6 Things I Learned at #SHRM11

by The Red Recruiter on July 11, 2011

Monster Booth at SHRMJust as I expected, the annual SHRM conference in Las Vegas was fantastic! In fact, it would be near impossible to spell out all the different perspectives that were shared and the takeaways that I received. So, in the spirit of brevity, I’ll sum it up with these 6 points.

1. Facebook is a battleground

No matter how you slice it, Facebook is a mindshare land grab (that may be a Marenism btw). We all know that over 700 million folks enjoy the blue and white social playground today, but what you might not know is how heated the battle for a professional platform has become. BranchOut and BeKnown are at the forefront of this face-off and we are sure to see more in the near future.

BranchOut sponsored the Social Media LoungeWhile BranchOut has the head start, BeKnown has the financial backing of Monster and their incredibly well developed book of clients.

In essence, both are vying for the role of LinkedIn within Facebookland. They are aiming to create a place where job seekers can limit how much is shared while taking full advantage of the Facebook numbers. What’s better than networking with 100 million LinkedIn users? Networking with 700 million Facebook users.

The battle has begun. Now it’s up to the users to decide. I would imagine by this time next year, we will know who the victor is.

2. It’s all about engagement

If you have been putting off your plans for learning how to manage Gen Y and the generations to follow, your time is about to expire. It’s all about engaging these newer generations of workers and making them happy. “Why?” you might ask.

Well, just as before the recession, Baby Boomers are exiting the workplace and Gen Y is quickly taking over the majority role. As this continues to happen, we should all expect to be overwhelmed by best practices in leading by example, peer management approaches and purpose driven workplaces.

It’s the future. Accept it.

Epic Talent3. Your people are your brand

For those of you who know me, you’ll know that I’m passionate about this one. It was awesome to see so many folks speaking about and sharing the gospel on making people the selling point to your company.

Like it or not, winners and losers in the recruiting space will be decided by their organizations’ abilities to keep their employee populations engaged. Fall short and the word will spread. Thrive and your company will be rewarded with the best and the brightest.

If we embrace brand advocates, costs to acquire will go down. We just need to get out of their way and let them tell the story. The rest will take care of itself. And, if you think this is still on the horizon, I suggest you start keeping an eye on thought leaders like Ryan Estis. His presentation, Passion on Purpose, will show you the light!

4. Show me the numbers

If you are a vendor in the HR space, be prepared to start showing your cards. The times of solely displaying shiny objects and making a fortune are gone. Buyers are critical and they want real results.

SHRM Conference FloorAs I wandered the exhibitor hall, one thing became very apparent… dialogue is real and buyers want to know facts. If you have a serious solution, this shouldn’t be a problem. If you don’t, go back to the drawing board and start pulling some meaningful metrics… you’ll thank me later 😉

5. What is social media?

A couple of years ago, I would have hoped that this year would bring hoards of informed social media users to the HR space. Instead, it seems that help is still needed… and not just with the advanced stuff. We need to back up and bring on a new group of savvy social users. We’ve perhaps grown bored of Twitter 101, but that boredom may be creating a roadblock for adoption.

Let’s face it, social is fun and for most of us involved with it, we’ve met some great folks and engaged in a plethora of new ways.

After this conference, I feel a renewed duty to help others

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get on board and I hope others join in.

6. Company Culture Matters

Yeah, yeah, I know… the same old spiel. But, listen up – it’s go time!

We live in a new age that values real more than shiny… an age that values transparency more than long-standing tradition. If you think that your cultural edge is historical success, think again. Cool new opportunities spring up every day. It won’t be long before your talent is bombarded by something “better.” So, it’s time to celebrate

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and establish your culture for what it is.

Conference bag.Don’t pretend… be real. Understand that for the right person, your company is the perfect place to work. It’s your duty to represent it well and give people something to take pride in… namely themselves and the hard work they do for your organization.

The bottom line is important, but giving people a central mission, an identity and a cause is more important.

Want to make it big? Show how your employees are impacting the world.

So, again… this list could go on, but these were the six things that I was left with from the conference. Perhaps a post on each would be appropriate.

I look forward to attending SHRM again next year. If you haven’t attended in the past, I highly recommend planning in advance for the next go around. You won’t regret it.

If you attended, what were your major takeaways? Anything I completely overlooked?

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