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HR Tech Europe 2015 Bloggers Blog

In a couple of weeks’ time all the main movers and shakers of HR Tech Europe (24-25th March 2015) will come together at the London event. In addition to the live event there is a Blog Squad selected by the organisers that support the event by providing news and commentary on an ongoing basis. As a new recruit to the blog squad this year, I got to thinking that such a knowledgeable (and opinionated) bunch of people should pull together a ‘bloggers blog’ on our expectations for HR Tech and so I asked my peers four questions: –

  1. What is the biggest thing you want to see at the London HR Tech Europe?
  2. What do you absolutely NOT want to see?
  3. Is anyone really exciting you at the moment?
  4. Anything else?

What you see below is the output of those discussions – for practitioners it may highlight more reasons to attend (should you have needed any), for providers be warned you have been challenged to answer the questions!!

  1. What is the biggest thing you want to see at HR Tech Europe?

“Great speakers providing some vision and clarity on HR’s role in the future of work and in breaking down outmoded 20th century hierarchies and bureaucracy. The org chart needs to go the way of the dodo.”

“I’d like to hear more about two things that companies are doing: developing greater understanding, and finding new ways to motivate them. I’m look for organizations that are helping their employees to understand how people think differently because of their country, their network, their roles and interests. We spend a great deal of time talking about collaboration but rarely realize the same words can mean different things to different people. This is less about learning, and more about experiencing these differences not just for top talent but broadly across their organization, to become truly global organizations.”

“Something that helps connect the dots (instead of creating a new dot).”

“Solutions to the problems we know we have now, rather than solutions looking for a problem. I’m always on the lookout for start-ups fixing real problems and anything that helps support informal learning.”

“Providers and tech firms that will help business to understand what they are trying to solve and then finding the right solution. And also I want to see more companies making inclusive recommendations where tech adoption is a consideration for the entire company (not just IT, HR).”

“Much more focus on how traditional HR teams implement HR Tech. One has to walk the walk first… (walk back a few steps).”

“I want to see genuine innovation for genuinely beneficial reasons, not just digital for the sake of it.”

“I want to see and hear some great technology content – not just the business of doing HR but the nitty gritty of the technology and how HR should go about selection, decision, implementation and management.”

“For too long the applicant tracking system has been the stumbling block for socially savvy recruiters. I’ve seen them spam social media channels and call it social recruiting, and seen them hinder mobile job applications by not being responsive or getting around the inability to attach a CV. I’ll be looking for ATS / Recruitment Database providers who have caught up with the pace of social media change and can actively help my clients and readers/followers.”

ACTION: Come and talk to the bloggers – whether familiar faces or new one’s we are all keen to meet each other and the delegates at large, and help to build this industry into a successful and collaborative one.

  1. What do you absolutely NOT want to see?

“One sided vendor / client cases – good cases are fine but only if they present a warts-and-all assessment. We all know things go wrong so let’s be honest as this makes it much more compelling.”

“How we used some technology in our organizations and it helped us get XYZ number of people using it.”

“Competition mentality, sales and cold call attitudes – it is all about helping each other and making sure HR Tech works. The world is big enough for everyone – each one focuses on another area of the people function including HR Technology, why not combine hands and make it a greater place to work in.”

“Generic stands of generic products claiming disruption when they are doing nothing more than replacing a paper process with a digital version!”

“Some of the sitting on the fence we saw from the big HR Tech companies in Amsterdam when Jason Averbook tried to cajole them into actually saying something that wasn’t a platitude.”

“In this candidate driven market, I’ll be saddened if I see recruitment tech that hasn’t kept pace with job seekers and is therefore of little value to recruiters.”

“Something that solves a problem that does not really exist.”

“Anyone expecting me to be impressed by the fact their product works on ‘mobile’.”

“A focus on recruitment – it should be about the HR portfolio.”

ACTION: Tech firms – you have been warned, come prepared to avoid all of these pitfalls! Practitioners – challenge the tech firms to answer your specific requirements.

  1. Is anyone really exciting you at the moment?

“One of the most notable aspects of HR Tech Europe is the quality and variety of speakers on show – but can anyone top Gary Hamel’s barnstorming keynote that closed the last conference in Amsterdam?” Here are the bloggers favourites picked from the speakers list: –

  • Rachel Botsman, Global Thought Leader
  • Peter Hinssen, Chairman & Co-Founder, Nexxworks
  • Costas Markides, Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship, London Business School
  • Armin Trost, Professor Dean of MBA, HFU Business School Furtwangen
  • Lee Bryant, Director, Post*Shift
  • Jason Averbrook, CEO, the Marcus Buckingham Company
  • Euan Semple, Author & World of Work Evangelist
  • Barbara Becker, CHRO, Barry Callebaut AG

Other thought leaders not appearing but interesting:

  • Prof Eyal Winter (author of ‘Feeling Smart’),
  • Jeremiah Owyang (CrowdCompanies.com), and
  • Jon Husband (wirearchy.com) RAWN SHAH

Notable Tech Firms to watch out for

  • Saberr
  • Org Vue
  • SmartRecruiters

ACTION: Makes sure you review the agenda and set up your personal itinerary for the 2 days

  1. Anything else?

“Having watched for a decade, I’m surprised to see that the world of corporate HR and the world of enterprise social collaboration is only recently beginning to merge. In doing so, the HR professional’s role is beginning to change, and I’m surprised by how much is still new to most HR folks (per my last trip to HR Tech Europe this past October). This is just a step to something even larger in transforming organizations, but we need to take this first step.”

“I would be interested to hear what people think about the quite significant exodus of women in tech and how to deal with the unconscious bias that prevents them being attracted to it. And then how to cope with the projected significant skill set deficiencies particularly in engineering, set against a wider cultural back lash against immigration.”

“I think Google’s proposition of ‘work like you live’ needs to be embraced far more in some of the design of user interfaces. Keep it simple, keep it accessible, keep it familiar, keep it useful.”

As well as connecting over twitter and LinkedIn, and reading some of the bloggers blogs, you can also see some fellow bloggers who are also part of the programme: –

  • Andrew Marritt is running a lab session on HR analytics using open source tech which will be a great opportunity for everyone to get their hands on some analytics and to go away and try it for themselves.
  • Rawn Shah and Frederic Williquet will be on the roundtable on Building a Social Advocacy Program.

ACTION: Be like Andy Swann and “soak up the atmosphere” over the two days and really immerse yourself in the experience. Or as René Bolier says, “Leave your assumptions at home, learn how it can be done at HR Tech Europe and do it when you get back home”.

Find out more about the blog squad and to link to their social channels at http://london.hrtecheurope.com/blogsquad

For practitioner/ enterprise tickets to the event, direct message me (or any of us on the blog squad) and we can give you a special code!

With thanks to the HR Tech Europe Blog Squad 2015

Matt Alder, MetaShift

Amanda Arrowsmith Towse, Interim HR Director

René Bolier, OnRecruit

Matt Buckland, Forward Partners

Katrina Collier, Winning Impression

Dorothy Dalton, 3Plus International

Mervyn Dinnen, Independent Consultant

David D’Souza, Consultant and Blogger

Kate Graham, Ascot Communications

David Green, Cielo

Rob Hill, NGA Human Resources

Faye Holland, HR Tech Interim Exec

Nicole Dominique Le Maire, New To HR

Oscar Mager, Recruiting Essentials

Andrew Marritt, OrganizationView

Rawn Shah, Rising Edge

Kate Smedley, Freelance Writer

Andrew Spence, Glass Bead Consulting

Andy Swann, Work Project

Frédéric Williquet, Independent Consultant