Category Archives: HR Conferences

#HRHappyHour 176- Big Bets for HR

Recorded live at Oracle HCM World – Thursday February 6, 2014

This is a fun and informative podcast that Steve Boese and I were able to record with Oracle’s Bertrand Dussert, VP of HR Transformation and one of the sharpest guys around when it comes to understanding modern HR, and the critical role of technology in that transformation to modern HR.

Current Business Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Steve Boese on BlogTalkRadio

Bertrand has led an exciting, varied career as an HR practitioner and executive, which sets him apart from many of the typical HR software company execs you’ll encounter. He knows the challenges that come with being an HR and business leader playing in the big leagues, and can lend this expertise and insight to the clients he works with in his role as a trusted advisor for Oracle.

In the show, we talked with Bertrand on some of the most interesting technological trends and the opportunities they will present – the ‘Big Bets for HR’ as it were. We hit upon wearable devices, the internet of things, predicitive analytics and more. And at every turn Bertrand helps us break down the topic and see what it all might mean for HR leaders in the future.

It was a really fun, lively, and quick 30 minutes or so, and I hope you take some time this week to check out the show.

Once again, you can listen to or download the show from the show page here, or from the iTunes store – just search the Podcasts section for ‘HR Happy Hour’. Android users – we have you covered too. Download a podcast app called Stitcher Radio and search for ‘HR Happy Hour’ and add the show to your list of favorites.

Thanks again to Bertrand and to everyone over at Oracle for making it possible to record the HR Happy Hour live and on site from Oracle HCM World.

HR Happy Hour: Oracle HCM World Preview~ Modern HR

This week on the HR Happy Hour ShowSteve Boese and I talked with Gretchen Alarcon, Vice President of Oracle HCM Strategy for Oracle, for an interesting and fun conversation about some of the most important challenges facing the modern HR leader and the organization as we head into 2014.  We discuss how advances in HCM technologies are helping organizations to meet those challenges and offer some ideas about some of the most intriguing HR and workplace technologies.

Additionally, Gretchen gave us a preview of the upcoming and inaugural Oracle HCM World event to be held February 4-6, 2014 at the Venetian in Las Vegas. At Oracle HCM World, there will be over 100 sessions featuring HR leaders, industry experts, and recognized thought leaders sharing their insights and experiences – all designed to help attendees improve emplopyee enagement, to provide new strategies for talent attraction, development, and retention, and to support professional networking and knowledge sharing.

You can listent to the show on the show page here, or using the widget player below. Addtionally for you smartphone addicts, you can get the show on Apple’s iTunes or for Android devices, using an app called Stitcher Radio. In both cases just search for “HR Happy Hour” to download the show and to subscribe to the podcast.

It was a fun and enlightening conversation with Gretchen.  Many thanks to her and the Oracle HCM team for joining us this week.

Note: This is the final show of 2013 – thanks as always for listening and Happy Holidays and we will see you in 2014!

HR Happy Hour: #HRevolution and #HRTechConf Recap

hrhappyrhourIt’s time for the HR Happy Hour recap of HRevolution and The HR Technology Conference.  Both were a huge success.  HRevolution was sold out several weeks before our event.  There were some great new sessions and about half of the 120 attendees were new to the event.  This made for some exciting learning and discussions!  All this brought to us by our generous sponsors.  Thanks to FisherVista (for your HR marketing & media needs) and RolePoint (for all your employee referral needs)  for hosting our tweetup at Mix Lounge.  Special thanks to our HRevolution event sponsor Sum Total .  Great partners!!





The HR Technology Conference didn’t disappoint either.  Vendors stepped up their game as did the speakers.  The attendees were networking like crazy.

Be sure to check out the HR Happy Hour show replay for the full details.  Steve Boese and I had a great time being “live” again after a couple months away while planning these events.  We’re excited to be back and you’ll hear more live from us again soon.  For show details, check out the HR Happy Hour site.

