Last year I wrote about the HR Technology Conference and titled my post “HR people doing business. Wait. What?” I attended this event for the first time last year and was struck by the business activity going on at the conference. It wasn’t about swag; it wasn’t about recertification credits; it wasn’t about getting autographed books. Some of it was attendees really having buying conversations with vendors; some of it was vendors doing business with other vendors; and some of it was organizations having hiring discussions with candidates who happened to be attendees, vendor employees, speakers, etc. And all that was happening this year as well. You just can’t escape the feeling that business is going on when you walk the halls and floor of this conference.
There was an added dimension to the floor this year. And maybe it was there previously and I just wasn’t aware. But there was lots of money at this conference looking for investment opportunities. I talked with a number of VC and other investors who came to see what was new and to make relationships for investment purposes!
There’s a lot of money flowing into the HCM space these days – untold numbers of VC outfits; strategic buyers like IBM, Oracle, Salesforce; the public markets with IPO offerings like Workday. With talent issues being top of mind for every business leader with a Chief in their title, it’s no wonder that money is seeking opportunity in this field.
And you could absolutely feel it at HR Tech which concluded in Chicago yesterday. Investments were being poised to happen in start-ups as angel investments, start-up investments, series A, B and C investments as well as outright purchases. The talent management issues of organizations all over the world are creating opportunities for innovative solutions that will help us get better talent more efficiently with a great likelihood of longevity. That’s what we want as business leaders. And money was there looking for opportunities to make that happen.
As Mark Hurd, President of Oracle, told the conference attendees, “I want the best people at the lowest cost that I can get them.” Exactly. As an organization leader who “gets” HCM’s value, Hurd is no longer in the minority of C-suite leaders. And that means greater emphasis on productivity and efficiency and cost. And that opens the door wide to innovation and investment.
The HR Technology Conference is the one conference to attend to find out how to make your HCM infrastructure more productive, more efficient, more cost effective and more future oriented. It’s the one conference to attend to meet senior business leaders who are focused on winning through talent and systems to manage that talent. It’s the one conference to attend to get a glimpse of what will be possible in the future to ensure organization success. If it isn’t on your agenda for next year, it should be.