SHRM Conference Recap: Day 1

With the humidity here in Orlando, Florida, soaring above 90 percent, the Society for Human Resource Management’s annual confab kicked off its first full day Monday.

Roughly 13,000 human resources professionals are on hand at the Orlando convention center, according to SHRM, with the expo floor crowded with venders. Robin Roberts kicked off the first general session talk Sunday, and New York Times columnist Tom Friedman addressed the SHRM general session crowd earlier Monday morning.

Many topics are high on the minds of SHRM members. Most notably, SHRM’s announcement last month unveiling its own credentialing program has lots of folks talking, especially as the tension between SHRM and HRCI — the established HR credentialing body that so many HR professionals are certified under, which SHRM is seemingly trying to supplant — continues to kick into gear.

Talent Management’s sister publication, Workforce, has covered this story like a blanket. Read more about it here and here .

Outside of the SHRM-HRCI rift, another big topic that has piqued my interest during the first day of the conference is recruiting. I had the chance to sit in on a breakout session with Will Staney, the head of recruiting at Glassdoor, who talked about the importance of mobile and social recruitment. Social recruiting has, of course, been a budding trend in the HR space — one that we’ve covered time and time again in Talent Management. In fact, our cover story case study for the August issue out later this summer features UPS and its mobile recruitment strategy to hire workers during the busy holiday shipping season.

At the Glassdoor breakout session, Staney talked about the shift in recruiting from job boards and postings to social media, where recruiters can now effectively tap platforms like Twitter and Facebook to nab prospective job candidates. He even told a story of a time he recruited a highly sought-after computer programmer through social media when he had been on the job market for just 45 minutes — 45 minutes!

All this goes to show that the possibilities with social media are endless, even in a space  like HR traditionally not thought to have much use for such mediums.

The big theme from Staney’s presentation: talent managers need to redefine and, in some ways, redesign how they approach recruiting. Recruiting is much more about creating campaigns where the Internet and, in particular, different social media channels are the primary vehicles for building awareness, engagement and attracting talent. In many ways, this kind of environment has turned the practice of recruiting into a quasi-advertising function, where top candidates must be wooed by a vibrant and attractive employee value proposition — something that is sleekly conveyed through the Web and various social media channels.

Not only should job candidates be able to view and become interested in applying for a company from campaigns on the Web and social media, Staney said, but they should be able to apply right then and there. If you, as a recruiter or HR professional, have not already optimized your websites and recruiting platforms for mobile, you’re missing a big opportunity. As part of his presentation, Staney showed the audience how to apply for a job at Glassdoor on a mobile phone. It took but a few minutes. All he did was fill out a basic form with his personal information, upload a resume, and voila!

Recruitment technology and practice is and will continue to be one of the more interesting subtopics for me at a conference like SHRM.

I’m looking forward to the rest of what SHRM has to offer. This afternoon, I’m planning to attend yet another breakout session on recruiting, this one from Matt Kaiser, employer branding and social media specialist at information and communications technology firm Ericsson.

Keep it here for more stories tomorrow. Also, be sure to check out additional coverage of the SHRM conference at Talent Management’s sister publication, Workforce, at