My 5 Big Takeaways From The Ibec HR Leadership Summit

November 9, 2017 / By Gary Berney

Couldn’t attended the excellent Ibec HR Leadership Summit at the end of last month? Don’t worry, below are my 5 big takeaways from the day.

1) Talent acquisition & retention remains top of HR priorities. According to Ibec’s Maeve McElwee who went through the latest Ibec HR survey, the biggest challenges HR face day-to-day are talent acquisition and employee retention. In 2nd place was employee engagement. These 2 elements have remained top of the survey for the last few years as the numbers in employment have increased nationally and the ability to attract and keep the best talent becomes more difficult.

2) A lack of analytics capability is holding back HR depts. 39% of HRD’s in the recent PWC Pulse survey made that claim according to Professor David Collings of DCU. His superb presentation on reframing the boundaries of talent management provided some excellent insights into where HR could make improvements. Measurement was a key theme. Measuring the success of training, employee referral programmes and mentoring were really challenging without the ability to properly report on these functions within HR. It’s difficult to make a case to the C suite for more HR staff to carry out work, more money to run a particular project or more time to get the best results from an initiative if you don’t have the tools to measure each element and, up to now, HR has been slow to make the most of the new technologies in areas such as employee referrals to help them make their case better.

3) Alumni networks should be cultivated. David Collings continued his impressive presentation by looking at areas for growth within HR. He rightly argued that if a person leaves the company on good terms, HR should ensure they keep in touch with them for 2 key reasons. One, they’ve moved to a new company which increases their network and means they may be able to refer people back into your business, as they still have affection for your organisation and feel it’s a good place to work. Secondly, by keeping in touch you’re keeping the door open to them returning at a later date with a new set of skills learnt, the ‘boomerang employee’. One great way to do this is by using your employee referral programme to inform them of the latest job vacancies available. That keeps the lines of communication open and also allows them to refer potential candidates into the business savings the organisation huge recruitment fees.

4) Millennials stay in jobs around 2 years. Long gone is the idea of being a long term company person. Nowadays millennials expect to move on a lot quicker than their older counterparts. The older generation will tend to stay 4.5 years on average with a company. Therefore the need to build up loyalty through better training & mentoring, create better awareness of opportunities to grow within the company and provide additional perks to benefit those who stay longer, become paramount to extending out that 2 year job change mentality and slowing down the rate of attrition within your organisation.

5) HR need to become influencers throughout the organisation. David Meade provided a highly entertaining and thought provoking presentation, in his own inevitable style, on how as HR leaders we should become more influential throughout the business. He demonstrated in some amazing, and laugh out loud ways, how people are influenced and how you can use the power of persuasion to help drive your thought leadership. It certainly would make you step back and review how you present information into the rest of the organisation.

Overall a day not to be missed. I wrote reams of notes with little nuggets of gold from a whole range of presenters, so feel free to get in touch if you’d like me to share some more info from the day with you.

Gary Berney @