Unleash 2018 – The next wave of Digital HR

The formerly known HR Tech World celebrated its re-birth this year in London from 20th to 21st of March after the official rebrand to “Unleash”. Marc Coleman, Founder, and CEO of UNLEASH said, “The UNLEASH community will look to become more open to leadership from across organizations and to engage with the people that are making big differences in the world of work, creating communities that enable disruptive workplace innovation and learning.”

The general set up remained very similar. A jungle full of HR tech vendors including the well-established ones but also many small and upcoming startups that presented themselves. The HR tech market has seen lots of movement over the recent years also welcoming lots of fresh players. Especially technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) but also blockchain will further disrupt the HR market. Having algorithms support companies to find better candidates or having the new contract being issued in a blink of an eye with the help of blockchain technology.

So it came with no surprise that these topics were heavily discussed in the different breakout sessions along with other hot topics such as GDPR, Brexit, leadership, learning 2.0, diversity and inclusion, mentoring and many more.

Keynote speech by Skype co-founder Jonas Kjellberg

Jonas Kjellberg says about himself that it is disrupting an industry that gets him up in the morning. Jonas Kjellberg is one of the co-founders of Skype. He has a successful past in disrupting industries, most famously the telecommunication industry. He described how hard it is to invent in the zeros but that’s what he did with Skype. The highest valued startups such as Uber or AirBnB invest in the zeros as they simply offer a platform but do not own the product anymore. The bottom line of his speech is if a company wants to survive in this highly disruptive market it needs to re-imagine its organization and make innovation the heart and soul of the company’s DNA. This also includes hiring different profiles and giving them the room to be themselves.

The big HR tech vendors all to be found right after the entrance

After making it through the registration and the entrance to the stands that were located right on the ground floor visitors were welcomed by the big players in the HR Cloud market. For Oracle it was all about the new UX this time including its new “newsfeed” landing page. Employees can now highlight the data and details they care about most.

Another big topic of this year’s Unleash was data and people/workforce analytics. HR has been for many years looking in the rearview mirror, rather than looking forward and being able to predict events that will occur in the future. With the help of the latest and greatest analytics solutions, for the first time HR has the chance to really understand who is their workforce and being able to abstract relevant information and match these against business outcomes. Knowing who is at risk, or who should be taken into consideration for a promotion, predicting these events lets companies better plan and develop their workforce for the future.

The startup corner hosted the disruptors of the future

At the end of the main hall the HR startups were to be found. More than 40 startups presented themselves. The common ground for all these companies is that they want to contribute to the Future of Work.   Innovating in their area of HR and leading the way to the next generation of HR.

Next to the Startup Zone the competitions took place. The 5 HR startups finalist had the chance to present their ideas and products to a selected jury. With the help of Unleash the winners will get access to further support and access to influencers.

We are all looking forward to discover other innovative HR propositions and to further uncover the innovation happening in the HR market.

For more insights, please visit hr-jump.com

Author: Mats Nemelka – HCM Solution Consultant, Oracle

Mats advises companies in the HR space on how to handle HR transformations best with the help of a cloud software solution. Views are his own. Follow @matsnemelka

How to build a meaningful compensation scheme for employees

When it comes to workforce compensation, the definition of fair is not so easy!

Ok! The first level should be easy: your compensation strategy has to ensure there is no discrimination (gender, ethnicity, age,…).

How to build a meaningful compensation scheme for employees

The second level is trickier, because this is when fairness does not mean equality. I am talking here about criteria such as performance results, cost of living, market rates, country benefits, job drudgery, financial results per business unit and sales incentives. Here, you need to find a good formula.

The third level is out of today’s discussion. This concerns compensation exceptions where unfairness is needed for business-critical reasons: retention of key talent or an increased offer to a top-notch candidate.

Modern compensation solutions allow you to organize, run and administer your compensation strategy end-to-end. They come with multiple features to automate calculations, enforce your rules, control user input, raise exceptions and many others…

So what can possibly go wrong?

Here are three important elements to take into consideration:

The human factor

The most obvious element that is difficult to control is the human factor. How can you ensure the responsible person to distribute compensation is unbiased?

One possibility is to remove this factor from the process! Some organizations automate the entire compensation distribution process. This can be about giving a bonus to only a subset of the company and based the department’s financial results. Or about managing compensation through salary grids/matrices and automatic adjustments.

