Blog Post

HR Tech in our AI era

Cornerstone Editors

Cornerstone enjoyed another unforgettable week at HR Tech, an annual gathering where ideas flourish, connections are forged, a megabyte of memories are made and the future of HR is rewritten under the dazzling lights of the Las Vegas strip.

From October 10 through the 13, HR Tech 2023 pulsed with excitement and learning. The industry gathered at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino to reflect on the convergence of technology and human capital currently redefining our world of work at warp speed. At the world’s largest HR technology marketplace expo, attendees explored over 400 exhibitors, communicated directly with industry thought leaders and connected at a women-in-tech summit and other unparalleled networking opportunities.

Amid all the tech fervor, a resounding message was clear — put people first.

Tech-tastic takeaways

When attendees weren’t happily customizing their own swag apparel at the Cornerstone personalization marketplace, they were all abuzz about the relentless rise of AI in HR. While the topic of AI reigned supreme, a consensus emerged — artificial intelligence should replace tasks, not jobs. Speakers vocalized the tremendous potential of using AI as a powerful tool for streamlining HR processes, allowing employees to focus on higher-value, strategic endeavors while preserving the irreplaceable human in human resources.

While AI dominated the conversation at HR Tech, attendees could also enlighten themselves about the pressing importance of skills strategies in the future of work. Experts emphasized the urgency of upskilling and reskilling, highlighting these strategies’ pivotal role in shaping the workforce.

Attendees dove deeper into an array of other enlightening tech talks, including:

Presenters also articulated the significance of empowering employees to move fluidly within an organization, focusing on talent mobility’s potential to foster engagement, growth and innovation. The approaches to gender diversity centered around skills rather than stereotypes added a refreshing perspective, stressing the importance of skills-based hiring and promotion practices. It was clear that, beyond AI, these concepts are critical drivers of the HR landscape’s evolving narrative.

Electrifying keynotes

Distinguished HR thought leader Josh Bersin illuminated the audience with his celebrated perspective. In an age of lightning-fast change, where technology and stress have executives on their toes, he underscored the need for prioritizing your people. And now, with worker shortages on the horizon, employment is all about doing more with fewer hands on deck. Companies, he declared, won’t meet their goals without wholeheartedly embracing AI.

Bersin pointed out that many organizations have a “kitchen drawer problem” — they’re cluttered with tools that often go unused. Today, AI is the real game-changer, set to revolutionize the HR tech space for the foreseeable future. Still, Bersin reminded us that AI isn’t a magic wand for all our problems but a tool that we must wield wisely.

His mantra was to focus on the problem, not the solution, and consider how seamlessly AI fits into your flow of work. With AI’s assistance, a four-day workweek may no longer be a far-fetched dream. Lastly, in a resounding testament to innovation at Cornerstone, Josh Bersin honored our organization as one of the foremost trailblazers in AI for HR technology. Bersin left us excited about what’s to come in a world of HR revelations.

The conference continued to inspire as acclaimed actor Geena Davis took the stage, sharing her journey toward mitigating unconscious bias and championing equality. She skillfully interweaved personal anecdotes that brought the audience to laughter. She spoke passionately about the mission of her non-profit organization, the Geena Davis Institute, and its critical role in reshaping the narrative of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging in entertainment and media. The Institute’s commitment to addressing the representation of marginalized groups across various identities showcased its unwavering dedication to fostering positive change in the workforce on a global scale.

Following Davis’s impassioned call for inclusivity, the stage was set ablaze by best-selling author and motivational powerhouse Marcus Buckingham, who illuminated the room with a spirited discourse on the transformative potential of love in the heart of businesses. With infectious enthusiasm, Marcus emphasized that love should be the driving force in organizations, challenging the typical transactional mindset. His vibrant message resonated deeply, urging attendees to reevaluate their approach to foster more compassionate and love-centered workplaces where genuine human connections should prevail.

Reshaping the future with learning content

In their talk, the Cornerstone dynamic duo of Chief Product Officer Karthik Suri and VP of Strategic Initiatives Mike Bollinger engaged their audience on the seven dimensions of talent health from the recent Talent Health Index report. They asserted that the surefire way to navigate the future is to actively reshape it. In a year marked by nearly a quarter of a million job cuts in the tech industry, both emphasized the critical need for nurturing talent’s mental health and stated that the promise of AI remains untapped mainly due to organizational hesitance.

With half of our skills projected to become obsolete in the next five years, they hailed investing in continuous learning and on-the-job training as paramount, a sentiment echoed by the World Economic Forum (WEC). In this evolving landscape, learning is the lifeblood, advocating content curation aided by artificial intelligence. Suri and Bollinger left the audience with the resounding message that the right insights can drive the right behaviors in a world where “human in the loop AI” is genuinely the name of the game.

Cheers to innovation and the power of people

Another exhilarating year for HR Tech has come to a close, and we can’t help but reflect on the inspiration and knowledge we gained. We immersed ourselves in a world of ground-breaking innovation, where ideas (and swag) flowed freely and partnerships were built with ease.

The rapid pace of change in the world of work is astonishing, and Cornerstone is thrilled to be right there with you on this exciting journey. We can’t wait to see how you use AI, love-centered organizations and continuous learning to reshape the workplace of tomorrow. Here’s to a bright future where HR technology and humanity work hand in hand for the greater good!

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