HR Confidential at HR Transform 2024

LearningsMar 15, 2024
HR Confidential hero

We kicked off Transform 2024 with our very own HR Confidential event, featuring Chief People Officers, CEOs, CHROs and top talent executives – all brought together to talk about how to build and scale effective HR organizations.

The name ‘HR Confidential’ isn’t just slick branding – we actually wanted to have an unfiltered conversation with some of the best in the business, including experienced leaders from Airbnb, Slack, Nextdoor, Crunchbase, Workramp, Jobber, TouchBistro and more. To make sure we really got down to brass tacks, we’re staying true to our word and keeping the spicy specifics under wraps.

We can share some amazing high-level takeaways, however:

HR is and will remain, intensely personal and high-touch

  • Amazingly, the topic of AI didn’t come up even once in the course of the conversations we held. It's top of mind in HR, of course, and well-represented across the rest of the event, but everyone in the room wanted to focus on person-to-person dynamics

  • Coming off a very difficult year in the overall tech workforce environment, everyone agrees that the key to doing hard things – like layoffs – well is treating everyone with the maximum amount of respect and empathy

  • Technology’s role here is nuanced and subtle, but worth exploring and developing with conscientious care

Senior talent execs need trust, transparency and equal footing

  • ‘Partnership’ was the word of the day when it comes to integrating HR across business areas and functions

  • HR and talent often get treated like an afterthought, but instead it needs to be empowered and trusted by the company’s CEO and founders

  • It faces an uphill battle at many startups and growth-stage companies to prove its worth, despite the fact that companies are always a combo of people and technologies — but CTOs face no such issues in justifying their seat at the table

Embrace failure – but how do you operationalize that?

  • Operating with transparency means encouraging a culture where risk and failure are acceptable

  • The discussion around failure in general tipped into overemphasis on celebrating and embracing it, but there are still questions about how best to operationalize learning and leveraging failure, rather than just fetishizing it

This is just a snapshot of many and far-ranging discussions we had at HR Confidential, and all of the above is just the starting point for much more to come. Definitely let us know what you think of the above, and anything else that’s top of mind for you right now at this pivotal moment in HR tech!

Special thanks to our own Eugene Lee for being an amazing host and guiding the discussion, and to Transform and Samara Jaffe for hosting us!