The 12th International Conference of the Dutch HRM Network took place between November 9 and 11, after it was postponed in 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The theme of this year’s conference was “HRM for Resilient Societies: A Call for Actionable Knowledge”. We were very pleased to welcome more than 200 participants, who were clearly happy to reconnect after such a long time. 

The conference was originally planned to take place one year ago, but due to the pandemic and the restrictions, the board of the Dutch HRM Network decided to postpone it to November 2022. And in hindsight we are very happy with that decision, because we could finally reconnect again, listen to inspiring keynote speakers, present our own research, catch up during lunch and coffee breaks, and enjoy the food and atmosphere during the conference dinner.

Both the economic and the Covid-19 pandemic and the restrictions highlighted the importance of organizational and societal resilience. These two crises have also tested the resilience of HRM academics and practitioners, and it underscored the relevance of our research. Hence, these developments show that the conference theme “HRM for Resilient Societies: A Call for Actionable Knowledge” is still very relevant.

The conference started Wednesday morning with the pHResh doctoral consortium, during which Beate van der Heijden gave a keynote about the sustainability of academic careers, after which PhD students discussed their research in small paper sessions with senior academics. In the afternoon, the grand opening of the conference by our host professor Tanya Bondarouk took place, with a guest appearance of social robot Mr Furhat. Afterwards, key-note speaker professor Fang Lee Cooke took the stage and called for a more human-centred approach to human resource management.

Of course, there were many paper sessions during which participants presented their research findings. On Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday there were 6 parallel sessions during which more than 150 papers were presented. And in line with the goal of the Dutch HRM Network and the conference theme, we organized a societal impact inspiration session on Thursday afternoon, during which participants pitched about how they made impact with their research projects. Thursday evening was one of the highlights of the conference with the conference dinner at the Twentse Bierbrouwerij in Hengelo.

Professor Paul Boselie received the HRM Network award for his outstanding contribution to the field of HRM. The award for best dissertation award has been given to Emma Raets for her research on idiosyncratic deals. After the desserts and awards, it was time to dance!

On Friday morning everyone was present early to hear the talk by professor Anne Keegan about HRM & Resilience in relation to platform work at different levels. The best paper award went to Madleen Meier-Barthold and Torsten Biemann for their work on signalling effects of women’s quotas. Following the two last parallel sessions, the board announced that the 13th International Conference of the Dutch HRM Network will take place in Rotterdam in 2024.

As conference organization we had to be resilient as well, but it was worth the wait! We hope participants had a good take and came home inspired and look forward to seeing you again in Rotterdam!