BenefitsEmployee Engagement

HRO’s Main Event Takes Center Stage in the Big Apple

As part of NY HR Week, HRO World is once again the focus of the outsourcing market. To be sure, the April 16-17 event will be the site where millions of dollars in deals are consummated. Expect strong attendance from buyers and providers alike.

by HROT Staff

If the HRO industry had a capital, New York City would be it. Not to detract from Brussels, which hosts the annual HRO World Europe Conference, but the Big Apple holds special sway for HRO practitioners, providers, advisors, and others.

    That’s because New York City is the home of the Sixth Annual HRO World Conference, unquestionably the industry’s biggest event each year. Not only did more than 1,400 senior HR leaders attend last year’s event to hear, speak, and share stories about outsourcing, but the New York Hilton, the site of the conference, also hosted the annual HRO Association Awards Dinner, which recognizes the most noteworthy leaders of the HRO market. Always attracting a sellout crowd, the awards dinner has been the climactic event for the two-day conference and expo.

    HRO World is held as part of New York HR Week, a three-day-long  event that features four different tracks: HR in Healthcare; HRO World; HR & EEO in the Federal Workplace; and HR Management Solutions. All conferences will be held April 15-17, with HRO World scheduled for April 16 and 17 only.

    While this year’s HRO World features many of the same information-packed sessions along with the annual awards dinner, conference organizers are seizing on one big global trend captivating HR leaders everywhere: HR transformation. A buzzword during the past two years, transformation is broadly being recognized as the eventual goal of outsourcing, and HRO World this year is jumping on the attention transformation is receiving from the HR community.

    “For the 2008 event, we’ve built an educational program that focuses on what senior HR leaders say are the keys to transforming the function so that it becomes more strategic: total talent management and improved organizational effectiveness,” said Tim McDonough, director-HR conference programs. “New to the expo hall in 2008 are the enterprise HRO and RPO thought leader pavilions. These provide wonderful, no-cost, 30-minute opportunities for up to four HRO buyers or prospective buyers to discuss issues of HR transformation and HR outsourcing with industry thought leaders. As an added bonus, attendees who register for the thought pavilions will receive a free copy of the winter, 2007 EquaTerra and Human Resource Executive magazine study on HR transformation.”

More Case Studies on the Agenda

McDonough explained that HR leaders continue to want to hear from peers about their HRO transformational efforts, and they continue to come to New York City each year for a dose of first-hand accounts. HRO World will provide sessions featuring a number of ground-breaking engagements, including Ceridian’s highly successful  deal with spin-off NXP Semiconductors (see this issue’s cover story on p. 42); consumer electronics retailer Best Buy’s long-time deal with Accenture; and the global contract signed by Whirlpool with Convergys.

    “Enterprise HRO initiatives are clearly transformational in and of themselves, and we have three compelling case studies on the 2008 conference program,” McDonough added.

    With each case study, buyer and provider representatives will tell conference attendees the reasons why each organization sought out an external solution, the challenges of implementing it, how they were able to successfully overcome unforeseen problems, and the end results. With a Q&A session to follow, the discussions offer anyone interested in an HRO solution an opportunity to learn and ask question of peers who have survived such an experience. Because these deals were also transformational in nature, they will also reveal the benefits of HRO as a tool for fundamentally changing HR operations.

New Focus on talent and recruitment
Latching onto one of the fastest segments of the HRO market, this year’s HRO World will sharply focus on Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO), which has employers everywhere considering an external solution when it comes to meeting their talent needs. Although the job market has finally cooled, RPO still offers HR organizations a viable alternative to in-house recruitment or the use of costly third-party agencies even when those talent needs have ebbed. McDonough noted that the competition for top talent never goes away.

    “We’re offering four RPO-themed sessions in 2008 because the ‘war for talent’ is still raging. Perhaps the jobs in today’s economy where talent is in the shortest supply are nurses and IT professionals. And we have case studies from Shands Medical/Adecco and Boston Scientific/Veritude that will show how their RPO initiatives filled these critical vacancies,” he added.

    In addition to examining these relationships, the conference will also feature RPO practiced in the long term and engaged on a worldwide basis. Officials with Kelly HRFirst and its client GE Money will reveal the success factors to their six-year relationship, while RPOworldwide and TalentBridge representatives take a look at global RPO and how companies can address their overseas recruitment needs.

    Aside from recruitment outsourcing secrets and transformational HRO, this year’s conference features a bountiful lineup of speakers, including a keynote presented by noted author Dan Pink, who will explain the role of the knowledge worker in today’s work environment.  Other notable speakers include sourcing advisor EquaTerra’s Mark Hodges, who will examine global HRO deals and the risks and returns they offer to practitioners. Deborah Card of TPI and a panel of other speakers will address emerging outsourcing standards. Naomi Bloom, managing partner of consulting firm Bloom & Wallace, will discuss vetting outsourcing providers. Max Brown of O.C. Tanner will also explore employee recognition programs.

    All HRO World Conference events will be held at the New York Hilton located in Midtown Manhattan. A full agenda and registration information is available at

Tags: Benefits, Engaged Workforce, HRO Today Global

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