Tag: SHRM

Maximizing Your #SHRM15 Experience

The 2015 edition of the SHRM Annual Conference and Expo is now just a little over a week away.  As you begin your preparations to converge on Fabulous Las Vegas next weekend, amidst deciding which comfy shoes you’re going to bring (and maybe some not-so-comfy ones for the evening hours), packing sun block for the pool, choosing which Vegas attractions you’ll hit in your free time, and stashing away your cash for the blackjack tables, have you given any thought as to how you’re going to truly maximize your conference experience?

 

I’ve written about this topic in past years, but feel it’s worth revisiting each year.  No matter if it’s your first, third, or tenth time attending, giving some thought to how you’re going to utilize your time can only work to your advantage.  Because let’s face it, once you arrive and get swept up in the whirlwind that is SHRM Annual….especially with this year’s location being Las Vegas….it can be very easy to lose focus and find yourself on the plane ride home asking yourself, “what did I actually accomplish?”

 

SHRM Annual puts an incredible amount of knowledge and resources at your disposal.  Between the sessions, the Expo Hall, and the unlimited amount of networking opportunities available, if you leave without taking something of value with you, it really is your own fault.  However, what you get out of it is largely based on what you put into it.  Are you there going through the motions and playing it safe in your comfort zone, or are you making a concerted effort to obtain the maximum benefit from your experience?  I encourage you to consider the following.

 

Plan Ahead

Take some time to plan out your schedule.  Use the Session Planner to review the list of concurrent sessions available, and target the ones you know you want to attend that you think will provide you the most value.  But leave yourself some flexibility to change your mind, and have back up plans in place: anyone who has attended before knows that some sessions will fill up, and you may need to move on to your second choice.  Furthermore, if the session you choose doesn’t meet your expectations or isn’t what you thought it would be, don’t be afraid to walk out and join another session!  This is your time, don’t waste it in a session that does nothing for you.  And don’t feel guilty about it.  And don’t forget to download the Conference App on your smart phone or tablet to keep information and your schedule at your fingertips.

 

Challenge Yourself

Sure, you could choose to attend sessions on topics familiar to you and stick with your comfort zone.  But with so many topics across 7 different tracks, why not expose yourself to something new?  This is your chance to expand your horizons beyond the scope of your everyday job.  Why not choose a mix of sessions that both enhance your current knowledge and also stretch your mind a bit?

 

Don’t Try To Do It All

This may seem to go against convention, but don’t feel as if you have to pack your schedule every day.  It’s okay if you decide you don’t want to attend a session during one of the time frames.  Figure out what works best for you.  Perhaps you’re an early riser; get up and take advantage of the 7:00 AM sessions, and then maybe sneak away for a break in the later afternoon.  Or if you prefer to rise a little later, take advantage of the sessions later in the day.  Whatever your preference, don’t be afraid to allow yourself some downtime to process what you’ve learned and recharge when you need it.

 

Try Something Different

Sure, the primary reason for attending the conference is for the sessions.  But there are a variety of happenings beyond the general and concurrent sessions that can provide just as much value.  Visit the Expo Hall and talk to some vendors, or at least get a feel for the types of solutions that are out there.  Check out some of the Smart Stage presentations for info in quick and actionable 15 minute blocks.  Visit the SHRM Bookstore and pick up a few new titles to take home with you.  There’s a lot to be experienced outside of traditional sessions!

 

Network

Some of the most valuable takeaways from your conference experience could come from the connections you make in the hallways between sessions, in the expo hall, or at the multitude of social events that will take place over the course of the four days.  Take advantage of the other HR pros that are there; there is a wealth of knowledge to be shared beyond the official sessions.  Talk to people.  Make new connections.  You never know how valuable they could be some day.  Instead of just going back to your hotel at the end of the day, attend some of the sponsored social events, or organize some outings of your own with new found friends; these are great ways to connect in a more meaningful way with people in a more relaxed atmosphere….and you may have a little fun while you’re at it!

 

Have Some Fun Too!

