• MOSHRM15 Bound

    Tomorrow I am leaving to attend the Missouri SHRM State Conference.   I am attending in a dual purpose capacity; I am both speaking and am part of the Social Media Team. I love both of those roles but to get to do both makes me feel blessed. In my personal life I have been very busy in the month of July. July found me in Las Vegas, Phoenix, St. Louis, Ft. Wayne, Memphis, and Chicago and with a little time in Springfield, IL where I call home.

    Donna and Dave at Illinois SHRM

    Donna and Dave at Illinois SHRM

     

    While I have been preparing with my Co-Presenter Donna Rogers for our session, I feel somewhat remiss in not booking up more on the conference. Well, better late than never as we say. So over the weekend I got the #MOSHRM15 app downloaded and got to pursue the offerings.

     

    This is a fabulous line up of speakers and topics. I have seen a number of folks speak who are on the agenda. MOSHRM is offering up some the best and the brightest in the #HR space. The folks listed below are all friends of mine and are great speakers. I will vouch for their ability to wow you with their HR prowess.

    • Ryan Estis
    • Donna Rogers
    • Jessica Miller Merrell
    • Craig Fisher
    • Jason Lauritsen
    • Meredith Nethercutt
    • Don MacPherson

    Now this is not to say that the other presenters are not equally good, or maybe even better as I have not seen them present. No matter who you pick to see MOSHRM has put together a great line-up.

    While at the conference, I am going to challenge myself. I am going to attend one session on a subject that I shy away from or simply am not interested in, why, so I can learn a little more about the matter. I am also going sit with a bunch of people I don’t know, why, so I can meet more new people and grow my network. And lastly, I am going have a ball, smiling, chatting, listening, and learning all the while I am hanging out at a beautiful resort with a bunch of people who are jacked-up to be in Human Resources!

    See you Wednesday!

     
  • Meet Carlos Escobar at SHRM 15

    I recently ran a post about my top ten reasons for attending the SHRM 2015 (aka #SHRM15) annual conference.  This got me to thinking about other folks and got me to wondering why others attend.  So, I contacted some of my friends and asked them.  For the next several days I am going to post up their comments at to why they are attending.  Today we are going to hear from Carlos Escobar.

    CarlosEsobarTwitterHeader

    Carlos hails from San Antonio, TX and is an active SHRM volunteer.  I have been friends with him on twitter for several years now and had the pleasure of meeting him face to face (literally) at a session that Steve Browne did last year. Carlos is full of enthusiasm and is excited to work in Human Resources.

    I asked Carlos what it is that he enjoys about attending the SHRM National Conference. These are his responses.

     

    1. Carlos says he really enjoys seeing the big name speakers. Carlos said, without attending this conference these are folk he would otherwise never get a chance to hear. Carlos said the big names are reason enough to attend, but he also gets a lot out of the breakout sessions as well. He said it is all great– even the bad sessions are good.  One of the best speakers I have heard is Malcomn Gladwell, I am a big fan of his and it was great to get to see him in person. Carlos  said this conferences allow you to hear from the thought leaders around HR.  These are the movers and shakers and they help set the agenda in our field.
    2. Reason number two for Carlos is what he calls Unavoidable networking and unavoidable engagement. Carlos says this is not him, but even if you are trying to avoid people you can’t at this event.  You will make friends from around the world and this makes your education richer.  As these networks develop you learn to call on these people any time – anyplace to learn or share.  All of these people are here for a common purpose.
    3. Lastly Carlois calls this SHRM National Conference his yearly nerdcation. He elaborated, say this is a vacation where you can be a nerd. I love to learn. Going to these annual conference is for me. I pay my own way.  I come back refreshed.  The destination is not important.  This is my learning vacation and I love attending and learning.

    Wrapping up, Carlos closed with this, When I go this conference, I remember why I got into this line of work.  The rest of the year can be kind of tough.  Any time you can reconnect with a purpose it is great. Going to this conference for me is like hitting the reset button.

