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HR Tech World Roundup

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Jenny Roper and Bek Frith share some of the highlights from HR Tech World Spring 2016

This week HR Tech World came to London, and HR magazine was there reporting. Here are some of the highlights.

  • Nick Holley, professor at Henley Business School, said that even though the Ulrich model is 20 years old “everybody still talks about it as though it is something new", during his talk 'You Can’t Put In What God Left Out'. “I would never use the phrase HR business partner,” he said. “You are not a partner of the business, you are a part of the business. Who is responsible for the people in your business? That might be the line managers. But who is responsible for the line managers? I think HR is responsible if people aren’t managed effectively.”
  • Founder and executive chair of doteveryone.org.uk, House of Lords cross-bencher and co-founder of lastminute.com Martha Lane Fox spoke on the importance of the internet being “right at the heart” of organisations for them to be successful. She said it's imperative to do this on a country-wide level. “Unless we do this [put the internet at the heart of everything we do] quickly, I think there’s a risk that all of the power might end up in one small part of the world: Silicon Valley.” However, Lane Fox said she is encouraged by this now rising up boardroom agendas. “People [in boardrooms] used to look shocked when you said ‘internet’…they hoped it would go away,” she explained, adding though that “there’s been a shift in boardrooms".- Global head of resourcing and employer branding at Vodafone, Catalina Schveninger shared her organisation’s mission to ensure “every single person of 70,000 [applying each year] has an amazing experience, whether hired or not.” She reported how non-user-friendly the application process used to be, saying she was “surprised many people wanted to go through with the full process” after testing it herself. She also entreated people to try out their own systems. Vodafone's process has been reduced from “between two weeks to six months” to in some cases five minutes by introudcing a “more rigorous” test and video process. “We’ve taken the bias of recruiters away,” said Schveninger. “[Before they would] say ‘I know this school, it’s a good school, this is a city we’ve hired from before…’”
  • Ben Hawley, HR director organisation, analytics and digital at Unilever, described the future of data in a talk titled 'Collective Intelligence In Organisations'. “HR in the past offered advice based on its experience, but at Unilever we are trying to use data,” he said. “We don’t want people to be saying ‘I think’, but ‘I know and we have the data to support it’.”
  • Simon Sinek, founder of motivational speaking business Simon Sinek Inc, explained four of the key hormones at play in business in his talk 'Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Come Together And Others Don’t'. “Endorphins’ main roles are masking physical pain,” he said. “Dopamine gives you that feeling of accomplishment when you have completed your to-do list. Serotonin is the leadership and pride chemical, while oxytocin is the hormone of friendship. The first two are selfish, but the second two are the social chemicals that keep the tribe together.”