This is just a minority because most organizations want to be able to consider the employee’s performance. A more common process tries to eliminate the human factor from the compensation process only. This means the employee compensation is automatically calculated based on formulas that can include some individual goal achievements or overall performance results, but there is a clear separation between talking performance and talking money. I guess this worth a future article on how to insure a fair performance evaluation!

Finally, the last approach is to give the manager the possibility to manage their budget. This is the best solution for me because:

  • You expect engagement from your managers, they expect in return that you trust them
  • Even with the best formula, you will miss some context that only the manager is aware of
  • It brings flexibility into the process

Modern compensation solutions help to secure data entered for managers and compensation administrators. Here are three examples:

Boundaries – while giving some flexibility to managers on how they want to distribute their budgets within their team, you can fix some lower or upper limits as a percentage value or as an absolute amount. These limits can be dependent on the current salary or mixed with other criteria such as performance or compa-ratio for instance.

Alerts – modern solutions are changing the way you work. The objective is to help you directly focus on the most important items. Alerts are used this way so that you will first look at exceptions and questionable compensation proposals instead of going line by line through the entire worksheet. It is possible to set up any kind of alert e.g. an employee who would be granted a more than x% salary increase while their performance is poor.

Justifications – In addition to having all history kept in the solution (who, when, how much), you may ask for justifications on certain conditions. That way, the manager who wants to give an extra increase or generally giving low salary increases to a specific person would have to explain this. This will be tracked in the system and requires an approval process including an audit.

The missing parameter

You define your compensation strategy the same way a star chef prepares their menu. Using multiple ingredients and great expertise, the objective is to make all customers satisfied and ensure they will not regret their choice even when glimpsing at their friends’ plate.

A dish can be ruined because you may have forgotten one ingredient. A compensation strategy can be unfair because you forgot one parameter when designing it.

Some parameters should simply be forgotten! This is the level one rule. Elements like gender, ethnicity, disability or age should not be taken into consideration for any eligibility rule, formula or filter.

 Source: Statista
Source: Statista

However, do not underestimate side effects. For instance, let’s say you want a bonus being prorated based on the duration the employee has been working in the department or business unit. I see sometimes this duration be prorated based on number of days in different assignments. Depending on the system you are using and the way it is set up, it may be that you are excluding paternity/maternity leave from the calculation. Most probably this is not on purpose but, doing so, you just created a difference between women and men as part of your calculation.

There is no one magic formula and this is the reason why you need a compensation solution that

  • Is flexible, allowing for multiple plans with specific eligibility and rules definition.
  • Allows you to do simulations to validate and rework your rules
  • Is integrated with your HR system (admin and talent) to be able to build rules based on any parameter

 The country budget bias

Another side effect I discovered and discussed with two international companies recently was linked to the country budget.

The compensation mechanism was based on three principles:

  • A team can be international
  • Manager is given a budget they can distribute with some flexibility within their team
  • The manager has to ensure that they are distributing according to the country budget

Here is an example:

Let’s say the UK decides on a 2% bonus (of the total wage bill) and Germany for a 3% bonus. A manager with a mix of employees from the UK and Germany will have a budget defined the following way:  Budget = UKbudget + GERbudget (where UKbudget=2% of total salaries of employees from UK and GERbudget=3% of total salaries of employees from Germany).

Then, to be in line with the third principle, this manager has to ensure that the overall bonus is distributed to his UK employees will not go over the UKbudget and same for his German employees.

It does not seem too bad! We can all understand that an international company may have different compensation strategies per country and, for legal reasons, have to ensure country budgets are given to employees from the same country. Also this could work if the amount was forced to the exact number (2% for UK employees, 3% for German employees).

But remember second principle was for the manager to have some flexibility. Let’s take an extreme example, the manager has 10 employees on the German payroll and 1 employee on the UK payroll!

The manager can distribute different bonuses to their German employees. They can give 5% or more to the best achiever as long as he does not go overall above the 3%. What about the UK employees? Here there is no more flexibility. He/She can simply not go above the 2% even if he/she might be the valued resource on the team!

Fair compensation requires some thinking, lots of testing and a modern compensation tool to ensure you reflect your company’s values, your business requirements and your industry specifics.


For more insights, please visit hr-jump.com

About the Author:

With a strong background in supporting, developing, maintaining, implementing and demonstrating HR oriented solutions, Nicolas Bouché understands the impacts of HR transformation projects. You can find more information on LinkedIn. Views are his own.

Diversity and Inclusion: The right formula


Do you know Gloria Tang Tsz-kei?

