2015 HR Technology Conference Season and World Domination

2015 HR Technology Conference Season and World Domination


Last year’s theme was consumerization. This year it’s world domination. I’ve been spreading the theme it all year. Whether it made a blip on your radar or not is neither here nor in Paris.

Back in April I did the closing keynote at SHRM Tech in Mumbai, India. The topic was “The IT Factor in HR Technology.” The concept was the 5 things to focus on to differentiate in HR Technology. In case you missed IT, corner me at one of the upcoming conferences and I’ll do a quick recap.

Mixed in between were appearances at LEHRN, Silkroad, Work Human (Globoforce), SHRM Annual, Cornerstone, Employee Achievement NY and probably a couple of others I’m forgetting at the moment. All that take-off, touch-down tends to wear on the mind.

Now, the fall conference season has begun, and I’m pumped to be right smack in the middle of it, spreading the Hive Tech HR love and sharing/gaining insights along the way. My message this fall builds upon my visit to Mumbai and pretty much everything I’ve done leading up to these conferences. The message is that HR and HR Tech sits pretty much alone in the business world as a way to accomplish world domination.

Tomorrow, 19 years after the Olympics came to town, I’m lighting my own flame in Atlanta at the IHRIM Conference. My session on “HR Tech and World Domination” will get the audience’s juices flowing on this topic. No doubt they’ve seen global Human Capital Management (HCM) on many levels, so I’ll be looking to them to add their own insights. And, of course, I’m going to have to share mine (that’s kind of the expectation).

The bottom line is that all sorts of stakeholders that handle HR and HR technology find themselves in this global competition. Spin it how you want – they’re co-existing, partners, colleagues – the bottom line is that we’re all trying to make our mark. It just so happens that HR and HR tech is uniquely positioned to make an even larger mark.

Without stealing my own thunder for tomorrow, let me just give you some idea of the constituent groups I’m talking about in this global arena:

  1. All organizations and companies. That’s pretty broad, right? Exactly my point. All of those except for the ones who have gone entirely to Artificial Intelligence must address the concept of HCM. Heck, even those doing AI probably have to track the robots somehow.
  2. The HCM software vendors. That’s right, there’s a battle brewing in case you haven’t noticed. And given that the target market is group 1, that’s a pretty wild battle.
  3. HR Tech Events and Conferences. Several members of group 2 are represented here. They want to get everyone to their event. Heck, I’m missing Dreamforce this week due to IHRIM…and those situations will continue to happen until my clone is created. This group also includes “independent” conference throwers. LEHRM, IHRIM, SHRM, HR Tech Conference, HR Tech Congress, and the list goes on. I know enough about this area to be peligroso.
  4. The certifying and educating bodies. This is a tougher group to monitor, because they’re often operating in parallel. SHRM, HRCI, HR.com, and so on. They all have their own stories, but none of those stories are restricted to within the US borders.

There are other constituent groups, such as services firms like mine, but I think you get the point.

Does world domination have a negative connotation? Hell yeah! However, not all domination has to be negative. It can also be applied – in my lingo anyway – to a global company using the right HCM to gain better efficiency and control of its organization. It can also mean that a message that a particular conference circuit is trying to spread has reached more humans.

In the case of software vendors, it can simply mean entering new markets. Although that can assume the negative connotation if done in certain ways. In Vegas at the HR Tech Conference, where we’ll be hanging out at booth #819, I know of a bunch of companies exhibiting for the first time whose sole purpose is to further their entrance into the US market. Some of them just registered. That’s how dynamic this situation is.

Narrowing the concept down even further, world domination can simply mean that HR has globally applied one of its functions such as recruiting. The barriers, such as language, HR compliance and so on, are always there, but sometimes the rewards behind them make it worth pushing past. That topic, specifically, is what I’ll be presenting on at my HR Tech Europe talk on October 28th in Paris. Of course, the rest of the time, when I’m not sipping red wine I’ll be the rogue agent poking around to find other examples of world domination. Just as I’ll be doing as I light tomorrow’s flame…


Jeremy Ames Hive Tech HR CEOJeremy enjoys finding comparisons between life to work. He is CEO of Hive Tech HR, which helps its clients find and implement HR technology.

Follow Jeremy @TheHCMGuy

Follow Hive Tech HR @hivetechhr

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