Let’s face it, it’s Vegas. There are a million and one things to do, even if you’re not a gambler.  It’s okay to allow yourself to have some fun outside of the conference.  I’m not suggesting all-nighters at the craps table or at Drai’s After Hours….but if you must, do yourself a favor and make sure you take your conference badge off first.

 

Most of all, enjoy your experience.  Good luck, learn a lot, and have fun!  See you in Vegas!

 

About the Author: Jennifer Payne, SPHR, SHRM-SCP has over 16 years of HR experience in employee relations, talent acquisition, and learning & development, and currently works in talent acquisition and development in the retail grocery industry.  She is one of the co-founders of Women of HR, and is currently the Editor of the site. You can connect with her on Twitter as @JennyJensHR and on LinkedIn.


What Happens In Vegas, Shouldn’t Stay In Vegas (In This Case…) #SHRM15 Preview

Posted on June 9th, by Jennifer Payne in HR Conferences, SHRM Chapters and Conferences. No Comments

We’re just a few weeks out from the 2015 SHRM Annual Conference, happening this year from June 28th – July 1st in the mecca of all conference meccas, Fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada.  Vegas tends to be rather polarizing as far as conference goers are concerned; most either love attending conferences there, or despise it.  I’m personally in the “love it” camp, and am excited to be heading there for some learning, networking, reconnecting, and (of course) some fun on The Strip.

I’m also fortunate that for the third year in a row to be part of the official SHRM15 Blogging and Social Media Team.  That means I have the distinct pleasure of attending as a voice for the conference, helping the spread the word about all of the great conference related happenings, learnings, and general goings on.  I’ll be doing that through a combination of social media coverage and live tweeting of sessions, as well as coverage on this blog.

So what do we have in store for this year’s event, the ultimate annual gathering of HR practitioners and one of the crown jewels of the HR conference circuit?

 

General Sessions

Each day brings a different keynote speaker, typically big names who are brought in to inspire and motivate us as attendees to look beyond the day to day functions of our jobs and consider larger business and global issues and trends.  They tend to fit into specific categories or types of speakers – usually the celebrity or political figure, CEO type, management/HR pundit (or author), and the motivational speaker (credit to fellow blogger Matthew Stollak for coining the archetypes).  I’m not sure if this year’s fit exactly into those four categories, but it’s close.  We’ll be hearing from legendary NCAA basketball coach of the Duke Blue Devils Mike “Coach K” Krzyzewski, New York Times bestselling author Marcus Buckingham, co-host of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” Mika Brzezinski, and celebrity surgeon and TV personality Dr. Mehmet Oz.  Reactions to the Dr. Oz choice have been very mixed, and there’s been debate on social media regarding his relevance, so we’ll see where that one goes.  I’ll be highlighting key messages from these speakers throughout the conference.

On a side note, originally slated to speak was Sheryl Sandberg, but after the recent sudden and tragic passing of her husband Dave Goldberg, she was soon after replaced with Mika Brzezinski.  Though I would have loved to have the opportunity to hear her speak, my heart (and I’m sure the hearts of all SHRM15 attendees) goes out to her and the grief she’s enduring.

 

Concurrent Sessions

SHRM Annual offers over 200 concurrent sessions in six different tracks.  Though I never seem to be able to squeeze in as many as I’d like to attend, I always make a point to catch at least a few.   These sessions are typically where many of the practical tips, tricks, and lessons learned are shared, often by fellow practitioners or former practitioners.   Two sessions of note involve speakers who are affiliated with the blog: Trish McFarlane, one of my co-founders, will be presenting with Steve Boese on “After the Contracts are Signed: Key to Successful HR Technology Implementation.”  And contributing writer Donna Rogers will be teaming up with fellow SHRM15 blogger Dave Ryan to discuss “Running an HR Department of One.”

 

The Smart Stage

Making its debut last year at SHRM14 in Orlando, the Smart Stage (last year situated just outside of the Expo Hall) offers 15-18 minute TED-like talks given on a variety of topics, and conveniently grouped together in blocks of three to four sessions with breaks for Q&A in between.  I had the opportunity to present on the Smart Stage last year, and feedback in general about the format was very positive.  It was a quick and easy way to catch some very informative presentations on actionable topics; with the short talks grouped together, it’s an efficient way to soak in knowledge on various subjects all in one timeframe, helping you make the most of your time.