She’s a pretty successful woman; just 25 years old, an accomplished singer-songwriter, piano grade 8 by age thirteen and 23 million followers on Weibo today.

Her stage name is G.E.M. for “Get Everybody Moving”. That’s a pretty cool motto!

Interestingly, GEM is also an acronym for Gender Empowerment Measure, an index created by UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) which aims to measure gender inequality based on economic income, participation in high-paying positions and level of access to professional positions.

It looks like Gloria’s motto was made for today’s subject. Let’s use it and see how some features of HR solutions can support women’s empowerment in your company.  You may not be concerned because you are part of a company that is already doing so, or just this subject is not a priority. Before you leave, please have a quick look at this article from Prabha Kannan. It’s very refreshing.

The first step aims at getting information on your talent: what is their background in terms of education and work experience, what they are good at, what they certifications do they possess, what languages they speak. This allows you to know your workforce better and use it more efficiently.

Here are a few tools available in HR solutions that help gather this information:

Talent profile – the subject of talent management really snowballed in the early 2000s, mostly associated with competency-based management.  Today, a talent profile is the central repository to get employee talent information and validate the match against their current or future job, do some comparisons and search for specific capabilities. Initially populated from application data, it keeps getting enriched by the employee, their manager, the HR department or after completing an activity (learning, achieved objective, promotion, volunteering, coaching).

Performance review – The performance review is intended to be a fair and balanced assessment of an employee’s performance. It is conducted most often through an annual process with extra steps included (objective setting method, different steps, mid-year review) and will result in an evaluation of all employees.

Personal branding – with the boom of social media tools such as Facebook or LinkedIn, employees started to voluntarily publish information about themselves and their network on the internet. As an extension to the Talent Profile, we see innovative HR solutions providers suggesting to reuse this information, with employee consent, to better identify “hidden” talent and take into account additional criteria such as social reputation, endorsement or influence.

The first features we have been reviewing were mainly employee-manager-HR oriented. The next step to reduce further gender bias is to bring more people and more information into the process to make your decision even more objective and dilute any questionable individual decisions and operational considerations.


Here are a few tools available that help extend, enrich and retrieve information on your talent:

Feedback – getting feedback from peers, direct reports or matrix managers is not something new. It already was available with 360° performance reviews for instance. With instant feedback, you bring spontaneous and unsolicited content to the people appraisal and you extend the population that can acknowledge (or not) the employee’s behaviour, support and efficiency.

Engagement – with time, HR management’s target evolved from personal administration toward a system of engagement. We see many new dimensions being taken into account when assessing employees. It can be taking ownership of a volunteering program, publishing and sharing a video tutorial to help their peers, mentoring junior colleagues or participating in internal competitions or ideation projects. All of these activities are enriching the talent profile and the network of potential supporters.

Analytics – making the right decision implies that you have all information available to you. Good analytics will allow you to get KPIs, trends and insights into your talent but also to get into details. For instance, you need to be able to search on competencies and location to be able to identify the people with the required profile.

Some interesting indicators from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (another GEM!) in the Women’s Entrepreneurship 2016/2017 Report show that Total Entrepreneurial Activity (TEA) among women increased by 10%and the gender gap narrowed by 5% compare to a similar study in 2015 (a study made on 63 economies worldwide). Things are moving in a good direction and nobody could use the argument that women are just less interested in gaining more responsibilities and power in companies.

We have seen how to get talent data and extend it so that everybody can add their share in the decision process. Last step consists in transforming current processes and moving them toward this ultimate goal: women’s empowerment!

Compensation – the gender pay gap is pretty well known and lot of companies are already working on it. HR solutions provide compensation tools can be used to help with corrective actions. A simple way, through eligibility, is to define some specific salary re-alignments for underpaid employees. You can also force the bonus, grants, merit increases to be automatically calculated based on compa-ratio, performance results, goals achievement. By doing so, you remove any decisions based on gender. You can also give more freedom to the manager to make their own proposals while using warnings or alerts to detect and raise inconsistencies.

Talent Review/Succession Planning – both processes go hand in hand and help identifying high potential & hidden talent, assuring your best talent is in line for future critical roles, identifying candidates for key jobs, developing multiple career paths. This process is typically done by a panel of executives all sitting in the same room, having access to all relevant data to take the best decision. The tools can support more aggressive policy such as filtering your population to only work on female talent when too low a proportion of them are in key roles.

