Taking Your Measure

Each year, SharedXpertise hosts the global series we call the HRO Today Forum. In the year leading up to the forum, we vigorously debate what we should use as a theme. We have had topics at our past conferences ranging from “Empowering HR” to “Running HR As A Global Business.” We strive for important and thought-provoking content each year and have fashioned the content around the theme.
I launch a personal crusade at times about the importance and under-appreciation of the HR function by many other departments. I recognize that, if HR professionals were good at self-promotion, they would be in public relations or marketing. But HR does have a profound influence, and this year we at HRO Today have been talking about measuring impact. What does HR do that a CEO would reference in an earnings call? Or, to put it another way, how can HR tie its impact in the business to a metric that a CEO would cite on an earnings call? I have written about this before, and I speak about it often. The fundamental impact of HR is, simply put, the quality and productivity of the workforce. And that is the focal theme of this year’s HRO Today North America Forum.
This is not going to be a “stand and give yourself a round of applause” conference. This is going to entail a hardnosed look at the partnerships, technology, metrics, and tools that you need to maximize the quality of your workforce and have a profound impact in the business overall. This issue has many aspects, but the bedrock, fundamental truth is that the quality of the workforce, both permanent and contingent, drives the outcome of the business. All CEOs and other C-Suite execs know this, but it is the measurement and the systems of measurement that confound the argument.
So, what will be different this year? A lot more data and research will be presented. Some of the data will be a measurement of perceptions. Others will be topics such as how to achieve measurement-based HR programs around recruitment. We will be hosting a series of “Baker’s Dozen Panels” through which executives from our respected HRO Today Baker’s Dozen Customer Satisfaction Surveys will offer insight into what they believe is the core of high quality service to the HR infrastructure in their respective sectors.
We will, also, have a lot more short format presentations that will cover innovation and data-driven subjects in 10-minute addresses. We will have more audience interactive panels. We will be covering technology with our annual and very popular iTalent Competition, which will showcase the newest HR technology with the audience helping a panel of noteworthy judges appraise the latest and maybe soon to be the greatest products.

Technology is the great enabler of all HR and HRO, so we will, once again, have our Innovation Stations at which you can interact with the latest technology, one-on-one. And, finally, we will once again be doing debates on such topics as how to make HR more “relevant” (metrics and organizational issues—for example, is the popular Ulrich model likely to work for future business?) We also will have a program on using gamification in HR, with the Wharton School’s Kevin Werbach, author of For the Win. And, of course, we will be doing this all with a host of great speakers from both provider and practitioner backgrounds. There will also be great networking opportunities as well for you to meet new friends and interact with existing members of your network.
We hope to see you there, as it will be another great opportunity to learn, research, and network. Join us in Philadelphia at the Ritz Carlton Hotel for the opening reception the night of April 30 and the event on May 1 and 2. You can find more information and register at
Elliot Clark is the CEO of SharedXpertise.

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