#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.

#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

It’s Here! HRevolution 2013 Tickets On Sale Now!

HRevolution Official Logo black

The HRevolution- sponsored by our premier partner, Sum Total– is coming to Las Vegas on October 6, 2013 and you’re invited!


HRevolution is an industry-changing conference in the US for the human resource industry.  It began as a single tweet on Twitter as a way to bring HR professionals, recruiters, CEOs, and other industry leaders together to discuss the current state of human resources and where the industry is headed.

HRevolution has produced five highly successful events and we are excited to bring HRevolution 6 to a whole new level by refining the focus of the event while expanding the reach to increasingly more high-level HR professionals.  The HRevolution team (Ben Eubanks, Steve Boese, Matt Stollak and Trish McFarlane) work hard all year to bring this great event to you!

Why HRevolution?

What is the ingredient that makes HRevolution different from all other events?  It’s YOU.

You will bring your knowledge, your questions, your fears, your ambition, ideas, and all those things that make you unique.  Then, instead of just sitting quietly in your chair as speakers feed information to you, YOU become part of the sessions.

We pull in some of the most talented thought leaders in the space to guide and challenge us.  You take an active role in the session.  It’s all about the dialog and networking.  If you go home having made some life-changing contacts, we’ll view the event as a success!

We’re  different in that we have generous sponsors who cover much of the cost typically paid by the attendees.  With the help of Sum Total and The HR Technology Conference, HRevolution comes to you at the lowest rate of ANY conference out there!

Tickets/ Registration

HR thought leaders and practitioners from around the globe will be converging for 24 hours+ of mind-bending, trend-setting discussions, yet space is limited, so sign up today HERE!!  Early bird pricing for the first 50 registrants will be $120.  General registration is $200.  Where else can you have access to top industry professionals for that low price?  Nowhere!

Partnering with The HR Technology Conference

This year’s event is co-located with our partner, The HR Technology Conference, the premier global tech event of the year.  With their partnership, you will not only have the opportunity to attend HRevolution on October 6th, you’ll also receive one of the largest discounts possible for The HR Technology Conference ($600 off the regular conference rate)!


You have access to use the room block for The HR Technology Conference at the following hotel:

Mandalay Bay
3950 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Las Vegas, NV 89119
Phone: 877-632-9001
702-632-9000Rate: $199 single/double + tax
Discounted resort fee available: Only $10/day when you book in the HR Technology room block — that’s a savings of $15/day off the regular resort fee.

If you have interest in helping to support HRevolution in any capacity, check out the HRevolution site or email me at TrishaM89@gmail.com.  We are looking for greeters, people to man the registration table, and people to help promote the event on social media sites.

Thanks to our partner The HR Technology Conference and premier sponsor, Sum Total, for your generous support.

Now….. go buy that ticket!

The HR Technology Conference: A Practitioner View

Coming back from a duo-conference in Las Vegas (HRevolution and The HR Technology Conference) requires a few days to decompress. When you take the amount of business and technological information available, add in demos, friends, numerous parties and the call of the Vegas casinos and other distractions, it makes for five days of exhaustive participation.

I’ll write more about HRevolution in future posts but today, I’d like to share my thoughts and observations about the HR Technology Conference.  Since 1998, this is the premier conference for technology advances in the HR space.  And, as a practitioner for many years, it never occurred to me to attend until three years ago.  Even then, I did not fully understand the positive impact that learning more about HR technology would have on my career.  Taking time to learn about the technological advances in the profession along with the opportunity to network with industry insiders is priceless.  If you’ve never been to The HR Technology Conference, I’d like to share my perspective on the value you can gain.

The Sessions and Speakers

This is one of the few conferences in the human resources industry to adapt the sessions to the specific needs of different types of participants.  They offer traditional presentation style sessions on a wide array of topics, debates among leaders in the space, panels to allow the participants to ask questions of experts and even a new HRevolution unconference-style experience so that participants are fully engaged in discussion and participation.

The topics offered cover workforce planning, talent intelligence, understanding and incorporating social technologies and HCM analytics, to name a few.  And each year, you’ll hear vendors and clients sharing stories of how real, day-to-day workplace issues were solved using technology.