Learning – another helpful process is learning. You can for instance manage a talent pool of your future women leaders and assign specific learning programs or create a specific learning community. The advantage of communities is that you feed learners with appropriate learning opportunities and promote conversation, collaboration, sharing and healthy competition.

Nearly forgot! In French, you pronounce GEM as “J’aime” meaning “I like”. That’s a fortunate coincidence both for this subject and to guide you toward your next action after reading this article.

For more insights, please visit hr-jump.com

Author: Nicolas Bouché – You can find more information on LinkedIn. Views are his own.

4 HR startups that will boom in 2018 according to Business Insider

Business Insider looks every year at the top startups that will “take the tech industry by storm”. Business Insider lists in total 50 startups that will get a lot of press in the years to come and that will most probably disrupt their industries. Amongst those 50 startups, 4 Startups are operating in the wider field of HR.

Who are those startups?

1)      Reflektive: Ongoing employee performance feedback

In a world where everything needs to happen adhoc. Reflektive offers a solution to give continuous feedback throughout the year. Other continuous feedback solutions often operate separated from your HRIS system and miss the integration. Reflektive integrates easily with HRIS systems and also with productivity apps such as Outlook, Slack or Gmail. Especially for SMB companies the integration into these productivity apps can foster adaptation.

2)      JustWorks: Better HR for small businesses

You are a small company? You think you can manage your employees by using Excel or Spreadsheets? Better not! JustWorks offers an easy HR solution including Benefits and Payroll. That way you ensure you stay compliant and all your employee data is stored in one place. After all it is better to ensure your employee’s data is up-to-speed and always updated.

3)      Crew: The app for hourly workers

In many sectors organizations are struggling with managing their hourly or contingent workers. Often seen in industries such as “construction, retail, field services and hospitality”. These workers they play a crucial role but as these employees are often temporary workers they are not added to the leading HRIS system. Crew offers an intuitive app to manage these employees including shift planning.

4)      Pymetrics: Using neuroscience to hire people and avoid unconscious bias

This startup was founded by two former Harvard/MIT-trained PhDs. Candidates are often looking for the perfect job not knowing what they really want or where they perform best. Pymetrics “uses neuroscience games and bias-free AI to predictively match people with jobs”. Instead of looking at the past and what the resume says it “assesses the candidate based on his potential” and finds the right match.

The HR market is one of the hottest markets these days with a lot of venture capital pouring into it. Also in 2018 new and innovative startups will appear and further disrupt the HR landscape. We are curious to see their developments.

For more insights, please visit hr-jump.com

Author: Thomas Dorynek – Manager, People Advisory Services, EY

Thomas is a seasoned consultant with extensive experience in HR Digital Transformation projects. Views are his ownFollow @tdorynek

Will the Recruiter role survive in the era of AI?

We all know it. Artificial Intelligence (AI) will change all our lives whether it is your personal life or at a professional level. In a recent article, the World Economic Forum quotes the co-founder of Coursera who says “AI is the new electricity”. Electricity has completely shaped our lives over the last 100 years. Day-to-day activities such as crossing the street with the help of traffic lights, or using your smartphone simply wouldn’t be possible without it. Think back how technology has changed our lives in just the last 10 years. Apple recently celebrated the iPhone’s 10-year anniversary. 10 years ago, nobody could imagine that an autonomous car would replace a taxi driver. In 2016 Singapore debuted the first autonomous taxi and since then it has grown to 20 self-driving taxis. Making an autonomous car after all seems more complex than recruiting a suitable candidate. Do you agree?

In the era of the war on talent, where companies are having a challenging time finding the right candidate, the recruiter becomes more important every day. The profile of the recruiter has already changed a lot over the last decade. In the past, recruiters were used to having many candidate applications and being in the comfortable situation to select the right one. Nowadays recruiters are more often sales people who are hunting for the right candidate and being paid a bonus when the candidate eventually decides to sign the contract.

In the last 10 years, companies invested heavily in Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to streamline the recruiting process, seeking a full pipeline of candidates and creating talent pools with the hope to select the right candidate out of many. ATS systems have helped companies to be more efficient but they will be just one piece of the puzzle in the future as speed becomes an even more important component of the recruiting process. Officevive.com outlines that the best candidates, the top talents are already off the market after the first 10 days, so if you are one of the average companies then it takes you more than 27 days. This means an “average” company does not hire top talent anymore these days. The vital question is what can you do to be faster and more responsive?

