Interview with Barbara Zych: ”In the future we will need the ability to manage human-robots interactions”

BARBARA ZYCH is the CEO of Employer Branding Institute (ebinstitute.com). Her mission it to match people science and data for better business results and work innovations through data based employer branding.
Tell us a bit about yourself. How did your relationship with HR begin? 

Barbara: Well, I always was data-driven freak with curious mind asking “why people are working that way”. So I started my PhD in psychology but I quickly understood I want to do research for something more than academic purpose. I wanted to help people to understand themselves in the area of work better. So I decided to work for business, matching science and data driven HR. That is how I started to see connection between OD, HR and marketing. It quickly led me to employer branding. I started my first blog, then consultancy business called Employer Branding Institute. Till today we’ve prepared over 150 data-driven employer branding strategies for clients in CEE region, developing our own methodology and tools for that. Three years ago we started to scale our knowledge and automate the EB strategy planning  process– that is how we developed first SaaS platform (ebnavi.com) helping HR to strategically manage their employer brands. After so many years of working with the topic I still find employer branding a challenge. It is still fun to understand complexity of fast changing work and marketing area and to navigate employer branding processes to make revenue out of them.

What are the HR trends that you think will define the new decade?

Barbara: Automatization of the HR processes – it will influence candidate’s and employee’s service, a lot making their experience unique and comparable to the client-centered approach.

Datafication – thanks to tracking massive amount of data and AI, we will be able to understand more, plan better and react faster to business and job market needs. Which leads to more agile approach within HR.

Remote and non-standard forms of work – as the ways of people making work is changing fast, it will let us to hire more flexi, more project-based, more skills- focused. Employment as a service is going to be more and more popular changing the way we think about running HR.

How the leaders of tomorrow should look? What is your advice for them?

Barbara: Well, that is a tough question. I do not believe there is one good recipe for a good leader. But the traits we all should look for and develop are connected to the trends above. So shortly speaking:

  • We will need human skills and emotional intelligence more than technical skills or even more important the ability to manage human-robots interactions.
  • We will need even more curious minds than today. People that are ready to analyze data, understand new business models and changing consumers needs to shape business towards higher revenue.
  • We will need tech-savy and data-savy leaders. As the world of work is changing fast and new technology is disrupting the world we need to adapt quicker than ever to take right decisions.
What do you consider to be the employee benefits that could drive the highest employee motivation/satisfaction/retention/engagement?

Barbara: We constantly look at different work motivators and first rule is always the same – it must be adjusted to the profile of your target group. So go to your people and learn what motivate them the most.

But if I were to choose one general motivator it would be purpose of work. If organization is able to build purpose of why its people apply and the execute their tasks on daily basis, then it is the best engagement factor for every company and every profile. It makes people feel stick to something bigger than themselves and fulfill the need of belonging. It’s not easy to build, but it pays off. And that is something we always look for when preparing employer branding strategies for companies – to find the answer why do people wake up in the morning and give their best at work every Monday?”

What is your message for those who will attend our event ”Tomorrow@Work?

Barbara: „First, learn as much as you can, it is up to you how much you develop. Second, network with great minds you will meet there.”


More about Barbara

Her experience covers over:

  • 15 years on the HR market
  • 150 Fortune500 companies served in strategic employer branding
  • 7 books written on Organisational Development
  • over 15 HR tools produced
  • 3 HR startups set up including
  • hundreds of students at different level of employer branding needs educated
  • mentoring HRtech startups

Companies she’s been supporting include Citibank, ING, Philips Morris International, PwC, EY, Nestle, Danone, Shell, KFC, Starbucks, CircleK, Capgemini, Roche, GSK, Sephora, Avon, Lidl, Jeronimo Martins, Payback, 3M, Groupon or Coca-Cola.

See more about Barbara here: https://barbarazych.com


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