 

Social Events

Conferences as large as SHRM Annual always offer numerous social opportunities, typically sponsored by various vendors.  With this year’s conference location being Las Vegas, with its multitude of bars, restaurants, clubs, and other entertainment venues, I suspect it will be no exception.  Information on such events tends to come out fast as furious in the weeks leading up to the conference, so inevitably we’ll begin to hear more soon.  These events offer the perfect opportunity for additional networking, and a chance to get to know all of your new connections a little better outside the confines of a session room.  I recommend seeking out the ones that sound most appealing to you and checking them out.  And hey, you’ll probably even get a free drink and some appetizers as part of the deal!

So if you’re attending the conference, be sure to engage in all of the opportunities available to you.  If you’re on Twitter, tweet along with the #SHRM15 hashtag and join in the discussion.  Connect with me and my fellow bloggers for in the moment updates.  And if you’re not able to be there, you can still follow along with conference happenings by following the hashtag and checking out updates here and from all of the official SHRM15 bloggers.

See you in Vegas!

 

About the Author: Jennifer Payne, SPHR, SHRM-SCP has over 16 years of HR experience in employee relations, talent acquisition, and learning & development, and currently works in talent acquisition and development in the retail grocery industry.  She is one of the co-founders of Women of HR, and is currently the Editor of the site. You can connect with her on Twitter as @JennyJensHR and on LinkedIn.


Closing Thoughts From #SHRM14 – Transformation

Posted on June 26th, by Jennifer Payne in SHRM Chapters and Conferences. 2 comments

Transformation

The theme of the 2014 SHRM Annual Conference, and one that manifested in a number of ways throughout the course of the four days.  The keynote speakers touched on it.  Many of the concurrent and Smart Stage sessions reinforced it.  But the question is, did the HR professionals that attended walk away ready to assume a transformational mindset?

I found it encouraging that by design the programming of SHRM Annual seemed to promote the idea of transformation.  Of course the keynote speakers supported the idea, as you would expect they would; any good keynote will bring the theme of the conference into their message in some way.  Robin Roberts encouraged us to be grateful for what we have, but never stop striving for the next thing, for something bigger, and encouraged us to put ourselves in position for great things to happen.  Tom Friedman focused on our hyper-connected world, and how that changes not only how we work as HR professionals, but how that fundamentally changes our workplaces, the expectations of our employees, and the necessary skill sets for success going forward.  And David Novak talked about the need for HR professionals to start thinking and acting like marketers, that we are the keepers of the message of what it means to work for our companies, perhaps a mindset shift for many.

But beyond the messages of the keynotes, I also found it encouraging that many of the concurrent sessions focused on topics intended to facilitate a transformational mindset.  Sessions like Jason Lauritsen’s “HR as Social Architect” where he discussed the idea of building and harnessing not just the human capital of our workplaces, but also the social capital of our workforces in an effort to leverage the power of the collective.  Jessica Miller-Merrell discussed how we can use social media as a low or no cost way to engage and communicate with our employees.  And Trish McFarlane and Steve Boese demystified the process of working with HR technology vendors to effectively select and implement the right solutions to make our jobs more efficient.  All of these sessions had good sized audiences, which validates that HR pros have an appetite to learn not just about how to deal with the tactical issues that we face day to day, but also about these more transformative topics.

One of the biggest changes to SHRM Annual programming this year was the addition of The Connection Zone, and specifically the Smart Stage.  Now I may be a little biased since I was a speaker on the Smart Stage myself, but the concept itself was intriguing, and yes, a bit transformational for SHRM Annual….fifteen to eighteen minute presentations on a variety of actionable topics, programmed together in groups of three so that attendees could get a sampling of a variety of information within a one-hour timeframe, complete with Q&A with the speakers afterwards.  And many of the topics presented were focused on technology, discussions of current trends, or predictions for future trends.  I found myself migrating back to the Smart Stage numerous times throughout the course of the conference for the opportunity to soak in some ideas quickly and efficiently.  Perhaps this was the beginning of a shift in the way we present information in conference settings?

