ICYMI: 22 Quick Takeaways From SHRM22

SHRM22! Here’s twenty-two quick takeaways from this year’s SHRM Conference in New Orleans.

  1. This was the best SHRM Conference I’ve been to in 15 years. The quality and quantity of companies exhibiting was tremendous, and the amount of attendees left most exhibitors happy. 
  2. One of my favorite quotes from SHRM: “We’ve thought about compensation for a long time…and now is our moment.” Between inflation, remote work, pay equity, and recessionary concerns, compensation has never had more flux. 
  3. Companies you wouldn’t normally think of (like Uber, Calm, Carta, Amazon) are exhibiting and selling into HR. It seems like every company is thinking about how to sell to HR. 
  4. Loved seeing Motivosity stay true to their company core values and choose to not exhibit during Sunday’s expo opening. Spoiler alert: they were the busiest booth I saw on Monday and Tuesday. 
  5. People Analytics is a hot topic in HR, and it was great seeing companies like Paylocity bringing their Chief Data Officer to the SHRM conference to help educate attendees.  
  6. Taking a #SHRMSelfie is a fun thing to do, and transcends any conference. 
  7. There’s one thing I look for at every SHRM conference I attend…the companies who aren’t there. There were a handful of heavily venture backed companies I would have expected, that weren’t present. Maybe next year. 
  8. Better Workplaces Challenge Cup is here to stay, and grow in importance. The Better Workplaces Challenge Cup gives attendees an inside look at the future of workplace tech in a pitch style competition with celebrity judges. I’d love to see this event hit the mainstage in years to come. Congrats to Vinco for winning this year. 
  9. This is the second year in a row that SHRM Labs has given prominent booth space to startups, with companies like Major League Hacking, Inclusivv, Included and others being able to introduce their solutions. Awesome to see. 
  10. The best things to give away at booths are food. Companies like Fairytale Brownies have an unfair competitive advantage. Future exhibitors may consider strategically positioning themselves near booths of corporate gift giving companies. 
  11. Wonderful to see local SHRM chapters supporting startups as well. These partnerships between willing startups and resourceful chapters have mutually beneficial opportunities. 
  12. Options to watch the NBA Finals in NOLA were limited. Alas, managed to watch Steph Curry and the Warriors from the oldest bar in America.
  13. Social recruiting - specifically TikTok - is still interesting to watch unfold and evolve. I remember what it was like in 2008 when brands could create their first pages on Facebook, and it’s interesting to see social strategies and solutions evolve. 
  14. 41% of new hires at larger companies are now distributed. The ripple effect is real in terms of seeing foot traffic go from session to session about distributed workforces. 
  15. Steve Browne. The People’s Champ. What an amazing leader and voice to have in the HR community. When your face gets printed on a shirt like this, you’ve made it in your industry. 
  16. Some of the best conference networking happens on the flight to and from New Orleans. On the flight out I sandwiched between two great people leaders from Phoenix, and the flight back had me sandwiched between two industry innovators. The SHRM Conference can’t stop, won’t stop. 
  17. #CauseTheEffect - great theme for this year, and enjoyed passing out 25+ bracelets
  18. Talk about “employee retention and engagement” shifted quickly in June due to recessionary concerns. 
  19. Some of the best times I’ve had at SHRM Conferences happen outside the event. This year was no exception, with a visit to Snug Harbor for jazz + wine being a benefit of having a conference in NOLA.  
  20. Live podcasting from the conference is cool. R3 Continuum + RecruitingDaily both had podcasts going throughout the conference, and I’d love to see more of this type of content creation at future conferences. 
  21. That club vibe at conference registration / check-in was fun. Seeing the mist / haze creep into the conference center was a nice “VIP” touch. 
  22. High hopes for SHRM23. This year’s conference was so well done, and there’s so much momentum for companies within HR that SHRM23 should shape up to be one the best yet…plus, it’s in Las Vegas - a city meant for conferences. Hope to cross paths, and see you there. 
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