The Expo Hall and Vendors

A trip through the expo hall can be one where great value and insight is gained.  It can also be an intimidating place where a practitioner can feel completely overwhelmed.  Even worse, many HR conferences fill in the gaps with vendors who are there to sell purses, jewelry or other non-business related items.  You won’t find that here.

The expo hall at The HR Technology Conference provides the opportunity to see live demos of solutions.  Almost every vendor will take time to get to know what your business needs are, then show you how their product can help fill the gap.  You’ll see familiar names like Monster, Aquire and ADP.  You’ll also find smaller start ups who are taking social to a whole new level.  So, whether you work for a large, global employer or a small business, you’ll find solutions you need.

The Networking Events

Sure, this year the conference was in Las Vegas and I know that alone can give the impression of never-ending parties.  For some who seek it out, that can be the reality.  However, for most practitioners, you can find a good number of events that are fun and provide the ultimate networking experience.  This year, I was fortunate to attend several events where I met CEOs, CHROs, consultants, analysts and other practitioners.  They included events hosted by The Starr Conspiracy, Monster, Knowledge Infusion and several industry leaders.  These events are one of the best reasons to attend.  I have learned more and made lasting professional relationships here that is worth the cost of the ticket year after year.

The Cost/ Benefit Analysis

The price of a ticket is small considering all the benefits of attending.  Typically starting several months before the event, you can find discount codes with hundreds off the registration fee.  And, if you start planning for 2012 now, you can find great travel deals for your accommodations.  The HR Technology Conference will be back in Chicago on October 8th, 2012.  Be sure to mark your calendar for February 2012 when registration opens.  The conference will also offer scholarships to help qualifying individuals attend.

Thank you to Bill Kutik, David Schadovitz, Claude Werder and LRP Publiciations for hosting one of the top HR events each year!




2 Great Conferences Together Saves You Money

It’s summertime and that means that if you’re like me, you’re probably sitting somewhere that is hotter than normal and you’re dreaming of a beautiful vacation spot.  Maybe you’re just back from that family vacation or you’re just about to head to an exotic locale to sip tropical drinks.  Either way, you’re probably not quite as focused on how to learn more or where to spend your time (and conference budget) this fall.

That’s why today is the perfect time to tell you how to get 2 great conferences together and save yourself time and money!

Working in conjunction with our friends at the HR Technology Conference, which is being held in Las Vegas from October 3-5, 2011, the HRevolution is slated to take place on October 2, 2011, the day before the big HR Technology Show kicks off.

What is HRevolution all about?

Engagement, intense discussion, challenging sessions and conversations led by and made relevant for a wide cross-section of Human Resources professionals and thinkers. It is simply a different and unique event, and the people that have attended HRevolution events in the past always walk away with inspiration, insights, and plans for action.  Here is just a taste of the sessions you can attend:

  • The Talent Anarchy Hacklab-  You have to break stuff down in order to fix it.
  • How Does Technology Set Your Team Apart?-  Participate in this roundtable discussion and learn what your peers are doing, what is working and what isn’t.
  • A Metric, A Trend and An Analytic Walk Into A Bar….– It’s no joke!  Learn how to make an HR or Workplace Analytic project impactful to your business.
  • Change Leadership Challenge!-  Go head to head alongside two of the leading thinkers on change leadership.
  • The State of HR Education & Transitioning Students Into Practitioners-  The ultimate in teaching us how to create a team of new practitioners who will be capable to lead.
  • And many more….

So if you were planning to head to Vegas for the HR Technology Conference, come in a day early and join us at HRevolution – Las Vegas. And if you are an HRevolution fan, but have never been to the HR Technology Conference before, well, now is a fantastic opportunity to combine both events in one trip. Registrants for HRevolution – Las Vegas will receive an awesome discount code good for $600 off the onsite registration rate of $1,795 that can be applied to the HR Technology Conference registration. That’s the biggest discount available, so register for HRevolution today and we’ll send you your discount code for the HR Technology Conference!

See you soon in Vegas!!