I was back at the Personnel Today awards last night.
I was there as a judge for the 'HR through Technology or Social Media' category. So although this was a great event as usual, compered by PT's Rob Moss helped out by Hugh Dennis this year, it was the HR Technology awards that had my main attention.
One of the things which keeps me working as an independent is the breadth of my portfolio - and acting as a judge for this type of award programme is yet one more interesting activity I perform. I like to see the breadth of work going on in the award submissions, and suspect the HR Technology category is particularly diverse - ranging from neat assessment systems to big, hairy eHR portals; collaboration systems to data warehouses.
Though the quality of the actual submission varies widely too (something some organisations may want to put more into than they do), it's clear that all these projects and systems and important to the organisations concerned and dear to the hearts of those who have submitted the entries to PT. So it really does feel like a privilege to have the role that I do. And I do take the task of judging very seriously.
However, although this is the third year I've been doing the judging for this particular award, I still find it a very difficult thing to do. How can you really compare a slick new piece of technology developing one organisation's employer brand to another more traditional approach transforming the effectiveness of the whole business? Still, we try.
Anyway, I was in no doubt about the best submission in the category and very pleased to see Sunderland City Council win the award.
One of many great submissions, this dealt with the enormous challenges sweeping through the public sector at the moment - particularly a reduction of 30% in what the Council is able to spend - but also the need to create a better organisation, in this case by supporting the 'Sunderland Ways of Working' and their values of 'proud, decent and together'. It's great to see innovative technology being used, not just to generate major savings in efficiency, but to support change, or actually in this case, continuity, about what is at the heart of the organisation too.
All applications to the awards process are commercial in confidence, and I've probably already described more than I should, but I'm sure you'll find more about the programme in Personnel Today at some point in the future.
And if you're interested in the opportunity to use HR technology and social media to support your business, you may want to take a look at:
- HR Technology Europe's first UK based event on 19 and 20 March 2013
- HR Technology Europe back in Amsterdam for the third year on 23 to 25October next year - bigger and better than ever, though I don't yet know whether I'll be chairing this for the third time too (I'll definitely be going - and blogging):
Alternatively, you can get in touch with me:
- Consulting - Research - Speaking - Training - Writing
- Strategy - Talent - Engagement - Change and OD
- Contact me to create more value for your business
- jon [dot] ingham [at] strategic [dash] hcm [dot] com
Main picture: nominees for HR Director of the Year:
- Amanda Menahem - Hastings Direct
- Irene Stark - ATS Europmaster
- Jane Walker-Smith - MHA MacIntyre Hudson
- Julie Holdaway - SSP UK
- Robin Pring - Heineken UK
- Tea Colaianni - Merlin Entertainments (winner)
Congratulations to these and all other winners and participants, and to PT for another excellent event - thanks for involving me in this and the judging process.