    Thanks Carlos and we will see you in Vegas.  Be sure to connect with Carlos on Twitter and Linkedin and visit his blog site.

     
  • Top Ten Reasons to Attend #SHRM15

    I have written this post at least five times in my life.  We will call it, “Do yourself a favor and attend the SHRM National  Conference.”

    The post has two distinct audiences, those who are attending  (Group 1) and those who are not attending (Group 2). The purpose of the post is to attempt to motivate those in Group 2 to become part of Group 1.

     

    If this works right then EVERYONE in group one will come to understand what I am talking about and the cache of attending this event.  Social Media celebrity Charlie Judy was once quoted  as saying (and I am paraphrasing here) Do yourself a favor and attend this event, even if your tight ass company won’t pay for you.  Pay your own way and you will be thankful that you did.

    SHRMVegas

    But why, you as why should I attend or ask to attend? I am going to answer that question this way, in an effort to honor David Letterman in retirement, (as we share the same first name) I am going to give you my Top Ten List of Reasons to Attend #SHRM15

     

    10.) This is the largest HR Conference in the World. This is one of the larger conferences that takes place in the county.  So to say it simply, the scale of this event is EPIC.

    9.) You will hear from all of the key leaders in the SHRM organization.

    8.) You will get to hang out with 15,000 other HR Professionals (this should present some networking opportunities).

    7.) In the exhibit hall you will get to see ALL THINGS HR (and maybe have a cocktail while you are doing so).

    6.) Re-certification credits abound. If you are looking to keep up either one of your HR certifications you can get a bunch of them at this event.

    5.) It’s Vegas baby!

    4.)  Men only … really short lines at the restrooms.

    3.) Jennifer Hudson

    2.) Evening events away from the conference and MORE NETWORKING

    1.) You will have the opportunity to see me and my Partner Donna Rogers aka @HRWarrior present a break out session on Wednesday morning July 1 titled – Running an HR Department of One.   You should come because Donna is really awesome!

     

    If you have any questions about the event whether we know each other or not contact me.  You can find me on twitter as @DaveTheHRCzar or email me at drsrdrkr@att.net  and put SHRM Annual Question in the subject line.

    Hope to see you there and meet you IRL as we say!

     
  • The SHRM Pilgrimage

    VolunteerLeaderSummitIt is the week before Thanksgiving, and to the SHRM faithful that means it is time for the annual trek to Washington DC to drink the kool-aide and get the latest news from Duke Street, as to  how our mission is being refined.  I have had the good fortune to attend this event eight out of the last ten years.  It is always lively, fun, informative and energizing. The gather typically has ranged from 750 to more than 1000 over the years.  This year’s event has nearly 800 attendees registered.

    The 2014 version of the SHRM Volunteer Leader’s Summit will have a little different flavor than those of years gone-by.  We will be at a new venue this year, and some of my long time SHRMies will be visibly missing this year (Donna Rogers, John Friend and Matt Stollak to name a few).

    One of the purposes of the event is to help support current our incoming chapter presidents. SHRM works very hard to make sure that the chapters understand they have a wealth of resources and support from SHRM National.  This shouldn’t be an epiphany, as most incoming or current chapter presidents should have a good idea of how the organization functions, as taking on the role of chapter president is not something that should be done without significant planning and forethought.

    No doubt we will be hearing more about the SHRM certifications.  We will hear how it is going to rolled out and implemented, and I would bet $100 there will be a handful of naysayers who want to continue to bash SHRM over this, but I am confident they will be a very small minority.

    One other matter that takes place during the Leadership Summit is the visit to Capitol Hill.  On Thursday morning the SHRM A Team is going to empower 408 SHRM members to go to Capitol Hill and lobby their elected officials. This is awesome, it really is. WE/YOU actually get to help shape public policy – we are not that far removed!  The SHRM Legislative Affairs folks brief us, train us and send us on our way to “The Hill”  (that just sounds cool) to carry out our mission.  Here is a post from a previous visit to Capitol Hill.

