I had a trip across the ditch to Sydney this week for the HR Tech Fest and it didn’t disappoint. I’m a bit of a trainspotter if the truth be told, so the Sydney Technology Park was a perfect venue for me with its old trains and workshops. However, the irony wasn’t lost on me that these old redundant relics of a bygone age were standing guard outside something that was very much of the here and now.
The speakers were well chosen and often challenging. The event was well organized and, along with the great content, it made for an amazing two days. As someone who is taking an increasing interest in HR technology and how it can transform HR services I was in my element.
So many things to reflect on and be thinking about. I’m not going to do a speaker by speaker summary. There is an excellent overview written by Tom Wade of HR Onboard that I couldn’t better. But here are the things I’m taking away and will be thinking about over the coming weeks:
• Integrating your HR systems is a strategy not an accident
• Enterprise versus best of breed. So many pros and cons to consider on both sides
• Selecting the right technology is so important. Start with the end result in mind
• Technology is all about the employee usage/experience not HR
• Change your processes with your technology. Don’t just introduce technology to automate old thinking
• Manage tech implementations like any other change project
• HR people have to be across social media. It isn’t going away. Social is moving way faster than HR
• Data will drive the future of HR. Big data is here and it’s coming from everywhere
• Use your data in an aggregated way, not as a way to police individuals. Don’t use it to do evil HR
• Are we doing enough with enterprise social networks like Slack, Facebook for Work?
• The digital age is not just a challenge but a big opportunity for HR to change
• Are we underestimating our workforces in HR? (see below)
Some of the case studies showed how this can all be done and totally transform a business, never mind the HR services.
There was a decent sized contingent of Kiwis who made the trip but I had expected to see more. This is the sort of event forward thinking HR people should be going to, rather than the tired and traditional conferences that seem to be the standard offering in New Zealand. If you go to one large conference next year, seriously consider making it this one.