As we enter the second day of the annual HRPA Conference and Trade Show,Brent Nacu, our Director of Business Development, tells the Editor of The HR Gazette why he’s attending the event and his hopes for the coming year.
Brent gives his insights into the growing adoption of new internal communications screen media technologies amongst HR professionals and why Digital Signage is here to stay.
Editor: Tell us a bit about your career history and how you first came to learn about the HRPA Conference
Brent Nacu: The HRPA Conference is a national leader inside of the Canadian HR Industry. I personally have been in Management for over 10 years and traditionally viewed HR from the outside. It has really been in the last few years as that our company has seen a dramatic shift in who the end users of our Digital Signage programs became. We developed a strong understanding of the relationship between HR and Corporate Communications. I would sit with and train HR Directors, Managers and Coordinators on using Digital Signage and hear the challenges and real world problems they faced in communications. Problems off the top were how to engage Mutli-site communications, Multi -lingual barriers, how to reach shift and hourly-paid employees effectively and maybe the biggest… How an HR Coordinator or Maanager can save 100 hours a year in labour using Digital Signage over more traditional print, walk, send, post strategies.
These experiences and long hours of insight impacted our views and influenced development to creat a user experience that was as easy as possible. The key was about getting our head into the HR space and thinking like an HR professional. I ended up taking HR courses at University and sitting in on our own internal programs. It has produced a well -rounded connection, not only for myself, but for our company in accessing and understanding the best way to partner Communication Technology and HR Strategies.
Editor: What do you want people to know about you? About L Squared?
Brent Nacu: L Squared has become an industry leader in the Digital Signage space worldwide by creating a platform that was easy to use (drag and drop), reliable and super cost effective. This combination is an innovation in our industry. The innovation has little to do with just having and hiring bright staff, although we have a lot. The innovation was the result of spending time with our customers and listening to their issues and what “would be great to have.” The results were consistent innovation and a trust level with every customer we have. You can’t buy that. It is an internal culture you grow from self actualization, or team actualization in this case that related to our purpose as a business and “Why we do what we do.”
Editor: Tell us 3 benefits of attending the HRPA Conference
Brent Nacu: Let’s see. The first is Industry Insights – learning the combination of challenges, success and innovations that are shifting HR into an Employee Success Centric unit globally. Second is Networking, the opportunity to meet and connect with companies of all sizes. Its great hearing the insights that a company of 350 employees has versus 35,000. The programs that work, scale and grow. And also the programs and headaches that didn’t work so well. Thirdly I’d say Business Development – It’s all about the people! Relationships 101 if you will. But there is a lot of cross-functional developments taking place in the world of software and conference brings out players at every turn.
Editor: What speakers will you be looking to hear from at the conference and why?
Brent Nacu: Nicole Bendaly. Scott Stratte and Mike Walsh for starters. They all bring a different perspective to the table. Stratten’s session on culture is the future , Mike Walsh is going to discuss the Cloud and how software will continue revolutionizing HR .Of course Nicole Bendaly. She is both an academic and a CEO. Hard ot find that kind of experience packaged together.
Editor: How useful is the trade show for developing new relationships?
Brent Nacu: The trade-show and sessions are the “meat and potatoes” of the experience. Although I prefer some vegetables in most of my meals. I get to browse the vendors, meet new faces and get a pulse for the direction we’re headed. The trade show is a must see. It would be like attending the auto show and skipping the cars but listening to panelists. Plus, there is a lot of chocolate and free pens.
Editor: What’s the connection between Digital Signage and HR?
Brent Nacu: Two words: Centralized Communications. Over the next 10 years, every HR department in the world with over 75 employees will have at least one screen centrally located to push and engage staff with the latest and greatest. The days of posting job opps, anniversaries, birthdays and special announcements on paper is nearly gone. Digital Signage is the communication medium that all HR will drive through on a centralized level. And it can be managed from your desk, phone or house.
Editor: Why do you believe 2015 will be a good year to incorporate Digital Signage into one’s HR strategy?
Brent Nacu: 2015 is a banner year where software and hardware prices are the most affordable ever. You can install and run a brand new screen in your lunchroom or front entrance for around $5.00 to $6.00 per day. That’s .25 Cents / hour to communicate instantly with staff anything required. That can include Emergency Messaging as well in some cases. The time and energy savings to HR create a very attractive ROI.
Editor: Why don’t more HR pros already know about using Digital Signage for internal communications?
Brent Nacu: Simple Answer: HR doesn’t buy or procure turnkey solutions, they let procurement or IT. So even though HR wins, they might not be comfortable with or care about the size of the screen, how the network connects or how it is hosted. The key is not focusing on the brief technical details, but the operation and results. In fact my last training was a few days ago and the HR team outweighed the IT in the room 2:1. HR is getting it. The problem was our industry didn’t target or create the avenue for HR to become the champion. That is changing. Particularly in Corporate settings and Manufacturing.
Editor: What are some of the most common problems Digital Signage solves for HR and can you offer any client examples?
Brent Nacu: Most common solutions Digital Signage address include: immediate and remote uploading of materials. Instead of emailing another location and having multiple HR staff or managers go around posting materials, do it all from one place, at one time. The energy savings in terms of HR time is invaluable.
The next HR Problem it solves is that Digital Signage stores huge amounts of your content. Instead of reproducing a holiday wishes poster, simply re-use the 2014 version for 2015. This works for safety reminders and content that revolves in the HR loop.
Third, and maybe the biggest value is the scheduling ability. Forget taking down posters, forgetting timelines, etc… Digital Signage lets you “Set it and Forget It!” Put up a Word Doc Job Posting fora Regional Sales Manager. Set it for 2 weeks of run time and then it will automatically come down for the date you set. It doesn’t get any better for HR.
About Brent Nacu:
Brent Nacu is a driven, strategic, customer-focused professional with a focus towards developing internal communications strategies within HR teams. Having joined L Squared Digital Signage on the ground floor, Brent has been a key leader in operational development as well as in the long term business strategy and execution of new programs. Recent work with the Ontario HR community includes Brent’s very popular session at last Fall’s Social HR Camp in Toronto.
Brent is passionate about making life fun, and getting the most out of the people around him. He inspires thought leadership and critical thinking that elevates and engage others. When he’s not studying for his HRPA accreditations, Brent likes to use his spare time to support numerous community organizations including the Danielle Nacu Scholarship Fund, Share the Road, MDI, and the Ontario Safe Cycling Coalition.
First published in The HR Gazette