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Human Resources

HR Tech Europe Conference: the new frontier of the HR role

HR Tech Europe Conference: the new frontier of the HR role

by Antonia Di Lorenzo

 Human Resources

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).

staff-chart

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;
  • Communication.

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.

 

 

Why choosing a multicultural environment for your business

Why choosing a multicultural environment for your business

by Antonia Di Lorenzo

                                                 group of young ecologists                                                                  

When I hear the adjective “multicultural”, I always think of an international dinner.

Imagine a long table at the centre of a huge living room, packed by people from different cultures. Everyone brings their own traditional food from their country: sushi from Japan, Mexican tacos, Spanish paella, French crepes, Indian rice, pasta.

By the end of the evening, probably full and drunk, you would have tried new dishes, which you may like or dislike. You would have had a new experience that allows you to explore foreign cultures, expanding your horizons towards worlds that you didn’t know, meeting people with different backgrounds who can teach you something.

Your dining experience resembles a community where each one gives their own contribution, in order to grow up together and improve themselves.

The result will be engagement, knowledge, open-mindedness, in one word: satisfaction.

featured_image_5

 

Now let’s see the advantages of using an “international-dinner approach” to increase your business.

  •  Improvement of the problem-solving. As Jared Lewis explained in The Advantages of Multiculturalism in the workplace, being exposed to different points of view helps to create a sense of cultural awareness and to think outside the box when the employee will face a problem. Getting in touch with foreign cultures can allow you to realise how your mind is limited and how it influences negatively your way to solve the problems.
  • Team work. The employees who will work in a multicultural environment will be more inclined to respect diversity, collaborating and finding a compromise in face of adversities.
  • Knowledge. Discovering new cultures can widen your horizons. Firstly, when different backgrounds and experiences come together, you can expect a huge increase of possibilities. It can be also beneficial to stimulate creativity. Irina Chirileasa, Media Assistant, has examined in depth this topic through the eyes of GRSC Renewals Team members. This company has leaders from all Europe, who confirms working in an international environment can stimulate your hungry for knowledge and leading to excellent results. Cristiana Lupu, East Europe and CIS Regional Manager, Support Renewal Sales, GRSC, says: “Coordinating a team made up by members who come from different parts of the world is amazing! You learn a lot about what it means to live in a global society. Working across cultures tests your general knowledge, adaptability, contextual leadership and, of course, patience. There are tough aspects as well, for example balancing out the extreme cold drive for results with keeping the people motivated and driving each of them to the next step in their personal development.”
  • New contacts. Having employees from different countries means also passing the frontiers. Your new contacts network’s name is world.
  • Global Interactions. Having a high degree of understanding how other cultures do business leads the company to an international level. Global interactions take shape through different beliefs, philosophies and various ways of conceiving the marketplace.
  • Flexibility. The workplace always demands flexibility, but in a multicultural environment you need to be ready to adapt yourself to different cultures. This often means getting in touch with different approaches which, potentially, can affect positively your projects. Maria Avram, Germany Senior Manager, Support Renewal Sales, GRSC, explains that in a multicultural environment there is a wonderful exchange: “Along the way, my team learned from me to be more organised, disciplined, confident. I also learned from them to be more flexible and communicative, to be more tolerant and also that people change, not completely, but partially.”

Grow3 puts a lot of effort into creating the right conditions to build a multicultural environment, in order to realise these beneficial effects. Caitlin Doherty, Marketing Manager of Grow3, says: “ I think that multicultural is synonymous of global. To be global it is essential to feel global, creating an international community. It is an added value as well as a priority. This is one of the main values of our company.”

Multiculturalism means evaluating people firstly as ideas producers, without taking into consideration any background or origins. It can drive the business to progress and social innovation.

Ideas are the priority. They don’t have any colour or ethnicity. They belong to people who with their ideas are able to create a community.

World