What matters to CHROs: Five insights from HRO Today Forum

Cityscape/Sky line

What a week it was at the immensely thought-provoking HRO Today Forum in Chicago last week (2-4 May). We saw, heard and debated much, surrounded by bright HR minds and seasoned pros. Now we’re fired up and ready to make use of what we learned as we continue evolving our own product.

Here are our top five key insights from our time in the mid-West: 

1. Mid-size organizations are at vastly different stages of HR evolution

They still need basic capability as well as advanced features. We learned this from finalists in the CHRO awards, welcomed by our CEO Adam Hale, with Laurie Dalton of gategroup North America sharing how HRIS finally got her out of spreadsheet hell and freed the HR team to directly support the company’s mission: “discover the difference you can make”.

2. Data and tech matter now, not as a future ambition

Kimberly Hauer, CHRO of Caterpillar, led a discussion that revealed how IT and data solutions are key to tackling classic HR challenges including diversity, business decision-making, employee engagement and attracting the best talent.

3. Millennials are big business in HR

It might be an over-used term, but attracting and retaining millennials is a real pre-occupation for many mid-size organisations. CHRO discussions dwelled on creating the right employee experience.

4. People just want to belong

So said Michelle Crosby of FHRI. Wise words, supported by great practical insights about designing initiatives that drive retention and support a healthy culture. They include wellness programmes, “Take your parents to work” days (an example from LinkedIn) and other fresh and interesting elements, prompted by looking closely at employee data to find what people really want and what works.

5. It’s an industry bursting with iTalent

Adam was up on stage again pitching Sage People as a shortlisted finalist in the iTalent awards. The live demo impressed the audience, especially when Adam approved his EA’s holiday request there and then! We were beaten into 2nd place by Daily Muse – our hearty congratulations to them for winning. Although we were told it was a close-run thing, we’re excited that in the HR technology sector we have such an innovative, effective and challenging peer group. We love being one of the pioneers.

You’d think after all of this plus chairing his ‘Investment in Innovation’ session, Adam might have been ready to put his feet up for a few hours. But no chance of that – it was a dash to the airport to get back to the UK for our big announcement about our extended partnership with integrated accounting market leader Sage.

All in all – a very busy and exciting week for Sage People!

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