Have you ever been to a professional HR conference? I remember my first real conference vividly. I lived in Ohio at the time and was still in college, finishing up my master’s degree in Labor Relations and Human Resources. I was doing an internship with a company and the Director of HR told me she was taking me to an HR conference. I was so excited to go! There I was, in a building with hundreds of Human Resources professionals and business leaders. There were so much information sharing and networking going on, it was exhausting – but in a great way.
At the end of the day, on our way back to the office, we talked about the major takeaways from our conference experience. There were some great professional benefits, but personally, I felt really good about myself. I felt like I belonged there like I had arrived, like a real, valued HR professional. And I brought all of that confidence back to the office with me. I really gained a lot, and that’s why I support professional development conferences today – they’re vital to our careers.
What’s HR’s most important job function right now? In a word, recruiting. Think about it: without recruiting, Human Resources could not do anything else. There would be no company to protect, no training, no managing, and no compliance without people – so recruiting is the most important function of HR. Now that we’ve settled that, you should definitely consider attending or sending your team to a recruiting conference.
With increased competition today for workers, and an ongoing battle for retention as well as skills gap issues, being savvy about recruiting is even more important than ever before. Social media has changed the entire talent acquisition and talent management process forever, and this basically means that the world of recruiting is changing very quickly, so you need all the help you can get.
There are some misconceptions about conferences, so as a veteran of the conference circuit, I want to offer you some feedback on either side of the question of whether attending a recruitment conference is right for you.
Looks like the pros win. So maybe I’ll be seeing you at the next big HR recruitment conference.
Chris Fields is an HR professional and expert resume writer with more than 13 years of experience as a former practitioner and current HR consultant. He is the curator of two websites: CostofWork.com and ResumeCrusade.com , and contributes HR-focused content to many others, including PerformanceICreate.com and SmartRecruiters.com . He has been listed by the Huffington Post as one of the “Top 100 Most Social Human Resources Experts to Follow on Twitter”, one of the “Top 40 under 40” by the HR Blogger Network, one of the “25 Must-Read HR Blogs in 2013”, and also featured on Oprah.com. He is very active with the Society of Human Resource Management, working closely with conference directors, communication chairs, and social media teams from Illinois, Oklahoma, and Tennessee to develop social strategies to engage attendees and enhance their conference experience. Chris earned his master’s degree in Labor and Human Resources from Ohio State University. In 2005, he moved back to his hometown of Memphis, TN, where he has developed a reputation for helping his clients create HR strategies, and individuals master the tough economic challenges of the South.