The Changing Face of HR

Wednesday the 23rd of January saw The Business Transformation Network host our latest thought-provoking event The Changing Face Of HR, in partnership with Sage People.

The sleek and smart setting at the Haymarket Hotel was the perfect compliment to a night of thought leadership and industry defining conversation, led by HR executives from a fantastic variety of industries and backgrounds.

The agenda focused on:

  • The shift from HR to People

  • HR Automation & AI

  • Employee Engagement

  • The People Experience

For many, the idea of HR changing to people is not a new concept. In fact, it could be seen as a carbon copy of the shift from Personnel to HR which happened 10/15 years ago, to change the stigma attached to the word “HR” and what it essentially should be focusing on - the people. As a generation changes, the mindset of the people function must change with it.

Is this rebranding just a way to mask the fact that the basics of HR/People/Personnel just isn’t being carried out in the correct manner? HR is in survival mode and has always been a reactive industry, but now is the time to start shaping its own future by getting the fundamentals of the function right and embracing the adoption of new technology and data, to ensure that the people agenda doesn’t get lost in the process.

The people function is in a prime position to benefit from the digital revolution directly over the next 5-10 years. With HR supporting the impact of technology and systems automation implementation, it can help free up funding within a company which is then better invested into its people. There is no past examples of how mass digital implementation has affected a company, offering the perfect time for HR not to have a future shaped by its past, and to allow them to be proactive and decide how the function will be changed for the better.

AI and digital technology need to be implemented and adopted in the right way for it to be successful and have a running life span in any company going into the future. But are companies really ready to accept this change and embrace its adoption? How do you use this new tech to effectively compete and win the best talent for your organisation? This is the perfect time for HR to evolve the automated function to make the best use of AI, but they’re not necessarily doing it.

How do you measure your employees level of engagement? What really are their motivations for being a part of your organisation, and is there really an organic alignment with the values the company promotes? It’s important that the employee feels empowered to be engaged, usually driven by the culture of the organization. Ensuring that any new systems are properly understood by those who use and benefit from them, can promote total adoption of the process which caters to the differentiating needs of all people within its environment. Using data to effectively assess whether the people really are engaged, or if they just simply like the job they are doing, and the financial benefits it brings, could be integral for the future of HR and HR strategy. How do we keep our people loyal, engaged and how is this measured?


Ultimately, how do they experience the organisation? From the initial interview process, to onboarding, to becoming a crucial part of the organisational culture...

If your own people are unhappy with the experience provided by the organisation, then how will that affect the way in which they promote, sell and deliver the values of the company?! The best people to design the experience are the colleagues themselves, giving the truest representation of the majority of stakeholders.

We must remember to treat all our people like an end customer.