#HRTechConf Recap- Technology In Sin City

Are you a business leader looking to make an impact on how efficiently your company performs?
Are you a business leader focused on the intersection of people and results?
Are you a business leader who knows that your organization could be doing more to recruit and retain talented colleagues?
Are you a business leader who does not know how best to educate yourself on how to achieve the results you need from the first three questions?

If you are that business leader, then YOU should be at The HR Technology Conference.

HRTI just returned from my 5th visit to The HR Technology Conference.  As a busy HR leader, I discovered early on that I needed to find a way to condense my learning into short bursts of time instead of constantly taking cold calls from aspiring vendors looking to make random attempts to gain my business.  By intentionally carving time out of my annual schedule to attend this event, I’m able to gain knowledge about all things HR, recruiting and most importantly, how technology plays a vital role in all we do as business leaders.

I attend sessions where my assumptions are challenged- even destroyed- or validated.  I meet professionals from all aspects of human resources.  I speak directly to CEOs from the major vendors in the HR technology space.  And then there is my favorite part- hearing about the new, emerging technology solutions for employers.

It’s all under one roof.  Just picture you and 5,000 of your colleagues at Mandalay Bay there to uncover many of the same secrets.  Just think about how much learning you’ll cram into 2 ½ days.  You’ll hear from the top analysts in the space.  You’ll hear from practitioners, like me, talking the straight talk about what really works in the field.  You’ll forge new relationships that will last for years to come.

And then there’s Vegas.  Sure, it’s “Sin City”, so there is room for a little fun too.  Just remember not to keep your conference badge on and have a strict “no photos” policy.  Seriously, the generous vendors host dinners and parties so that you can meet their teams and get to know them as people.  It’s a great way to not only assess a vendor by the product offering but by the type of people they hire that will ultimately work with you.

What were my highlights from 2013?

  • The Next Gen Influencer Panel- I was honored when Bill Kutik, mentor and leader in the HR technology space, asked me to be part of the panel and speak about where technology has been and where it’s headed from the perspective of a HR leader and practitioner.  We had a packed room of attendees and lots of good questions.  Bill sure knows how to assemble a panel discussion!  Hats off to him.
  • Spending time on the expo floor- Sure, it was a bit of a walk, but I guarantee it was well worth the trip.  *Tip- wear comfortable shoes* Vendors outdid themselves with their demos this year.  I felt more welcome and at home than ever before.  I especially liked my demos from Halogen Software of how they are using Myers-Briggs analysis to bridge the communication gaps among colleagues.  I’m an ESFP and for any of you who have met me, you are probably not surprised!  I also loved the WePow demo.  Any company that by their own definition says, “we are a company passionate about technology and obsessed with recruitment” is a winner in my book.  Seriously, the solutions for video recruiting were really powerful.  And, to be transparent, they gave me my first pair of Chuck Taylors ever!  Thanks WePow!
  • Awesome New Technologies- Here’s where the rubber hit the road for me.  I made sure to get a front row seat for this session because as in years past, it did not disappoint.  New Chairman, Steve Boese, led this exciting session.  Learning more about the six solutions selected really opened my eyes to what is coming down the pike for HR leaders like me and our teams.  It also shows the level of thought that is being put into the experience that people have during all points of the employee life cycle.

What could use some tweaking?

  • Layout of the event- Hosting this event in a casino means lots of walking.  If they can gain access to space so that the expo hall is closer to session rooms, it will be a win/win for attendees and vendors.
  • Tonight Show session- I loved the fun of having a Tonight Show feel to the panel of experienced analysts and leaders.  My only suggestion is to have less scripting.  Whenever you have experts in their field, I don’t think there needs to be a script to strictly follow. Loosen it up and show the knowledge as well as the personalities.
  • Expo “bouncers” that do not look welcoming at all-  Ok, I get that some people may try to sneak into the expo hall, but how many people actually do that?  I’d play the odds and remove the bouncers, I mean, expo welcoming committee, from the door area.  They stare you down like they’ll throw you out.  It’s creepy.
  • Breaks/ snacks-  I know that Mandalay offers theme breaks in various colors.  I recommend having vendors sponsor breaks in their color (ie. HireVue Red Break, Ceridian Blue Break).  All the items in that break are in that color.
  • Blogger vs. Press space vs. Speaker Needs- Ok, this may not impact a ton of people, but for the ones it impacts, it’s huge.  I’d like to see more clarity around who is designated press vs. blogger.  It was horrible attempting to hold briefings in the tiny blogger room.  It was often crowded and very loud.  The press room was also cramped.  Compare that to the huge, nearly empty rooms for several analysts and it doesn’t add up.  I recommend making one huge Briefing Room (for press and bloggers) and then a separate hospitality room for the same group of people to go when they need a quiet place to write.  Now, what about speakers?  I was there in that capacity but was turned away from the press room when I asked to use a printer to print 2 pages before my session that I need FOR the session.  Not good.  It would be great to have a place for speakers to go to prep before their sessions, have a printer to use, etc.

