HR Tech Europe Conference: the new frontier of the HR role
by Antonia Di Lorenzo
Although there is no commonly accepted definition of Human Resource Management, the key point is to see the staff as a real asset in the organisation.
From this principle, the basic schools of thought are divided into two theories:
- the RBT (resources-based theory) sees this resource as the sole source of a unique competitive advantage, enduring and inimitable. Therefore it brings the management of human resources to the centre of corporate strategy (see Barney 1991, Boxall and Purcell 2003).
- The second school, also called “soft HRM”, starts from the analysis of Porter (1985) and sees the competitive advantage reachable only by product differentiation or cost leadership, therefore suggesting an integration (a “fit”) of human resource management policies with those concerning the general business strategy (see also Miller 1987).
The HR officer is the professional figure who deals with the management of the staff, from research to selection, from training and evaluation to administration. Their tasks can vary widely depending on the size of the company.
Agota Czeller, Human Resources Manager Intern in Grow3, is responsible for ensuring the quality of written correspondence with applicants and third parties, preparing reference letters and employment contracts, scheduling and conducting interviews, screening CVs, producing weekly departmental summary reports and working on improving the current recruitment process.
“HR priority is to make sure that all the employees are well looked after and their concerns are addressed and met appropriately. It is important to make sure that the company’s people needs are aligned to its strategic needs. People are the most important assets of a company,” she says.
According to her, the main responsibilities of a HR officer are:
- To find the right person and someone who can fit into the organisation;
- Once someone is in the firm, make sure that the employee’s needs are met and they are well, and that they stay for the needed time (to complete job) also;
- HR looks after the training, learning and development needs of each person;
- If a person needs to leave the organisation, they will make sure that this is done as professionally as possible;
- All of this includes documentation and administration;
In order to facilitate this last aspect, Agota confirms that “technology can be a tool which helps communication between different parts of the organisation such as HR and employees of different departments or employees and their line managers.”
“If, for example someone is working flexibly, some apps like skype can help keep in touch or if performance review takes place, then skype could also be used,” she says.
Regarding the relationship between the HR role and the new technologies, London will greet the HR Tech Europe Conference in March 2015, considered to be the fastest growing HR event in the world, for the third successive year.
It is believed it is the best European conference on HR and technology, delivering timely, thought-provoking keynotes, panels and networking opportunities with senior leaders from around the globe.
With regards to a potential innovative side of the HR role, our HR Manager Intern says: “I think HR can be innovated if we start to see its function as being strategic rather than only administrative.” She supports, “that means that HR – policies and practices – is one of the tools that can be used to ensure that a business is successful. If the employees are looked after, their well-being is good, then they will perform better, helping the company prosper.”
“In order to change the role of HR, we need to make sure that it is less transactional and more about relationships,” Agota continues, “although HR is aiming to be strategic, it must not ignore the needs of the individual. Organisational goals must not undermine employee goals, they should go hand in hand. Technology should be used also as a way to modernize recruitment, training, performance management.”
Among the confirmed speakers of the global event that is coming to London next March, we find the names of Peter Hinssen, Chairman and Co-founder of Nexxworks, one of the world’s thought leaders on disruptive innovation, Rachel Botsman, named the Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, and Costas Markides, Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship.
“Your physical, mental and intellectual resources, continually growing and changing, are your personal capital.”
Brian Tracey – writer and expert in development of human potential.