HR Tech Festival Asia 2023: What’s happening on Day 1

HR Tech Festival Asia 2023 kicks off today, setting the stage for discussions on critical workforce challenges and innovative HR tech solutions.
By: | May 10, 2023

The two-day HR Tech Festival Asia 2023 opens today, bringing together HR professionals from across Asia to address critical workforce challenges and explore innovative solutions.

Held at Suntec Exhibition and Convention Centre in Singapore, HR Tech Festival Asia 2023 sets the stage for thought-provoking discussions, expert insights, and networking opportunities. Kicking off with the opening address by Zaqy Mohamad, Senior Minister of State at the Ministry of Manpower and Ministry of Defence, Singapore, Asia’s largest HR technology and workforce management event will offer valuable insights from industry leaders, interactive conference sessions, and the latest trends and technology transforming HR.

For instance, attendees may head to the HR Tech Theatre to catch Sudan Jeganathan, Regional Business Manager, Asia, Capability Group, as he addresses the challenge of time as an obstacle to learning at work. Titled Build a Capable and Confident Frontline Team – In Just Five Minutes Per Day, this session offers insights into overcoming the limits of time and creating a productive learning culture.

This will be followed by a presentation by Eleanor Vajzovic, Global Head of Strategic Solutions, Paradox, who will explore the impact of conversational and generative AI on HR and talent acquisition. In her session, Is ChatGPT Really Worth All the Hype? How Conversational Experiences Will Change the Way We Hire and Work – For the Better, she will delve into the facts and fiction surrounding this emerging technology and explain how conversational AI can be used as a co-pilot instead of a replacement for HR professionals.

The pandemic, coupled with the great resignation and the great return, has led to a massive talent war. In the upcoming session, Winning the Talent War – Revisiting and Reinforcing Talent Development, Aditya Gupta, Regional Head, SEA, Darwinbox; and Don Leow, CHRO, SBS Transit; will share their experiences on how organisations can emerge victorious in this talent war by prioritising employee experience and providing support to their existing talent.

In the competitive talent landscape, employee recognition is a crucial aspect of attracting and retaining top talent. To explore how organisations can foster a sense of connection, belonging, and appreciation, Russell Flint, Director of Business Development APAC, O.C. Tanner, will discuss the benefits of implementing integrated recognition programmes. In this session How Integrated Employee Recognition Can Help You Win the Battle for Talent, attendees will learn about the importance of integrated recognition in a hybrid workplace; hear examples of organisations creating meaningful recognition moments at scale; and discover how to provide employees with the tools, knowledge, and language to give meaningful recognition.

Over at the Power Talk Stage, Jason De Souza, Sales Manager, Research Subscriptions and Books, Wolters Kluwer CCH Asia, will provide a regional overview of the significant employment law updates that have taken place across Asia-Pacific since January 2023. Titled Key Employment Law Updates Across Asia-Pacific and What You Can Expect in 2023, the session will cover recent HR highlights from Singapore’s budget release in February 2023, as well as amendments to Malaysia’s Employment Act 1955, which went into effect earlier in 2023.

Next, Richard Farmer, Managing Director, Asia, CXC, will present Decoding Global Talent: Asia Perspective. Inconsistency between the type of talent organisations demand and the number of employees willing to meet those demands prompts the ongoing war for talent and forces organisations to rethink and redesign how work gets done. The pandemic has accelerated shifts in the global talent market, with flexible work arrangements replacing traditional employment structures. Farmer’s session will examine the benefits of flexible work and global contracting, highlight the importance of proper workforce planning, and explain how to gain access to global and international talent.

Globally, remote work is becoming more prevalent, and organisations in Asia are no exception. The shift towards remote work has allowed organisations to look beyond their domestic recruitment pool and tap into a wider talent pool, resulting in growth opportunities. In the session How Asia-Based Companies Can Find and Attract Top Remote Performers, Jane Lee, Senior Director of Sales, APAC, Remote, will provide insights on how HR leaders can find, hire, pay, and manage international remote employees. She will also share recruitment tips tailored to emerging tech talent hubs across Asia, providing HR leaders with the tactics and processes to empower remote employees.

