As a company that has been a sponsor in every TechHR show till date, we must say that this year’s show was superior than ever before; in fact, the best show we attended this year so far. In simple words, what worked for us at the show was the sheer buzz and energy of the event. For those who missed the show, there was record attendance, nearly a hundred HR Tech vendors, several interesting presentations from industry thought leaders, and a fantastic “unconference area” that defined the social fabric of the conference.
Here are our top insights from the show:
Surge in vendors and startups in the HR Tech space
There were nearly a hundred companies in there, of which most were startups. There were the usual larger players showcasing HRM software and LMS applications, but in our view it was the startups and early stage companies that took the cake. Recruitment and employee engagement stood out as the key spheres of high activity. KNOLSKAPE, being the only major vendor for new age employee talent transformation solutions, received a lot of attention. Our 8 member team was on its feet throughout the show!
Conversations at the KNOLSKAPE booth – demand for new age solutions
This year, we decided to provide visitors with a walk through of how to apply experiential technologies in talent transformation. We displayed solutions using gamification, simulations, mobile learning, virtual reality and artificial intelligence. We saw a surge in request for deeper discussions around gamified onboarding, virtual assessment centers (as compared to physical assessments), quizzing as a learning and engagement tool, AI based solutions for communication practice, digital leadership, and of course simulations. These conversations reveal a compelling need and growing acceptance of technology based solutions to talent transformation problems
AI – Flavour of the Season?
We saw numerous conversations and interest in AI based solutions. Many HR folks sounded wary of newer technologies and the implications on their future, and this prompted Sethu Meenakshisundaram, SVP Growth at KNOLSKAPE, to write a very interesting piece on this subject that provides a balanced and mature viewpoint. Do read his recent blog “IS IT REALLY AI VS HR?” An off-shoot of the above is that human elements such as design thinking and storytelling are emerging as strong themes in the era of AI. As AI becomes more human, humans are seeking to become more human!
New Ideas and Innovative Approaches
There were some very interesting sessions by industry thought leaders. For us, the standout sessions were Rishi Raj Gupta’s session on Culture, Performance and Innovation@Facebook, Fons Trampenaars’ Session on Reconciling dilemmas for high performance, Kate Sweetman’s session on Decoding the Reinvention formula, and Tal Ben Shahar’s session on “Failing your way to innovation”. Great to be able to hear some original and new thoughts on transforming the HR function.
Digital Leadership and the role of HR
Some of the most involved and intense discussions we had were on the topic of digital leadership, and the role that HR has to play in being a true partner for business. Given the buzz and blur around the word digital, many HR practitioners were frank about the challenge they faced – from a business perspective, HR function perspective, as well as individual perspectives. Needless to say, we believe that success in the digital world is a function of culture and new capabilities – 2 things that HR folks directly influence. KNOLSKAPE has done extensive study in this field, including discussions with the CEOs and CHROs of several organizations, and we have created a complete digital mindset & capability design that covers digital awareness, digital execution, digital strategy and digital excellence. Learn about our digital solutions here.
We now look forward to the L&D League show in Mumbai later this year. Thank you People Matters for organizing such a fantastic show.