The era of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has begun and it is going to change the rules of many markets and businesses. AI will also play a crucial role in the area of recruiting. The good news is AI will help you in being faster, more efficient and more important in identifying and screening candidates in a way you never could before.  Three AI technologies will support you in your day to day job as a recruiter and will let you take better decisions.

Facial Action Coding System (FACS)

Source: HireVue

HireVue is one of the leading video interview solutions on the market. It is used by the likes of Goldman Sachs and Unilever. Video interviews give a more transparent and natural impression of the candidate and let the recruiter get an early idea of the personality of the candidate. On average, a video interview on HireVue takes 15 minutes and a candidate is asked 7 or 8 questions. The questions are designed to identify the behavior of the candidate. Lately Hirevue also integrated AI functionalities into their video recording capabilities. It now also recognizes and analyses the facial expressions of a candidate, identifying habits like passion, sincerity, nervousness and disagreement. Based on 25,000 features, AI then analyses the future potential and performance of the candidate.

Voice Recognition

Another piece of the puzzle is voice recognition. Cognitive scientists in 2012 confirmed that an affirmative language has a positive impact on the performance of the person.  Human beings naturally tend to like positive minded people better. When it comes to interviewing and recruiting the focus is on finding someone who is a good fit but also who will add value to the organization. Next to the FACS capabilities, Hirevue also created an algorithm that analysis the voice of the candidate. The software assesses whether the words the candidate uses are considered “active” such as “I can”, “I will” or if the candidate tends to rather use “negative” words such as “I can’t” “I have to”. Furthermore, it looks at the tonality and assesses the emotions of the candidate.


Hasn’t chatting become one of the most natural things? In fact, 1 billion WhatsApp users send 55 billion messages every day. Scientists are already concerned that we lose the ability to communicate in a verbal way. In the recruiting area nonetheless chatbots can be of help as Anna Ott states in her LinkedIn post. “For the better, tech will let us spend more time on human interactions. When algorithms take over repetitive and inefficient tasks, we can get back to what we signed up for: human relations.“

Many companies simply do not have the adequate resources to establish appropriate communication with potential candidates. Often emails sent by a candidate with pressing questions remain unanswered. And as mentioned before, speed is one of the most important requirements these days when it comes to hiring top talent. Intelligent chatbots learn over time and become better the more interaction they have with a candidate. An intelligent chatbot can be a great tool to get you closer to the top talent out there. The prerequisites of a functioning chatbot is that it is well implemented otherwise it may backfire and it can cause you more pain than benefit. Recruiters need to create a collection of the most asked questions by candidates and create specific answers to them.

The headline of the article asks the question whether the recruiter role will survive in the era of AI. My personal view is “yes”, as long as HR departments adapt to the new tech that is coming. The role of a recruiter will further change as it always has over the last 10 years. Artificial intelligence lets the recruiter once again focus on the human interactions with a candidate and it takes away many boring and time consuming administrative tasks. It will let you make better and more accurate decisions to eventually find the best fitting candidate for your organization.

For more insights, please visit hr-jump.com

Author: Mats Nemelka – HCM Solution Consultant, Oracle

Mats advises companies in the HR space on how to handle HR transformations best with the help of a cloud software solution. Views are his own. Follow @matsnemelka

Artificial Intelligence trends become today’s HR realities

Gartner Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies, 2017

The emergence of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies in the past years has profoundly impacted a tremendous number of companies and sectors. Take the example of supply chain functions – these have been completely reshaped and fully robotized warehouses are now the new standard. In parallel, other support or corporate functions have also caught this technological wave, but not with the same speed and pace. Human Resources today are the perfect illustration: the shift towards Digital HR has started for pioneer organizations, but the majority of companies are still in the reflection and conceptualization stages. On one hand, there is an overwhelming feeling related to the immensity of ‘the possible’ in terms of HR technology offerings, and on the other hand, there is a need to answer growing expectations from an evolving workforce.

Today, HR C-levels are facing a common main equation: Ensuring that HR roadmaps will become even more relevant in the C-suite and help streamlining organizations while improving the employee’s experience.

But how are AI technologies concretely impacting the HR community?

Beyond the reflection and conceptualization stages mentioned earlier, AI is clearly acknowledged as a critical component of the future HR service delivery model. Most of discussions today are about how to incorporate chatbots, robots or other cognitive solutions within Human Resources departments.

