The Best PDCs at SHRM 2021

The Best PDCs at SHRM 2021

By Tricia O'Connor

Employee happiness is on a lot of people’s minds this year, and rightly so. Much of the focus, however, has been on actionable steps employers can take to improve the employee experience.

It’s equally important, though, for employees to champion their own experience and cultivate an environment that empowers, inspires, and uplifts them.

One of the places where employees can grow professionally and personally is at the Society for Human Resource Management annual conference and expo. And luckily for attendees, a huge focus of SHRM 2021 is mental health and employee happiness.

But no matter what you’re looking for, SHRM 2021 is a one-stop-shop of topics to suit anyone’s needs. With less than a month to go, we rounded up some of the best PDCs at SHRM 2021 you can still sign up for whether you’re attending in person or virtually.

Get Your Professional Development Credits

Most HR professionals need at least 60 Professional Development Credits (PDCs) to recertify every three years. It doesn’t matter if your accreditation is through the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) or the Human Resources Certification Institute (HRCI), you need to remain in good standing.

This year, SHRM has developed several content tracks to make it easy to find sessions, both in-person and virtual, that are meaningful to you. So, we’ve picked the best PDCs at SHRM 2021 from each topic to help you plan your schedule.

If You’re Into Recruiting and Talent Acquisition…

Recruitment Marketing for the Accidental Recruiter

Date: Friday, September 10, 2021
Time: 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm EST
Type: In-person

To win the race for talent, every business—no matter the industry or size—must deliver a spectacular candidate experience. Whether you are an experienced recruiter or you landed in the position by chance, this is a must-attend session. Ira S. Wolfe, President of Success Performance Solutions, will guide you through a candidate’s job search; identify crucial touchpoints; and provide tips and insights on how to reach, engage, and convert more qualified job seekers into applicants.

If You’re Into Employment Law…

ANOTHER Intermittent FMLA Request!

Date: Saturday, September 11, 2021
Time: 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm EST
Type: In-person and Virtual

Karen A. Young, Founder and President of HR Resolutions, leads this session designed to help HR professionals distinguish among the alphabet soup of leave programs, including FMLA. Continuous leaves are, generally, simple to deal with and very straightforward; it’s hard to “fake” appendicitis. Managing intermittent FMLA leave, on the other hand, can be more difficult. This session is designed to help HR practitioners become more skilled in reviewing tools to remain compliant and minimize potential abuse of the system. Definitely one of the more practical PDCs at SHRM 2021.

If You’re Into Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion…

Coming of Gender

Date: Friday, September 10, 2021
Time: 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm EST
Type: In-person

What does nonbinary mean? If you’re not sure, then this session is for you. Dawn Kelley, Human Resources Manager for the City of Modesto, will help attendees understand gender expression and how it is not a threat to traditional roles or your personal standing. Hear how your support can help transgender individuals and other vulnerable employees to be successful in your workplace. Learn how being uncomfortable can push you to make choices that prove HR is still about the humans involved.

If You’re Into Employee Wellbeing…

Alcohol, Drugs and Mental Health and Their Impact on the Workplace

Date: Thursday, September 9, 2021
Time: 2:45 pm – 3:45 pm EST
Type: Virtual

More than 93,000 people died from drug overdoses in 2020. That’s a 30% increase from the previous year. And a report from Quest Diagnostics shows 1 in 3 Americans are more like to drink alcohol during working hours while working from home. Speakers Alexandria Hannah Walker and Lisa Joanne Elsworth, Co-Founders of The Sober Experiment and Bee Sober, will discuss how normalized and “normal” drinking are problematic in the workplace and provide actionable takeaway tools for HR professionals to use when dealing with these issues in the workplace. Considering how prevalent this problem is, this is definitely a PDC at SHRM 2021 worth taking.

