If you are one of the many HR professionals that booked a ticket to SHRM's Annual Conference this year, prepare to be a little overwhelmed. This year's conference spans five days, includes thousands of attendees, 200 sessions, not to mention the otherworldly exposition hall with 600 vendors (including yours truly).
While it might be tempting to go with the flow and play it by ear, getting the most out of the conference requires a little bit of planning. By no means does that mean you need to fill every little timeslot during your stay in DC - after all SHRM's annual conference is a marathon and not a sprint.
And in case you didn't notice - #SHRM16 is now two weeks away!
To help you make the most of your time in our nation's capital, here are our recommendations for the best sessions, questions for reflecting on your organization's needs, and perhaps most importantly, where to escape when you need a break from the action.
Now is a great time to reflect on what core areas of recruiting your organization must improve on, and what specific problems you will look to address while you are at SHRM's Annual Conference.
Attracting Talent - Creating active talent pipelines within your organization is key to reducing time to fill, and finding the right talent when you need it.
1. Do you have an active talent database? When was the last time you sent them an update?
2. Can a candidate apply for a job from their mobile device? Have you tried to apply to one of your own job postings from a mobile device?
3. Can a candidate join your talent database from their mobile device? How many steps does it take?
Engaging Talent - Now that you have an active talent pipeline you need to keep in contact with them to let them know the right opportunity opens up.
4. Are your emails, InMail messages and phone calls to getting through to talent (Over 15% response rate)?
5. Can you easily measure candidate response rates and response times?
6. Can you personalize candidate messages as scale (including the candidate's first name even when you are messaging 100+ people)?
7. Have missed interviews delayed your time to hire in the last six months?
8. Do you have a system for sending interview reminders? Do you receive confirmation messages back that your reminder has been received?
9. What does your typical interview follow-up look like?
Engaging Employees - Once a hire has been made, recruiters should ensure that the new employee stays engaged to increase the likelihood of retention.
10. Has onboarding issues delayed your time to hire in the last six months?
11. Do employees at your organization frequently miss open enrollment periods?
12. Does employee scheduling often get confused or forgotten?
13. Can you push messages to your employees' mobile devices in case of a company-wide update or emergency?
These 13 questions obviously don't cover every element of an organization's recruiting process, but they should get you thinking and help you begin to question how effective your hiring process is today. Next, we have outlined some of the sessions at #SHRM16 that can help you diagnose and discover solutions to these problems.
There is no perfect schedule for recruiters at SHRM's annual conference, every human resource professional and organization has their own set of learning goals. That being said, these are five sessions that we are especially excited about and believe will be useful to any recruiting team.
1. Recruiting ROCKS Again! Continuing to Optimize Talent Acquisition
06/21/2016 10:45 AM - 12:00 PM
Presenter: Jeremy M. Eskenazi, SHRM-SCP, SPHR, Managing principal, Riviera Advisors, Inc.
Why you should attend: This session will cover consultative approaches to recruiting, which tend to be very effective, and sourcing strategies.
06/21/2016 07:00 AM - 08:15 AM
Presenter: Giselle Kovary, Managing partner, N-gen People Performance, Inc.
Why you should attend: As virtual teams become the norm in modern organizations, it's important to identify and recruit talent that will succeed in a distributed work environment.
3. Onboarding, Inboarding, and Appreciation: How to Drastically Improve Retention, Engagement, and Results
6/21/2016 02:15 PM - 03:30 PM
Presenter: Kevin Ames, Director of Speaking and Training, O.C. Tanner
Why you should attend: The importance of a positive onboarding experience on employee engagement and retention continues to be highly underrated, and recruiters have an important role to play.
4. Why Your Employees Are Just Not That Into You...and What to Do About It
06/20/2016 07:00 AM - 08:15 AM
Presenter: David A. Lee, Principal, HumanNature@Work
Why you should attend: Employee engagement can have a strong impact on the ability of organization's to attract and retain talent. How does the leadership within your organization communicate to the company?
5. Communicating Total Compensation and Benefits to Millennials
06/20/2016 10:45 AM - 12:00 PM
Presenter: Karl James Ahlrichs, Senior consultant, Gregory and Appel
Why you should attend: Employment perks and benefits matter a great deal to Millennials and Generation Z, and making them familiar with your organization's package can help you recruit talent and engage employee more effectively.
Having spent many years living in DC, these are the places I recommend locating when you need a break. You may even run into me, and if you do be sure to say hi. All spots are within a 10-minute walk of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.
1. Busboys and Poets $
1025 5th St NW, Washington, DC 20001
A short walk from the convention center, this locally-owned cafe/bookstore is a great place to grab a coffee, drink or bite to eat. Stay social and pull a seat up at the bar, or grab a table and catch up on emails.
2. matchbox $$
713 H St NW, Washington, DC 20001
All you ate today was a granola bar after you sat through eight consecutive sessions. Wood-fired pizza, craft beer, and cocktails should solve the problem. But be warned: it can get packed in here.
3. Brasserie Beck $$$
1101 K St NW, Washington, DC 20005
You made your boss look smart, landed a huge deal, saved the company a lot of money, or just need to celebrate surviving a full day on the expo hall - you have come to the right place. Trendy and classy with over 100 beer options.
I hope this guide makes life a little easier as you plan your trip to DC. Be sure to stop by TextRecruit's Booth (3246) and say hi. We will be giving away USB Chargers, Stress Relief Smartphones and lots of other good stuff including four Nike-branded TextRecruit jackets -->