Just to name a few examples:

  • Robotic process automation (RPA) is a new norm today. Any process optimization exercise almost always considers robotic automation as a solution. In this context, almost all HR processes are subject to automation. The main recurring ones that we observe are related to recruitment, core HR administration, compensation, payroll and performance, but all HR processes that require significant manual input are candidates for automation.
  • Chatbots are also getting a lot of traction. For example, in the HR space, chatbots are replacing traditional FAQs. Cognitive chatbots can also be trained by humans in order to improve their correct answer rate. This is a real game changer and robust accelerator to change the employee experience.
  • Robots are less and less considered as exhibition gadgets and can now be found in some HR front office departments.
  • Voice assistants on mobile for any employee, anytime, anywhere are becoming more common – say hello to the new HR ‘Siri’. A vacation request for example can then be part of a quick phone conversation, instead of several less efficient transactions involving HR systems and emails.

What we are observing, is that AI technologies are becoming fully embedded within the HR community. The initial doubts and fears have been overcome by most HR professionals and AI is recognized as a real added value to the employee. The HR operating model shift is ongoing and we are only at the early stages as the technological change is evolving at an exponential speed. Tomorrow new Artificial Intelligence offerings will emerge and will continue to reshape HR departments.

For more insights, please visit hr-jump.com

Author: Thomas Dorynek – Manager, People Advisory Services, EY

Thomas is a seasoned consultant with extensive experience in HR Digital Transformation projects. Views are his ownFollow @tdorynek

Web Summit 2017: Painting the Digital Future of Work?

This year’s largest tech conference took place from 6.11-9.11 in sunny Lisbon, Portugal and attracted different industry experts, a thriving start-up scene and over 60,000+ curious attendees from over 170+ countries.
Web Summit Opening

Web Summit is a place to discuss disrupting topics, network, listen to a bunch of interesting talks, meet a huge start-up community and to get a first glimpse of new upcoming trends.
There have been over 1,200+ speakers and numerous speeches, here is what you missed:

Artificial Intelligence (AI) & Machine Learning

Web Summit Artificial Intelligence

On the opening night of the Web Summit 2017, Stephen Hawking discussed AI and its advantages but also the danger that comes with it. He mentioned that we should be very open minded towards it but also take into consideration that AI can evolve in a way that it eventually will outperform humans and create a new form of life.

2017 has been the year of AI and it is no longer in the stage of experimentation. Now is the time to build an AI that can outlast the competition and bring the highest degree of customer value.  Companies which understand what to look for in data for their specific target markets and have experts who support the learning algorithm can provide the strongest AI solutions.

Besides that, one highlight on stage was Sophia, the first robot which has been authorized by the Saudi Arabian government to receive citizenship, the latest intelligent robot version, developed by Hanson Robotics, a Hong-Kong based company which specializes in humanoid robotics.

Sophia can interact with people, show her feelings in facial as well as bodily expressions. She is continuously learning through every interaction and looks incredibly real.

Artificially Intelligent robots are already a part of the workforce in some industries – it is very fascinating to see what is already possible!

This event covered numerous fields from AutoTech, HealthTech, FinTech, SportsTrade and many more. The speakers discussed topics like CryptoCurrency, Flying cars, FinTech 3.0, Future of Work, Smart cities and many more.

Web Summit 2017 once again attracted a huge start-up community including HR & Recruitment start-ups.

One early-stage Alpha start-up, like numerous others, gave me a pitch, under the title “Recruiting reloaded. Fully automated AI-generated and perfectly AI-targeted job ads in Social Media.” They focus on using AI in HR & Recruitment to find the right candidates, to define job posting´s “perfect fit”, automating several steps in the recruitment process & reducing human bias.

Web Summit Recruiting Chat Bots

Recruiting Chatbots.

On top of this, their solution already has an integration with Recruiting Chatbots & Live Chats to make the recruitment process more efficient and take over the tedious tasks of the recruiter as well as establishing a new candidate experience. These intelligent chatbots can parse resumes, remind candidates to finish their application or schedule an interview.

Recruitment on the Blockchain.

Validation of facts and transactions. Trust. Secure Digital Identity.

Can the blockchain technology change & optimize the way of how recruitment is done?

Web Summit 2017 attracted start-ups that are focusing on changing the way of how recruitment is done by using blockchain technology.

Blockchain technology basically provides decentralized secure storage which enables validation of the transactions made. This would allow a creation of an authentication database and reduce the time-consuming and expensive recruitment process and make the interaction between employees and recruiter more efficient.

Job candidates now change their universities and later, their jobs more often than they did some years ago. For recruiters, it is harder to track and validate documents and certificates and often a third party provider is paid for doing background checks.

