People at airport

What’s HR doing in Airports?

It’s October! For people in HR that means making the difficult decision to go to the HR Tech Conference in Las Vegas or to attend HR Tech World Congress in Paris.

Once you’re on the road, take a good look around in the airports that you visit, because there’s a new kind of ads being unveiled. I travel frequently and I am used to seeing business software ads, like this larger than live series from SAP:


Even if you only travel occasionally, you’ve likely seen a variation of this ad. But lately I’ve noticed that business software ads are becoming more specific, with a surprising focus on HR.

When I visited Germany’s Frankfurt airport earlier this year, Oracle had decorated the walls and charging stations with HR Cloud ads like this one:


And when I traveled to SuccessConnect in August, here’s what I saw in the Atlanta airport. As I walked into the lounge, the big screen showed a Workday clip urging travelers to switch to the HCM cloud.

And finally, to show that HR advertising is not restricted to vendors, here is a picture I took a few weeks ago at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam from an ad for ING Bank:


I have to admit, I’m a bit puzzled about the message. While I understand ads geared towards business travelers, these ads are seen by all travelers, tourists included. So why this focus on HR?

Is it because the HCM industry is taking off? Are vendors and employers trying to prepare us for the future of work, in which HCM technology is ubiquitous and where we will work side by side with robots? Are we supposed to reflect on these messages while waiting to board a flight to our holiday destination?

So if you are traveling to Las Vegas or Paris or anywhere else these days, look around at the airport and share which HCM ads you see!