I’ll keep this as brief as I can. It’s been a long few days and I’m still trying to catch my breath.

I’m always floored by people who say they read this blog. I see the stats–there’s a lot of you out there. However, it’s always interesting to meet someone face to face. Jane, you know who you are. Thanks for reading.

The session I led with Matt Charney was a success. We wanted to cover specific topics with regard to generations in the workplace, and although we didn’t prepare heavily (you normally don’t for an unconference-like event like HRevolution anyway), it went exactly as we had hoped. We helped the audience to open their eyes to the idea that maybe everything they “know” about Gen Y isn’t really as solid as they once thought.

The HR improv session was, by all accounts, pretty freaking hilarious. My only regret? I was running the A/V and wasn’t able to do videos again this year of all the presentations. Darn. Next year…

The session on “anything but HR” was a blast. I left there with some new ideas and am still trying to decide what it all means to me. Thanks to Jennifer McClure for asking some big questions.

We’re already discussing the next HRevolution. This year we had about 50% new participants. That’s amazing. And so many that I spoke with were itching to come back again. It’s tough to measure the effectiveness or success of the event quickly, or from year-to-year, but this year’s event was above par, even for our high standards.

For those of you who wanted to come but couldn’t make it, I urge you to make it happen next time. Tickets are cheap. The experience and deep questions you leave with are anything but.

Thanks again to my great teammates and to the volunteers who jumped in last minute to help this event be as successful as possible. I appreciate all of you, and I’m honored to know you.

(Weird wifi issues in my hotel prevented me from posting this on Sunday. Sorry!)

Yet again I’m amazed at the event that SHRM has put together, and (as I write this) it’s only Sunday!

There’s so much to say, but I want to focus on one question that’s occurred to me several times in the past 24 hours.

Why am I here?

Why did I leave my family hundreds of miles away (on Father’s Day!), give up a few days at work, and come to a distant city?

It’s simple, really.

My purpose is to bring session content to life, ask questions that help us all learn to DO human resources better, and help to share with those who couldn’t attend the event.

On a personal level, I also love seeing friends and making new ones. If you’re at the event and want to connect, I’ll be at the Hive Smart Bar on Monday from 12-2pm. Stop by!

I’m definitely taking advantage of the phenomenal collection of vendors here this week. I’m planning to meet with some great companies, including…

  • HRCP-they do HR certification
  • SilkRoad-onboarding, applicant tracking, learning management, and other software tools
  • Achievers-employee recognition tools
  • Hireology-prehire testing and evaluation tools
  • Baudville-fun and quirky employee motivation tools
  • Halogen-performance management software
  • And more….

Again, the intent there is to learn more about some of these innovative companies and how they might help you as an HR professional to do your work better, smarter, or faster.

Look for more content coming later, but for now, I just want to say thanks to SHRM for the opportunity!

HRevolution 2013If you’ve been wondering about HRevolution 2013, wonder no more! On Sunday, October 6th we’ll be visiting the amazing city of Las Vegas for another fantastic event.

As always, we have an amazing sponsor to help keep costs down and to help bring you the HRev you know and love. This year Sum Total Systems is working with us as our exclusive sponsor. Check them out!

In addition, our good friends at the HR Technology Conference will also be helping us by providing a meeting space, among other things. We appreciate them as well!

Please check out the event site or the HRev website to learn more.

What is HRevolution?

Click here to check out the HRevolution archives to learn more about the experience. If you want the highlights, check out these two:

HRevolution 2013
brought to you by Sum Total Systems

So, what now?

Wondering if this event is for you? Feel free to contact me at ben@upstarthr.com and I’d be happy to give you an honest assessment. If you want to sit down, take notes, and then walk out of the event without a plan to make any changes in your organization, then it’s probably not a fit for you.

I’ve made some great friends and long-time connections at HRevolution events, and they’re unlike anything you’ve ever been to in the HR world before. Just check out the funny session we had on HR Improv last year.

I hope to see you there!

innovations wellness conferenceRecently the organizers for the inaugural UAB Innovations in Wellness Conference reached out to me to see if I would be interested in attending. It sounds like a unique event with some great insights, and I am excited about the opportunity to check out this new conference.

Even better, I can take you with me.

Yes, you heard me correctly.

