HR Innovation Award

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If you put this 1 million euro question to anyone: What’s the key of building a prosperous business?, I assume 90 out of 100 would reply: INNOVATION. For this very reason, here at the Zukunft Personal Europe blog, we discuss a lot innovation in the world of work and in particular Human Resource Management. Undoubtedly, innovation is a big thing in HR technology. Its main objective is to re-imagine the current HR processes and systems.

Per se, there are a legion of examples of HR roles that have been successfully and profitably innovated over the course of the last years. Indeed, we can’t recall the time when more transformative HR technologies entered the market. Many of these HR-enabling technologies have the potential to turn businesses upside down, foster and enable innovation. Is there more room for innovation? Are there sectors left untouched in the realm of HR where innovative technology hasn’t conquered areas for itself? Questions to which we hope you’ll find your answers by the time you get through this blog post.

What does innovation in HR mean?

As in everything, there are many interpretations of what innovation in HR means and to save you some time let us only highlight, after having reviewed dozens of definitions from a variety of resources, only one from the myriad of options. According to that catchy definition innovation in HR means the deployment of fresh, original or improved ideas, concepts or technologies, that create value and effectively meet the ever-changing needs of today’s organisation, workforce and workplace. It is also about foreseeing future trends and addressing them with tested solutions and engaging technologies.

Certainly, spotting an upcoming trend, service or solution ahead of your competition can give your organisation a flying start. How to foresee trends? How do you distinguish between a successful and reasonable innovation or trend and a passing fad? To support HR professionals solving this dilemma, and highlight the most promising innovative ideas and solutions, the organisers of the Zukunft Personal Europe established the HR Innovation Award. The prize is presented every year at the expo and fair, and, as this blog post is the last one before the biggest HR jamboree opens its doors in Europe, we thought we would bring you insight from one of the most exciting sessions of the event, the ceremony of the HR Innovation Award.

Innovation in HR means the deployment of fresh, original or improved ideas, concepts or technologies, that create value and effectively meet the ever-changing needs of today’s organisation, workforce and workplace. Click To Tweet

What is the HR Innovation Award?

This specific competition was established to recognize dynamic HR solutions provider companies that are breaking new grounds with their products and services. The goal of the Award is to promote innovation and performance in the HR market and provide innovators with the possibility to bring their products to the attention of a wider audience. In today’s article, we highlight the four categories in which the 114 contestants have submitted their applications, from the perspective of their innovation tendencies and future perspectives.

Category one: Innovation in Recruitment and Attraction

By now, HR has grown, from its administrative support function, into a more strategic role. Recruiting the best talent from the market has become the lifeblood of organisations, therefore, not surprisingly, a competent HR department needs to utilize the latest available technology to attract, recruit, hire and retain the sharpest employees for the company.

Undoubtedly, this might be one of the reasons why we observe this many innovative solutions and technologies in this corner of the HR world. We find solutions for each segment of the recruitment process from job adverts, sourcing, chatbots, onboarding to preselection software. So do we find 6 very exciting recruitment and attraction solutions in the finalist of the HR Innovation Award. As the competition for top-talent in almost every significant industry is heating up innovation in the recruitment sector is looking forward to a bright, and unconventional, future.

2018 HR Innovation Award Finalists in Recruitment & Attraction:
Category Startup: jobpal Ltd.; UniNow GmbH; WisR GmbH
Category Grownup: Cammio GmbH; Studydrive GmbH; Truffls GmbH

Category 2: HR Software & Hardware

In so many occasions, advances in the area of HR software and hardware have altered the way an entire organisation and office runs. There is a lot of innovation going on in HR software and hardware that can influence the dynamics of your organisations.

These technologies, among many, can support employees in scheduling issues; the use of tablets, smartphones and laptops can make workforce management run smoothly; self-service employee software can provide HR departments with a continuous source of information; or, cloud storage spaces could assist HR professionals with quick and easy information to their employees. The HR software & hardware industry doesn’t show signs of slowing down, and we look forward to learning which innovative company is going to take home this category’s recognition.

2018 HR Innovation Award Finalists in HR Software & Hardware:
Category Startup: billyard GmbH, candidate select GmbH (CASE), HR Forecast – peopleForecast GmbH
Category Grownup: Ixly, SSZ Beratung (Dr. Scherf Schütt & Zander GmbH), Zucchetti

Category 3: Training & Learning

Another category where we can observe a lot of development and innovative solutions in HR is that of employee training and learning. If organisations decide to, they can now propose to their workforce real-time, on-time training and learning options. These programmes could cater individual’s learning needs, preferences and career goals, through constantly accessible online T&L content on different kinds of devices.

This is certainly a significant development in a time when the workforce, in general, is becoming more mobile, diverse and spread across remote locations. Applying the latest training and learning innovations can also prove useful for organisations to address employee disengagement issues. Innovation sounds great, but how does it look like in real life? The finalist of the Training & Learning category will certainly provide solutions for L&D professionals and managers with a variety of innovative, fresh and businesslike ideas.

2018 HR Innovation Award Finalists in Training & Learning:
Category Startup: CoachNow GmbH, Digital Attitude Srl, StackFuel GmbH
Category Grownup: Springest, tts Knowledge Products GmbH, WBS AKADEMIE

Special Category 4: HR Transformation & Consulting

Over the last couple of years, HR transformation and consulting have grown into a 23 billion dollar industry (Source: Global Research, 2017) as large organisations have started to embark on large-scale transitions to convert their HR functions and departments. Innovation in HR transformation and consulting consists of the application of a set of approaches and tools, such as the popular design thinking concept or data analytics. It also includes rather strategic and pragmatic elements like the rolling out of change management or employee engagement programmes.

Introduced for the very first time in the HR Innovation Award, this special category highlights 6 solution provider companies that help their clients redesign their HR processes and service delivery models to fit the digital age. We are very excited about this new category as it will certainly bring a new angle to the competition and provide us with a look into the future.

2018 HR Innovation Award Finalists in HR Transformation & Consulting:
Category Startup: Insta Communications GmbH, mantro benefits GmbH, Zukunftsagenten GmbH
Category Grownup: cut-e GmbH, Ernst & Young GmbH, SAP SE

Innovation in HR in the future – The way forward

The selected 24 finalists are just the tip of the iceberg. For each finalist selected by the Award jury, there are at least a dozen other exceptional examples in the world of HR… and only in Europe. We believe this to be a very positive development. The way we work and interact with our colleagues and employers is changing swiftly: from the form of employment to the alternative locations where we can work from; from the way, we get recruited and even get paid. We firmly believe all HR functions and roles to be affected by innovation in the next 5 years. The need for it is certainly there. Our role, as bloggers and advocators, is to keep reporting about these innovative and pioneering ideas and to provide our readership with unbiased and supportive advice on them.

Our role, as bloggers and advocators, is to keep reporting about these innovative and pioneering ideas and to provide our readership with unbiased and supportive advice on them. Click To Tweet

The HR Innovation Award will be presented to both “startups” and “grownups” during the opening ceremony on the first day (11 September) of the Zukunft Personal Europe from 9:30  a.m. onwards. To know more about the finalists, and the award ceremony, please visit the official page of the HR Innovation Award, or follow the specific hashtag of the competition – #HRINNO18 – on social media.

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