All You Can Learn at SHRM 17 [Video]

All You Can Learn at SHRM 17 [Video]

By Jennifer Gladstone

A 4-minute look back at the SHRM 17 annual conference in New Orleans.



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Imagine this room filled with 15,000 HR professionals from around the globe. This is SHRM 2017 and it’s the biggest one yet.

If you tried to describe the annual SHRM conference you might say it’s part university… part circus. HR professionals from across the country and around the globe flocked to New Orleans to learn, to shop services, and to celebrate.

Andrew Morton, SHRM: Whether you are a benefits person, or you are a compensation, or you’re a recruiter, or a talent management person, or whether you are just looking to strategically build your organizations Human resources, there are sessions for everybody.

There are countless ways to learn at SHRM. From the massive general sessions, which this year included inspirational speakers like Laszlo Bock—the man who turned Google into the company everyone wanted to work for — to the quick 10 minute nuggets you can learn at the smart stage, as well as the hundreds of concurrent sessions…

Erin Sain, Galen Healthcare Solutions, Burlington, VT: I think the greatest thing that I have learned is that we really are doing the right thing in our organization with our culture. I attended several sessions yesterday that validated the work that we are doing to build consensus, get answers, work with our employees to ensure that they are happy in the workplace and with their jobs.

Henry Guerra, Gonzaba Medical Group, San Antonio, TX: There are so many things that I have learned about how to create a culture of accountability, help companies become more productive, help companies develop a high level of trust — which I think will help overall engagement and high morale.

Very often attendees walk out of their sessions and head straight for the SHRM book store…

Andi Cale, SHRM Bookstore: In our area we actually list out the topics with the headers. They are everything from comp and benefits, employee relations, HR and the law… a lot have to keep their company in compliance. We have approve for credit which is helping them get recertification credits. We have business management, career and self-development and I would say another big one for us is organizational development.

Then there is the networking…

Thomas Warren, Dallas Area Rapid Transit, Dallas, TX: That is the greatest benefit that I’ve gained from SHRM. Meeting other people – colleagues that I can collaborate with on different situations that we all encounter — has been helpful.

Heather Kinsey, The Strive Group: While you have all the traditional stuff going on we have all these add-ons that everybody learns in different ways and everybody is inspired in different ways.

New this year, the Knowledge Center’s ‘Ask an Expert’ corner. Here you can get answers to anything that you might be struggling with.

Heather Kinsey, The Strive Group: We serve as a little consultant — it’s like the doctor is in, and it’s ask me anything!

But if you want to get the most out of the experience, here’s one small bit of advice.

Ruhal Dooley, SHRM Smart Stage: If I were to advise an attendee who was just coming to SHRM annual conference, I would say don’t miss a general session. At least make the general session. Sometimes people party at night and they miss the general session — but don’t! There is a reason why it is the main thing. What these general sessions usually do is they reinforce the feeling of family, if you will, so you know that I’m not out here alone.

But the learning doesn’t stop at the session room door. This expo is an incredible resource on hundreds of HR topics.

In the expo you can learn about everything from Applicant Tracking Systems to ways to reward your employees, fancy snacking to insurance… all with a carnival vibe. Of course you can also learn all about background screening, drug testing, Form I-9 compliance and Occupational Healthcare. The more than 650 vendors definitely go all out.

Emile Davis, SHRM: It is a top of the line, high class show so you can’t just come in with a little small setup. You have to really prepare yourself for this event.

It’s a wild ride that sends attendees and exhibitors home exited for next year.  For the Screening News Network, I’m Jennifer Gladstone.


Photo by Jens Thekkeveettil on Unsplash


About the Author

Jennifer Gladstone

Jennifer Gladstone

Jennifer Gladstone is a news anchor and journalist with more than 20 years of experience in front of the camera. She's worked in several markets, large and small, and has performed nearly every task needed in a newsroom. As EBI’s Screening News Editor, she keeps EBI’s customers and blog subscribers up to date on the latest screening news and legislative alerts affecting companies of all sizes.

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