Disrupt HR - Jersey: The Review...

By Jess Stanier

On Monday this week, Disrupt HR came to Jersey. Fifteen speakers had five minutes each to tell us HR folk and business owners how to do what we do, but do it better. So, what did we think? How were the speakers? Well, here’s our run down…

It was a rainy Monday, and to be totally honest, after a busy shift at Snap HQ we weren’t in the mood for a three hour event. It’d been a long day & we begrudgingly ambled across to the Freedom Centre.

The event was a total sell-out (in the best way, literally). It was full of professionals enjoying a post-work drink and catching up with faces they’d not seen in a while – they even had bottles of our fave beer, Stinky Bay. Before long, we moved across into the main event room.

As we entered, the auditorium was booming with some fist pumping feel good tunes, and I began to worry that we might be in for a bit of a cheese-fest. Given my rainy-day head, that was not what I was looking for (but probably exactly what I needed to get me out of my funk). Shelley Managing Director at Kendrick Rose took the mic and began to expertly compere us from speaker to speaker.

The talks were fast, engaging, interesting and insightful. It was pretty cool to be able to hear so many speakers who’d travelled from all over for the event, mixed with talented local industry professionals talking confidently to the crowd. It felt like I was at a TedTalk.

So, we sat at the back (obviously). And listened away, whisper-sharing our ideas and thoughts with each other throughout. Here’s our run-down of the night.

Jennifer McClure, the CEO of DisruptHR opened the evening and covered the importance of HR in a world which is starting to believe that HR is redundant. Jennifer’s speech showed data evidence to support the fact that the most important resource to any company is still their people. And, people need HR.


John Gamble, Director – HR Nectar

John highlighted the importance of using data to inform good decision making. This for us is one of the best things about digital marketing, for the first time our clients are truly able to see their ROI.


Jimmy Kelly, Performance Coach – MasonBreese

Jimmy’s ‘The Science of Play’ was entertaining, well presented and interesting. And, most of all we liked it because we realised while you were speaking Jimmy, that we tick every box in making time for play, learning, growth and collaborating to find new solutions. Hazzar!


Clare-Louise Knox, Director & Organisational Psychologist – See Her Thrive

Clare-Louise’s ‘The Vagina Monologues’ had me empathising, laughing along and totally shocked at the data that was produced on reproductive-related illness. In our business, which is made up of ten guys plus me (holla repping for the ladies), it is pretty important to have an inclusive environment. Clare, your talk was an eye opener and it was a fab talking point which helped broch the subject of periods at work. So, thank you. Some of us cycle into work, some of us also cycle at work.


Paul Milbank, Founding Director – ValueMetrix 

Paul discussed ‘flying together’ and human potential, showing us how important it is to all have the same core rules or vision, but be able to operate as we wish within that premise in order to really grow and fly together. Big personalities, but singing from the same hymn sheet.


Tom Hacquoil, CEO – Pinpoint

Tom was hands-down our stand-out speech of the evening. Really the biggest learn here was that being yourself works, telling it like it is works, highlighting new ways to grow works and using data to back it all up works too. No doubt Tom’s cheeky speech on ‘Diagnosing Recruitment Insanity’ has won him a load of new business – and so it should. He was fantastic.


Daniel Read, Senior Counsel, Employment – Walkers

Daniel spoke about conflict, difficult conversations and compromise. He asked the audience why should you compromise when you can manage a poor manager, reward good staff over bad, investigate, find the source of the problem… and above all, get back to basics and talk about things. Daniel’s speech showed us that our open door, open conversation policy really is the best way to go about managing conflict.


Katrina Collier, Founder – The Searchologist 

Katrina’s talk ‘HR, You Need to Accept that You’re Recruiting in a Transparent World’ highlighted the power of social media. Our learn here was to make time for an internal social media audit of our business and our people, to see how we look online. It’ll be a fun (and productive) hour of our time that will really make a difference – it’s mapped in for Monday. We’ve even already organised some new headshots as ours were… well, put your current profile picture into photofeeler.com and you’ll get my drift.


Marisa Ballantyne, Consultant – People.je

Marisa’s talk was called ‘Change at 8’, where she spoke about her experience in coaching and change management. At Snap, we totally believe in coaching of all kinds – at the moment we are organising upskilling and shadowing days inhouse.


Christopher Burd, Managing Director – Reel Ability 

Christopher discussed the power of video. He gave some interesting facts and figures about the use of video content, not just in marketing but also in onboarding new staff, video handbooks and more. It really made us think about how we could use tech to step into that HR space and help provide solutions.


Natasha Egre, Head of Client and Product Development – Marbral Advisory

Natasha’s ‘The Humans are Dead’ questioned how technology is going to change the way we work, how it already is, and what it means for us. Think biometric scanning for interviews, being able to tell if a candidate is being honest or not. Yes, AI will replace workers in specific positions, but also imagine how it can create more jobs too.


Kate Wright, Co-Founder – The Diversity Network

Kate talked about taking a chance with your staff, and how sometimes the diamonds in the rough are the ones who will power your business forward – despite maybe not ticking all the boxes on paper. For us, this sounds a lot like our Digital Marketing Executive Sonny Teeling, who we are unbelievably proud of. Sonny, was straight out of Highlands College studying Business. When he left, he joined Snap as a Digital Marketing Junior. We sent him on the Digital Marketing course through Digital Jersey, and he found his forte. He studied up, completed further online courses and has quickly became an absolute tech whizz, who could easily now teach intelligent digital marketing to a room packed with people. Sonny is a mega-star in the murky world of digital marketing, and regularly wins our clients new business with small ad budget, because he is so damn good at what he does.


David Ogilivie, Director – The Resilience Development Company

David’s talk featured a glamorous assistant holding a glass of water. The premise was that it got pretty heavy after a while of being held adjacent to the floor, and represented what real wellbeing is… helping. This made us consider our own workplace. As a startup, it is no surprise that salary isn’t the reason people are here. But the culture is. The way we help, we care, we are invested in our people.


Suzanne Lucas, Writer, speaker and general all-round Evil HR Lady

Suzanne, aka Evil HR Lady, presented her entitled ‘It’s Time to Start Recruiting Satisfactory Employees to Work at Okay Companies’ which was highly entertaining. Although it made us think that we’re very lucky to have a ream of staff who are way better than satisfactory. But, we totally concur about not being able to find the IT guy when you need him – Suzanne, we actually have our IT Guy sharing his live location with us on all times. We call it the Jack Mac Tracker.

As we listened, I could see the boys nodding along with the speakers. Yep, this sounds like us. Our office is filled with laughter, fun, creativity. We’re thinking outside of the box. We encourage idea bounces, whether the idea turns out to be world-changing or complete pants. But that isn’t just so that we’re ticking boxes in how the best way to work is… it is just how we work. It was so reassuring as a young business to be able to sit at an event and think… yep, we got this part right.


Simon Nash, Managing Director of Insight Group

To end the evening, Simon (who we’ve recently outsourced our more formal HR bits to) delivered a heartwarming speech on kindness, entitled ‘The Kindness Rebellion’. It was the perfect note to end the evening on. Concentrating on what it is to be human, and the gravitas that being good, being kind, can hold.


For us, the number one thing we realised was that we’d already been implementing a lot of the HR strategies that the industry professionals at DisruptHR were talking about. We hadn’t even realised it. A pretty good feeling for a business just two years old. There were many ideas whizzing around our heads, strategies we could implement or tech we could create to make HR professionals roles easier. So what next? Well, the Snap team will definitely be at the next Disrupt HR event. Maybe next time we will be speaking, and you can write a review on us!