Recapping SHRM 2014: Some Hot Highlights

Nolan Gray Corporate Recruiting, Market Trends, Staffing

HR professionals who were lucky enough to go to the Society for Human Resource Management 2014 Annual Conference & Exposition in Orlando were able to attend sessions led by industry experts, see the latest products and participate in certification preparation courses. But those of us who had to stay behind don’t have to miss out on all the fun. While compiling everything of note at the conference would be close to impossible, there are some highlights that just can’t be missed. From developments in talent acquisition to evolutions in recruiting solutions, here are two key things you can’t miss from the conference:

The Death of Average
As recruiters, HR professionals have to stand out or find themselves unable to attract top talent, but job seekers have to be as extraordinary and visible online to succeed. Tom Friedman, author and reporter, spoke about how the age of average is now over in our hyper-connected world. In his keynote speech on June 23, Friedman said there is now an anxiety in the workforce about being talented enough to be recruited and to stay at a job. It’s those who not only know technology and have certain hard skills who will succeed, but those who can also apply those abilities and strategize who will.

“It’s really, really going to be difficult to be a worker in this world… because the single most important socioeconomic fact of this hyper-connected world – the new thing it created – is that average is officially over,” said Friedman, according to SHRM.

Friedman talked about how constant connections thanks to the Internet and mobile technology is driving the need for people to stand out, and those who are self-motivated will be the ones who will stand out. Many attendees can’t stop talking about Friedman’s keynote, and Will Thomson, a recruiter at Rosetta Stone, echoed these sentiments in a recent blog post about how recruiters need to find workers with that little something extra to create great teams. Thomson wrote soft skills and intangibles, such as what co-workers think of the candidate, are becoming even more important when recruiters look for great talent.

Ongoing Call for Embracing Technology and Social Media
As always, technology had a place at the conference. According to a SHRM article, one of the best presentations on the latest tech for HR was by Jessica Miller-Merrell, CEO of Blogging4Jobs, who talked about how integrated technology will be essential for workplace communication and engagement. In fact, social media and technology’s part in the talent acquisition process was a key focus of one session, according to the SHRM article, and social recruiting is only going to evolve. From worker engagement apps and platforms to the adoption of social media within HR, SHRM reported Miller-Merrell’s talk focused on how technologies are helping HR professionals sift through the pool of talented candidates. Because recruitment and bringing in top performers is such a priority for many HR professionals, SHRM noted part of Miller-Merrell’s talk focused on how HR professionals can leverage technology effectively.

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