Overall, the final curtain call for Bill Kutik as a chairman of the event was a success.  The collaboration between him and Steve Boese, the new chairman was as close to perfect as you can get.  I am excited to see what 2014 brings!  Thanks to LRP Publications, Bill and Steve for making this one of the most fulfilling events I’ve participated in.

For the full recap, check out Steve Boese and I on the HR Happy Hour show.  Be sure to share!

Why Come to #HRevolution? To See a Wedding, Of Course!

When my blog posts slow down this time of year you can rest assured it’s because of one thing…


HRevolution is happening at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas on October 6th.

HRevolution Official Logo blackI love planning this event in my free time.  It takes away from my writing time for a bit, but it’s well worth it.  Since it’s start four years ago, this event has been one of the best networking events in the HR space.  We’ve partnered, learned, shared, laughed and even cried.  But, a wedding?  What could that mean?

If you’ve never attended HRevolution before, I need to back-track and explain.  Back in 2009 when this event was a mere string of tweets taking shape into a gathering, we said the real purpose was networking in person with other smart business pros.  That first night in Louisville, KY, fifty people gathered.  At this point, none of us had met.  Not even the planning committee.  Any relationships we had were purely virtual.

It was at this event that we all first met Frank Zupan and Tammy Colson.  I distinctly remember meeting them both separately.  Frank was living in Ohio, Tammy was on the east coast.  Well, that first event came and went and many friendships were started.  The next year at HRevolution, Frank and Tammy attended separately again.  But this time, romance must have been in the air.  By the third year of HRevolution, they were a couple.  Now here we are, four years in, and since we’ll be in Las Vegas, there will be a wedding.  The first wedding of a couple that met at HRevolution.  We couldn’t be happier for them!

Will you find love at HRevolution?  Maybe.

What I know you WILL definitely find:

  • New colleagues who may be CEOs, COOs, HR practitioners, consultants, recruiters, people who work in HR technology, and more.

  • Sessions where YOU are part of the discussion.

  • Debate on issues impacting our field.

Most importantly, connection.  Connection with people you will want to work with in the future.  People you will be friends with for years.

So, why should you come to HRevoltuion?  There are many good reasons, but my TOP reason this year is to watch two of our HRevolution family get married.  So, get your ticket today HERE.

Congratulations Tammy and Frank.  We love you and can’t wait to see you start this chapter of your lives!

Thanks to our sponsor, Sum Total for making this event possible. SUMTOTAL-LOGO-final-color-CMYK_TM

Big Trends in HR and Recruiting: Thinking Outside the (In)Box


Florida?  August?  That can only mean one thing…

HR Florida!

As in past years, this conference does not disappoint.  From  the most well-oiled executive committee to the venue to the content, this is one not to miss.  This year, I was back with my HR Happy Hour co-host, Steve Boese, for our session Thinking Outside the (In) Box- Big Trends in HR and Recruiting.

I must admit, there is little else professionally that energizes me the way speaking to a packed room does.  No butterflies for me…just a desire to connect with professionals to share and learn.  There is also that great feeling I have when I look out over the audience and see many faces of the friends I’ve made through Twitter.  When you have really smart pros there to support what you’re doing, it’s a great feeling.