    If you would like another take on the Leadership Conference, here is a post from my son Danny who got to attend a large portion of the event in 2012 and had this take on the event.

    I look forward to seeing many of you there, if we haven’t met- let’s connect.

     

     

     
  • #TNSHRM14 Bound

    I will be attending the Tennessee SHRM State Conference in Sevierville, TN on September 17th.  Boy am I excited to attend – do you know why?  The reason is this – because I only know about 10 people that are going to be there.   Yep, I will hardly know anyone there and I am stoked to attend.

     

    HR conference are about learning and networking – I kind of view them as the mosh pit of HR. Meeting new people, talking HR and getting to see a few old friends is a formula for a good time for me.  (Perhaps I need to check in with my own EAP – maybe after TNSHRM,)

     

    My role at the event is simple. Come to the conference and be part of the Social Media Team.  We are the folks who descend  upon the event and bring our skills of sharing things on Blog sites, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube. LinkedIn and Instagram with the conference attendees and to the whole rest of the world.  Not to be arrogant, but I have played this role many times and it is not unusual for tweets from one of these events to reach 20 countries.   I might also mention that sponsors often enjoy having us on site as well as we help them amplify their message to the attendees and the rest of the world – usually in a soft sell non-offensive manner  (see this post  I wrote last year from TNSHRM13).

     

    As part of the team I like all of my other team mates have put together a short video piece introducing myself and sharing a little bit about my home town.  Please take a look and introduce yourself at the conference.   I love networking!

     

     
  • ILSHRM14 Day One

    ILSHRM Day one

    imageFor my unbiased review of #ILSHRM14 I will say that things have gone exceedingly well. Outwardly there no fatal flaws or major blow ups. On a personal level I have been thrilled having two very positive things going on. First is this, I have become the director elect for ILSHRM, which means I will be running the operation for 2017 and 2018 (as I must spend two years in a director elect status), The second matter had to do with our afternoon keynote speaker Jim Knight, I had recommended Jim (pictured above), from seeing him at HR Florida in 2012. I wanted Jim to “kill it” and he did – in spades.

    The speakers/presenter have all been eliciting positive feedback. But the one thing that continues to be rumbling underneath the surface is the issue with the certification system/process. If you are not familiar with this issue you have been living under a rock.

    SHRM has dispatched Jeff Pon Ph.D., SPHR, SHRM’s CHRO here to speak to the ILSHRM group. On Monday he spoke with a small group of SHRM members and leaders in an attempt to “fix the problem.” However the jury is out whether or not that is going to happen. While I arrived late for the meeting and did not hear all of what was said, the consensus was that Mr. Pon had not fixed the problem, at least with this group of people.

    These are the facts as I know them.

    • SHRM has been working on a new set of competencies for more than 2 years, and this was not a secret.
    • SHRM did a poor job on the roll out and informing the members about this.
    • Most members do not understand how and why HRCI is now “out of the picture.”
    • The new SHRM certification is moving forward.
    • You may choose to continue to keep your PHR, SPHR, GPHR or CA designations if you choose to do so.
    • The transition for the new certification process is in place.

    On Tuesday morning Mr. Pon will be holding a town hall style meeting before the keynote address. I hope that his presentation is effective in communicating SHRM’s position on all of this to the general members of SHRM, here in Illinois. After all, it is the general membership that we are all charged with supporting.

     

     
  • Observations from TNSHRM13

    Compared to most other SHRM state conferences this one is large. I am told that there were nearly 1200 people in attendance.  That is big.  The location for the event moves around the state on a four year cycle. It goes from Memphis to Nashville, to Knoxville to Chattanooga.  The story is that Nashville always draw best due to it central location.

