HR Tech in October has become the moment in my year when I know summer is really over and I should probably start my Christmas shopping - but never do.

Last year HR Tech was held in Chicago, but this year we are back in Vegas at the Venetian and I can’t wait. I’m looking forward to the buzz, the sessions and for the opportunity to speak with people across the industry about new trends, as well as to uncover the truths from the myths behind the latest tech hype.

After HR Tech last year, I shared some insights in my blog ‘Observations from HR Tech and beyond.  As I head off to HR Tech this year, here are some key areas I want to explore with attendees, vendors and to hear more about in the sessions.

How is the HR Operating Model maturing?

Lots of research, including our own shows the link between the maturity of an HR operating model and the maturity of the business itself. I want to talk to people to anecdotally understand how much this is true and more interestingly, what isn’t working?

The art of disengagement

I wrote last year on the art of disengagement. This is a real passion of mine. Too often, I believe companies focus on trying to engage their employees, without trying to actively figure out how to prevent disengaging them. This is tough to do. To prevent disengagement, you have to work incredibly hard to properly automate processes and take a truly design-led thinking approach to all user journeys. I’ll look to see how much of a lone voice I am on this. Are people really getting under the bonnet and redeveloping the engine, or simply spray-painting the exterior?

I’ll be interested to see how this is addressed in the following sessions:

Is anyone really using analytics properly?

There has been so much hype around AI and analytics. But at the moment, I believe it’s really in its infancy. It has been 3 years since we launched our own analytics proposition and I’m incredibly lucky to work with most of the top technology and financial services companies, alongside most major brands worldwide, so I get to see what they are doing versus what the market is talking about, and we have learnt a huge amount and come on a long way since then. 

However, I was disappointed at HR Tech last year to see how behind we really are as an industry in this area. Nothing really impressed me or gave me that ‘Wow!’ moment. I’m really hoping for the ‘Wow!’ factor this year. And that’s not a cliché – its real – and it’s that factor that can make a huge difference to your clients.

Some of the sessions that I hope to make it to, to learn more about our progress as an industry are:

Between the chats, the sessions and the socialising at the event I plan to post my thoughts and reactions, so watch this space. And if you’re going to be in Vegas – stop by booth #1532 to see us at Thomsons, it would be great to see you and hear your views on the event and industry!