HRM Expo Cologne - Conference Report

Empowering the “human” In HR and other top takeaways from the first day at HRMExpo

HR managers and experts from across Europe gathered in Cologne, Germany for the first day of the HRM Expo on Tuesday, September 15, 2015. Featuring over 600 exhibitors and a diverse program covering 450 agenda items, the Expo promised to be a launching ground for innovative ideas in HR.
Keynote speaker Rudy de Waele, CEO of shift 2020, led things off, focusing the discussion on the digital transformation of the workspace, AI and the important role of “human” in HR, and larger trends for HR over the next few years. Additional high points included presentations by Anne-Marie O’Donnell, VP Recruitment at Oracle and Dr. Simon Werther, Chairman HR Specialist Group of the German Startups Association and CEO of HRinstruments.

Work 4.0 and the Digitization of the Workplace – Rudy de Waele, Keynote

  • Let’s go back to the “human” in human resources & empower people to do great things.
  • Happiness is the new ROI for your employees: invest in creativity/purpose/mindfulness.
  • Stimulate continuous learning.
  • Change the way you evaluate your people, empower them / HR professionals need to ‘let go’, empower humans.
  • We are entering an area where ‘impossible’ increasingly becomes ‘doable’.
  • Computers now being programmed to teach themselves. AI is a “scary prospect.” Serious thinking required from humans.

Coming Trends for HR

    Rudy De Waele

  • Crowdfunding will be bigger than VC funding in 2016 – Rudy de Waele
  • Millennials want to work for companies with a pure, sustainable purpose. – Rudy de Waele
  • Increasingly common to have several jobs at the same time. –Dr Simon Werther

Essential Focal Points for HR Managers

  • The best startups focus on data, learn quickly, pivot and move on. – Rudy de Waele
  • Global focus is essential for HR professionals. – Ralf Hocke, CEO spring Messe Management, Organizer of HRM Expo
  • Good recruiters are sales people… Set them free. – Anne-Marie O’Donnell
  • If you can measure it, you can manage it. –K. Hammer Genioo
  • Openness is key for startups—including the design of the workplace. –Dr. Simon Werther

What were your highlights from the day?


Alan O'Rourke

Director of Marketing in WorkCompass. Passionate about all things marketing, Alan has lectured at the Dublin Web Summit, Dublin Institute of Technology, European Institute of Management Practice and judged the Institute of Creative Advertising and Design (ICAD) awards among others. Alan is also the author of two successful marketing books. His latest book has been nominated for best small business marketing book award.

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