    TNSHRM seems to have more men in attendance than most other state or the national conference. I would say it looked like about a 50/50 mix men to women here.  Most other events seem to favor women 75/25; just check the bathroom lines at any of the events and you will see what I mean.tweetdeck

    The venue of the Opryland hotel (a Gaylord Property) is amazing.  The atrium area is huge and simply amazing. Go on line and check it out. My attempt to describe to describe it would not do it justice.

    HR issues in the macro sense do not change from state to state. Employee engagement, turnover, diversity issues and hiring practices are concerns in all 50 states.  You will see virtually the same agenda in Ohio, Wisconsin,  Tennessee or Illinois.

    Tennessee SHRM has done an excellent job of assembling a great staff of unpaid volunteers. They are all friendly, dedicated and immensely competent. Kudos one and all!

    Monday’s lunch was served buffet and hot. It was good and the seating was plentiful.

    The exhibition hall is rocking.  There are the peaks and valleys when sessions are going on (slow in the hall) and when they are out (rocking in the hall).  The traffic is good. I am guessing that there are 150+ vendors, making the event big but not too big.

    The last thing is to reflect upon is social media and it conference interaction.  I know from the people I have been working with that they have worked diligently attempting to give social media a large presence at this event.  They have done an excellent job. They admit that there is more to do, but due to their perseverance they have shown the TNSHRM board that there is merit and value into using social media as a way to both promote the event and interact with participants and vendors.  The Social Media team here in Tennessee is feeling positive about their efforts as I feel they should.

    Today is full day number two.  I think things will only get better on Tuesday. At this point if I could change one thing about TNSHRM13… I am not sure what that might be.   More to come…

     
  • TNSHRM13 – Volunteers make it Happen

    Nashville , TN – September 15, 2013…

    The Social Media Team is assembled.  We are here to do our thing.  We will support the conference, its

    IMG_2214organizers, its sponsors and all of the volunteers who help pull off an event like this. I had been meeting with the team, having dinner and a drink or two. We are good to go!

    On my way back to my room, I thought I would check out the digs one more time.  The conference hall (for the exhibitors) was coming together nicely.  It looks like most of the hardware is in place. The displays were set. The signs for the am sessions were ready.

    Then I walked down by the registration desk to see three women there.  These three  women who were  there, were there when I registered at about 2 PM. It was now pushing 8 PM, and they were going to be there until 9 PM.  I stopped to chat with them.  They were still all smiles and most courteous.

    I asked them if they would chat with me a bit.  They did.  They are Aimee Hull,  Shannan Duggin and Verta Ross.  Aimee and Verta were co-chairs for registration and  finance. Shannan’s official role is as a chapter management professional.    These ladies had been on-site since 6:30 am and were working until 9 PM.   At my shop those kind of hours are grievance material. These ladies were still happy and smiling.

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    Verta, Shannan and Aimee (L to R)

    So if  you see  Aimee, Shannan or Verta during the conference, or any one of the TNSHRM volunteers goes out of their way to help you or make you feel welcome, tell them this.  “Thanks, I appreciate your efforts and volunteerism!” These three and many others like them are the people that really make these conferences happen.  When asked why do you do this, Verta responded, like this, “Because it’s fun and I get to meet people from around the state.  It allows me to give back to the organization that has allowed me to develop.”

    So during the conference know this, it is volunteers like this that make these conferences happen.  They don’t get much out of it, other than the satisfaction of knowing they did their job well.

    Please treat them accordingly!

     
  • MTSHRM I am Nashville Bound

    One of the things I enjoy most is anticipation, the run up to an event. Whether it is a wedding,  a family get together,  an event like a concert or a conference.  For me the anticipation just jazzes me, like a 7 year-old waiting for his birthday to come. Well one of the things I have on horizon is MTSHRM.  It is right around the corner.

    Ground transportation for this dude

    Ground transportation for this dude

    So you might wonder why is a guy from Central Illinois stoked about an HR conference in Tennessee – fair question.  Here are my reasons, in no particular order.

