The 2018 SHRM Annual Conference & Exposition is just a couple of days away and I’m so excited to see Chicago for the first time. For those that are going or have been to a SHRM National Conference do you ever take a second to think, well how did I get here? How did I become a so interested in HR that I’m traveling thousands of miles to be with 15,000+ HR professionals and leaders from around the world? Where did your inspiration start? What programs impacted you?
Each year, when I start packing I can’t help but think of my inspiration. When I was a sophomore in high school, our school had student academies where English and Social Studies courses were tailored to a specific pathway. For students interested in business, we could pick from the Academy of Finance or the Academy of Hospitality and Tourism. I chose to be in the Academy of Finance. In my junior year, we had a conference where high schools from across the state participating in this program would come together to hear real business professionals share their experiences and advice to better our future.
I was inspired by one of the speakers during an afternoon breakout session. She spoke about HR’s role in business and interviewing dos and don’ts. I was fascinated and although I didn’t know it yet, I would find myself in this career path. Five years later, I found her at my first SHRM Hawaii Conference and was able to reconnect. She has been become a friend, a mentor, and my biggest cheerleader since.
In the last decade, the nation has seen some of the lowest unemployment rates. In Hawaii, we are at a 2.1 percent unemployment rate which means we need to look beyond the traditional recruiting methods. Sure, people say they want to come and live in Hawaii but few know the price of paradise. Recruiters are struggling to find qualified candidates and when they do many just don’t “fit the culture” or “understand business acumen.” The National Academy Foundation (NAF) is a great partner for employers, HR, and businesses. Programs like NAF are the solution. Why wait for talent to come to you when you can grow it yourself?
National Academy Foundation believes in helping high school students be FUTURE READY. Too often employers and HR folk say that students lack the experience while experienced professionals are too costly. NAF is your answer! Their approach is to educate and help students explore careers beyond the classroom setting. Depending on the design at their school, courses are taught with a business focus and students are also given internships to gain real life experience. By the time they finish high school, they’ve already paved the first step by understanding what it takes to succeed.
As a proud product of NAF, a self proclaimed, unpaid, and strong advocate, I can’t say enough about programs that build our future generation. Visit the NAF at booth #2534 next week at SHRM National Conference in Chicago. See how your organization can partner with NAF.
It’s time we create the change we want to see! #YPAC #SHRM18Bloggers #SHRMYPHawaii