In times of change and crisis, managing an organisation can be incredibly challenging. However, resilience is the key to success, and it begins with resilient leadership. Jimmy Naraine, Instructor Partner, Udemy, will share fundamental mindset shifts and strategies to help drive resilience within an organisation in his session titled Create a Culture of Resilience by Becoming a Resilient Leader: The Why & How. In this session, Naraine will emphasise the importance of actively building resilience, overcoming common leadership mistakes that can tear down team resilience, and cultivating an adaptable mindset as a leader that can be infused into the team.

HR professionals face the challenge of efficiently managing their global workforce in today’s fast-paced business environment. An Employer of Record (EOR) can be the solution they need. Join Vamsi Krishna, Chief Product Officer and Co-Founder, Multiplier, in the upcoming session titled Unlocking Global Talent: The Power of an EOR for HR Leaders of Tomorrow. The session will cover the basics of EOR, its benefits, and examples of successful implementations. It will also provide insights into how an EOR can help HR leaders navigate complexities such as legal and regulatory compliance, payroll management, and benefits administration.

Staying ahead of the curve can be a challenge for HR departments with the ever-changing technology trends in the workplace. The session titled Beyond the Hype – Meaningful Innovation in HR by Gordon Enns, Group CTO, Humanica, aims to help HR departments understand which technologies have the most significant impact on employee lifecycle management. Enns will cut through the hype surrounding buzzwords like AI, virtual reality (VR)/augmented reality (AR) and offer insights into how HR departments can leverage these technologies to propel themselves forward and adapt to the future of work.

To address the need for re-engaging the workforce after prolonged remote work, organisations must prioritise their efforts. Mike Warren, RVP Sales, Asia Pacific, Docebo, will present Customisable Learning: Implementing a Multi-Experience UI In Your Learning Management System (LMS) to help organisations with this task. This session will emphasise the importance of customisable user interfaces (UIs) that drive engagement and foster a culture of learning and skill-building in the workplace. Additionally, the presentation will explore the delivery of mobile learning to increase employee engagement and provide opportunities for continuous learning and development.

As organisations compete to attract top talent, being a fair and progressive employer has become increasingly important. The Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (TAFEP) has been advocating for fair and inclusive workplace practices in Singapore for over a decade. In this session, James Pang, Industry Lead, Industry Outreach & Marketing, TAFEP, will discuss the importance of being a fair and progressive employer and share insights into the Tripartite Guidelines on Fair Employment Practices (TGFEP). He will also cover the challenges employers face in implementing these guidelines and provide practical tips on how to create a diverse and inclusive workplace.

The first day of HR Tech Festival Asia 2023 will also host ASEAN Future of Work, which will delve into strategies for the post-pandemic workplace. The pandemic has brought significant changes to the business landscape, necessitating organisations to quickly evolve and adapt to new modes of work. To help leaders navigate these changes, the high-level conference will feature two panel discussions, Navigating Flexible Work Arrangements (FWAs) – A Key Strategy in a Post-Pandemic Economy and Navigating Opportunities and Challenges in the War for Talent Through Cross-Border Remote Work. These discussions will focus on crucial aspects of the future of work and provide valuable insights for organisations seeking to stay ahead of the curve.

Rounding off day one of HR Tech Festival Asia 2023 is the HR Tech Fest Awards 2023, which will recognise and honour the best of HR in Asia. The awards ceremony will celebrate the exceptional achievements of top HR leaders, teams, and organisations from various sectors across the region. There are 22 finalists competing in eight categories, including Employer of Choice sponsored by CIPD, HR Team of the Year sponsored by Sanderson-Ikas, Best HR Leader sponsored by IBM, and Best Workplace Culture & Engagement (above 500 employees and below 500 employees). Additionally, there is Best Use of Technology sponsored by Androgogic, Best C-Suite Leader sponsored by Sanderson-Ikas, and the newly added category, Best ASEAN Human Development, which is presented in partnership with the ASEAN Human Development Organisation (AHDO).