Though there’s still a lot of work to do to get us ready to handle the changes in our workplaces that are coming (and in some cases already here) as a result of advances in technology and the hyper-connected and transparent world in which we now live, I walked away from the conference excited about the shifts that I saw, and excited to help promote that transformational mindset shift among my colleagues and peers.  As a profession, I think we are beginning to take the right steps.  The question remains, how many of us as a collective body of professionals are ready to join in and make that shift?  Will you join in the shift?


Maximizing Your #SHRM14 Experience

Posted on June 17th, by Jennifer Payne in SHRM Chapters and Conferences. No Comments

This weekend I’ll be heading to Orlando for the #SHRM14 Annual Conference and Expo.  Many of you may be joining me; for some of you it may be your first time, others of you may be SHRM Annual veterans.  No matter if it’s your first time or tenth time attending, I ask you this question: Are you maximizing your conference experience?

 

I’ve written about this topic in previous years, but I feel that it’s worth revisiting as I’m not convinced that even the most veteran of conference goers utilize the opportunities available as well as they could.  So here’s some of the advice I’ve given in previous years, with some new additions as well.

 

There is an abundance of information to be learned and knowledge to be shared at the conference, and what you get out of it is largely based on what you put into it.  Are you there going through the motions and playing it safe in your comfort zone, or are you making a concerted effort to obtain the maximum benefit from your experience?  I encourage you to consider the following.

 

Plan Ahead

Take some time to plan out your schedule.  Review the list of concurrent sessions available, and target the ones you know you want to attend that you think will provide you the most value.  But leave yourself some flexibility to change your mind, and have back up plans in place: anyone who has attended before knows that some sessions will fill up, and you may need to move on to your second choice.  Furthermore, if the session you choose doesn’t meet your expectations or isn’t what you thought it would be, don’t be afraid to walk out and join another session!  This is your time, don’t waste it in a session that does nothing for you.  And don’t feel guilty about it.  And don’t forget to download the Conference App to keep information and your schedule at your fingertips.

 

Challenge Yourself

Sure, you could choose to attend sessions on topics familiar to you and stick with your comfort zone.  But with so many topics across 7 different tracks, why not expose yourself to something new?  This is your chance to expand your horizons beyond the scope of your everyday job.  Why not choose a mix of sessions that both enhance your current knowledge and also stretch your mind a bit?

 

Don’t Try To Do It All

This may seem to go against convention, but don’t feel as if you have to pack your schedule every day.  It’s okay if you decide you don’t want to attend a session during one of the time frames.  Allow yourself some downtime to process what you’ve learned and recharge when you need it.  And let’s face it, we’re going to be in Orlando where there are a multitude of entertainment options.  It’s okay to allow yourself a little downtime to have some fun outside of the conference.

 

Try Something Different

Sure, the primary reason for attending the conference is for the sessions.  But there are a variety of happenings beyond the general and concurrent sessions that can provide just as much value.  Visit the Expo Hall and talk to some vendors, or at least get a feel for what types of solutions are out there.  Check out the Connection Zone and some of the Smart Stage presentations.  Visit the SHRM Bookstore and pick up a few new titles to take home with you.  There’s a lot to be experienced outside of traditional sessions!

 

Network

Some of the most valuable takeaways from your conference experience could come from the connections you make in the hallways between sessions, in the expo hall, or at the multitude of social events that will take place over the course of the four days.  Take advantage of the other HR pros that are there; there is a wealth of knowledge to be shared beyond the official sessions.  Talk to people.  Make new connections.  You never know how valuable they could be some day.  Instead of just going back to your hotel at the end of the day, attend some of the sponsored social events; they are a great way to connect with people in a more relaxed atmosphere….and you may have a little fun while you’re at it!

 

Most of all, enjoy your experience.  Good luck, learn a lot, and have fun!  See you in the Sunshine State!

