On the 23rd February, around 30 HR Leaders gathered in the ‘cinema-like’ theatre at Vodafone’s head office in Istanbul to discuss the ‘Digitalisation of HR’, and the impact that this is having on business. With companies from a broad range of sectors, the session saw HR Directors from large multinational organisations, as well as local firms including 3M, Akcansa, Red Bull, Mitsubishi, Roche, Samsung, Unlu & Co. and many more.

Our hosts at Vodafone, took us through some examples of how far the HR organisation has come through a digital transformation. Burak Balkis, Head of Rewards with Vodafone, demonstrated how efficient the self-service platform has become since its implementation. This programme was a unique concept for Turkey, and as a result of its success, similar programmes will likely be rolled out to other markets soon. Another interesting, yet simple and effective scheme that Vodafone initiated is the ‘Shuttle Programme.’ From a self-service kiosk, employees can request transport from those with company vehicles. The employee can request to be picked up from a certain location and driven to the office or elsewhere, while the recipient of this request can either accept or reject it. The scheme appears to be working well thus far, and provides a nice add-on to the automated platform.

HR Takes to the Cloud

Banu Oksun, HR Director for Unlu & Co, Turkey’s leading financial institution, then presented on the importance of digitalising HR, and how this will impact business in the future. With a background in technology (both Microsoft and Samsung), she showed a genuine passion for driving change through innovation, and her presentation focused on the use of ‘Cloud HR’ for recruiting, Learning & Development, succession planning and Compensation & Benefits. She also touched on mobile recruitment solutions and how these have changed the landscape over the last ten years, as well as the power of ‘social recruitment’ in helping HR with job postings and ultimately hiring.

Hakan Timur, HR Director for Akcansa, a company owned by Turkey’s largest industrial and financial conglomerate, then delivered a very compelling presentation, in which he showcased the ‘Mosaik’ programme that has won many local awards. ‘Mosaik’ is a central cloud HR platform that is supported by SAP and is used for all talent and core HR processes in the organisation.

Social Recruitment

Social media was a consistent theme throughout the session, particularly in terms of driving Talent Acquisition. According to Digital News Report, Turkey is currently one of the top ten countries in terms social media use in the world.1 This has guided local HR leaders to develop strategic social media recruitment plans to ensure they are acquiring the best talent, as well as employees who are aligned with company values.

The meeting was moderated by Andrew Bailey, Managing Partner for ChapmanCG sister company, Ethos BeathChapman. Andrew commented, “It was great to see so many in attendance at our seventh HR Leadership session in Istanbul. The topic is extremely relevant, and the participants were eager to either share their experiences, or listen intently to the presenters. Some of the larger organisations seem to have invested heavily in this area and are reaping the rewards; whereas it appears some others have a way to go in order to obtain buy-in from the business to digitally transform HR practices. Overall, it was an excellent collaboration of HR professionals keen to share, network and learn.”

The leadership session was well received by all who attended with lively discussion throughout. Many thanks go to our hosts at Vodafone, and to all presenters, and we look forward to our next session in Istanbul in May 2016.

1) http://www.digitalnewsreport.org/es