So potential candidates can save their private information like addresses, employers, degrees, social security number etc. on the blockchain and establish their own secure Digital Identity.

Blockchain technology could be a way to facilitate global background checks, solve certification issues and to increase transparency in the recruitment process.

Web Summit Blockchain

Enhanced feedback culture. Company´s culture. Engaged employees.

Web Summit Enhanced Feedback
Web Summit Enhanced Feedback 2

Furthermore this year’s Web Summit hosted several start-ups focusing on evolving the way how Performance Management is done, to enhance a work-life balance and to identify patterns that lead to risk.

Employees nowadays need to stay connected with the company, being offered an excellent employee experience receiving continuous and constructive feedback from their managers. Managers need to act as their coaches to ensure optimal employee growth.

One company from San Francisco gave me a pitch under the slogan “Listen. Motivate. Empower.”

Employees receive 1-2 questions daily to answer anonymously via a mobile app which reduces the use of time-consuming surveys. The questions are based on Emotional and Artificial Intelligence to ask the right question to the employee based on the previous answers and results. The data collected daily from employees via the mobile app will be analyzed and transformed into Real-time insights to manage your employees more proactively and to identify different pillars etc. risk of losing an employee, overstressed etc.

By using these insights, the manager should be able to give constructive and fitting feedback to the employee and identify pillars of risk. This is establishing an enhanced dialogue between the employee and manager based on the insights and drive change management in a company.

The goal is to create an environment which enhances intrinsic motivation and on the other hand boosts performance & productivity.

Video Pitch recruiting

A dynamic team from Switzerland is focusing on getting to know the candidate before the application process even started to invite the right candidate. Recruiters are receiving personal pitches and based on this follow up on the application process. Other teams are using video pitches as well with an already integrated facial expression recognition software so recruiters can easier decide if the candidate is fitting.

Digital Workplaces- 3D office in Virtual Reality

Workplace Gamification. Employee engagement. Remote Workforce.

In this digital era companies need to adapt the way their employees work and collaborate together. This event also attracted the transformation of the traditional office into a digital workplace to enhance remote collaboration via Virtual Reality. This way of collaborating is enhancing the employees’ engagement, unifying communication and collaboration as well as embracing the remote workforce.

My colleague trying the 3D-Office VR glasses of an Italian start-up for collaboration of a global remote team.

Web Summit Virtual Reality

VR can open the doors for workplace gamification. This can be a way to enhance the employee as well as customer experience and to retain top talent.

Each organization needs to analyze and understand in which processes VR and 3D Offices can add value and provide a benefit to the collaboration of employees.

Web Summit Beyond 2020

Next to the start-up scene, there were some talks about the Future of Work like the one “Beyond 2020” held by Simon Cross, Head of Product, Workplace by Facebook which launched at the end of 2016. The talk was positioned around future collaborations in companies and the change of Teamwork via custom Chatbots, and Group Video Chats.

According to Cross beyond 2020 the new collaboration should be:

  • Open by Default & Integrated
  • Mobile first & Connect everyone
  • Multi-modal
  • Personalized & Prioritized
Web Summit  Beyond 2020 2

All in all this year´s Web Summit was a unique experience and can only be recommended to everyone to get more insights & opinions on upcoming topics.

New software and robots will automate a large part of the way employees are managed but it will also allow HR to focus more on processes that cannot be automated.

This event spread the message to the world that HR is changing & will adapt to the digital era and gave a flavor about how the Digital Future of Work could look like!

“Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.” – Stephen Hawking

For more insights, please visit hr-jump.com

Author: Rebecca Huebner – HCM Cloud Solution Consultant

Should we rage against the machine?

For many years now, there has been an air of apprehension about the impact which machines would have on humanity. A couple of hundred years ago, the Luddites went to the extreme of destroying weaving machinery in textile factories through fear of losing their jobs and being replaced by machines. Fast forward to the present day and there continue to be concerns about human jobs being replaced by a machine of some sort. Should we be worried about machines taking over? Or should we embrace the change and the advantages which machines and technology can bring to our lives? And how does it stand in the context of Human Capital Management?

