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The HR Leader in conversation with HiBob’s Damien Andreasen

By Jack Campbell | |6 minute read
The Hr Leader In Conversation With Hibob S Damien Andreasen

Damien Andreasen, Australia and New Zealand country manager at HiBob, spoke to The HR Leader about what pushes companies to invest in HR tech, why buzzwords matter, and his predictions for future challenges facing the HR industry.

Shandel McAuliffe, editor at HR Leader: “What motivates businesses to adopt HR tech these days?”

Mr Andreasen: “I interact with a lot of clients across a range of industries on a really regular basis at HiBob. I think there’s probably two themes that I see most commonly: change and transformation is usually driven either by pain, or by big audacious goals that companies have. We need to grow faster [and] we need to move into regions. Weve got a big goal.”


He continued: “Unless we have the fundamentals in place to support us in achieving those goals, were not going to be successful in them … Theres a break point and its at a point where I think the complexity and the challenge of scale outstrip the cost that drives people to solve these problems. Then theres the early adopters who know that this is coming. They see the goal in mind, and they know they need to put the foundations in now.

“Its across all industries. There are still those companies there that have grown so quickly, that they just havent put those foundations in place to help them to scale.”

Editor: “There are a lot of buzzwords out there in HR. How does tech help deliver on these ideas so that they’re not just fancy words?”

Mr Andreasen: “Words like DEI, work-life balance, employee engagement, attrition, retention. Attrition [and] retention have always been star words of very important conversations. But work-life balance, work from home, these conversations are now mainstream. Theyre no longer really buzzwords.

“If these terms are still buzzwords and theyre not meaningful … perhaps that organisation is behind the eight ball. Theyre not adapting to the new world of work as quickly as whats required or is being shown by those businesses that are being very successful.

“I think buzzwords need to turn into strategy and common conversation if you want to succeed in the new world of work ... Understanding what the biggest pain points are, creating strategies around them. Then understanding how the tools are going to help them to ultimately execute,” explained Mr Andreasen.

Editor: “What are you seeing as the upcoming challenges for HR?”

Mr Andreasen: “Companies have been looking to scale so quickly over the last 12 to 18 months that commonly we see salaries going up 30 per cent ... driven by inflation, demand [and] the market … My biggest concern is for the companies who have gone for this scale-at-all-costs type mentality.”

He continued: “If I was one of those people, Id be quite concerned because thats the easiest path to be able to start looking at redundancies and reducing costs. I think were already seeing the talent market turn a little bit. Were not seeing the type of demands that we were.

“Ultimately, what I think is the hallmark of a successful organisation, is the ability to be responsive and adapt quickly to situations. That ultimately leads down to your systems and processes. If youve got the information at hand to make smart decisions about what you need to do to adapt quickly, you tend to make more informed decisions … But I also think those that invest in their people during the hard times are the ones that come out on the other side the strongest,” said Mr Andreasen.

He added: “Value-led organisations who do the right thing by their people, even if its a hard choice, are definitely going to be the ones in my mind that come out the strongest and ready to grow quickly when we see a bit of a return.”

The transcript of this podcast episode, when quoted above, was slightly edited for publishing purposes. The full audio conversation with Damien Andreasen, recorded in July this year, is below, and the original podcast article with references can be found here.


Jack Campbell

Jack Campbell

Jack is the editor at HR Leader.