I caught up with Dan Schawbel who is an author, speaker, entrepreneur and a great guy this past week. Dan will be presenting at the 2019 SHRM Annual Conference and Exposition (#SHRM19) and he is a can’t miss presenter!
Dan give us a 30 second elevator pitch, tell us who you are, what you do, and/or what we should know about you…
I'm a Partner and Research Director at Future Workplace, an HR advisory and research firm providing insights on the future of learning and working. Over the past seven years, I've led dozens of research studies across every HR-related topic working with companies like Oracle, American Express, Virgin Pulse and Randstad. In addition, over the past decade I have written three career books, including Back to Human, Promote Yourself and Me 2.0, which help professionals at every phase of their career from student to leader. During the same period, I interviewed over 2,000 of the worlds most successful people and have recently started a podcast called 5 Questions with Dan Schawbel, where I ask them five questions in under 10 minutes. I've had a close relationship with SHRM since I started and this is the fifth annual conference I'm speaking at and third "mega session". I've spoken at several local chapters, as well as major companies, conferences and colleges. I consider myself a research sponge, reviewing new research on a daily basis and drawing big conclusions that guide the HR profession. At Future Workplace, we host four events annual so we can provide this research and connect HR leaders together
You have been involved with the HR community, SHRM, and affiliate organizations for a long time, how did that all start, and what are you doing now in the HR space?
My first job when I graduated school back in 2006 was in product marketing for EMC and then I transitioned to online marketing and ended up creating the first social media position in the company. I become close with Polly Pearson, the former head of Employer Branding at EMC, which was a revolutionary role at the time. Through our collaboration, I saw how social media could be a game changer for HR. I realized that I could either use my marketing and social media skills for marketing and branding or for HR. I chose HR because I was, and still am, obsessed with helping people navigate their own careers and saw social media as an amplified and channel to do that. I differentiated myself in the industry because I had an untraditional background. I wrote a book called Me 2.0, then went on the corporate and conference speaking circuit. From there, I started my own company, then wrote another book called Promote Yourself. Then, I started another company, which was acquired by Future Workplace and wrote another book. I really enjoy being part of the HR community and my hope is to help HR stay relevant as the world continues to change. I see an enormous opportunity to help upskill HR professionals and we have created courses, like AI 4 HR that can be a valuable source.
Tell us about your program at #SHRM19, and what is the one take away you hope every attendee has?
For seven years, I've published an annual list of the top ten workplace trends for the upcoming year. It's a forecast that breaks down the hottest topics impacting HR professions, with primary and secondary data, as well as case studies and examples. For over a decade, I've been both tracking trends on a daily basis, and publishing new research. I've presented these trends in a SHRM mega session the past three years. Some of the standout trends for 2019 include the co-existence of workers and robots, the flexible workweek, the lonely workplace and open offices. There's literally so much change happening that it takes me a year of analysis to figure out what's going to make the biggest impact in the industry. I'm looking forward to presenting yet again!
You have been writing and published as well as an early player in the HR Social Media space….give the readers a soundbite and what your next project is going to be about or where you see HR and social media going in the future.
There will always be new social media platforms so we will have to adapt to where the engagement and opportunities are. For instance, I use Instagram much more than I use Facebook because the engagement is extremely high so I can justify my effort. While I think social media, and new technologies, will continue to shape HR (and all professions and jobs), our biggest differentiator in the future is our soft skills. While my first book, Me 2.0, was a guidebook on building a personal brand on social media, my new book, Back to Human, explains that technology has created the illusion of connection, when what we really want is meaningful and quality relationships at work and at home. I see social media as a path to the real world, but worry that many of us let it get in the way of the very relationships we need to be successful and fulfilled.
Do you have a favorite program or speaker from the national conference over the years (elaborate on who and why they were your favorite)?
My favorite SHRM keynote speaker over the years is Mike Rowe from 2016 in Washington DC. I loved hearing some of his stories from the many jobs he did while he was filming his Discovery Channel show. As someone who has studied mostly white-collar workers, it was very interesting to hear stories about his experience with blue-collar workers. His mission is so relevant in today's world where people aren't enrolling in the trades anymore and more companies are hiring workers without a 4-year degree.
How can someone get in touch with you or follow you on social media?
You can see all of my content, including research studies, articles and podcasts on my website. While I'm on all the social networks, I'm most active on Instagram. If you want to listen to my talk at this years SHRM Annual Conference, please stop by on June 25 at 2 p.m. for my Mega Session: The Top 10 Workplace Trends For 2019. I look forward to continuing the conversation and meeting you in-person soon!