HRevolution 3 and other random thoughts

I am beat. Tired. Worn out. (Cansado, for my Spanish speaking brethren.)

But I feel great. Fun, huh? See, in less than 48 hours I’ll be in Atlanta, Georgia. It will be the first meeting of many during the HRevolution event. And while it’s not easy to put together (for me or the other planners), it’s always worth it.

People come away with amazing ideas, relationships, and motivation to change this little HR/recruiting world. And knowing I get to play some small part in that is satisfying on a level that is hard to describe.

If you know me at all, you can tell that I’m a doer. I like to make things happen. I book and double book myself until my calendar cries for mercy. I just want to be creating, engaging, and leading others at all times. It’s what I love. At times it causes me to be worn to the bone with responsibilities, because I have a very difficult time saying “no” to anyone.

I talked yesterday with Trish McFarlane, the other co-founder of HRevolution. We did a webinar for an ASTD (American Society of Training and Development) chapter in Los Angeles, California. We spent 60 minutes talking about unconferences in general, HRevolution, and what makes this event unique.

Today I will be on DriveThruHR with Bryan Wempen and William Tincup. I haven’t had a moment to sit and think about what I plan to talk about, so it will be an interesting half hour! You can catch the show or the replay afterward at this link.

I read a short article once that has stuck with me. Here’s the gist of it:

There is a college professor who is an expert on topic X. He has studied for years and has published papers and reports on the topic, but he does not believe that things like social media and blogging are worth his time.

On the other hand, another young gentleman is just getting started in the profession, and he is very interested in learning more about topic X. So he starts a blog, builds a community, and writes about what he knows and is learning about the topic.

A short while later, a reporter is looking for an expert on topic X to interview for a story, so he opens up Google and does a search. He doesn’t find the professor with numerous degrees and published articles. However, he does find the man who started blogging and writing about the topic and has since been recognized by his peers as an expert. Who do you think is going to be interviewed by the reporter?

When I read that anecdote, I realized that something similar happened to me. I am not an expert and I don’t have any special qualifications other than passion and the drive to help others. However, that’s been enough to radically change the path of my career from what it could have been otherwise.

Sorry for the rambling. Just wanted to clear my head for the day!

SmartBrief on Workforce-Fast, Easy, and Powerful

I can still remember the first time someone asked me if I had ever read SmartBrief on Workforce. I remember thinking, “Why would anyone need that?” And then I started reading several dozen blogs a week and needed a way to cut through the clutter and focus in on the best information. Then I realized how useful of a tool it was.

I had the opportunity to hang out with Mary Ellen Slayter, the editor for the SmartBrief on Workforce publication, at the annual SHRM conference in 2010. It was a great opportunity to find out more about SmartBrief and the work they do.

How it works

Here’s a link to the homepage for SmartBrief on Workforce. As you can see, they aggregate stories, give you a short summary/clip to help you see if it is something you need to know, and link out to the original, larger story if you want to read more. You can get this information in a daily email format or read it on the web.

They cover dozens of topics in their daily newsletters, from leadership to small business and more. Check out all of their business coverage here.

  • The newsletter has great information.
  • It’s delivered right to your inbox so you don’t have to go search for it.
  • And it’s free.
  • What’s not to like?

Why I’m doing the shout out

Mary Ellen Slayter and Charlie Judy are doing a session at HRevolution (learn about the HR Slam here), and as prizes they are giving out gift cards that Mary Ellen was kind enough to provide for us. Thought it would be nice to illuminate the work she does in exchange for her generosity!

SHRM-Membership discounts and the value proposition

SHRM, you make me laugh. I see emails coming in from you on a weekly basis with offers for discounts, free totes, and more. The value of membership? It’s there. Let’s focus on that.

See, I’ve been a Society for Human Resources Management member since August 2010. Why did I join? Well, it wasn’t for a reason most people end up joining SHRM. I didn’t sign up for the white papers, the templates, the webcasts, or even the discounts on attending their events.

I signed up to volunteer.

Chuck Salvetti, the manager of the student and YP programs at SHRM, reached out to me last summer to see if I would be interested in being the chairman of the SHRM Young Professional Advisory Council. I leaped at the chance, but the caveat was that I had to be a member in order to volunteer on the committee. So, grudgingly, I signed up.

I’m so glad I did.

Since then, I’ve been more than confident that it was the right decision for me. Not only have I had the opportunity to participate in some great discussions that will shape the focus of the SHRM YP program, but I’ve also started using the tools that the organization provides. Last November, just a few short months after becoming a member, I took on a new HR role in a startup company. Suddenly I needed those webcasts, white papers, and templates to do my job on a daily basis.

I still tell people to join local SHRM chapters for the community/connections and the national SHRM for the content. However, after seeing the work they are doing with SHRM Connect, I could be recommending national membership for building connections if they can get the tool cleaned up and re-released.

