Wednesday, 9 November 2016

#cipdace16 blog 3 - sessions B2 and C4

Lunch came and went in a blur and I've not managed to get round the Exhibition yet except to one or two stands. I had fun doing the quiz and some filming on the DPG stand, and looked enviously at some cupcakes on other stands that I will seek out later if I get chance. 

I'm now in session B2 with HR superstar Neil Morrison and one of my fellow Blogsquad Members from last year, Claire Thomas. They talked about how they had reimagined the recruitment experience at Penguin Random House. 

I liked the ideas expressed here. Neil's take on it was to imagine the experience as akin to a customer experience in a retail transaction, and just as companies seek to retain customers through engaging with them through the purchasing process, so companies should seek to retain talent by engaging with them through the recruitment process. 

They asked us What if...we could each reimagine our own recruitment processes. Discussion on my table started off by someone suggesting scrapping the face to face interview and replacing it with realistic job simulations. There seemed to be consensus that there is something wrong with the interview process. So why do so many organisations hold dearly to it?

Another discussion centred around whether knowledge based or behaviourally based interview questions work best. Most organisations seemed to be having a mix of these despite an acknowledgement that there is little insight gained from knowledge based questions. 

My recent experience has seen some appointed candidates withdraw post offer but pre start, often when they are in for a day finding out a bit more about the job in readiness for their imminent start. I am wondering what happens at that point that we couldn't show them during the selection phase? Withdrawing from a process is fine if you don't think a job is for you, but doing so post offer is frustrating for any employer. 

Ultimately many organisations simply don't look at the recruitment process from the perspective of the candidate, and they should. The candidate is "buying" the organisation as much as the organisation is "buying" the candidate, so both sides need that opportunity to fully disclose what each will bring to the dance. Lots of organisations on my table discussions seemed to agree with this but were struggling with how to do it and how to resource it adequately. 

I loved the concept of a soft microphone thrown around the room to facilitate open discussion here. 

After a manic break and sugar intake I'm in session C4 debating the future of work via a panel debate. I haven't managed to get round even 20% of the Exhibition and my swag haul is almost non existent, something I have to work on tomorrow. 

Richard McKinnon started us off with an insight into how, even if the world and its technology changes around us, the psychology of human beings doesn't and we need to continue to be sceptical, continue to be awkward and continue to ask lots of questions. I'm fairly certain my three children have this down to a fine art. 

The second speaker, Valerie Todd, said we need to use technology to break down barriers to inclusion and engagement in workplaces, not sue technology to erect or reinforce barriers. 

The third speaker, Neil Carberry, drew on historical examples for us to learn from but set us challenges on how to deal with increased automation. We've been through this before, historically. He suggested we need to get close to the leaders of our businesses so that we can influence the change. We need to reclaim technology and ensure it enables people not shuts them down. And we need to constantly work on trust in the workplace, something reinforced by recent referendum and election results. 

The fourth speaker, Laura Harrison, talked about the need to ensure the capabilities of HR professionals are up to speed with what's facing us. It's not so much about working with people's skills and knowledge, but instead working with people's hearts and minds. We need people to bring their whole self into work and engage with what we are doing. She advocated HR going back to its roots in terms of finding a place for people in organisations whilst the world changes. Think about the ways in which we can create environments and cultures of innovation and collaboration. 

Jo Swinson then chaired a discussion about the key themes explored here. The panel discussed how HR needs to adapt in the future, and the speakers talked about helping people to interact with and use technology. A lot of focus was about how HR can deal with increased automation and use of drones, and that's something I may blog separately on in the future because I wonder whether we worry because it's new for us, and our children aren't worried at all. 

It's the end of a long conference day for me and blogging can be draining. I am now in need of a Lucozade before heading out to some of the social events this evening. If you see me looking drained tonight, come and say hello and I promise I'll liven up. 

More blogs and social media output to follow from me tomorrow. 

Till next time...

Gary