    I was invited to participate by two people I hold in very high regard; my friends Lyn Hoyt and Chris Fields.   These two folks have taken on the task of bringing social media to this event. They have done so with passion, drive and determination – and I am proud to do what I can to help and support them.  I have met a couple other folks involved with SHRM from Tennessee at the SHRM Leadership Conference.  Teri Levy and Dennis Stull  seem to be pretty darned friendly as well, so I figure I will know at least 4 or 5 folks when I walk in the door.

    Another reason is this… It’s MTSHRM and I GOT A TICKET !  Yeah that’s right it is SOLD OUT – you can’t get in even if you want to. You waited too long! Not me I am in!

    I have checked out the line-up card, all 21 pages, and have found a whole cavalcade of speakers that I have never seen or heard.  In the last few years, I have attended a number of HR events and MTSHRM’s line-up is all new for me.  The choices will be difficult, but I will walk away with a whole bucket full of HRCI credits.

    While at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel, I will also be checking out the SHRM Bookstore and my friend Andi Cale.  She will have in stock – every book that has anything to do with HR/Comp/Benefits/Engagement/Leadership/Risk Management and Organizational Development;  just to name a few areas.  Andi also always stocks all of the cutest, latest and greatest HR stuff and SHRM wear, be sure to check this out –even if you do have to wait in line.

    Otherwise I will be hanging out in “The Pit” –The Social Media Pit that is.  This is where the social media folks will be posting up and dispensing their wisdom, to those who have questions. We will probably be tweeting out conference wisdom and posting Facebook fun as well.

    Now do bring those smart phones, tablets,and  even a PCs because my advice is this;  leave the notebooks and the legal pads at home.  I challenge you to live on the edge and do it all electronically at this conference.  Having just attended another conference I have seen how popular these things truly have become.  You are not cool anymore if you are not mobile at an HR conference.  (Just giving you all a heads up.)

    Lastly, I love networking and meeting new people.  So based on the ads, the event is sold at with 800+ attendees – and I know 4 or 5. Looks like I have some serious networking to do!

    Come by The Pit – say hi – let’s connect!

     
  • Kelly Clarkson she ain’t Hall and Oates

    What do Kelly Clarkson and Stevie Wonder have in common?  They are both recording artists whose KellyClarksonConcertconcerts I have attended.   While I was never an over the top fan of either one of them I have enjoyed  many recordings each has made.

    So many years ago, I attended the Stevie concert, and last night I attended the Kelly Clarkson show.  The thing that was interesting to me comparing the two artist was this. Both have an amazing catalog of hits. Hits are those songs that you know some of the words and most of the melody.  Only recently have I taken to listening regularlly to top 40 stuff. I now have XM and I have been compelled by  my wife and my son to listen to current music.  So my knowledge of current music isn’t all that good.

    Well while I knew all of the Stevie stuff – more or less based on my age.  But I was truly amazed to see that I recognized all of the things that Kelly played. It was good stuff too!  The harmonies were very tight – spot on.  Kelly got the audience rocking, dancing and singing along.  It was a great show and let’s just say a little more current than some of the artists that have appeared at SHRM National over the last few years.

    I had the good fortune to bring my wife and my son to the event. It was a great 1:20 minute show. That rocked all of the HR Pros in the house, and all of the other people like my wife and son, and the two cute little teenage girls who were seated next to me.

     
  • It takes a Village to Man a Booth

    Yesterday the Exhibit Hall for the SHRM National Conference opened.   I don’t have an exact number but my guess is 400 – 500 exhibitors were present.   Some of the booths are ostentatious – really.  Some of the booths are fairly plain with a banner or two,  maybe a computer display or two but that is about it.

    Many of the exhibitors have a dozen or more folks on staff to help peddle their wares.  Some of the smaller booths have only 3-4 but it would appear to be adequate for what they are trying to accomplish.

