SHRM Conference Report from Tuesday

by Michael Haberman on June 25, 2014 · 0 comments


shrm bagOne of the more enjoyable aspects of the conference is that you have an opportunity to network with, and socialize with, people from around the country. Many organizations host parties to facilitate that. The one I attended was put on by Glassdoor and was held at the Hard Rock Cafe. As an official blogger I was considered a VIP and so I got to go to the VIP lounge which was held in a room that replicated John Lennon’s apartment. Kind of cool. However it did make for some fuzzy heads on Tuesday morning.

Show me the money

The first session I attended was one called “Show me the Money” presented by LaFern Batie. She said the business leaders that specialize in HR should be interested in the money side of the business and understand how they contribute to it. She listed numerous areas that HR has an impact on. One such area was training which she said she be re-positioned as “competitive learning.” I thought that was a pretty important distinction. She suggested that all HR people should have a financial mentor in the workplace, someone who can explain the financials of the company to you. This kind of alliance has been a pretty common theme of this conference. A consistent message is to get out of our silos. Ms. Batie echoed that message. She told us we need to ask “what are we learning”, “How will we use this in our business”, “who are you connecting with”, and “how can the connection help?”

She finished by saying that engagement is not enough you have to have talent as well. She said that in one company engaged managers who had no talent reduced store profitability by 5.9%. Her final statement was that branding is an emotional promise of an experience. It can be bad or good.

Background checks

The next session I attended was the Top 10 Trends for Background Checks in 2014. Potentially a deadly boring subject, but Lester Rosen did  a fabulous job of making it entertaining and informative. His top trends are:

  1. Ban the Box- the EEOC’s drive to get the felony question on applications eliminated
  2. The EEOC’s guidance on the use of criminal records. The EEOC says the result in adverse impact. He says you must pay attention to the Fair Credit Reporting Act. If you don’t you will be called a defendant
  3. There is an increased use of a national database for background checks. This is wrong. There is NO national criminal database.
  4. Class action suits are on the rise for poor background check practices.
  5. You must use only NAPBS accredited forms or run the risk of being sued.
  6. Identity theft is on the rise.
  7. Social networks are being used for background checks and they should not be.
  8. Credit reports are falling out of favor.
  9. The need for, and use of, international checks is on the rise.

I will be writing more on this issue in the near future.

The night ended with a fabulous concert by Tim McGraw. He is quite the showman.

And thanks to DICE and SHRM for the reception in the blogger lounge before the concert. DICE goes out of their way to provide a great conference experience for the bloggers. 


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