One of my earliest encounters of artificial intelligence came about when watching The Terminator. James Cameron’s masterpiece depicts how Skynet, a manmade computer system which was intended to remove human error from military operations, ultimately gained self-awareness and when humans tried to pull the plug, it sought to destroy the human race in retaliation. Part of this involved sending Arnold Schwarzenegger’s monosyllabic cybernetic organism back in time to kill John Connor, a human mandated with saving humanity. For a lot of people, this was a very scary insight into what machines, particularly clever machines, could be capable of one day. Then came the Matrix, another brilliant film (not including the third, that was terrible). Again, there is a battle of good vs evil, man vs machine, Neo vs Agent Smith, where machine is once more the bad guy. I could name countless other films which follow a similar pattern, could this negative connotation of machines be routed in our minds so that we have grown to instinctively fear them? Especially machines which can think for themselves and adapt over time.


Sadly, now is not the time to reminisce about fantastic films. What good has come from machines adding value to our lives? A few instances spring to mind, one of them being the cash machine (ATM for our non-British friends). Way back in the day when the cash machine was first introduced, cashiers became increasingly worried that their jobs were at risk, when in fact it allowed them to concentrate on the more value added activities for their clients as opposed to the more mundane cash handling. For the client the ATM was a godsend, giving them access to their money 24/7 rather than 9-5. Continuing the banking theme, AI and machine learning is being used to enhance the customer experience by providing intelligent, automated services via machine learning Chatbots, such as Facebook Messenger. This is becoming a very popular platform for many organisations to service their customers and perform tasks like changing a seat on an airplane, sell products and send alerts, just to name a few. Earlier today a friend of mine showed me how he could chat with his bank using this platform to find out how much he had spent last month, much to his despair!

On a more personal level, some of my favourite uses of intelligent machines in day-to-day living are probably not going to come as a surprise to you. The likes of Amazon, Netflix and Spotify are able to give me a brilliant, tailored experience based on things I’ve bought, watched or listened to. On top of this, I was on holiday for 2 weeks (cruising around the Med, highly recommend it!) where of course I took countless photos. A couple of days after returning home to blighty, my Google Pixel phone automatically grouped my photos into an album named Trip to Greece and Albania, as well as segmenting the different photos into the locations where they were taken, clever and very useful! I’ve recently (as of 2 days ago) wanted to get in on the cryptocurrency hype and make millions by buying Ethereum, to do this I needed a way to buy said currency, so I downloaded an app. I had no idea what to do and I was looking for the Help icon, however to my surprise I found a Chat button, where I was able to communicate with a chatbot to get plenty of information to help me get to grips with the app and with buying/selling cryptocurrency. Needless to say I am not yet a millionaire from it.

One final personal comment on this topic comes from visiting a fast food establishment last month to get myself some breakfast. I noticed that there were a number of big pieces of kit attached to the wall where I could select the items and pay for them, I thought this was pretty cool. I also noticed that where there were once 6 tills to deal with customers, this had been reduced to 2 to make space for a bigger food delivery area. I found this slightly disconcerting and it made me wonder, what happened to the people who were manning those 4 tills? Had they been let go or had they been moved to other roles within the restaurant? I hope the latter.

I’ve talked about machines and AI which came out of Hollywood, how these technologies can have an impact on consumers as well as my own experiences. How will this all impact HR in the workplace? By implementing new software, the HR function has been able to reap great benefits over the last couple of decades. Whether has been by way of system consolidation, process automation or moving to the cloud, savings and efficiencies have been realised by many organisations. I’ve spoken to and read about plenty of organisations that are looking to take advantage of AI, here are a few examples of where it could benefit them.

Automation of candidate screening: AI can learn about different qualifications, employment history and other relevant factors, then compare them with top performers that currently work for the organisation, resulting in better quality of hires and a quicker hiring process.

Chatbots: By giving employees access to chatbot capabilities, organisations can provide employees with a consumer like experience when querying things like holiday balance, payroll queries and procurement assistance.

Predictive Analytics: Machine learning capabilities will provide organisations with insight into top performers, likelihood of attrition and predicted performance.

Modern learning: based on an employee’s preferences, job profile and activity, machine learning will be able to target employees with relevant, specific learning that will aid their development.

As an employee within the tech industry, I’ve seen many great applications of AI via the deployment of many different systems, platforms and tools. I’m a big optimist, so I believe that the use of such tools will be able to cut down on the mundane tasks which employees are mandated with and give them the opportunity to focus on more interesting, strategic work, rather than completely replacing workers. Where this may happen, tech visionary Bill Gates has called for the robots to be taxed to make up for lost tax revenues, but also to use to fund a training and development pot to help move the displaced employees into new roles.

So should we rage against the machine? No, at least not for now.

For more insights, please visit hr-jump.com

Joe Honess, Analytics Solution Consultant @Visier