Author Archives: Ben

shrm18 logo

#SHRM18: Lessons from The Biggest HR Event in History

This year’s SHRM Annual Conference is a milestone. The team is estimating about 20,000 HR professionals, vendors, and miscellaneous other attendees have converged on Chicago for this year’s event. Attendees are here from around the world–I’ve already met delightful individuals from both Italy and India.

One of the interesting things I sometimes hear from people in my industry is that SHRM isn’t the conference where the “decision makers” are. I’d argue with that. See, everyone’s a decision maker, even if you’re not one today. I have been there as an HR practitioner in the trenches and understand the journey from “I’m trying to keep my head above water” to “I’m running this thing and calling the shots.” It’s sometimes a shorter path than you might expect!

The takeaway for me as a person that analyzes and researches the industry is that there is more need than ever for a focus on the SMB space. Small employers are big, as I pointed out in my recent podcast episode on running an HR department of one.

What’s my big takeaway?

First of all, there’s a renewed focus on the HR department of one. These small HR teams are doing mighty work to advance the culture and partner with the business to create value for employees. For example, this fall I’m going to be working with our local HR group to host an HR department of one panel for a workshop because of the need for this content. SHRM is also trying to make sure it meets this audience with content and education. I don’t know the numbers but I would guess it’s a significant portion of the membership base for SHRM as a national organization.

Additionally, I expect to see more and more vendors focusing on the small and mid-size businesses. The expo hall at SHRM this year is full of more than 700 vendors, a wide variety both familiar and unfamiliar. Insurance, consulting, and HR technology providers span the room. However, more unique offerings that cover everything from flower delivery for bereavement leave to podcasting as an enterprise learning strategy are also present. So many vendors in the HR technology space focus on large employers, but there’s an incredible opportunity to support and serve smaller employers as well.

Bottom line: this is a massive event. I’m honored to be a part of the official team covering the goings on at the conference this year. If you’ve never been, it’s an amazing experience and I’d encourage you to attend in the future!

Announcing New Training Courses!

This week is a big one for me. I’m hanging out at #SHRM18 in Chicago (say hi if you’re in town!), but I am also really excited to share some new training I’ve been pulling together.

Because I’m buying a learning technology/system to deliver the new HR certification materials my team is working on creating this summer in advance of the HRCI changes, I thought to myself, “Why not use this to deliver content people can use for recertification credits as well?”

If you’ve ever gotten down to the wire in getting your certification credits together, or even if you’re in an area where local content is just so-so, you might have felt that panic at being able to get your credits in on time. I’m with you. I just recertified my SPHR earlier this year and HRCI kicked out some of my credits with no warning or explanation in a random “audit.” Sigh. Thankfully I had more than enough to make up for that, but it’s a great reminder for me that not everyone gathers as many credits as I do through my traveling, speaking, and conference attendance.

So… I’m launching the first course today. It’s free. It’s one hour of HRCI/SHRM credit. It’s based on two podcast interviews I did with recruiting leaders at H&R Block and AlliedUniversal. I would love for you to try it out and give me some feedback!

Click here to check out our free course on strategic recruiting.

The goal is to create additional free and paid courses in video and audio format to help you not just get your credits, but to become a better HR practitioner and leader! Thanks, as always, for your support.

36: How to Run an HR Department of One

If you’ve ever worked for a company where you were on the solo HR practitioner, you know the realities of trying to get it all done with limited resources. In today’s episode Ben shares insights from half a dozen HR leaders about how to succeed as a small HR team or even as a “team of one.” 

From finding the right resources to support your learning needs to creating relationships that enable you to scale up your expertise, there are a wide variety of hacks, strategies, and tips that can help you to improve how your deliver your HR services to your organization. In addition to those insights, Ben talks about his own time as a solo practitioner and some of the hard lessons he learned from experience. 

If you’re interested in weighing in on this, check out the conversation on LinkedIn here.

Also, don’t miss out on the free guide to starting and running an HR department Ben mentioned in today’s show.

Thanks to Dave, Jennifer, Franny, Sabrina, Linda, and all those that shared their expertise. 

To learn more about We’re Only Human, check out our archives, or contact us about sponsor opportunities, be sure to check out http://lhra.io/podcast

money pay gap

Can Artificial Intelligence Solve the Pay Gap Problem?

Note: if this concept interests you then you definitely need to click here and sign up to get a heads up when my new book is coming out later this year. In the book I tell dozens of similar stories along with leveraging research and examples of AI technology to support HR, recruiting, and talent. It’s written in my usual, down-to-earth style and will introduce you to a wide variety of use cases, vendors in the HR tech space that are doing interesting work with AI, algorithms, machine learning, and more. Learn more: http://AIHRBook.com

money pay gapPay parity is all about ensuring that women and men earn the same pay for the same work, yet the gender pay gap is still alive and well. Sources vary but one estimate put it at 11% back in 2016 (source). For every dollar a man earns, a woman earns 89 cents. But can an artificially intelligent system that makes decisions without bias or regard for someone’s gender solve this problem? For example, if you could design a system that schedules work shifts and pay rates based on a blind algorithm that does not factor gender into the decision, you would logically expect to find that men and women earn the same in such a system, correct?

