Home    News    HR Tech Fest Wrap up

HR Tech Fest Wrap up

By / November 27, 2014 / / 0 Comments

Last week saw the inaugural HR Tech Fest in Sydney, run by The Eventful Group. HR Tech Fest is the first dedicated stand alone HR Technology conference in Australia in the last few years.

Conference Sessions

The event kicked off with Jason Averbook’s Workplace 2020 keynote address. Jason pushed the attendees to think hard if their workplace (systems and processes) were workplace 2020 compliant. Some bullet points I took away from Jason’s talk are:

  • HR needs to think like technologists.
  • If your number one goal as HR is to process transactions efficiently you are in a dying breed.
  • A HR Technology implementation is 45% process, 45% people, and only 10% technology. Ensure you fund the right areas.
  • The number one thing that drives user adoption is value. HR, and HR Technology Professionals, have been very good at rolling out solutions that drive value for HR. Instead we now need to focus on driving value for the employees.
  • Data is sexy!

Next up was Neil Morrison, Group HR Director, Penguin Random House (UK). Other than being “the most dangerous man in HR” it was great to have the second session presented by a practitioner providing four case studies on how Penguin Random House has been using technology to enable HR processes. Neil did ask an interesting question – Why are we slow to embrace all this great new technology? His view was that “historically HR Tech has been about control, process, compliance. Not around transparency, and trust.”

I sat in on Laurie Ruettimann’s “I Am HR: Five Strategic Ways to Break Stereotypes and Reclaim HR”, a great boot camp session for any HR professional wanting to take control of their career. Laurie’s tips:

  1. Be an expert in business and management strategy
  2. Master the difference between workforce planning and workforce analytics
  3. Be a leader in executive compensation and join external boards
  4. Understand labour relations and risk management
  5. Demonstrate expertise in business forecasting

Stuart Moseley provided a good session on how HR analytics can support business performance. Stuart’s advice is for HR to stop counting things and start understanding things. Really good advice! His recommendations for must have metrics included:

  • Headcount/FTE
  • Leave
  • Diversity
  • Costs/Liabilities
  • Separation/Recruitment
  • Performance Management

Another really good session was William Tincup’s on user adoption. William is aligned with Jason that the number one thing that drives user adoption is value. His summary of value was “a feature is not a feature unless users use said feature”. William believes that implementation projects need to address many areas to ensure user adoption of the system – with communication, training and change management the critical three.

The Expo hall

It was good to see many different vendors supporting this new conference. I think they will have all received value from their investments. Many of the “usually suspects” were exhibiting, with a few notable exceptions.

Unlike other HR Technology events that have been attached to broader conferences, the people in attendance had a specific focus on technology with many of the people I spoke to actively looking for new solutions. A great situation for vendors who exhibited.

All in all a great event that I would recommend everyone put into their calendars for next year.