 

About the Author: Jennifer Payne, SPHR has over 16 years of HR experience in employee relations, talent acquisition, and learning & development, and currently works in talent management in the retail grocery industry.  She is one of the co-founders of Women of HR, and is currently the Editor of the site. You can connect with her on Twitter as @JennyJensHR and on LinkedIn.


Maximizing Your #SHRM13 Experience

Posted on June 13th, by Jennifer Payne in SHRM Chapters and Conferences. No Comments

For the next week, as thousands of HR professionals from around the country and world converge on Chicago for the 2013 SHRM Annual Conference and Expo, Women of HR will be joining them and featuring all things SHRM Annual related…

As I mentioned here yesterday, this weekend I’ll be heading to Chicago for the #SHRM13 Annual Conference and Expo.  Many of you may be joining me; for some of you it may be your first time, others of you may be SHRM Annual veterans.  No matter if it’s your first time or tenth time attending, I ask you this question: Are you maximizing your conference experience?

 There is an abundance of information to be learned and knowledge to be shared at the conference, and what you get out of it is largely based on what you put into it.  Are you there going through the motions and playing it safe in your comfort zone, or are you making a concerted effort to obtain the maximum benefit from your experience?  Here are a few of my tips for ensuring you get the most from your time in Chicago.

 Plan Ahead

Take some time to plan out your schedule.  Review the list of concurrent sessions available, and target the ones you know you want to attend that you think will provide you the most value.  But leave yourself some flexibility to change your mind, and have back up plans in place: anyone who has attended before knows that some sessions will fill up, and you may need to move on to your second choice.  Furthermore, if the session you choose doesn’t meet your expectations or isn’t what you thought it would be, don’t be afraid to walk out and join another session!  This is your time, don’t waste it in a session that does nothing for you.  And don’t feel guilty about it.

 Challenge Yourself

Sure, you could choose to attend sessions on topics familiar to you and stick with your comfort zone.  But with so many topics across 7 different tracks, why not expose yourself to something new?  This is your chance to expand your horizons beyond the scope of your everyday job.  Why not choose a mix of sessions that both enhance your current knowledge and also stretch your mind a bit?

 Don’t Try To Do It All

This may seem to go against convention, but don’t feel as if you have to pack your schedule every day.  It’s okay if you decide you don’t want to attend a session during one of the time frames.  Allow yourself some downtime to process what you’ve learned and recharge when you need it. 

 Network

Some of the most valuable takeaways from your conference experience could come from the connections you make in the hallways between sessions, in the expo hall, or at the multitude of social events that will take place over the course of the four days.  Take advantage of the other HR pros that are there; there is a wealth of knowledge to be shared beyond the official sessions.  Talk to people.  Make new connections.  You never know how valuable they could be some day.  Instead of just going back to your hotel at the end of the day, attend some of the sponsored socials and parties; they are a great way to connect with people in a more relaxed atmosphere….and you may have a little fun while you’re at it!

 Most of all, enjoy your experience.  Good luck, learn a lot, and have fun!


Chicago Bound! #SHRM13 Preview

Posted on June 12th, by Jennifer Payne in SHRM Chapters and Conferences. No Comments

For the next week, as thousands of HR professionals from around the country and world converge on Chicago for the 2013 SHRM Annual Conference and Expo, Women of HR will be joining them and featuring all things SHRM Annual related…

This weekend I’ll be heading to Chicago, IL for the 2013 SHRM Annual Conference and Expo, running from Sunday, June 16th though Wednesday, June 19th at McCormick Place in downtown Chicago.  I am fortunate and honored to have been invited to be a part of the #SHRM13 Social Media team, and will thus be attending to cover the events of the conference, share information, and generally help build excitement around the event.

Next week, check back here for posts about what’s happening in and around the conference.  I’ll be sharing my thoughts on information and key learnings that particularly resonate with me.  I’ll certainly be highlighting keynotes from Blake Mycoskie , Daniel Pink , and Mark KellyGabby Giffords, but I’ll also be sharing information from various concurrent sessions as well. 