Bottom line: SHRM is doing some great things in both traditional HR spaces and in social media. If you are not a member, I highly encourage you to give it a hard look. If you are where I was a year ago and membership doesn’t make sense for you, then pay your local dues and help them rock their chapter. There’s a role out there for everyone. It’s up to you to find yours and fill it.

Thank you to SHRM for sponsoring HRevolution!

What I’ve been up to lately

I’ve been beating myself up about not posting as frequently here lately, but it’s for good reason(s). Really. Here is the full slate I’ve been working on these days, just in case you are interested. And if I’m slow to respond to an email or a phone call, now you know why!


I’ve been doing some work on HRevolution lately, getting neat stuff posted like speaker interviews and sponsor info. I figure posting here will slow somewhat until May gets here, but I just wanted to set expectations early. :-) By the way, if you want to go there are 8 tickets left at the time this is published. Snag one if you want to attend an event like no other.

The day job

People still ask me about my job that I started back in November. The most common question is, “Do you still like your job?” And my answer is a resounding yes(!). I get to do fun stuff and get paid for it. What kind of fun stuff? Well, lately I’ve been working two big recruiting initiatives to bring in helicopter pilots and survival instructors. How cool is that?

When I’m not working on that kind of effort, I’m developing training for managers, handling our benefits, and creating systems and processes to help us prepare for some growth we are planning for later this year.

I have an amazing manager, the culture is fantastic, and the free Diet Dew in the fridge doesn’t hurt. Plus I get to interact with our CEO, Mike Durant, on a regular basis. Hard to get that kind of access to senior leaders in other companies. One of my friends has this offer to come work for another company locally for about $10k more than what I’m making now. I told him if I ever started hating my job I’d be there in a heartbeat, but it doesn’t look promising. :-)


If you aren’t reading RocketHR, you should! I post there about once a week and most of the time it’s new, unique content. Click here to get it delivered to you. A few recent posts include reasons why you should read blogs, the SHRM blog carnival, and a video about really being ethical.


In my spare spare time, I also am the Social Media Director for my local Society for Human Resources Management chapter. Not only do I write the RocketHR blog, but I’ve made myself available to anyone and everyone locally who is looking for information or advice on getting involved with social media. It’s so much fun helping someone make the leap from “interested” to “practitioner.”

Project Social

If you’ve been following Project:Social for long, you know it’s a social media mentoring program for HR pros. We are in our second round of the program and are looking to get the third one started soon. Some people have asked why Victorio and I haven’t had more people in the program, but as you can see with other things I am working on, it is definitely a challenge to devote time to this and if you don’t have a good experience, then it wasn’t worth it anyway. We are looking at ways to scale the program to have more mentor and mentee pairs working at the same time.

SHRM YP Council

I’m about halfway into my term as the SHRM YP Council Chairman, and it’s been interesting so far. We are creating a guide that will be used to help young professionals get more involved with their local chapters. It also has some great tips and advice for volunteer leaders to help them connect with those individuals. I’m definitely glad that I am in the group!

On the home front

Don’t know that you specifically care, but I thought I’d offer my house up if anyone’s interested in buying. :-) Seriously, we are looking to move now that we’ve outgrown our little place, and if you’ve ever been through the process, you know how much that process takes out of you. We are also having so much fun watching the girls grow up. They are always doing something new and interesting, and I’m doing what I can to keep up! A few pics: Bree (our little puppy), Bree at dinnertime, Bella taking the car for a spin, and both girls first thing in the morning (FYI-Bella on the right, Bree on the left).

And that’s just to get me started. What is everyone else up to these days?

#HRevolution Agenda

If you haven’t seen the HRevolution buzz lately, you must be under a rock. This event is going to be the best one yet. Third time is the charm, right?

Here’s the agenda for all of you who are attending or on the fence. At this point there are about a dozen tickets left, so sign up quickly!

HRevolution 2011 Agenda

You wanted it, now you can have it! Here’s the preliminary agenda for HRevolution. As the event gets closer, keep an eye on this blog for more information about the speakers and their sessions so you can start planning which ones you’d like to see.

