The 2021 HR Tech Conference Highlights – Inspiration to Insights as HR Tech Kicks Off!
In the current situation, the HR community is dealing with a slew of concerning topics that need attention. From the COVID-19 pandemic that took over 18 months to the instant work from the office to work from home transition and the great Resignation, there is a lot. However, in the first offline, that is the in-person HR Tech Conference that took place after the pandemic this week it would be all about Keynotes, panel discussions, networking sessions, demo sessions, HR Tech Talks, and other events that should assist HR leaders put everything into context.
As per Josh Bersin who is the global industry analyst and HRE columnist, Managing a remote workforce and its impact on employees will be a particularly hot topic.“Hybrid work requires having conversations around your company culture. Work practices, management behaviours, reward systems and flexibility are all likely affected by any plans you put into place. It’s important to discuss and review changes so employees know what’s expected,” writes Bersin, who is to deliver the keynote address, HR Technology Reinvented: The Big Shift towards Work Tech on Wednesday.
Further, an attendee at the conference, Mr Ryan Gormley. Who is the head of people for Nylas, a communications API provider says he is interested in learning how other companies are handling the process of hiring, remote onboarding and employee wellbeing.“With greater emphasis and buy-in from other departments and leaders and the trend of remote work not going anywhere, I hope to find additional investments, resources and applications that can help address employee well-being,” says Gormley.
Moving on Sarah Rodehorst, who is the CEO at Onwards HR, a separation management platform provider, says he is looking forward to the session on women-owned businesses in the HR technology arena. “According to Harvard Business Review, only 13% of all engineers are women, and women-owned technology companies are nearly non-existent,” she says. “Onwards HR is one of the few HR technology companies where all founders are women so I’m looking forward to connecting and hearing more about the pioneers of our industry and the changes we’ve seen during the pandemic.”
Looking forward to some inspiration at the conference Rodehorst added, “As a former soccer player turned soccer mom and an advocate for equal rights and inclusion, I am very much looking forward to hearing Abby Wambach speak on how HR leaders can change the game as well,” she says, referring to the opening keynote on Tuesday afternoon. “I have three daughters and I am passionate about building more inclusive workplaces that unites us all.”
For Steve Boese, HRE’s Inside HR Tech contributor and HR Tech programme chair, looking ahead to innovation and its impact on HR tech professions is a vital topic. He highlighted Jeanne Meister and Robert Brown’s piece 21 HR Jobs of the Future, which Brown and others will discuss Tuesday during a mega-session titled “The HR Jobs of the Future Are Happening Now.” What are some of the jobs mentioned in Meister and Brown’s study? HR Data Detective, Algorithm Bias Officer, VR Immersion Counselor, Chatbot and Human Facilitator “All will necessitate advanced technological abilities and, if the report is right, will represent critical HR functions in the near future,” adds Boese.
Christine Tao, CEO and co-founder of Sounding Board and a panellist on the Women in HR Tech panel discussing Improving the Female Leadership Pipeline, is attending HR Tech with her company’s head of engineering, and they’ll be looking for cutting-edge HR technology.
“There is just so much innovation, whether it’s AI, big data, or a variety of exciting virtual reality and augmented reality experiences. There are a lot of different technologies being used in HR solutions, and we want to keep on top of them all,” Tao explains.
Furthermore, Tao is also searching for ideas on how to manage a workforce in the event of a global epidemic. “It will be fascinating to see how businesses deal with the pandemic’s next stage. We all assumed we’d return to work, but it’s possible we won’t,” she says. “I believe a lot of firms are thinking much more long-term in terms of their planning around technology that they’re adapting to be able to say, look, this is going to be our reality for a very long time,” says the author.
For many attendees, returning to their workplaces with the data and insights offered at the conference is a big part of the reason they’ll be there. “After the conference, I’m quite excited to share information and lessons learned with my colleagues,” Gormley says. “It’s always thrilling to absorb a lot of new information and results during the show, but it’s even better to put it all into practise and share best practices with my coworkers.” And Rodehorst has a specific expectation from one of the HR Tech speakers. She plans to return with a signed copy of Stacey Harris’ book, HR Technologies: Understand How to Use Technology to Improve Performance and Processes.