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30 Nov 2023

Navigating the HR Tech Jungle: Insights from Tech Fest 2023

Nadhisha Piyasena, Partner – Korn Ferry


Two significant trends were front of mind at this year’s HR + L&D Innovation & Tech Fest in Australia. The skills imperative, and the impact of Generative AI on everyday work.

A year on since the release of ChatGPT, Tech Fest’s two-day agenda was dominated by AI discussions. Generative AI is no longer emerging. It’s here.

“AI tools are changing very fast. They may be easy to pick up, but they’re harder to master,” Korn Ferry’s Head of AI Strategy & Transformation Bryan Ackermann told us at his breakfast keynote. When Korn Ferry asked CEOs to nominate the biggest obstacle to integrating AI into their talent management systems, 40% cited a lack of AI-related skills inside their HR teams.[1]

Generative AI use cases for people and organisational performance continue to evolve – from writing job roles to real-time learning and development content, always-on engagement analytics, or personalised feedback at scale.

But Ackermann noted the need to separate hype from reality. For example, automated candidate matching is still very much dependent on the quality of applicant data.


Navigating skills-enabled career paths

AI is already helping employees develop skills and grow their career in a rapidly changing environment.

Careers are no longer seen as purely a ladder to the top. They are more like a connected web of career paths – or a climbing wall where the next step could be across, down or up depending on individual interests, skills and capabilities. Our research shows career development is number one for employee engagement and retention – followed by learning and development. In the current market, with labour hoarding a key feature, upskilling for internal talent mobility is a critical productivity and engagement lever.


Career development at scale

So how do you enable that internal talent mobility in an equitable way, across the entire organisation? AI could be the answer. But it’s critical to anchor this tech to your company’s career architecture so it can be scalable and deliver on your strategic priorities.

Korn Ferry's HR technology draws on a wealth of knowledge from more than 5 billion data points and proven scientific frameworks. This encompasses our cutting-edge AI-powered dynamic feedback expert, Liv, who was showcased live for the first time in Australia during Tech Fest.

“We need to support less predictable career trajectories, and develop critical skills – at scale, and in a way that engages our workforce,” said Penny Lyford, Principal with Korn Ferry during the demo.

Korn Ferry’s career management tool helps establish this architecture to provide clarity on what it takes to thrive in any given role – across accountabilities, capabilities, and personal traits and drivers. Once you know what good looks like, you can bring it to life in a development experience that can be done at scale.

 Korn Ferry's AI avatar, Liv, has the ability to engage with employees about their assessment feedback. Subsequently, Liv can guide them in utilising these insights for their individual development by providing actionable strategies tailored to specific work situations or relevant content in the Learning Management System (LMS).


Leaning into a learning culture

The past few years have been an incredibly disruptive time for workforces globally, and there are more changes ahead. Empowering employees to feel in control of their career growth can also embed a culture of continual learning, which in turn will sustain productivity and engagement through the next evolution of work.

As Ackermann noted, this means “Generative AI is absolutely part of the employer value proposition.”

Throughout Tech Fest, the conversations we had highlighted a collective willingness to collaborate, to learn how to use these tools together. AI has the potential to enhance the experience at work and create an always-on community of learning and knowledge.

Get in touch for a demo and find out more about how Korn Ferry’s HR tech can unlock the potential of your people.



[1] Korn Ferry Institute Research - June 2023

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