Disrupting HR To Rebuild (Part 2)

Short and to the point

The format is quite similar to the now-legendary TED Talks, a global set of conferences under the slogan “Ideas Worth Spreading.”

DirsruptHR,” according to its website, “is a night of short, focused talks from professionals who want to share their thoughts on how we can move our talent thinking forward.”

Presentations are short and concise: “Each speaker will have five minutes to blow your mind,” it says.

The rules propose 20 slides, each limited to 15 seconds. “Presentations can be about anything so long as they pertain to talent,” and the audience “is encouraged to interact – laugh, cry, tweet, text, clap. Just play nice,” the admonitions conclude.

Speakers at the Harquail will include Jennifer McClure, Cincinnati-based HR executive recruiter and business coach who, Bailey points out, created the DisruptHR brand, drawing from her 25 years of studying best practices for hiring and retaining talent.

“We invited Jennifer McClure to speak at our HR conference a couple of years ago,” he says. “She has been back and honored us with her presence ever since, even being one of the judges for the Top Employer awards.

“Jennifer is probably one of the most influential and in-demand HR experts in the U.S. and is the creator of the DisruptHR brand.

“The events are a free-for-all for HR folk and others to give a message, and it’s proving very popular. This will be the first event tied to an HR conference, and we did that only to keep our conference … cutting edge.”

Drawn locally, another speaker will be Samantha Nehra, former president of CISHRP, a 15-year veteran of the HR business, former vice president for people and development at DMS, lecturer at the University College of the Cayman Islands, director of human capital development services at Solutions Inc. and a manager for learning and development at Butterfield Bank.

Now, Nehra is a business coach at Shirlaws, a collection of companies advising private enterprises on the dynamics of change. In business for 15 years, Shirlaws advertises Nehra as a “human dynamics wizard, changing the world one behavioral shift at a time.”

More modestly, Nehra simply describes herself as a “recovering HR professional,” who sees an enormous need for change in the business.

“I’ve been slowly trying to build HR again. It needs a refresh, a rethink, and more skill sets – around the world.”

‘The Force’ is with HR

She repeats Bailey’s suggestion that, at its best, HR resembles “Star Wars”’ “The Force – an energy field created by all living things; it surrounds us, penetrates us, and keeps the galaxy together,” he says. “Replace galaxy with company and that’s how important HR is in an organization.”

In fact, Nehra has titled her talk “Awaken The Force,” and lightheartedly fears she and Bailey are on “a bit of a Star Wars geekathon.”

“I believe the way we have approached conventional HR has many flaws,” Nehra explains. “Business would be a whole lot easier without people – yes, I said that! (and I am a ‘human dynamics expert’), but the fact of the matter is that we need people to make our businesses successful.

“No matter where you work in a business, it’s time to spark some behavioral shifts that can keep changing and evolving at the pace of future demands and trends.

“We say people are the most important asset in our businesses and yet our behavior completely opposes this. No doubt you have allocated a lot of time, money, and energy on upgrading all of the technology and software around you, but when was the last time you invested the same to upgrade yourself?


Chris Bailey of DisruptHR Cayman

Chris Bailey of DisruptHR Cayman

“I know what you are thinking,” she says, already preparing her retort, “and skills training alone does not count. As humans we are well overdue for an upgrade. Let’s start with ourselves, and get some collective traction, rather than waiting for an HR department to wave their magic wand because, trust me, they haven’t got one.”


An anonymous HR blogger at DisruptHR.wordpress.com lists half-a-dozen sites with similar feelings, describing it as “the not-so-definitive list of people and companies that I believe are the most disruptive in the HR space:

Chequed.com is making reference checking relevant again through automated, assessment-based reference checks in the cloud.

Fistful of Talent is a great blog for innovative people and ideas in HR.

HRRemix is another great blog for interesting thinking in HR.

HRevolution is a really cool conference happening the day before HR Tech in Chicago, focused around the future of HR.

SmartRecruiters is redefining applicant tracking software business model with their software, making it easy to hire talent.

Evviva is a pretty cool employment branding firm based in the Bay Area. They focus on building brands through the use of online games.

“If you’re a company that truly understands your value is in your people, then understanding the strategic benefits of good HR is significant,” Bailey says. “Sure, we have to have some procedures in there, that’s the boring bit, but it’s why those procedures are in there that is important.

“In a market such as Cayman where we have a distinct collection of talent, attraction, retention, and employer branding are very important. At this year’s conference we aim to give insight into how you can improve in all those areas.

“Once you reach a critical mass of employees – the Society of HR Management in the U.S. says this is around 50-70 employees – then you should have someone in a full-time HR position,” he says.

“But what you have them doing is crucial. We all can’t be Google, but we can all have amazing working environments; we can all have engaged employees. And the person who is in charge of making that happen sits at the board table and is a partner with the leaders of the company, who also have to buy into the premise that employee of today needs to feel part of something.”

The DisruptHR website sums up the philosophy in fewer than 30 words: “Are you tired of the same old approach to human resources? Are you ready to start talking about talent in a whole new way? DisruptHR is for you.”

Bailey predicts the conference will have an important impact, and says it will be on social media and “live-streamed” on Cayman Life TV: “With several of the leading HR influences attending, it’s a conference that is going to make waves.”

Written by Tad Stoner

Originally posted on journal.ky


Author: Chris Bailey

Chris has developed a considerable skill set in business development, HR, Talent Acquisition and outsourcing during a successful career covering several jurisdictions including Europe, Bermuda, and Grand Cayman. Being involved in the local and international business community, through memberships and board appointments, has helped Chris develop a keen understanding of issues facing businesses in offshore jurisdictions specifically in areas of talent acquisition, staff retention, outsourcing and HR strategy and practices. Chris is highly experienced in international HR, search and selection and heads some of the most successful offshore HR & recruiting teams in Grand Cayman and the Caribbean. In 2011 he joined CML as the Vice President of Financial Services. He is also the Vice President of The Cayman Islands Society for HR Professionals (CISHRP) and the organizer for DisruptHR Cayman

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