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Live: HR Tech Interactive 2016, Singapore



Asia’s most renowned regional HR Excellence Awards is back in October in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia to sieve out HR’s finest gems. Are you a diamond in the rough? View the categories and find out more.

Welcome to the HR Tech Interactive 2016, Singapore, the regional invitation-only HR technology event for HR leaders and senior HRIS specialists! Today’s conference will see speakers from GroupM, Rehau, Kimberly-Clark, and more sharing their insights into some of the biggest challenges through keynote presentations, panel discussions and interactive roundtables.

On this page, you can catch live updates from the conference, brought to you straight from InterContinental Hotel,Singapore – from all the tweets on #HRTI2016 to the top advice dished out by our speakers, and photos through the day.


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We continue on the theme of the impact of technology on your employee value proposition, as we dive right into a panel discussion on how to incorporate technology within talent frameworks such as performance management.

Moderator [extreme right]: Tarun Gulrajani, head of human resources, Asia Pacific , Rehau

Panelists [from L-R]:
· Michael Wulff Pedersen, head human resources APAC, Sandoz
· Anitha Ramakrishnan, director talent management, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise
· Chris Welch, vice president of Talentstream Technologies, CareerBuilder Singapore

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We now have two speakers in the spotlight, with both presenting a case study on the impact of SMAC – i.e. social, mobile, analytics and cloud on the HR leader’s task list. First is Alok Kumar, CEO cloud services, Excelity Global Solutions, a role in which he is responsible for broadening Excelity’s cloud services’ spectrum to the marketplace.

Joining him on stage is Anil Vijayan, practice director, Everest Group, where as an HR and talent services leader in the business process research programme, he assists clients on payroll, benefits, multi-process HR outsourcing and talent management.

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That buzzer marks the start of another interactive session. One of the topics discussed is HR cloud – moderated by HR experts, Alok Kumar, CEO cloud services, Excelity Global Solutions, and David Tan, head of HR technology and HR analytics, Mondelēz International.

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It’s now time for another interactive session. One of the topics discussed is next generation recruitment tools – moderated by HR experts, Chris Welch, vice president of Talentstream Technologies, CareerBuilder Singapore, and Suzie Custerson, head of talent acquisition, Asia, Manulife.

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With more than 10 years of in-depth experience in the technology and human capital sectors across Asia Pacific, the US and EMEA, our next speaker lives in Singapore but works with clients across Asia. She has held a variety of roles at PageUp, including sales, product management, global accounts management, alliances and partners, implementation, and development, and is presently vice president for Asia.

We call her up on stage for a keynote on the four paradoxes of organisational performance, and how HR can move the needle on each one. We invite Sarah Forbes, VP Asia, PageUp.

She takes a stab at the future of the function: “The scorecard of how HR is being measured will drastically change – HR will be measured on markets, finance, people, and other performance criteria. Not on administrative tasks, but looking to the future around developing a proactive pipeline.”

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We welcome you to our very first interactive session. One of five topics discussed is big data talent analytics – moderated by HR experts, Anitha Ramakrishnan, director talent management, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, and Tarun Gulrajani, head of human resources, Asia Pacific, Rehau.

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We now move into a discussion to explore what role the HR function is playing in the age of digitalisation and the roadblocks we’re facing. Moderator (extreme right): Susan Chen, chief HR, organisational development and compliance officer, Viva Generik

Panellists (from L-R):
· Sapna Saxena, head of country HR APAC, Telstra International Group
· Priya Shahané, chief human resources officer, AXA
· Suresh Kalpathy, entrepreneur and software evangelist, ServiceDott
· Teofilus Ponniah, HR director, regional office; and regional head, transformation, DHL Supply Chain.

Shahané makes a point about the adoption rates of HR technology: “Today if we buy a tool or an application, we think our problems are solved. Well they’re not – this is where you have to get started! If we really want acceptance and people to use technology, we have to standardise our processes, and make tech really easy to use. We have to provide an answer to everyone asking – what’s in it for me?”

Kalpathy adds that technology is ubiquitous. “30 years ago, technology was simply for the sake of technology, but today it is impossible for you to remain untouched by it. Today I see HR playing much bigger role – the high tech versus high touch. While organisation is moving towards high tech, the high touch from HR is very important – it is not just about the HR organisation imbibing a payroll or automation system, but also about how HR will change the way recruitment is done, and what kinds of people are necessary for the digital revolution in the organisation.”

Another valid question comes from Saxena: “When we look at an organisation, whether we lock steps with it or not, the digital revolution is happening. When you see customer interacting with virtual reality, if we do the same for employee experience, that’s when HR can add huge value. We need to ask ourselves – how many of our HR team is digital immigrants versus digital natives?”

Chen agrees with her, adding that we cannot expect our employees to engage in the digital conversation if they don’t experience this internally.

For Ponniah, one of the biggest pieces in technology at the moment is automation. “The biggest thing for us is the advent of robotics in the workplace. The implication for us as an employer is about steadily growing robotics but at the same time being responsible to the community and taking steps to ensure that people still have access to jobs. We are mindful that we have a larger responsibility to the industry and the people, who work for us, to make this sustainable.”

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Starting today’s conference is the regional HR director at Kimberly-Clark, Eugene Lam. He has more than 20 years of HR experience, having led HR teams across the US, Latin America, CEEMEA and Asia Pacific), and has previously worked in the Ministry of Defence and Technology. As the regional HR head at Kimberly-Clark, he leads the HR function across ASEAN, and also oversees the APAC HR Shared Service Centre.

Today, he inaugurates the conference with a demonstration on the application of workforce analytics and statistics to your talent and leadership processes. Let’s welcome, Eugene Lam, regional HR director, Kimberly-Clark.

The fundamental starting point for workforce analytics, he says, is the workforce plan. “Nothing is more important than the business strategy for 2017. Once financial and business plans are locked in, the next step is where HR gets in and measures two implications: Do we have the right headcount to drive this growth? Do we have the capability to drive this growth?”

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To inaugurate day one of HR Tech Interactive, Human Resources’ regional editor Aditi Sharma Kalra takes the stage to welcome all delegates, sponsors and speakers.

She says: “In the past few years, we have seen technology complement and even take over various aspects of the HR leader’s job – from the payroll and leave management systems, to online learning programmes, real-time feedback on performance, and even examples of some companies taking up virtual reality for their onboarding programmes.”

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The registration counter is open and our team is all set to welcome today’s delegates at HR Tech Interactive 2016, Singapore.

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Gathering 50 top regional chief HR and senior business leaders at a three-day business retreat forum, the exclusive HR Innovation Leaders' Summit will happen from September 9-11. Get involved.

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