Disrupt HR: NYC Event Recap

3 Minutes

I’ve always loved attending HR events, it’s a great way to get a different perspective on tr...

By Rosh Jayawardena

Managing Director, North America

I’ve always loved attending HR events, it’s a great way to get a different perspective on traditional HR beliefs, from in and outside the industry. In a city like NYC, there is a constant wave of HR events happening at any given time, and last month I was fortunate enough to attend two awesome ones:

‘Disrupt HR’ and ‘What HR Can Learn From Other Business Teams’.

‘Disrupt HR’, held at the Grant Thornton offices in New York, was the second session I’ve been to this year (Check out my last blog post and if you missed the recent event you can watch the talks here).

‘What HR Can Learn From Other Business Teams’, held at General Assembly, was the first event I have attended from the ‘HR Tech Showcase’ they are currently running.

Both these events featured some wonderfully innovative speakers:

at ‘Disrupt HR’, I was blown away by ‘Experiences Are Greater Than Water Bottles’ by Kristin Dudley, ‘#allthefeels’ by Emma Leads and ‘Cultural Debt’ by Peter Phelan. At ‘What HR Can Learn from Other Business Teams’, Stacey Payne delivered an insightful talk on driving employee experience in her own HR team at Taco Bell - who have a strong marketing/digital culture as shown here.

What struck me about both events was the notable emphasis on HR branding. The branding component of HR is drawing ever closer to marketing and it’s important for us to collaborate more effectively with other departments and utilise these marketing techniques across an organisation. One key element of this is attracting and retaining the best talent which is paramount to a business’s success.

So how do we achieve this? Nicole Cunningham (who spoke at the ‘HR Tech Showcase’), blew my mind when she shared her own experience of positive HR Branding: she found that simply editing the title of a job ad from ‘Human Resources’ to ‘Employee Engagement’ allowed her to attract a completely different type of candidate. Similarly, at ‘Disrupt HR’, Kristin Dudley talked about how she innovated in order to attract the right type of candidates to her company. Instead of going to career fairs and waiting for people to come to her (at SXSW), she got her team of recruiters to go to the people at the food trucks, the info sessions, meet-ups, concerts/events. She found this was where her ideal candidates (the ‘real’ people) were hanging out.

Kristin’s presentation encouraged all of us to think about what we’re trying to achieve, to thoughtfully question those pre-determined processes we have become accustomed to.

So where do we go from here? Next week I am going to be holding a workshop with Kristin - a brainstorming session with other curious HR professionals, where we will bounce around some ideas about HR Branding. Afterwards I will post a summary of the findings and would welcome feedback from the wider HR community.

I would also like to mention that Kristin has an interesting project in the works called ‘Candidate Chemistry’ - a tool to disrupt the job interview and employee on-boarding experience. She is looking for willing testers to get involved so check it out here https://candidatechemistry.com/

If you would like to get in touch to discuss the HR world, you can reach me at rj@elliottscotthr.com