  • 7:15 – 8:00 – Registration, breakfast, networking time
  • 8:00 – 8:15 – Opening remarks from HRev organizing team
  • 8:15 – 8:45 – Opening keynote from Liz Gottung, CHRO at Kimberly Clark
  • 8:45 – 8:50 – Announcements: Session Titles, Facilitators, and Locations for first set of concurrent sessions
  • 8:50 – 9:00 – Break
  • 9:00 – 10:15 Concurrent Session Block A
    • A1 – Social Network Analysis – Josh LeTourneau (TECHNOLOGY)
    • A2 – If HR is so bad, what are you DOING about it? – Steve Browne and Jason Lauritsen (STRATEGY)
    • A3 – Emotional Intelligence (EQ) in the Workplace – Kevin Grossman (STRATEGY)
    • A4 – Pop Culture, Politics, and HR – Laurie Ruettimann and Matt Stollak (DEVELOPMENT)
  • 10:15 – 10:30 – Break
  • 10:30 – 11:45 – Concurrent Session Block B
    • B1 – Diversity and Inclusion= Innovation in the 21st Century- Joe Gerstandt (STRATEGY)
    • B2 – Virtual Management – Eric Winegardner (LEADERSHIP)
    • B3 – Connecting in a Non-creepy Way – April Dowling, Shauna Moerke, and Dwane Lay (DEVELOPMENT)
    • B4 – Recruiting: Cool Tools and More – Craig Fisher (TECHNOLOGY)
  • 11:45 – 1:00 – Lunch – Eating. Networking. Enjoy!
  • 1:15 – 2:45 – Concurrent Session Block C
    • C1 – Six Thinking Hats – Suzanne Rumsey (STRATEGY)
    • C2 – Wellness Doesn\’t Suck – Tanya Barham (DEVELOPMENT)
    • C3 – The HR Slam – Mary Ellen Slayter and Charlie Judy (OPERATIONS)
    • C4 – Reserved
  • 2:45 – 3:15 – Break
  • 3:15 – 4:15 – Concurrent Session Block D
    • D1 – Paul Hebert – Designing for Influence (OPERATIONS, STRATEGY)
    • D2 – Linking Culture, Brand, and Revenue – Nate DaPore (STRATEGY)
    • D3 – How do I get there from here? – Paul Smith AND China Gorman (DEVELOPMENT)
    • D4 – The Great Performance Debate – Mike Carden and William Tincup
  • 4:15 – 4:30 – Re-assemble group for closing activities
  • 4:30 – 5:00 – Closing remarks from the organizing team

Originally posted on the HRevolution website

The question I have for you is which session you’re looking forward to most and why?

Nobscot HRevolution Scholarship (Free Air Fare!)

Our friends at Nobscot have put together a great scholarship contest to help HRevolution attendees pay for their travel expenses.

Click here to learn more about the scholarship.

Here’s the info to enter:

  1. Write a post on one of the three topics listed below.
  2. Post it on your own blog.*
  3. Include the required entry notification listed below on your blog post.
  4. Paste a copy of your post into the entry form.

Topics (choose one)

  1. In what ways can new technology help HR evolve to have an even greater impact on business success?
  2. How can using technology for exit interviews, new hire surveys or mentoring program administration make these HR processes/activities more successful than handling manually?
  3. Get Creative – Describe HR in the year 2050! (Fictional story format acceptable.)

Required entry notification (including links):
This is [author-name]’s entry into the 2011 Nobscot HR Evolution Scholarship Competition. Nobscot Corporation is an HR technology company specializing in key areas of employee retention including exit interviewsonboarding surveys, and corporate mentoring programs.

*Don’t have a blog? Email me your submission and we can get it on the HRevolution blog if it meets the contest requirements.

All entries will be reviewed by the Nobscot Corporation 2011 HREvolution Scholarship committee. Entries must be received by February 28, 2011. Up to 3 winners will be selected. Selection will be based on originality, intuitiveness and generally good thinking! Winners announced on March 11th, 2011.

Scholarship includes airfare up to $500 for travel within North America and up to $1000 for international travel.

#HRevolution blogging team

So… You are a huge fan of HRevolution. You just can’t get enough information about the event, and you love sharing it with others. Well, I have the gig for you!

As the PR/web guy for HRevolution, I am looking for a few people to help me as the event gets closer. Traditionally I have tried to keep all the platforms humming, but as the event has grown, it has gotten even tougher to keep all the balls in the air. Plus I am excited about offering some special tools for attendees this year and need some help getting those out to everyone.

That’s where you come in.

What I need

I am looking for people to assist with the following pieces for a few minutes a week. This isn’t a full time job or anything, but it might take 15-30 minutes per week (and maybe slightly more as we get close to the event date).

  • Updating the HRevolution blog
  • Generating discussions and comments on the LinkedIn group
  • Updating and interacting on our Facebook page
  • Getting email updates out to our email list
  • And other top secret stuff I can’t mention here :-)

What you get in return

There are some big benefits of helping out, and here’s a short list to help you decide if you want to help.

  • You get to interact with some of the smartest, nicest people in the HR/recruiting space
  • You get a peek into this fun event and how things run behind the scenes
  • I’ll have something special to give my blog team at the event

Think this is something you’d be interested in? Shoot me a quick email and we can discuss. I only need a few people, so contact me quickly if you want to assist.