We talked about three (of the many) trends that impact HR now: big data, mobile and the cloud.  Our goal was to bring a high-level view of the technology and why it’s meaningful to the HR and recruiting pros in the trenches.  We also wanted to give tangible examples of what leaders can do now to start down the path.

Be sure to check out, and share, our presentation.  We’d also love any comments from you on what your organization finds successful when it comes to trends in HR and recruiting technology.


Thinking Outside the (In)Box

Shout out to  Joyce Chastain (HR Florida State Council Predisent) and the whole HR Florida team for inviting us to speak.  We had a wonderful time and hope our session led to learning for the attendees.

HR Happy Hour: The HR Tech Conference 2013 Preview


Today I am excited to share the most recent episode of the HR Happy Hour show- The HR Tech Conference 2013 Preview.

In this episode, I interview Bill Kutik and Steve Boese, co-chairs of the event.  You’ll hear about some of the new, exciting changes coming for attendees this fall as well as their take on the state of HR technology in general.

Since 1998, this is the premier conference for technology advances in the HR space.  And, as a practitioner for many years, it’s one of the most valuable events I attend annually.  Taking time to learn about the technological advances in the profession along with the opportunity to network with industry insiders is priceless.  I’ve shared my insights on the value of the event here and here.

Please check out their website to see the real value of the event.  And, if you act soon, you can get a big discount just for being a reader of the HR Ringleader blog.

Just use the Promo Code RINGLEADER (all caps) when you register online to get $500 off the rack rate of $1,895. The discount does not expire until the conference ends on Oct. 9.

I’m thrilled to be back for my third year speaking at the event.  Be sure to register and check out the panel I’m participating on- The First Annual Next Gen Influencers Panel: Getting Out From Behind the Baby Boomers.  Bill Kutik is moderating so it should be fun and challenging.

Register today.  See you soon!


PRS Brand Camp: Community, Authenticity and Purpose

It’s true…I needed a mini vacation.  I know what you’re thinking- you’re wondering which beach I headed off to in search of a view and tall, frozen drink.  But you’re wrong.  When I thought of how I wanted to use a few days of vacation, my first thought was to head to PRS Brand Camp in Dallas, Texas.   After all, even adults can use summer camp.Summer Brand Camp banner







Brainchild of Joni Doolin, CEO of PeopleReport/ Black Box and Wally Doolin, Chairman of PeopleReport/ Black Box, Summer Brand Camp is one of the best events I have ever attended.  Touted as the intersection of consumer and employer branding, this event brings together service sector business people from HR, Operations and Marketing.  In just a few short days, you quickly solidify the notion that the ways that the various groups tie together is the key to really successful business strategy and outcomes.


The first thing you’ll hear from every past attendee is how fun it is.  It’s true- you can go to a learning event and truly have fun getting to know your fellow attendees.  I was immediately thrown into a scavenger hunt where I met people from various companies.  My favorite was Nick Sarillo, CEO of Nick’s Pizza & Pub.  I’ll tell you more about Nick in a future post.  Suffice to say I’ve learned more from him than anyone else in a LONG time.  I just finished his book A Slice of the Pie: How to Build a Big Little Business.

I took silly Instagrams, I waded barefoot in a fountain, I crammed into a tent with a bunch of fun people.  It was amazing.  By the end of the first night, I had a whole new group of friends.  There is also a talent show (which was completely amazing!) and volunteer time to help several charities.  All great ways to get to know your fellow campers!


What you may not know is how much learning goes on at PRS Brand Camp.  I learned so much that I’ll have to write several posts to detail it all. Suffice to say that I walked away far more versed in labor relations, communications, culture, financial strategy and purpose.  Even I got in on the action when I co-presented with Julie Moreland from PeopleMatter.  More to come on our session later.


One quote from Joni really stood out to me at the beginning of the event:

“Purpose driven employees are engaged.” ~ Joni Doolin

I don’t think there needs to be more said other than every moment I spent at this event was living, breathing purpose.  Thank you to Joni for inviting me to speak and to William Tincup for suggesting it.  I had an amazing time and encourage everyone to attend next June.