Forget 'Human Resources' – in 2018 it’s all about people.

That was according to co-founder of International Connector, Tony Grimminck, who spoke at the ACS NSW fireside chat in the first member event held at ACS’ new technology and innovation hub in Barangaroo.

Tony was joined onstage by the co-founder of International Connector, his wife Marti Grimminck, as the couple shared with the crowd of 45 some of the lessons they have learnt as Australians working in Silicon Valley.

Hosting the session was NSW Immediate Past Chair, Richard Baecher.

The pair started International Connector in San Francisco as an experimental marketing and social innovation agency, with a focus on engaging the next generation.

The agency particularly looks at the ways in which the needs of millennials as both consumers and employees are changing the wider industry.

“Expecting that someone is going to start and maintain a career with a single company for a prolonged period of time is now outdated,” Tony said.

“I’ve been in numerous meetings where people have said ‘annual turnover is 30%, this is horrible’, but it’s actually just the way things are.

“So, you need to structure hiring, retention, training and then empowerment of those individuals with the view they’re going to stick around for probably two or three years.”

Marti explained that retention as a concept now needs to be redefined.

“Companies are really going crazy over the fact they can’t retain millennials and why is that.”

“I think really coming to terms with the fact that you’ve got to redefine what retention is today and what does that mean for a company and how do you have a fluid system in place so you can benefit from these younger workers.”

Alongside their work with International Connector, both Tony and Marti have worked for a number of other Silicon Valley organisations, including booking app HotelTonight, where Tony worked as CFO.

He explained that the idea of human resources and policy-based approaches to employees had become outdated.

“It’s a Bay Area thing, but I find the term HR is outdated,” he said. “It’s people.”

“HR means policy and structure as opposed to it just being about your people.

“In a lot of companies I’ve worked at and advised, there’s no Head of HR, it’s the Head of People, because they’re responsible for [the] workforce.”