    I am not sure what the vendors pay to exhibit in the hall, but I know what my employer pays to attend major national trade shows. My guess is that booths cost around $5 K and to bring the staff and materials on site is a $25K undertaking.  That should be a big deal in anyone’s realm.

    As I walked the floor I was shocked to come upon one booth.  There was no one in the booth.  It was set up, there was a display but there was no one there.  Who does that?  Someone dropped the ball.  If that were my Company – and that happened – someone would loose their job.  I was going to put a picture of this operation, but I decided better.  If you want to know who it is contact me and I will email you.

    I am headed down to the floor later today, I am going to check and see if they are still missing in action, or if  it is staffed.

     
  • Come See Us in The Hive

    SmartBarSHRM13Working in The Hive has been an exhilarating experience. It has given me the opportunity to meet new people and help them work through some issues.

    Most people do not want to bare their souls and tell the world, I don’t know – I don’t understand. I don’t. It is hard to do. But sometimes, that its the only way to get to understand a matter. Many of the folks who stop by The Smart Bar are looking for answers to what they perceive as being “stupid questions.”

    Those of us who participate in social media know the dangers of calling ourselves “experts.” It is nearly impossible to be an expert in something that is continually evolving. So we are not experts. We can however, be well practiced, like a doctor practicing medicine. And we do enjoy sharing our love of communicating, sharing and networking. We are not cliquish, or condescending, we are welcoming and by and large friendly. We are active SHRM volunteers and would love to answer your questions or help you. If you have questions about technology or social media, stop by and see us and we will do our best to help you out.

    Hope to see you in The Hive.

     
  • #SHRM13 The Big Show in Chicago

    From SHRM 12 In Atlanta

    From SHRM 12 In Atlanta

    The time is at hand… The Big Show (a.k.a. The SHRM National  Annual Conference) starts this weekend in Chicago.  If you have attended one of these, you KNOW how over the top this event is. If you have NEVER ATTENDED and are not attending this year do yourself a favor and plan to attend in 2014. In my time I have been fortunate enough to attend five of them.

    One of the bits of information I have gleaned over the years is this. There are only a handful of cities that can accommodate an event of this magnitude.  Having a large enough conference hall and enough hotel rooms are the limiting factors.  In the last few years the conference has had around 15,000 attendees and probably on the order of 18,000 people on site, between the vendors, presenters and support staff.

    But why, why do HR people move via planes, trains and automobiles to congregate with one and other?  I know of several reasons.  One reason is strategic credit hours.  Typically the conference will offer up about 15 hours of the coveted strategic hours.  This will complete the requirements for those holding an SPHR certification.  A second reason is to check out the latest and greatest HR offerings (this would be the exhibition hall).    Others like Dwane Lay and Laurie Reuttimann visit the exhibition hall simply for the swag.

    The Big Show always offer MEGA Name Keynote speakers… Jack Welch, Tom Brokaw, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell – you get the drift. Rumor has it these folks command MEGA bucks for thier services too. Besides the keynote sessions there are dozens if not hundreds of break out sessions. You can attend a session on virtually any subject remotely related to the HR field.  Many of the presenters are looking to get noticed and pick up additional speaking gigs with other SHRM organizations (Local Chapters and State Councils). It is also a good place for those who book speakers to preview what they might be buying.

    There is one other main reason why people attend this event – NETWORKING.  If you want to meet people in the HR biz, it doesn’t get any better than this.  You can network your ass off!  For me, after years of networking a by-product of that activity is friendships.  So it almost goes without saying, that after years of networking in the this community the conference gives many of us an opportunity to re-connect (socialize, drink, eat and tell tall tales). Which, in-turn, makes the conference several days of severe sleep deprivation.

    Starting Saturday, I will be on site at McCormick place.  I am part of the 80 per social media team for the event.  I will be tweeting, blogging (here), and posting to Facebook and Google +.  If you can’t attend this year, follow the streams and attend the event virtually – so you can get warmed up for next year.

    Chicago bound….