14 consulting firms contribute to HR Tech World Paris

26 October 2015 Consultancy.uk

On 27 and 28 October 2015, the ‘HR Tech World’ will take place in Paris, France. The event is the largest technology-driven HR event of its kind and is expected to host executives and HR-professionals from over 80 countries. 14 consulting firms will contribute to the event, either as a sponsor or by providing key speakers and demonstrations.

New technological developments such as HR systems, collaborative tools, social media and data analytics are rapidly impacting the way Human Resource (HR) functions operate. For HR-professionals, understanding the role of IT, including its potential and impact on a company’s target operating model, is key for ensuring the HR function is run in the most efficient and service-oriented manner possible. To help HR professionals stay up-to-date, HR-network HRN organises its ‘HR Tech’ conferences, in both Europe and World editions.

HR Tech World Congress 2015

HR Tech World
This year’s ‘HR Tech World’ event will take place at the Palais des Congrès in Paris on 27 and 28 October. During the two-day experience, attendees from 80 countries 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 at 16 different events.  

Consulting firms
For consulting firms, the congress provides an ideal platform to showcase their thought leadership, expertise and solutions to (potential) clients and learn best practices from other experts in the field.  Nine firms have committed themselves as sponsor of the event:

Consultancy sponsors HR Tech World

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

Arvind Mathur, Managing Director – Accenture
Vinzenz Kremer, Managing Director & Global Lead for HCMS – Accenture
Allen Smith, Chief Information Officer – Baker Tilly Virchow Krause
Yves Morieux, Senior Partner and Fellow – The Boston Consulting Group
Josh Bersin, Principal & Founder – Bersin by Deloitte
Katherine Jones, Vice-President Human Capital Management Technology Research – Bersin by Deloitte

Arvind Mathur - Vinzenz Kramer - Allen Smith - Yves Morieux - Josh Bersin - Katherine Jones

Antony Shields, Global Director HR Systems – EY
Penny Stoker, Global Leader HR Services – EY
Dave Millner, Executive Consulting Partner – IBM
Paget Miles, Workforce Science & Analytics Leader – IBM
Nick van Dam, Partner, Global Chief Learning Officer and Client Advisor – McKinsey & Company

Antony Shields - Penny Stoker - Dave Millner - Paget Miles - Nick van Dam

Andy Headworth, Managing Director – Sirona Consulting
Alyssa Roe, Solution Consultant HR Technology – Towers Watson
Keith Jackson, Solution Consultant HR Technology – Towers Watson
K.R. Sanjiv, Senior Vice-President and Chief Technology Officer – Wipro
Saurabh Govil, Senior Vice-President and Global Head of Human Resources – Wipro

Andy Headworth, Alyssa Roe, Keith Jackson, KR Sanjiv, Saurabh Govil


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.