If you’re on Twitter, be sure to follow the hashtag #SHRM13; I, along with my fellow Social Media Team members, and many others will be tweeting to share information and impressions from the sessions and other conference events and happenings as well.  It’s a great way to keep up with what’s happening in real time, even if you can’t be there. 

In addition, SHRM has done a fantastic job in building an online conference community for this year’s conference.  Head on over and check out the site – if you’re attending it’s a great resource for everything confernece related.  Even if you’re not attending, if you are a SHRM member you can still check in and read the discussions and blog posts; I’m certain there will be a wealth of great information shared here over the course of the four days.

 And lastly, if you’re also attending the conference, let me know!  You can connect with me on Twitter @JennyJensHR or on LinkedIn.  

 See you in Chicago!


Louisiana SHRM: When Culture … meets Culture!

Posted on February 12th, by Robin Schooling in SHRM Chapters and Conferences. Comments Off on Louisiana SHRM: When Culture … meets Culture!

Here in Louisiana we’re mighty proud of our unique and fascinating culture.   When we take a dash of how we practice various religions, toss in our music, our holidays, our festivals and our food (oh the food!) and mix them all together we end up with a mighty delicious gumbo.  One that includes bits and pieces from the people who arrived here from all over – the French and the Acadians, the Spanish, native Americans, African slaves and free people of color – to name just a few.  If you’ve spent just a day in Louisiana you no doubt have a desire to return.  It can be quite magical.

When designing the overall program content for the 2013 Louisiana SHRM State Conference which will be held on April 8/9 in Baton Rouge, it seemed like a natural fit to explore another type of culture – organizational culture.  This, with all its related components, is something that we, as HR leaders and professionals think about, wrestle with and work with every single day.  The three keynote speakers are highly sought after thought leaders in the HR/Recruiting space and we’re greatly looking forward to what they have to say on the subject:

• Dwane Lay – Changing Culture: The Impossible, the Possible, and Living on the Difference

• Jennifer McClure – The Future of HR: Delivering Competitive Advantage in Your Organization

• Bill Boorman – The ‘Cult’ of Work

In addition, we’ll be offering an incredible line-up of concurrent sessions (24 in all!) with topics ranging from “HR’s Turning Point” to “Succession Planning 101” to “Extre

me Labor Relations:  Life in the New Environment.”   In addition to leading a general session as one of our keynote speakers, Jennifer McClure will also be facilitating a pre-conference workshop on Sunday April 7th on the topic “Using Social Media in HR & Recruiting.”  And, for some extra added fun, Drive thru HR will be broadcasting “live” from the conference both days.

Another brand new component of the conference this year will be Social Media Street; a gathering place where attendees can get hands-on in-the-moment guidance and advice from a whole host of awesome HR social media leaders.  And naturally, being Louisiana, we intend to socialize – with a kick-off reception on Sunday evening and a lively, fun, energetic Monday Evening Social at a venue called Boudreaux and Thibodeaux’s where we’ll feast on Natchitoches Mini Meat Pies, Boudin Balls and Cochon de Lait Sandwiches.

We love visitors and invite everyone to come pass a good time with us in Louisiana.  Get your HR learning on, earn up to 14 of those all-important HRCI recertification credits, and take a stroll down Social Media Street.

Laissez les bon temps rouler.

About the author: Robin Schooling, SPHR, is Vice President of Human Resources at the Louisiana Lottery Corporation and a regular contributor to Women of HR.  She serves as the Speaker/Program Chair for the Louisiana SHRM State Conference and also holds the role of Secretary/Treasurer on the SHRM State Council.  She blogs at HR Schoolhouse and you can always find her hanging out on twitter.

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HR Conferences: Reflections of #SHRM12

Posted on July 4th, by Jennifer Payne in Business and Workplace. Comments Off on HR Conferences: Reflections of #SHRM12

I had the opportunity this year to attend the SHRM 2012 Annual Conference and Exposition for the first time this year. This year's event brought nearly 16,000 HR professionals to Atlanta, GA for four days of learning and connecting, and I was honored and privileged to be among them.

For our readers who were not able to attend (and even for those who were) I wanted to share my observations and take aways from the experience.

