13 consulting firms at HR Tech event in Las Vegas

19 October 2015 Consultancy.uk

From 18 to 21 October 2015, the HR Technology conference will take place in Las Vegas. The event, which focuses on the HR success enabled by technology, is expected to attract industry experts, thought leaders from HR consultancies, senior HR executives and software vendors. 13 consulting firms will contribute to the event, either as a sponsor, or by providing key speakers or a presence on the Expo.

The HR Technology conference is an event that focuses on the business process and organisational success enabled by technology. The conference will cover both traditional technologies and processes and the latest trends, including SaaS, The Cloud, social, mobile, analytics, video, gamification, Big Data and MOOCs. During the four-day experience attendees will receive an overview of the latest developments in the field of HR Technology, gain insight in new HR solutions and have the opportunity to learn from the experiences of leading HR-experts.

The 2015 edition of the event will be held from 18 to 21 October at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.

Human Resource Executive event

The event is divided into a conference, hosting senior executives from many leading organisations as speakers, and an expo of HR technology products and services, with more than 300 exhibiting companies and over 60 new product announcements.

Consulting firms
For consulting firms, the congress provides an ideal platform to showcase their thought leadership, expertise and solutions to (potential) clients and learn from best practices from other experts in the field. In total 13 firms have committed themselves to the event, of which ten either signed up as a sponsor or to be present on the expo:

Consultancy sponsors at HR Tech event

In addition, eighteen consultants of advisory companies will provide a contribution to the event’s programme, through for instance a keynote presentation, conference sessions or panel discussion. An overview of the speakers from the consulting industry:

Speakers
Dani Johnson, Research Manager, Lead Analyst, VP, Enterprise Learning - Bersin by Deloitte
David Mallon, Head of Research - Bersin by Deloitte
Josh Bersin , Principal - Bersin by Deloitte
Andy Rice, Principal & Lead Strategist - Black Box Consulting
Debbie Collins, Director, MyLearning & University Information Systems - Capgemini
Erica Volini, National Managing Partner, HR Transformation & Technology - Deloitte

Dani Johnson - David Mallon - Josh Bersin - Andy Rice - Debbie Collins - Erica Volini

Clodagh O’Reilly, Science & Analytics Practice Leader EMEA - IBM
Debbie Landers, GM, Kenexa & Smarter Workforce - IBM
Dyke DeBrie, Executive, Smarter Workforce, Talent Acquisition and Learning - IBM
Jennifer O'Brien, Head of Talent Attraction - IBM
Kyu Rhee, MD, VP & Chief Health Officer - IBM
Ray Schreyer,Tools & Technology Manager - IBM

Clodagh OReilly - Debbie Landers - Dyke DeBrie - Jennifer OBrien - Kyu Rhee - Ray Schreyer

Kim Seals, Senior Partner - Mercer
Byron Abramowitz, Director - PwC
Dan Staley, Partner - PwC
Diane Youden, Partner - PwC
Martin Burns, Direct Sourcing & Technology Channel Lead - PwC
Thomas Codd, Vice Chairman, US Human Capital Leader - PwC

Kim Seals - Byron Abramowitz - Dan Staley - Diane Youden - Martin Burns - Thomas Codd

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Why leaders must balance technical expertise with soft skills

17 April 2019 Consultancy.uk

Soft skills matter in the workplace just as much as technical expertise, writes Samantha Caine, Managing Director of Business Linked Teams.

For too long technical expertise has been seen as the marker of a strong candidate for development into a sales or leadership position. Sales and leadership candidates are tasked with demonstrating a diverse and wide-ranging set of technical skills, yet their aptitude in these technical skills or ‘hard skills’ cannot signify great leadership potential. This is why a healthy balance of soft skills and technical ability is required. 

So what exactly is the difference between technical skills and soft skills? In engineering, it’s crucial to demonstrate knowledge of physics as well as a strong grasp on mathematical equations. Yet, in any industry, it’s important for leaders to be able to interact with other people effectively with soft skills like communication, empathy and adaptability. 

Business Linked Team’s 2018 study into internal leadership development revealed that 69% of large organisations are prioritising the identification and development of future leaders from within the workforce. As more and more organisations begin to invest in sales or leadership development within their existing workforces, more focus needs to be placed on ensuring the right soft skills are in place. 

With those soft skills in place throughout the workforce, the business will benefit from a wider pool of potential leaders developing under their noses, and it should be the same where sales candidates are concerned. 

It’s not just about easier access to ideal candidates for these positions without the rigmarole of recruiting from outside of the organisation. The leadership development study also found that 89% of HR decision makers say succession planning has become a top priority. Those currently serving in leadership positions can’t lead forever and the same goes for those generating sales for the business.

Why leaders must balance technical expertise with soft skills

From people leaving for new opportunities or retirement, to people simply stepping aside to focus on other areas of the business, successful leaders and salespeople require experienced and capable successors that will be ready and able to confidently step into their shoes and pick up the mantle without the business experiencing any lapse in performance.

Soft skills make stronger candidates

When it comes to the soft skills required, a strong leader must be able to manage through clear communication and effective time management, coaching and goal setting. They must be able to demonstrate empathy and empower their teams to be successful, productive and fully engaged. And beyond simply giving direction, they must also be able to take direction from those above them and cascade the business strategy down through their teams. 

A strong sales candidate must possess the ability to communicate value to the customer, negotiate well and protect margin or the ability to increase the scope of a particular sales opportunity. 

With the relevant soft skills in place, the business will benefit from increased productivity, greater agility against changing market conditions and greater transparency. In turn, this will provide visibility on issues and inefficiencies while removing opportunity for miscommunication. All of this can transform the culture of a department, improving employee satisfaction and reducing staff turnover. 

Ultimately, developing leadership or sales candidates will require the business to strike the right balance between technical skills and soft skills, and this requires an effective and sustained learning journey.

A balanced learning journey

Facilitating and supporting the development of leadership and sales is best achieved by establishing training groups. By cultivating training groups, businesses are creating talent pools that will inspire and support each other on the learning journey. However, personal goals and learning objectives must be defined for each individual based on their own existing skillsets and the skills that each individual needs to develop. 

With the emergence of e-learning, businesses recognise the value of online-based learning activities, yet many make the mistake of opting for one-size-fits-all solutions which are solely focused on self-study. A development solution will only deliver true return on investment if it combines e-learning activities with group learning activities that provide opportunity for shared experiences and support.

A blended learning solution that combines self-study and face-to-face group learning activities will aid strong development of the talent pool through shared experiences. Through these shared experiences, those undergoing the training will organically develop a support network that supports the development of the group as much as it supports the development of each individual. 

The blended learning approach is supported by one of the seven principles of human learning that socially supported interactions aid the individual development of expertise, metacognitive skills, and formation of the learner’s sense of self. The strongest opportunities for development can be unlocked by blending workshops with online activities such as virtual sessions, peer coaching, self-study, online games and business simulations. But it’s crucial to provide a blend of one-to-one and group sessions too.

Beyond delivering a better learning outcome for the employee, the blended learning approach allows organisations to adapt their training quickly and easily to shifting business demands in an ever-changing landscape.