The Sessions & Everything Else I’m looking forward to at #HRTechConf 2012

The HR Technology conference is less than a week away and I’m extremely excited about being able to once again attend in Chicago this year (here are my takeaways from last year).  As always, the conference remains one of the best ways to stay current with the important trends happening in the HR and recruitment technology space and see the cool new innovations that are on the horizon.

But what really makes the conference great are the sessions, people and conversations that occur annually at the event itself.  For this post, I’d like to share what I’m looking forward to most at this year’s event.

Sessions I’ll be Attending (and Tweeting at)

Last year, I had the pleasure to attend a number of great sessions at the conference and was able to share a lot of the insights I learned on this blog and through our Twitter profile (@smashfly).  (I hope to cover even more this year with shorter reaction posts on this blog and more consistent updates on Twitter.  So stay tuned…)

This year is no different in terms of the great content that is expected to be shared.  There are a number of sessions that I’m excited about and here are the ones that I will be attending:


McDonald’s Modernizes Corporate Recruiting with Mike Chernesky (@Chernesky) and Ray Bixler (@RayBixler)

It’s always interesting to hear about unique recruiting challenges for large organizations.  I’m excited to hear how Mike’s team is able to take a small to medium sized business approach to help recruit and form McDonald’s corporate team.


The Second Annual Candidate Experience Awards — The CandEs! with Gerry Crispin (@GerryCrispin), Elaine Orler (@ElaineOrler) and Ed Newman (@Newmaed)

The highlight of my conference experience last year, this session should be ever better with more participating companies than the previous year.  Should be a lot of great insights and takeaways from the award winners.


Awesome New Technologies for HR

This event always has some technology that is extremely slick and innovative.  The demos can be a mixed bag at times but it’s definitely a session that can be great to see what’s on the cutting edge of HR Technology.


Whirlpool Leverages RPO to Transform Talent Acquisition with Lynanne Kunkel and Rudy Karsan

RPO can sometimes seen as a bad word at times in recruiting but it can be a great resource to many companies if used correctly.  I’m excited to hear how Lynanne has implemented RPO in their recruiting strategy and her insights into how you can make it successful.


What’s Next? What Talent Acquisition Challenges Are Seeking Technology Solutions? with Sarah White (@ImSoSarah), GerryCrispin (@GerryCrispin), Reginna Burns, Mike Grennier (@mgrennier), Sheila Stygar (@SheilaStygar) and Frank Wittenauer (@fwittenauer)

If you are still around on Wednesday morning, this session should be well worth your time.  It will be a great mix of insight from industry experts and talent acquisition practitioners during this early morning session.


These are just a few of the sessions that I’m really looking forward to at the conference.


The After Parties

As with every HR Technology Conference, there will a number of events to connect and network with others after the conference day.  The two events that I’m currently looking forward to are The Candidate Experience Awards Reception from 6-8 PM on Monday and Starr Conspiracy’s The Record Breaker Bash from 7-10 PM on Monday as well.  Click the links to register for each event and keep your ears open for other great events that will continue to pop up.


The People

There are a number of great connections that I am excited to catch up with at the conference and I look forward to adding to that list at the event.  While I’m sure I’ll leave someone out, here are just some of the people you should try to connect with and follow on Twitter during #HRTechConf (@MattCharney also provides a good Twitter list here):

I’m sure I’ll definitely add to this list over the next few days.


Final Tips

After attending the last two shows as an attendee, there are a number of things that I’ve learned that should help me have a better experience at the event.  Hopefully, they can help you to:

  • Bring a phone charger:  The internet has been hit or miss for me in the past and it has made me use my SmartPhone a little more than I expect.  A quick charge at Lunch can be a huge benefit during the conference.
  • Have a Hit List: This is very simple but have a list of people and companies that you want to interact with at the conference.  This will help you at the very least meet your core list.
  • Save a schedule online: Either through the HR Technology Conference app or in your calendar, save a list of events that you want to attend.  There’s a lot happening at the show and this will help you manage your time better.
  • Don’t let your schedule dictate: Sometimes it’s best to let the schedule go out of the window when different opportunities open up during the conference.  Have an idea of what you want and need to do but always remain flexible.
  • Just say Hi: I really encourage you to say hi to people you don’t know during the show and at the after parties.  There are a lot of great people at this show and some awesome stories you’ll miss out on if you don’t.  This also applies to Expo Hall as you are going around the booths.
  • Start a Twitter Account:If you still haven’t started an account or are a Twitter newbie, the HR Technology Conference is a great place to start testing the social network out.  A few things as you get started:
    • Upload an Image: A lot of practitioners start accounts and start tweeting but totally forget to add a picture to their accounts.  People are much more likely to interact with you if you have a picture.
    • Add a Bio: Same as the picture, a bio will help you better connect with like-minded users.
    • Use the Hashtag: The hashtag for the conference is #HRTechConf.  Use it for all of your HR Technology Conference related tweets.

Enjoy the Conference!

I’ve been to the conference for three years now and every time I come back eager to go back and sad that I have to wait another year.  The conference should be a good as ever this year and I hope to see you there.

For those of you attending the conference, I encourage you to make a stop by our Booth (#1066) and say hi.  Also feel free to follow the insights I’ll share here and on Twitter @smashfly.

Views: 154

Comment by Tim Spagnola on October 7, 2012 at 6:30pm

SmashFly and RBC is the house! It could get interesting.


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