If You’re Into Strategic HR…

Strategic vs. Tactical: Top 10 Tips for Getting OUT of the Weeds and Thinking Strategically

Date: Friday, September 10, 2021
Time: 1:30 pm – 1:50 pm EST
Type: In-person

Do you ever feel like you get “stuck” doing daily tasks and tactical issues… so much so that you don’t have time to develop long-term strategies? If so, Valerie M. Grubb, Principal of Val Grubb & Associates, can help you with this session. You’ll learn how to differentiate between tactical and strategic thinking, and find ways to prioritize strategic thinking into your day-to-day. This is certainly one of the best PDCs at SHRM 2021 if organizing your daily, weekly, and monthly to-do’s continues to be a struggle.

If You’re a Solo HR Practitioner…

Top 5 Priorities for an HR Department of One

Date: Friday, September 10, 2021
Time: 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm EST
Type: In-person

If you’re an HR party-of-one, this is a can’t miss PDC at SHRM 2021. Chances are you don’t have a spare minute in your day. Especially in this environment where information changes on a dime and you need to be prepared to make last-minute changes to your own policies and procedures. In this session lead by Jennifer Currence of WithIN Leadership, you’ll learn the top five priorities for HR in small businesses and practical, inexpensive ways to address them. Based on a survey of HR professionals at small businesses, you’ll walk away with practical and strategic tools to address this year’s hot topics.

If You’re Into Leadership and Personal Growth…

I’m Still Standing: Rising Up with Resilient Leadership

Date: Friday, September 10, 2021
Time: 6:45 pm – 7:45 pm EST
Type: In-person and Virtual

Working in HR can sometimes make you feel like a human punching bag, constantly getting knocked down by the responsibilities, expectations, and pressures of your role and finding it hard to rise again. In times of stress and rapid change, how can we show up more effectively and with greater resilience? What can we do to respond to adversity with confidence and courage so we can better navigate times of transition and respond in the face of uncertainty? In this session with Rachel Druckenmiller, Founder and CEO of Unmuted LLC, you’ll walk away feeling equipped and empowered to make meaning out of your challenges, approach the future with hope and strength, and build more resilient leadership in yourself and others.

If You’re Into HR Tech and Data Analytics…

The Power and Peril of Hiring Assessments in 2021

Date: Saturday, September 11, 2021
Time: 6:45 pm – 7:45 pm EST
Type: In-person and Virtual

With their ability to reduce bias, increase process efficiency, reduce cost and increase hiring accuracy, employee selection assessments meet an important need. But the alarming flood of flashy futuristic-sounding tools like machine learning, AI and gamification has made the testing landscape more complex (and intimidating) than ever. Whitney Martin, President of ProActive Consulting, will help you determine what kinds of hiring tools are appropriate for your organization and how to analyze the data to know if they’re working. You will leave this PDC at SHRM 2021 an assessment pro! 

If You’re Into Learning More About SHRM…

Everyone knows EBI loves SHRM! Our EBI team loves the energy and camaraderie on the convention floor – and we are excited to connect with HR professionals, our partners, new vendors, and YOU at SHRM 2021.

To help you navigate SHRM 2021, we’ve compiled a wealth of resources so check out these additional posts:

At the end of the day, we’re all in this current business environment together. EBI wants to help you succeed, whether that’s through improving your pre-employment background screening program or providing solutions to some of the toughest HR challenges today, including finding the best PDCs at SHRM 2021. Our EBI team is always ready to help – just reach out with one click!

HR & Recruiting

About the Author

Tricia O'Connor

Tricia O'Connor

Writer. Digital marketer. Storyteller. An award-winning writer and editor, Tricia O'Connor is the Marketing Content Manager at EBI. Tricia worked as a broadcast and print journalist for nearly two decades writing and producing programming for high-profile networks like ESPN Radio, History Channel, and Hallmark Channel, as well as contributing editorial work to publications nationwide. Tricia joined the EBI marketing team in 2019 and is responsible for content strategy, development, and engagement. Tricia earned a master's degree in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and is a proud undergraduate alumna of Wheaton College in Massachusetts.

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