If you’re local to the Huntsville/Birmingham area (or within a reasonable drive and you want to get a hotel in Birmingham) and you are interested in attending, please send me an email by Thursday, November 8th. Continue reading

I arrived in Atlanta just a few short hours ago, and I’ve already seen some great things that tell me this is going to be a fantastic event. My goal in the next few days is to 1) take as many notes as possible so I can go back to work and impact my employer in a big way (as should be the goal for any attending HR professional!) and 2) share as much content from the event as I possibly can with those who are unable to attend. A few things that hit me right away:

  • The SHRM Hive/Smart Bar is a great setup. SHRM put the bloggers and “experts” to work answering attendee questions, helping people get started with Twitter, and generally being a helpful resource for anyone looking for help with social media.
  • I was able to help a young man who was looking for some assistance with WordPress. To be honest, I’m kind of a nerd, so it was great to delve into that a bit and discuss the blogging tool with a friendly audience.
  • The Blogger Lounge (sponsored by Dice) is phenomenal. They definitely went the extra mile to make the area suitable for people who want an area to relax, write, and enjoy the event.
  • The collection of incredibly intelligent people never ceases to amaze me. I’m talking about the bloggers and “guru” types that everyone looks up to. The main difference between them and the average attendee? They are active not only in their job, but in the profession. Just like SHRM works to advance the profession, these HR activists are working around the clock to make human resources better.
  • The SHRM Public Relations team is simply amazing. I have gotten to know Julie and Jenny just a little bit, and they are the sweetest, kindest folks you’ll ever meet.
  • Curtis and Anne-Margaret are the whiz kids behind SHRM’s social media efforts, and it definitely shows. They are bringing social media to the forefront of the HR professionals at the event so they can’t ignore the impact of these tools any longer.
  • I had a chance to sit down with the other HRevolution planners-Steve Boese, Trish McFarlane, an Matt Stollak. Brilliance was shared. Expect an agenda soon with speakers and session details! Funny to think that 3 years ago, the first HRevolution unconference was born because Trish and I couldn’t make it to the SHRM conference that year…

I know this is just a glimpse of the event, and the real sessions haven’t even started yet! I still have to visit the SHRM Volunteer Leader’s Lounge, the SHRM Bookstore, the expo hall (hellooo, vendors!), and attend some exciting events. Look for more great content in the coming days live from SHRM12!

So, are you thinking about going to the 2012 SHRM Annual Conference in Atlanta, Georgia? Yeah, me, too.

I was able to attend back in 2010 due to the boundless generosity of my friend Eric Winegardner. However, at that time I was working in a 6-person HR department as the low man on the totem pole. Nobody cared what I thought. Nobody wanted to hear my ideas. So when I returned from the event, my enthusiasm and fervor was quickly extinguished.

While I enjoyed the experience, I didn’t get a lot out of the event in the form of takeaways.

If I can attend this year, that’s going to change drastically.

My hopes for the 2012 SHRM Annual Conference

First of all, it’s right next door in Atlanta, Georgia. That alone makes it more appealing! :-)

Seriously, though. I work in a small company. I have some support from the Operations Team, but the main body of HR duties is mine. And while I love it, sometimes it gets a little overwhelming. I realize that I can’t be great at everything. I can’t have all the answers to every benefits, employment law, and recruiting question someone throws at me. And I certainly don’t have time to look into the “nice to haves” like online performance review software, leadership development strategies, and internal culture training. However, learning opportunities like the SHRM conference affords don’t come along every day.

I’m working to see if there’s money in the budget to attend the 2012 SHRM Annual Conference. Even if there isn’t, I’m going to try to make it happen one way or another.

Is anyone else already planning to attend? I’d love to meet you if so!

Wow. I was only able to stay for half of the Hire Minds event presented by Snagajob, but it was a fantastic experience. I took notes throughout the day and shared sound bytes on Twitter when I could, but the Live Tweeting Paradox was in effect (okay, I just made that up, but it really does make sense). Usually when I attend an event I will share ideas that I’m learning on Twitter; however, when an event is particularly engaging or learning intensive, I have to stop tweeting and focus on the session. Ironically, some of the best sessions I’ve ever seen are the ones where I’ve shared the least on social media!

Anyway, in the next week or so I’m going to post on some big ideas I learned at the event. I met a great lady, Buzz, who also has her own comments on the event to share.

Later this week look for posts covering…

  • How to reduce employee turnover by 64%
  • How to pay managers to mentor new leaders
  • How to keep recruiters busy if you start promoting internally
  • What gardening has to do with management
  • Why competing for candidates on pay is a losing game

In short, the Hire Minds event was phenomenal. If you work for an hourly employer, you should 1) look at Snagajob’s offerings for employers as a way to find and screen qualified candidates and 2) talk with the good folks at Snagajob about how you can get into the event if you’re interested. It’s a small affair (~75-100 companies represented there), but there is amazing content focused specifically on the hourly employer segment.