I quickly realized that at a conference as large as this one, it is simply not possible to do, see, and learn everything that you want to, so my strategy became focused on finding a few gems of wisdom to bring back. The keynote speakers offered many:

  • Condoleezza Rice spoke about role models and mentors and encouraged attendees to broaden their minds as they looked for theirs. To her, role models and mentors don't need to look like you, they simply need to have an interest in you. For us, the Women of HR, this is a useful message. Though it's beneficial to find successful women to emulate, that's not to say we cannot learn from and be mentored by the successful men around us.
  • Malcolm Gladwell spoke of the new generational paradigm and how Millenials have a profoundly different notion of how social organizations behave. Our role as HR professionals is to bridge the gap between the Millenials' flexible, decentralized, network focused view of the workplace, and the traditional structured hierarchical view. There are benefits and drawbacks to both; we must figure out how to harness the power of each.
  • Jim Collins challenged us to aspire to be the dumbest person in the room as that's what great leaders do. As we grow and develop in our roles as leaders, one of the wisest things we can do is surround ourselves with people who know more than we do; by doing this it challenges us to keep stretching our own capabilities and mak

    es our teams that much stronger.

  • Tom Brokaw reminded us that the latest generation to enter the workforce is coming out of school with a wariness for institutions and an entrepreneurial mindset. As HR leaders we need to figure out how to welcome them into our workplaces as encourage and motivate them to their fullest potential. He also said that the 21st century will be the century of women; some say it already is. Either way, we will have increasing responsibilities within our organizations and society as a whole.

But beyond the speakers, sessions, and nuggets of wisdom, the thing that struck me the most about being in attendance at SHRM was incredible feeling of being in the presence of so many fellow HR professionals with a passion for what we do. The camaraderie was palpable, especially if you embraced the opportunities to network and took advantage of the social engagements available to attendees.

We're living in a changing world and working in a changing industry, but being there, among my colleagues from around the country and the world, I couldn't help but to feel, in the wise words of Tom Brokaw, “we're all in this together.”

If you'd like to read about other attendees' and bloggers' impressions and leanings from the SHRM conference, you can search the #SHRM12 hash tag on Twitter or visit SHRM's Buzz site at http://buzz.annual.shrm.org/

About the author: Jennifer Payne, SPHR is experienced in employee relations, employment/staffing and training & development. She currently works in talent management in the retail grocery industry and is honored to be in the company of such talented and seasoned Women of HR bloggers. Jen is a fan of happy hours, hockey, traveling and connecting with interesting people. You can connect with her on Twitter as @JennyJensHR and on LinkedIn as Jennifer Payne, SPHR.

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HR Creative Destruction: Meet Angela Hills

Posted on June 27th, by Shauna Moerke in Women of HR Interviews. Comments Off on HR Creative Destruction: Meet Angela Hills

Good morning everyone and a special good morning to all of you who made their way out to Atlanta for the 2012 SHRM National Conference. The Women of HR had a great turnout of contributors at the conference this year and if you were there and saw us wandering the halls I hope you stopped us to say hi!

Amongst all the crowds, speakers, and swag giveaways, we managed to obtain for you the third installment of our Women of HR Interview series. So far we've geeked out on HR Technology with Lexy Martin and got wise to Content Marketing with Mary Ellen Slayter.

This week we spoke to, in person no less, Angela Hills, Executive Vice President at Pinstripe, Inc about HR Creative Destruction.

Who is Angela Hills?

As an Executive Vice President of Pinstripe, Inc., Angela leads the firm’s business delivering innovative talent acquisition solutions to clients in the advanced manufacturing, consumer brands, financial services and technology sectors.

Angela's unique expertise in talent acquisition and management provides Pinstripe’s clients leading organizational capabilities and true competitive advantage. Prior to joining Pinstripe, Angela spent 17 years with BlessingWhite, Inc., where she led business development and consulting operations in their central region and at various times served as a senior advisor to their coaching, career development and leadership practices. A frequent and highly regarded speaker on the national and regional circuits, Angela is a seven-time returning speaker at SHRM’s National Conference, where she has delivered presentations on topics including succession planning, change management, on-boarding and innovation.

