CIPD Scottish Students Conference

Last weekend, one of our Tutors, plus two of our CIPD students, Mobeka Baretto and Jean-Yves Quevrain, attended the annual CIPD Scottish Students Conference, hosted at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow.

The event is always a well-regarded affair and offers students the chance to network with some well-established HR figureheads. On this particular occasion, students received a welcome from the head of the CIPD, Peter Cheese who offered a great overview of what was happening in the current HR climate.

Globalisation and leadership

Starting off by providing the audience with a relevant and up to date PESTLE analysis. Some of the factors he touched upon were globalisation, leadership, and some very pertinent issues such as the ongoing debate around Trump and some of his recent actions. Peter Cheese got a laugh from the audience when he recently discovered that you can get a price of 7/2 at the bookmakers currently that Trump will not be the president by the end of the calendar year! For those of you who don’t have a flutter at the bookies, for every ten pounds you bet, you would get £25 back, plus your original stake. Hedge your bets! He then went onto say that if you had placed a bet on Leicester City to win the premiership, Britain to vote to leave the EU and for Trump to be elected, you would have got odds of over one million to one. Hindsight is a wonderful thing!

In addition to this, Peter Cheese, gave a great account of the current impact technology has on Human Resources and the pace of change the sector has seen. He then went onto highlight the fact that new acronyms such as ‘Fear of being offline’ (FOBO) were growing in popularity and that the expectations of the workplace by Gen Y’s and even Gen Z’s would quite different from the likes of baby-boomers. A great resource to look at for work on this subject is Booz and Co. http://www.strategyand.pwc.com/reports/rise-generation-implications-world-2020

The opening speech by Peter Cheese was gripping and very interesting too. If you ever have a chance to hear him speak about his experience at Accenture and life at the CIPD, it is definitely something worthwhile doing.

HR professionals could be more critical

Up next was Professor Rob Briner from the University of Bath, who provided a terrific account of how HR can become more evidence based. He spoke at length about how HR professionals could be more critical and some of the barriers that people often face when it comes to the implementation of this in the workplace. Rob’s presentation was very good, and it was clear to see that the audience loved his delivery style. He has undertaken a lot of work with KPMG and some of it can be found here https://www.eiuperspectives.economist.com/sites/default/files/EIU-Evidence%20Based%20HR%20PDF.pdf. A short YouTube video about his work and recent publications can also be found here http://www.hrmagazine.co.uk/hr-most-influential/profile/rob-briner. The CIPD have also produced some great work on this subject matter too https://www.cipd.co.uk/knowledge/strategy/analytics/factsheet and this is a very handy source for students to review.

One of the other memorable presentations of the day was by Steve George who is a Content Manager at the CIPD. This was a great demonstration of how HR professionals should be more, professional and the actions that we can take to achieve this.

Overall, this year’s conference was a great network opportunity for any new or progressing HR or CIPD students. The facilities at the University of Strathclyde are always excellent and was probably most memorable because of the great opening speech by Peter Cheese.

“The CIPD Student Conference on February 18, 2017 was insightful, engaging and inspirational” says Mobeka. “It was a good opportunity for professionals who are looking at a career in HR or are looking to progress to the next level. It gave us a better understanding on the different aspects of the Human Resources function and the different tools we can use to better perform our jobs of the future”.

“Peter Cheese, CEO of CIPD provided us with valuable insights about the future of HR. His opinion is that HR as a function should enable and engage their people. We should have the ability to be agile enough to adapt to the changing environment since there is a fear of becoming obsolete (another meaning of FOBO)”.

Rob Briner, Professor at University of Bath spoke about ‘How HR can become more evidence based’. We also had Sandy Begbie speak about ‘Diversity and Inclusion’ at Standard Life.

“The breakout sessions also had interesting topics on employment law, employee engagement, organisational transformation, coaching conversations, wellbeing and HR career case study. With so many topics of interest, it was difficult to choose only a few to attend”.

“This is a good forum for students to meet and interact with specialists, get queries answered and understand the HR function as a whole”, continues Mobeka.

“It was also great to connect and interact with fellow students getting their CIPD certifications. It added a much needed human element to the programme instead of always relying on technology to connect us” she concludes.

Jean-Yves Quevrain also attended the event, says “I would like to express my sincere pleasure to have been able to attend the recent student CIPD conference, here in Glasgow. Beyond the fact it was one of my CPD duties, it was a great opportunity to meet Stephen Littler (our adviser) and Mobeka (fellow student) and then, as a distance learner, step out for a while and meet face-to-face.

Jean-Yves says, “Textbooks and websites are very useful for our studies; it is also invaluable to interact with HR professionals on multiple topics: reviewing the mission and rationale of HR activities, sharing the experiences gained and exploring new concepts.”

“With about one hundred fellow attendees, this event is a positive step for those who wish to develop or complete their knowledge, clarify ways for their own research or merely grow her/his professional network”, Jean-Yves concludes, “I would recommend this experience to all students who are interested in – or may be undecided yet – to browse the CIPD website for the conference schedule.”