Thursday, 6 October 2011

#HRTechConf / #HRTechEurope - HR Technology in Europe


   There’s just one more session at the HR Technology conference I wanted to comment on – this is the session presented by Ahmed Limam on HR technology in Europe.

Limam noted the impact of the ‘European integration process’, which just served to remind me how much the UK stands outside of this, but many of Limam’s concerns do apply:

  • Competencies loom large: many countries requires them and because your can’t fire someone on a Friday afternoon you need to be able to find a new place for them – meaning that you need to understand their competencies (and if you do this in a cavalier way than the labour courts will strike it down).  Labour unions are powerful and not everything is down to the decisions of management.
  • Processes are not the same eg benefits are driven by law, exit interviews are not part of the culture, companies don’t see the point of onboarding (I don’t see these last two things).
  • Shared services are now extending, particularly out of Ireland (English speaking) and Romania (lower tax rate, labour cost and bilingual)
  • Differences in outsourcing – North and South – the further South you go, the less outsourcing there is, eg Limam estimates about 20-30% of Swiss / France companies outsource payroll, compared to 80-90% of those in Belgium and Denmark.
  • Technology adoption is different.  Companies may be OK to use SAAS for sub-processes but are likely to be more reluctant to put their overall HR technology in the cloud.


I’ll be speaking, and blogging, more about these topics at next month’s HR Technology Europe conference in Amsterdam where I am acting as Master of Ceremonies (note though that although I’m really looking forward to this role, I’m not even going to try to live up to the way Bill Kutick orchestrates the US conference here).  I hope to see some of you (or your European colleagues?) there!



  • 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



  1. John, good luck with being MC in Amsterdam, a role you are perfect for. Your session at the real HR Technology Conference was a smash hit.

    Please do me a favor and make clear to the audience that the European conference, despite taking our name and using many of our same speakers, has no connection whatsoever to the US event.

    I saw this unfortunate blog post claiming excactly that:

    And this made fire come out of my ears:

    "The successful US HR Tech Conference is coming to Europe, to the Hotel Okura Amsterdam, in November"

    I wish them all the best of luck on their own merits.


  2. Cheers Bill.

    I'm sure this is just bad reporting by Gorey Guardian rather than anything being suggested by HRN which is organising the European event.

  3. Thanks, Jon, for quoting me and enjoying my presentation. Re Amsterdam, actually, I have heard the same thing that Bill has, that the organizers are claiming it is the European version of the US event. I guess for a first edition it is as good a ploy as any to create some buzz and give oneself some credibility

  4. I talked to quite a few people at the European conference about this. The organisers did no false claiming - I simply don't believe it happened.


Please add your comment here (email me your comments if you have trouble and I will put them up for you)