But what if I told you this isn’t the case? Continue reading

employee surveys

Stop! Do You Really Need Another Employee Survey?

At a recent event I had the chance to speak with several HR leaders about their challenges, issues, and problems. Inevitably when I would ask them how they planned to follow up or dig into the issues, they mentioned the same thing: an employee survey.

employee surveysBut is that the right avenue for gathering information? Are there times when surveys might not be the best way to gather intelligence on what’s happening in the business?

Limitations of Surveys and Survey Alternatives

When you’re gathering data from people, surveys are one of the most cost-effective methods for getting a lot of responses from a lot of people in a relatively short time. But there are a couple of issues with surveys. The first is response bias. This concept simply means people respond differently to questions than they might otherwise. Answers may be skewed purposefully to make the responder feel better. Alternatively, responses may be skewed if the person perceives the question differently than another individual. For example, how would you respond to this question?

On a scale from one to five, how happy are you at work? Continue reading

employer communications

Did Google Fake its AI Demo? A Lesson for Employer Communications

If you’re a nerd or just a casual technology news consumer, you might have heard about the recent live Google Duplex demo with the company’s CEO. In essence, the technology will assist you with those mundane or annoying times when you need to schedule an appointment. Simply tell your device to schedule an appointment for you and it will take care of the whole thing, phone call, scheduling, and all.

Sounds amazing, right? But following the demo, journalists began asking questions of Google. Here’s an article that tipped me off to the issue:

The demo was indeed impressive…  But is it possible that the promise of Google’s advanced artificial-intelligence tech is too good to be true? As Axios noted Thursday morning, there was something a little off in the conversations the A.I. had on the phone with businesses, suggesting that perhaps Google had faked, or at least edited, its demo.

Unlike a typical business (Axios called more than two dozen hair salons and restaurants), the employees who answered the phone in Google’s demos don’t identify the name of the business, or themselves. Nor is there any ambient noise in Google’s recordings, as one would expect in a hair salon or a restaurant. At no point in Google’s conversations with the businesses did the employees who answered the phone ask for the phone number or other contact information from the A.I.

Further, California is a two-party consent state, meaning that both parties need to consent in order for a phone conversation to be legally recorded. Did Google seek the permission of these businesses before calling them for the purposes of the demo? Was it staged in the simulated manner of reality TV? (Source: Vanity Fair)

Continue reading

renee robson HR

Does Your HR Career Leave an Impact? [Podcast]

If you know anyone who is considering an HR career transition or has recently moved to a new HR or recruiting role, this is the episode for them!

In my 10+ years in the workplace, I still screw things up. Do you? It’s usually driven by urgency rather than slowing down to take a strategic look at how to make a decision. While I will say I haven’t really made career choice mistakes that way, I could have probably done some of the transitions better. More planning, more prep, better alignment with supervisor expectations, etc.

In today’s episode of We’re Only Human I chat with Renee Robson, an HR leader currently based in Australia. We talk about what it takes to measure your success as an HR leader, how to create an environment where you can succeed, the best things about working in HR, and more. It’s a really fun discussion and you can hear the passion in Renee’s voice as we cover all these points!

The thing I think of when this topic of impact arises? Legacy. What’s your legacy? When you leave, how will people refer to you? What will they say about your work and your impact?

And while you won’t hear it in the recording, Renee gets the award for longest “chit chat” before and after a recording. I think we talked for over an hour total OUTSIDE the conversation you’re about to hear. :-) Also, if you enjoy this episode you will probably like “How to Be a Chief Trouble Maker in HR” as well where I talk with Jill Kopanis about breaking out of the stereotypical HR mold.

Show Notes

Episode link: https://beneubanks.podbean.com/e/33-how-to-measure-your-success-in-an-hr-career/

How do you measure success as an HR leader? Is it in the company’s retention and hiring rates, or is it something more personal? Maybe you think about how you’ve helped others succeed in spite of challenges.

renee robson HRToday’s discussion explores how to measure your success, how to make a career transition successfully, and more. Speaking with Renee Robson, Performance and Capability Manager for Widex Australia, Ben digs into what it takes to stratgically run your HR career and take it to new heights. For example, how do you personally lay a foundation of success before and after you take on a new job?

Renee’s insights include a variety of information, from the best things about working in HR to the best way to measure your success in an HR role. She even offers a way to build out a 30, 60, or 90 day plan when taking on a new role or project to ensure sustained success.

Connect with Renee:

https://twitter.com/reneeroberz

https://www.linkedin.com/in/reneerobson/

See other episodes and information about We’re Only Human: http://lhra.io/podcast