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What can you do to get started with Evidence-Based HR? What can HR learn from other domains? Takeaways from our gathering in a jazz club, with Rob Briner, Eric Barends, Cédric Velghe and Philippe Vandekerckhove.

Leaders Lunch: Evidence at Work

Making a difference with evidence

Within HR, evidence-based practices are still perceived by many as too narrow or hard. Nevertheless we know that, in principle, it helps people to be more effective in their decisions at work. Evidence-based HR can be part of inclusive approach, valuing different perspectives and with an openness towards softer, less tangible practices.

We gathered around the topic in a Brussels' jazz club, together with renowned experts and a group of HR leaders. You'll find the presentations below.

The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge. ~ Stephen Hawking


Professor Rob Briner & Eric Barends, respectively Academic Director & Managing Director of our partner Center for Evidence-Based Management (CEBMa), gave a pragmatic introduction on what you can do to get started with evidence-based HR.

Cédric Velghe, Managing Director of The VIGOR Unit, illustrated this with a step-by-step demo of a real HR case.

Philippe Vandekerckhove, CEO of Belgian Red Cross Flanders, provided advice on what HR can learn from applications in other fields and why the HR sector should be the first to embrace an EB approach.

Key takeaways

The organizations / clients / users of HR:

  • Must train managers in EB awareness
  • Must recruit or train enough scientifically oriented HR people
  • Can save a lot of money by stopping to “buy” non-EB practices
  • Should only use consultants that work EB

The HR sector needs:

  • More and better research
  • To use the available EB guidelines more consistently
  • Recruit enough scientifically trained people
  • Mechanisms to stop non-EB practice

Thanks to co-organizers CEBMa and The VIGOR Unit, media-partners WisKeys and HRMagazine, presenter Els Aelbrecht, visual artist Frédéric Williquet, photographer Raf Michiels, host The Music Village and all attendees.

Pictures by Raf Michiels

Edward Vanhoutte

Edward is the managing partner of Balance HR, and a fellow of CEBMa. He helps organisations in building great HR teams and in developing evidence-based HR practices. Before, he worked in various international HR roles. Besides HR science, Edward has a special interest in graphics and in social impact. "My professional mission is to make work better, especially for those who don't get the chances they deserve".

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