What is Creative Destruction?

Now, when I first heard about the topic Angela was presenting at t

he conference, I was immediately intrigued. Who doesn't like a little creative destruction? And to have it at an HR conference? That's the sort of subversive chaos I can get behind.

Well, it turns out that it's not the anarchist, fight the power kind of destruction she is talking about – so put down those Molotov cocktails. No, Angela was talking about how every now and then, we need to have something destructive break things down in order to build them back up again.

There is opportunity in that destruction, even when you are in an industry hit the hardest by it. Destruction inspires great innovation. And most importantly, she spoke about how businesses and HR need to address that change and manage strategically through it. It was such an interesting conversation I immediately stopped trying to remember where I put my anarchist cookbook.

What Can HR Do Differently?

In the short time I had to speak with her, we covered a lot of ground:

  • How disruptive HR can – and should be  – a business strategy,
  • How HR is starting to view what they do differently, such as how to approach executives and in seeing the value of outsourcing HR functions to provide time for more strategy, and
  • How more authenticity and transparency in leadership not only provides better opportunities to connect with your employees, but helps create a better culture.

Good stuff right there.

Wrapping it Up

Even though the entire Pinstripe executive team is made up of women, a rarity for sure and something that Angela really liked, she said it wasn't necessarily something they played up. Why? Because they don't want anyone selecting them because of that, they want clients to select them because they are better at what they do than anyone else.

Hell. Yeah.

Thank you Angela for taking the time to speak to me and our readers amongst all the SHRM Conference craziness and any time you want to be a contributor here on Women of HR, we will be happy to have you!

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Taking Time for a Career Check Up

Posted on January 13th, by Andrea Ballard in Networks, Mentors and Career. 5 comments

The old saying about the cobbler’s children not having shoes can apply to HR professionals and their own careers. How many of you put yourself last on the list when it comes to career planning? Are you so busy counseling everyone else that you’ve forgotten to take a good look at your own needs?

With the start of a new year,  it’s a good time to inspect your own career and see if it’s time for a brush-up.

  • Personal Data
    • Is your resume up-to-date? Have you added new skills and accomplishments from the prior year?
    • Do you have a list of current articles or blog postings you’ve published, presentations you’ve made, or trainings you’ve conducted?
    • Do you have a list of 3 people you could readily use as a reference? Do they know what you’re doing in your career? When was the last time you spoke with them?
  • Networking
    • Are you active in your local chapter of SHRM? When was the last time you attended a meeting? Volunteered for a committee?
    • Is your LinkedIn profile up-to-date? Do you regularly add connections as you meet new people in the business community?
    • Have you invited a colleague for coffee or lunch anytime in the last month?
  • Knowledge and Credentials
    • Do you regularly read HR articles and keep your knowledge up-to-date?
    • Have you obtained your PHR, SPHR, or GPHR? If not, why not? If you have certification, is your credential up-to-date and do you have the credits you need to recertify?
    • What was the last new skill you learned or topic you gained expertise on? Is it on your resume?
  • Looking Ahead
    • Do you know what you want to be doing 5 – 7 years from now? Do you have a plan to get you there?
    • What are you doing to demonstrate your expertise to the HR community? (Hint: you can write for WomenofHR.com)
    • Is there a new skill you want to learn but have been putting off?

If answering these questions has put you in a positive frame of mind as you check off the items, that’s great! Pat yourself on the back for giving yourself and your career the priority it deserves.

If, on the other hand, you felt an overwhelming sense of “Oh crap!” as you read this list, do not despair!  A career checkup isn’t like your annual doctor’s visit – it doesn’t take place in one hour. And you don’t have to rush it.

Right now, think of three small, ridiculously easy things you can do to move you forward. For example,register for your local SHRM (or other HR association) chapter meeting, call a former boss or colleague and invite him/her to lunch, just to catch up or send a LinkedIn connection request to someone new you met in the last month.

Keep track of your progress and reward yourself for any action you take, no matter how small. Taking time for yourself and your career isn’t selfish, it’s just smart.

Photo credit iStockphoto