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.
Photo: Enrico Palumbo
A podcast interview with Enrico A. Palumbo
In this special podcast episode for Zukunft Personal Europe 2018, we are speaking with Enrico A. Palumbo, HR Director of SAP Switzerland, one of the keynote-speakers ahead of the event. Enrico shares with us among others how “permanent beta” resonates with his experience at work, what is the inHR Award, that he initiated, how traditional HR processes can be transformed and translated with modern technologies, and SAP’s secret formula for being recognised both Top Employer and Great Place to Work in 2018.
Enrico A. Palumbo is HR Director and Member of the Management Board of SAP Switzerland. Over the last 15+ years, he worked in different HR roles and functions including HR business partner, center of expertise, and shared services in leadership roles, as a project manager, and as a business consultant in different industries and geographies. Enrico is particularly excited about how technology can support great work experience and employee engagement. He is a member of the SAP internal Coaching Pool and SAP internal Co-Trainer for Search Inside Yourself.
You can listen to the conversation on iTunes, acast and other podcasting apps. What follows here are excerpts from our conversation with Enrico, edited for length and clarity.
Photo: Bettina Engel-Albustin (Dirk Müller), Jens Müller (Heidi Moser)
The strategic orientation of many companies is focused on digital transformation and the handling of disruptive business models. The digital revolution has also created a new position in management: corporations are increasingly appointing their own Chief Digital Officer or CDO for short, to tackle the mega trend of digitalisation. But what are the most important levers to manage digital change successfully, and where are interfaces to HR management? After all, it is the employees that have to support and shape the change. At Zukunft Personal Europe, keynote speakers Dirk Müller, CIO of Franz Haniel & Cie. and CEO of the digital unit Schacht One, and Heidi Moser, Head of HR at ratioform Verpackungen GmbH, will provide orientation and impulses in a joint keynote. In an advance interview, we spoke with them both about the collaboration between CDOs and HR managers.
The fast pace of modern life requires a high degree of flexibility, courage and emotional intelligence from employers and employees alike. The result is a constant need to adapt to new market conditions, the development of new forms of collaboration and last but not least, the fusing of human intelligence with artificial intelligence. In short, we find ourselves in perpetual beta.
What opportunities and challenges does this present to employers and employees? What will the working world of the future look like? How do we want to work in the future and who will decide?
We want to explore these issues in more detail taking our inspiration from the motto of the exhibition Zukunft Personal Europe 2018: “work:olution – succeed in permanent beta”. With this in mind, we are calling all bloggers to take part in the blog carnival: “How to succeed in permanent beta?” #permanentbeta.
If you work for a single company for a long time, especially a large company, you’re probably familiar with the common workplace rituals that have developed which mark the beginning and the end of the employee life cycle. The welcome cards, the little speech when someone starts, the little mementos people buy for you when you start. Then there are the leaving parties, the speech on how great an asset someone has been and how sorry everyone is to see them leave, and the post-work trip to a local pub with a few of the people the person leaving became close to. Perhaps you’ve shed a few tears yourself or had others shed tears on your behalf after moving on from a company you grew attached to.
As negative as the actual experience of leaving a job can feel, losing people is an absolutely necessary part of the work ecosystem. People come and people go. It’s in the very nature of most forms of social human activity. Whether it’s a circle of friends, a royal lineage, a scientific project, a private company, or a public service, fresh blood is regularly introduced and others move to something new. It’s a vital part of how social structures adapt themselves to a changing world or try to influence the changes that occur around them. Without this exchange of people stagnation and weakness sets in.
Recruitment, one of the principle functions of HR, has become such a sophisticated and involved process that it is now handled mostly by specialist people who know the questions to ask and the qualifications that matter to the role. Whole businesses have proliferated, worth millions, which do nothing more than offer specialist recruitment services. The reason it is such a weighty topic is obvious – having the right people work for you will make the difference between success and failure.
There have been numerous articles written on recruiting in HR publications across Europe, and even more on the internet. Besides from some notable exceptions, few have impressed me. An overreliance on buzzwords and corporate phrasing (“Reach out and pick a dynamic candidate who’s core competency gives them an attitude of thinking outside the box, enabling them to synergise rapidly with your business ecosystem!”) might be good for grabbing the reader’s attention, but such articles do nothing to advance the readers actual knowledge of the topic. One of the problems is that a lot of these articles are simply stealthy advertisements with email addresses or clickbacks to recruitment agencies, so exist to sell the process as opposed to inform about it.
As someone has done a fair bit of recruiting, let me try to inform, or at least illustrate the enormous amount of variables involved that make recruitment such a massive task.
Modern technology has made travel easier than it ever has been. I can buy an airline ticket today and be in Australia by tomorrow. When I was interviewed for a job in Germany I boarded an aeroplane in my native Britain, flew to Berlin, spent several hours with the team I would be working with, and then flew back home again, all in a single day. Before I made this trip I had several initial interviews remotely via Skype. When I was offered employment I gave serious consideration to working here, staying here during the the week, and then flying back to the UK for the weekend, such is the ease of travel that being able to cross several hundred miles and a few countries every week is simple and easy.
Photo: spring Messe Management GmbH
With the warmer weather the conference season is also upon us. If you are like us, you are also looking forward to the events of the HRM conference calendar of 2018. Where is the most useful place to learn about the latest HR industry trends, get inspired by opinion leaders and network with like-minded professionals? The Zukunft Personal events, of course! On this blog we talk a lot about Zukunft Personal Europe, the international flagship conference and expo of the Messe Management events, but did you know that the organiser team pulls together several other top HR gatherings as well?
AI, smart machines, digitalisation – not a day goes by without an abundance of articles or news items about these latest tech developments. If the threats about robots stealing jobs were not enough, now the fear about data and its farming may have caused further alarm in citizens and businesses all over Europe. How can companies keep up with the rapid shifts in technology?
Employer review sites have made an incredible progress from a platform catering to disillusioned employees and turned-away jobseekers, where they could vent their frustration and disappointment. The last years have seen these sites, and their member base growing in confidence and maturing into a reliable source of labour market insight for both job hunters and HR managers, even supply chains and researchers.