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Flare HR Event – Future of HR with a Touch of Flare

5min read


A huge thank you to everyone who made it to our Flare HR event on the 21st February. We were excited to see over hundred faces from many different companies.

We are thrilled to announce that our breakfast event was a great success leaving us with thought provoking insights from our great speakers. We’d like to say a special thank you to all the speakers who volunteered their time. Thank you to Great Place to Work for partnering with us and the University of Sydney for providing us with a great venue.

The morning kicked off with warm welcome from Jan Pacas’, Flare HR’s co-founder and Managing Director, and a brief overview of Flare HR and their mission of leveraging technology and putting people first. Everyday business very often gets in the way of putting people first so, Flare HR, Australia’s #1 All-in-One HR and Benefits Platform, aims to make life easier for HR managers as well as improve the wellbeing of employees. Jan addressed the topic of how technology is often seen as cannibalising the job market and is considered disruptive, however, he shared his thoughts on how Flare HR believes this is not the case. Technology is of course altering how the economy works and shifting traditional business models, but Jan sees it as an enabler; a tool that allows people to be creative and innovative, as well as a tool to help create a great culture.

Anders Sörman-Nilsson, Futurist and great speaker, who has in the past shared a stage with the likes of Hilary Clinton and other great speakers, jumped straight into a compelling keynote speech about the need for a seamless intertwining of the digital and analogue and how it will affect the future of HR. Rich Hirst, Director of CEB then went on to lead a captivating panel discussion with Zrinka Lovrencic, Managing Director of Great Place to Work, Greg Whitwell, the Dean of the University of Sydney Business School and Robbert Rietbroek, CEO of PepsiCo. ANZ. They went on to discuss Leadership in the 21st Century; if and/or how technology is taking effect on today’s leadership behaviours and Step Gillon, Flare HR’s Financial Wellbeing Director, concluded the day with the Benefits Survey results, a Flare HR and CEB collaboration, to shine a light on the importance of Employee Benefits.

The future belongs to those who are able to weave together the past, the present and the future into a seamless and inspirational journey.

Anders Sörman-Nilsson’s gripping speech the audience asking themselves what changes could be made now to create a seamless future. “We are facing a transformational world between analogue and digital, but there needs to be a seamless intertwining between the two.” A.I. is on the rise and we fear that soon people will be out of jobs because of it, but through the loud noise and the hype over this trend, we oftentimes forget about what we, as humans, have to offer that A.I. does not; E.I. – emotional intelligence. Anders believes the future for HR Directors will not be a case of choosing between an “analogue heart and a digital brain”, but that it will be a seamless interweaving of both; creating a great opportunity for HR directors to manage the connection between human resources and artificial resources.

Whilst embracing technology, we need to encourage people to be more curious. Our executive panel discussion left us inspired. Rich Hirst led us seamlessly through the discussion on leadership of the 21st Century, interestingly, taking us down the path of the follower’s perspective. In light of recent world affairs, such as the US presidential elections or the British vote to leave the E.U., it is increasingly apparent that followers are becoming more powerful and technology is powering this.  Through technology business’ and leaders are under more scrutiny than we’ve seen before; younger generations share news about employers all over the web and so Employer Branding is becoming critical to talent engagement strategies. In a world of such transparency we have to be top of the class.


The discussion further questioned whether technology in HR should be friend or foe. Zrinka Lovrencic believes it allows HR directors and managers to have more say in the business. Utilising technology allows HR directors to communicate the importance and relevance of the vital roles people play in the success of the business. Greg Whitwell and Robbert Rietbroek agreed it should not be a case of “machine vs. man” as is very often discussed, but a case of using technology and A.I. as an opening to improve the work force. With A.I. becoming a part of the workforce, employees will have to adapt to constant learning, upskilling and reskilling. Robbert added that whilst we should embrace technology, we need to encourage people to be more curious and continuously upskill, as the future won’t be about jobs disappearing; it will be about the evolving activities the jobs entail and how we adapt to this change.

Financial issues is the biggest cause of stress.

Steph Gillon, rounded up the day with an insight into the Employee Benefits survey results. Flare HR partnered with CEB to conduct Australia’s largest benefits survey which provides the latest benefits benchmarking from nearly 100 multinationals covering 100,000 employees with an average annual turnover of AUD918m. Highlighting that the leading cause of stress in Australia is financial issues, Steph explained that it very often comes down to a lack of financial understanding or education. This was reinforced by the survey results, that stated that 72% of employees felt their understanding and education about their benefits was lacking. This means an alarming 72% of employees do not fully understand how their superannuation works or what life insurance to go with let alone know if they need it at all. As Flare HR’s Financial Wellbeing Director, Steph is passionate about bridging this education gap and hopes to do so through the Flare HR Platform.

All in all a great day with inspiring speakers. Thanks again for coming and we hope to see you at our next event. Stay tuned for more amazing speakers in the future as we build up a community of thought leadership around HR and technology.

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