What’s the day-to-day of people doing the same job, but not in the same country?
The vibrant city of Marseille set the stage for an engaging and productive exchange between the Directors of Human Resources from four CIVIS member universities: Aix-Marseille Université, University of Lausanne, Paris Lodron University of Salzburg and University of Bucharest.
In a ground-breaking encounter in Marseille, representatives from the four member-universities within the CIVIS alliance gathered last month (26-27 June 2023) to exchange ideas, challenges, and innovative solutions in the field of Human Resources (HR). The enriching experience underscored the universality of common challenges faced by HR professionals across diverse cultural, social, and legal contexts. With a focus on fostering collaboration and knowledge sharing, this event proved to be an invaluable opportunity for all, according to the participants:
“The vivid dialogues we had together in these two days revealed we have a solid common ground which could be very useful for further development and alignment in various areas - talent attraction, HR processed optimization, motivation and development of employees”.-Daniela POPA Director HR Department of the University of Bucharest
Credit to Marilou Anmella (AMU)
Moreover, the primary objective of the gathering was to exchange best practices in HR departments among the four CIVIS universities. However, it quickly became apparent that the topics under discussion were not limited to these specific institutions but resonated universally within the field. Key areas of focus included digitalization and the potential of chatbots, HR organizational structure, effective recruiting and employer branding strategies, employee retention methods, and employee benefit systems.
Digitalization emerged as a central theme, with participants recognizing the transformative potential of technology in HR processes. The utilization of chatbots to streamline communication and enhance efficiency garnered considerable attention. The exchange of ideas enabled participants to envision the possibilities of implementing such digital solutions in their respective universities, transcending national boundaries.
Talent attraction and development were also prominent topics during the event. The participants recognized the importance of motivating and nurturing employees for long-term success. Strategies for talent acquisition, retention, and career development were deliberated upon extensively, leading to the identification of shared best practices that could be implemented across various institutions.
“As a result, I carry away the certainty that challenges and problems seem to be comparable throughout the countries, even if you consider different cultural and social backgrounds, divergent legal frameworks or focusses”.-Bernd Engelsberger, Director HR Department of Paris Londron University of Salzburg
In addition to the professional insights gained during the week, the participants also had the opportunity to join Aix-Marseille Université annual staff party. The atmosphere of enthusiasm and camaraderie brought by this festive occasion not only enhanced cohesion but provided a unique opportunity for the attendees to discover some best practices of staff community engagement!
As the event drew to a close, we can affirm that the diversity of perspectives, stemming from the varied backgrounds and contexts represented, enriched the dialogue and broadened the horizons of all attendees. In a nutshell, the visit to Marseille provided a platform for the participants to form lasting connections for future collaboration to bring about positive transformations that will benefit employees and institutions alike.