Recap of the HR Summit in Zurich on the Future of HR

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“ Impressed by the professionality of the event and really enjoyed it ” 
“ A good networking event for HR.”
“ What a wonderful, high-energy and “switched-on” event! ” 

We are delighted to announce that the first HR Summit -hosted by the Dutch Business Round Table- was a great success! On the morning of 1st of December 2017 around 60 HR specialists gathered at the prestigious Zunfthaus zur Schmiden event venue in Zurich to discuss the future of HR, the upcoming and current challenges that HR specialists and leaders face within recruitment and together explored some of the endless possibilities that lay ahead.

Maike van Oyen, Board Member of DBRT-Switzerland had the honour to kick-off the event. Maike talked about experiences and why they are so important to us. She pleaded for an integrated focus on the entire employee experience on the job and explained the importance of having leaders in place that coach employees in leading happier lives. Maike further stated that the secret to a happy employee is not so much about adding many layers to create a happier experience, but that it also lies in removing the obstacles that make them unhappy. She concluded her speech with the message that in today’s world “change is the only constant”. 

As the first official keynote, Taco de Vries -CEO of Randstad Switzerland- talked about the future of HR services and the changes we will see, especially when recruiting. Some of the changes we are already noticing are the young demographics in emerging markets, the changing nature of work, the desire of flexibility and security, the middle class in emerging markets, mobile internet/cloud technology, robotics and autonomous transport. The impact Randstad sees happening is the diversity of people in the workforce, the multiplication of work relationships and the globalisation of labour markets.

The growing importance of allignment 

Second keynote was Jean Martin, executive director at CEB-Gartner, who explained the new trends in managing employee engagement and driving a high engagement culture that performs within organisations. She also talked about how to get leaders to focus on updating business processes according to the culture of their companies because culture is actually the most discussed talent issue on calls, with mentions growing 12% annually.

Sandor Snoeren, CEO of Recruiting Academy, was the last keynote of the morning and shared his Talent Journey Map. Sandor showed the importance of reaching and knowing talent in every stage of their Journey. He also presented a very powerful model for organisations called the Employer Brand Wheel which is not only focused on attracting the best suited talent for your company but also on retaining them by aligning the different aspects of your employer brand. During his presentation, Sandor explained how companies can apply both models to various HR topics, as positioning in the Labour market, target group driven HR, engagement drivers, culture change and purpose alignment.

After a well deserved break, Aad van Vliet talked about the Sink, Swim, Sail characteristics in a business environment. The continuous improvement of existing business in the 20th century and the exponential technological development of 21st century. A gainful occupation in NEW WORK in business life is going to be a lot about creativity, co-creation, empathy, mastering things/topics a robot can’t do better.

Trends that will shape the future of work

Joop Smits and Hans Geene, both seniors at PwC, focused their presentation on the way we will work in 2025 and beyond. They explained some of the forces that will shape our future, like resource scarcity, rapid urbanisation and shifts in global power. Joop and Hans also presented the results of PwC’s study about the Future of Work which PwC conducted in 2016 and early 2017 among over 200 HR professionals from all over Switzerland, including many heads of HR and business leaders. 

Ibrahim Jabary -CEO at GameLearn-, presented his innovative game-based learning methodology for the development of soft skills. His serious games have revolutionized the e-learning industry with the development of a game-based learning platform for corporate training. Gamelearn uses gamification techniques such as challenges to simplify integration of employees within companies. His question why fun should be taken out of learning when we grow up, really resonated with the audience. 

Closing keynote was Erik Geilenkirchen – CEO of IntelligentBoardRoom-, who talked about where technology is taking HR. One of Erik’s key interests is how technology can help us humans to make a better quality decision about people especially in the HR field. Technology will actually create many jobs but on the other hand, we also have robotics and additive manufacturing.

The Dutch Business Round Table team would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank:

  • the speakers for their time and wonderful insights
  • all of our guests who made this event even more dynamic
  • our sponsors Randstad and Avvartes Partners for their trust and support

Together, you all made our first HR Summit event truly unique and successful!


Guest Speakers (by order of appearance):
  • Taco de Vries, CEO Randstad (Switzerland) AG, a Dutch enterprise founded in 1960 that is a global leader in the HR services industry.
  • Jean Martin, Executive Director CEB – Gartner, the world’s leading research and advisory company. Gartner delivers technology research to global technology business leaders to make informed decisions on key initiatives.
  • Sandor Snoeren, CEO Recruiting Academy, a Dutch enterprise that provides workshops to recruitment ( marketing) specialist to recruit better.
  • Aad van Vliet, founding partner and President of Avvartes Partners, a group of high-calibre, international Human Capital experts partnering together to design and deliver international human capital projects to generate a competitive edge for success and measurable revenue growth for their clients.
  • Hans Geene & Joop Smits, PwC, both work in the People and Organisation consulting practice of PwC, a leading audit and advisory company in Switzerland.
  • Ibrahim Jabary, CEO GameLearn, the world leading game-based training e-learning portal.
  • Erik Geilenkirchen, Founder & CEO KeyPeople AG and IntelligentBoardRoom, a totally new cognitive software platform that allows deal teams to assess the leadership of the portfolio company.