago hedge fund, where he was responsible for equity research across many sectors. He previously served in the U.S. Marine Corps as a sergeant and martial arts instructor, spending time in Europe and the Middle East.
First Analysis Future of Work Team
Corey Greendale
Managing Director
James Macdonald
Managing Director
Richard Conklin
Managing Director
Matthew Nicklin
Managing Director
Christopher Tran
Senior Analyst
First Analysis Quarterly Insights
Future of work
Large opportunity for employee coaching platforms helping win the war for talent
November 29, 2022
  • While the war for talent may cool in some sectors in the near term, long-term trends including aging populations, the increasing need for technology skills, and shifting personal values among younger workers suggest a truce is nowhere in sight. We expect recruiting, retaining and cultivating talent to remain a challenge that requires a growing arsenal of innovative technologies for building, developing and managing workforces.
  • Regardless of economic conditions, we expect employers to increasingly adopt software-enabled employee coaching as a key part of that arsenal. By improving employee performance and career growth, coaching increases satisfaction and retention among remaining employees in companies experiencing layoffs and reduces the pressure to hire replacement and new talent in growth periods. Software makes coaching more convenient, faster, effective, less expensive and better integrated with daily work life by expanding the range of resources available for employee development relative to place-bound approaches and by simplifying and automating matching and scheduling, making it possible for employees and coaches to interact anytime, from any location.
  • Given coaching's compelling return on investment and employers' strong appetite for tools to address the long-term challenges to building and maintaining workforces, we expect to see continued strong demand for software-enabled coaching. We review some of the near-term and long-term trends driving demand, discuss how coaching platforms help in the war for talent, and profile several innovative employee coaching platforms.


Includes discussion of nine private companies

Elevated quit rates, other data show importance of retaining, developing talent

Coaching can increase retention, improve employee capabilities

Technology makes coaching even more compelling

Large and growing market for online employee coaching

Coaching to win

Future of Work index remains rangebound in deeply negative territory for the year

Future of work M&A: Notable transactions include TalentReef, Hitch Works, and BrainPOP

Future of work private placements: Focus on optimizing compensation, workforce globalization

Elevated quit rates, other data show importance of retaining, developing talent

Our previous reports have detailed a variety of trends that illustrate the challenges employers face in recruiting, retaining and growing talent. We highlight two recent data points that underscore the importance of the latter two objectives. First, U.S. quit rates - the number of quits per month as a percent of total employment - remain near historical highs. The most recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics showed the seasonally adjusted September 2022 quit rate at 2.7%, down from 3.0% at the end of 2021 (a 20-year high) but stable over the past few months despite a softening economy and still well above the 1.9% average prior to 2021. At the same time, the percentage of unfilled job openings remains at or near historical highs. The bureau reported the seasonally adjusted September job opening rate at 6.5%, down from March 2022's 20-year high of 7.3% but up from the prior month and still almost double the average prior to 2021. If employers can reduce quit rates and help their employees become more productive and capable, they can reduce their need to replace and add talent.

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