Tag Archives: SHRM Annual Conference

#SHRM12 Sessions On My Agenda

I’ve been looking at the long list of concurrent sessions at SHRM12, and it’s a little bit frustrating. If it was possible, I’d attend more than 75% of the sessions on the list. However, I only have time for 6-8 in the two and a half days I’m there. I’ve narrowed the list down significantly from my initial sweep, and I’m now working to filter further by which ones will have the greatest likely impact on my work once I head back to the office next Thursday morning.


  • Unique Obligations of Federal Contractors-I work for a government contractor, but I’ve only been here for a few years. I sometimes still get taken by surprise when something new pops up, so I’m hoping this session will help me shore up any missing pieces in our HR strategy.
  • 7 Steps to Bulletproof Documentation-Of all the areas of HR I get to “play” in, employee relations and performance management are by far the toughest. Knowing how to protect myself and my employer is something I can’t pass up. I call these kinds of sessions “litigation insurance for HR pros.” :-)
  • 5 Keys to Corporate Recruiting Leadership-I already handle the recruiting from opening the req to inprocessing the new hire, but I’m always looking for ways to do this better. Also, as we grow we’ll eventually need someone to do more recruiting, and I’m hoping this session will help me to learn how to manage that person well.
  • Real World of FMLA-We’re almost big enough to have to comply with FMLA, and I’m starting to gather information and tips on how not only “do” it, but to do it well.


  • My Company Went Global. What Now?-We’re always growing, and we have recently been looking at some international opportunities. I always thought the global tracks were going to be for someone else, but now I’m starting to realize how important they’ll be if we do expand internationally.
  • Performance Reviews-Not Just for Lawyers-Just one more opportunity to find out how others handle their performance management process and how I can help our managers and employees to use ours to the fullest extent without feeling like it’s a burden on them.
  • Innovate or Perish: Improving HR Processes-Just like the global track above, as we grow it’s becoming more and more critical that our processes allow us to grow without the bumps and bruises that normally go along with a growth spurt. My (amazing) manager talks often about HR being the leader in the organization, not just trying to keep up. This is one more opportunity to lead the way.


  • Successfully Rolling Out Performance Management Software-We’re looking at a performance management solution and our budget is ready for it. Heck, I’m ready for it. So this session is all about tips and ideas for making that transition from paper (blech) to software (yippee!) with the least amount of problems possible.

Anything on my list that you’ll be attending? What’s your “must see” session? 

2012 SHRM Annual Conference in Atlanta, Georgia

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!

#SHRM10: newbie lessons, my plans, and your thoughts

So… I’m going to the  SHRM10 conference! Check out the video below. I also have my video notes below for your immense enjoyment.

Interview with Curtis Midkiff, SHRM’s “Social Media Guy”

Before I went to HRevolution, I heard rumblings about a new guy on Twitter. Curtis Midkiff (aka @shrmsocmedguy) is SHRM’s new guy in the social media space. And with China Gorman stepping out (video below), they’re going to need someone stepping in to keep ’em on the right track in the social space. I caught up with Curtis for a quick email interview earlier this week…

  • How did you get connected with SHRM?

SHRM has been exploring ways to maximize our use of social media platforms both as an organization and as a service to our members. As a part of that one of the first items that our CEO and the rest of the global leadership team decided was that there was a need to have someone added to the SHRM staff that could be a leader in the area of social media and how we use it to engage our employees and our members. And I am lucky to have been the one they selected to carry out the job.

  • What is your goal as the “SHRM social media guy?”

My goal is to really to work with the folks here at SHRM to make sure that we are using social media tools as a way to educate and engage our members while also connecting with others within the HR profession to increase awareness of SHRM. I also hope to be the Ashton Kutcher of the HR Twitter world…can you help me get to a million followers Ben? [Considering my paltry 2,400, I’m probably not the best resource, Curtis. :-) ]

  • What’s something fun/interesting that most people don’t know about you?

Hmmm, I am a buffalo wing conneisseur with in-depth knowledge of that subject. I will be releasing a list of the best wing spots prior to the SHRM annual conference…stay tuned.

  • The 2009 conference blogger panel was a big moment for those of us in the HR/social media space. Any idea how SHRM is going to involve social tools in the SHRM 2010 conference?

I am excited about what we are doing in that space this year. In addition to being able to follow us @shrm10 and on Facebook, this year we are debuting the social media lounge. This will be an area at the conference for registered bloggers to congregate to post their blogs and videos. We will have plasma screens, video back drops, and computers kiosks and wi-fi as well. In addition, we are going to have a “blog squad” of SHRM members that will cover the people, places and events of the conference. The blogs and videos that we post will be featured on the annual conference website.

We are also hosting an official tweet-up on June 28th at a secret location in San Diego… How\’s that for marketing? But seriously, we are going to host an event for folks to connect the dots with their “tweeps”.

  • If someone is on the fence about attending SHRM 2010, what would you say to push them over?

They will get to hang with the SHRM social media guy, wouldn\’t that be enough? And once their laughter died down, I would say that there are a number of people working hard here at SHRM to put together a conference that is worth every penny. Another interesting event this year is our voluntourism event with the uso where shrm members will create packages that will be sent to our troops.

The sessions are going to be great and folks will get to connect with over 10,000 hr pros in lovely san diego. And hall and oates are gonna bring back the 80s and some good memories.

Make sure you catch up with Curtis (Curt?) on Twitter. He’s @shrmsocmedguy over there!

China Gorman’s “Thank You” Video