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Where does disruption in the HR sector come from?

In a opinion published on Pulse on February 21, 2017, Alain Roumilhac, president of ManpowerGroup France, delivers an insightful analysis on the upheavals in the world of Human Resources.

In particular, he points out that the players driving the industry's disruption are not originally specialists, but rather innovators eager to bring a fresh eye and new practices to HR.

In particular, he points out that the players driving the industry's disruption are not originally specialists, but rather innovators eager to bring a fresh eye and new practices to HR.

HR innovators don't come from the HR world.

"Who drives the disruption of a sector ? Where does it come from ? From within or, on the contrary... from elsewhere? This is a question that is particularly close to my heart. The analysis of Human Resources startups, who have recently brought a revolution to the field, provides an answer to this question. Who are they? What do they want? They are... the innovators.

The world of work is changing and for the better : hundreds of French startups are now investing the HR field.

In September 2016, they raised 8.5 million euros, among them : Klaxoon, Wizbii, Staffme

Faced with challenges that often provoke more fear than reason, these new players are innovating. Often driven by a desire to change the order of things, they propose solutions to remove blockages. Today, it is a whole generation of innovators who, through their creative spirit, are shaking up the great employment machine - and seem determined to update it ! 

But while there's a lot of talk about what they do, there's less talk about... who they are ! It's a question I've been asking myself for a long time, and one that seemed particularly topical on February 2, when I had the chance to attend the Entrepreneur Show - and that we are now engaging in preparations for VivaTechnology, the big show dedicated to startups that will take place in early summer.

Who are (really) these innovators looking to shake up the HR world ? And what does this tell us about how to collaborate with them ? For the past year, ManpowerGroup has been working with hundreds of HR startups through its Pathfinder Office Watch. Thanks to this, I was able to indulge in a little analysis of their profiles to test intuition...against the numbers.

And you won't be surprised to learn: the profile of HR startups is at odds with the traditional world of human resources. The HR disruption... comes from elsewhere !


" Those who disrupt HR...do not come from HR "

Business school, university, engineering school... I observe it every day: the entrepreneurs who disrupt HR don't come from HR !

In the Office Pathfinder program, of the 100 or so startups we worked with, nearly two-thirds had neither training nor experience in the HR field. We have, for example, forged close ties with Welcome to The Jungle, Work4, CornerJob or Goshaba, all entrepreneurial profiles that have come to HR topics with a fresh eye.

What we are seeing is that this phenomenon is not unique to this sector, quite the contrary ! Sandra Rey for example, creator of the bioluminescent energy startup Glowee, explained at the Salon des Entrepreneurs that she did not come from the scientific world at all, but from the design world.

Another remarkable point is that one-third of these startuppers are under 30 years old. This confirms what we've been noticing in the job market for a few years now : a growing desire to be entrepreneurial among the younger generations. This desire comes earlier and earlier : sometimes, launching one's startup constitutes for them a first professional experience. A success that is not denied because, according to a recent Opinion Way study, 62% of 18-24 year olds want to create their own business.

But what does this look at the HR  Generation Startup tell us?

" What a lot to ignore in order to act ! "

The first thing to remember is a principle that we can all apply when it comes to considering an innovation process and that we could illustrate with this phrase from Paul Valéry  " How many things one must ignore in order to act ! "

And this is not negative...quite the contrary ! Putting oneself in a position to invent is not only learning, it is also... unlearning.

Everything to put oneself in a position to take a fresh look at things. Make the effort not to cling to certain acquired knowledge to make room for new skills. Accepting to get rid of certain reflexes and putting oneself in a situation of creativity : opening oneself to serendipity, i.e. to the idea of discovering by chance results... that one was not looking for at the beginning.

After all, when Christopher Columbus discovered America...he was looking for a new route to Asia !

"A clear complementarity between contractors and experts ! "

What does this reveal about the relationship between contractors and experts?

Complementarity, of course. While innovators bring their desire to change things and take a fresh look at a sector and its practices, they are often in high demand for an expert eye, both on Human Resources, but also on ways to scale. The result? The possibility of a very fruitful collaboration by combining know-how.


They must therefore actively identify and support the most innovative startups, and offer them, not coaching, but a true peer-to-peer relationship. Incubator, open innovation, buyout, collaboration... initiatives are multiplying. A great opportunity to unleash energies, and even more, to create synergies. It is because they are complementary that experts and entrepreneurs are stronger together !

For all that, it is up to companies to know how to welcome these innovations within them  today, the role of the manager is no longer simply to seek to " manage " his employees, but rather to create a relationship of mutual trust - and to do everything possible to unleash their creative energies. 

For while disruption comes from elsewhere, transformation can only come...from within.


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Topics: Inbound Recruiting, Idées