What Does the Future of HR Look Like?

Attend the HRO Today Forum in May and find out.

By Taylor Thompson

In the last few years, the HRO Today Forum events have covered a wide array of themes, including “The Talent Cloud” and “Driving Corporate Strategy,” to capture how HR has evolved. And while these advancements and responsibilities bring an abundance of new opportunities for HR, they also present challenges. This ultimately leaves HR executives and their teams to decide where to focus their energy and whether it will result in a positive outcome for their organization. So for 2019, “The Great HR Debate” seemed fitting for the HRO Today Forum North America in May.

With an enriched and jam-packed agenda full of informative sessions and panels led by some of the industry’s top executives, the Forum will provide an intimate program designed specifically for senior-level HR leaders. Together with their peers, attendees will be able to compare and contrast HR programs and initiatives, challenge new and old notions, and even take back best practices to their own HR teams.

So what will the future of HR look like? These sessions will provide food for thought:


Gain insights and inspiration from Freddie Mac‘s CHRO and this year’s keynote speaker, Jacqueline Welch. With more than 20 years of experience under her belt, Welch is set to discuss how her drive for diversity and inclusion resulted in the implementation of numerous inclusive engagement programs for her organization’s workforce. By truly understanding that humans are all different, Welch and her team worked to navigate challenges and integrate a plan focused on working through unconscious bias and igniting innovation. Learn from Freddie Mac’s journey and see how similar programs can bring positive change to any organization.


This debate aims to look at the relationship between human resources and corporate responsibility. Lead by Candace Osunsade, senior vice president and chief administrative officer at National Aquarium, and Kevin Silva, executive vice president and CHRO of Voya Financial Inc., attendees are encouraged to share their personal experience with their organization’s approach toward corporate responsibility initiatives, especially when it comes to employee volunteerism, employee engagement programs, and community involvement. Does CR fall under HR’s umbrella? How do CR and HR align? And ultimately, should HR oversee CR? These questions and more will be addressed during this session.


In a one-on-one interview, CHRO Matthew Owenby will share how implementing a number of employee-focused initiatives has increased Aflac‘s employee engagement and satisfaction scores to 87 percent; well above the industry benchmark of 72. From onsite health clinics and programs centered around transparency and communication between managers and their team members, Owenby’s initiatives have not only positively changed employees’ views of their organization, but have cut costs for the company as well. Organizational leaders looking to implement similar programs in their own organization can learn best practices from Aflac’s success story.


With numerous technological advancements beginning to infiltrate the HR industry, including artificial intelligence and automation, HR is beginning to embrace these advancements. But with these changes come questions regarding the implementation of intelligent technology, even contemplating if robots will one day run HR. Are machines smart enough to drive HR functions, and if so, should they be implemented? Luckily for Forum attendees, both sides of this debate will be explored and answers will be revealed.


As executive vice president of HR for T-Mobile US, Liz McAuliffe has led the transformation in the employee experience for the mobile telecommunications company, emphasizing career success, personal growth, and leadership and development. Elliot Clark, CEO of SharedXpertise and HRO Today, will find out from the HR leader how her organization achieved a more than 96 percent employee engagement rate in 2017.

In addition to the number of educational workshops, attendees will also have the opportunity to sit front row at an array of additional events honoring the best and brightest of HR, including the 2019 Baker’s Dozen winners for managed service programs and the esteemed HRO Today Awards Gala. CHROs and talent acquisition executives will be celebrated for making admirable drives toward advancing the industry. In previous years, the awards program honored HR leaders from a number of top organizations including T-Mobile, Cisco, and LinkedIn.

Editor’s note: The HRO Today Forum North America takes place on May 6 to 8, 2019 in National Harbor, Maryland (just outside of Washington, D.C.). Click here to learn more and register.

Tags: HRO Today Forum, Magazine Article, March 2019

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