Asia’s largest HR technology fair took place in Singapore on August 25 and 26, 2022. This year’s event was attended by over 2000 participants, 90 speakers and a wide variety of exhibitors of innovative HR tools. The fair is not only a place to get together, but much more a trend-setting innovation driver for HR management in various industries. In addition to being held at the well-known Marina Bay Sands, the fair also took place as a virtual event in the spirit of its own innovative power.
For HR professionals, however, far more than digital event formats remain from the pandemic period. For many HR personnel, the changes triggered by the pandemic are the starting signal for a new age. While most of the discussants in the public debates agree on the trend toward more technologization and automation in the HR environment, they don’t necessarily agree on the implications that come with it. For example, not all of the speakers perceive increasing digitization as an entirely positive opportunity. The industry in Singapore is much more differentiated and aware of the challenges and obstacles of technologization and (partial) automation of future HR work.
On the other hand, the numerous exhibitors at the trade show were consistently solution-oriented. In addition to well-known industry representatives, the numerous HR tech startups in particular attracted attention. These innovative pacesetters presented their solutions for almost all conceivable HR problems of the present and future. For example, there was information on AI-based employee engagement and newly developed SaaS platforms for human capital management. Two “Forbes 30 under 30” founders also presented their app, with which employers can give their employees exclusive access to additional health benefits. This is just one example from the broad topic area of “Employee Wellness”, which was seen as a crucial future topic at the exhibition. In Singapore, you not only got an idea about the future of HR, but also the right tools to implement it.
In addition to these tech innovations, the closing keynote by Dave Ulrich – also known as “the father of modern HR” – was certainly a highlight of the event. His thesis: HR is not really about HR, but about making a productive contribution to the core business of a company. Without paying customers and investors, for example, there would be no jobs for HR to fill. That’s why Ulrich advocates the involvement of all relevant stakeholders from the core business in various areas of HR. For example, he asks how recruiters even know which skills exactly match the needs of customers. With regard to the recruiting process, the HR expert also gives the participants a suggestion for this: Why not simply let customers and investors participate directly in your own personnel selection process?
We leave this year’s event with many impulses about people, technology and the dawn of a new era.