Here are the top three things I'm looking forward to at #SHRM13

Here are the top three things I’m looking forward to at #SHRM13

Kelly Clarkson is the musical guest for #SHRM13 – Check out one of her latest songs while you read my goals for the conference!


This year I have been chosen to be an official blogger for the 2013 Annual SHRM Conference and Exposition, happening on June 16 – 19, 2013 in Chicago, IL. It’s going to be a great opportunity to connect with fellow HR professionals and vendors, learn industry trends, find ways to help add value to my clients and hopefully talking shop with SHRMlock Holmes (inside joke but click the link to see him!).

While this is a great experience for many different professionals for many different reasons, here are the top three things I’m looking to get out of my experience next week.

Blogging about HR for Small Business. Did you know that 38 million Americans work for an employer that has 99 employees or less? This population – which accounts for just a shade under 25% of the total workforce in America – is often under-targeted by a lot of HR theory that seemingly requires big ideas, big concepts and even bigger budgets. I started Jumpstart:HR with the sole vision of seeing small businesses remain competitive by getting more HR while spending less. Through the course of my attending sessions and talking with colleagues and touring the vendor space for leading trends, my goal is simple. How can I help break down the abstract concepts and make them practical? How can I add value to my clients by taking “Big Data” and Big Budget Ideas and making them actionable with the resources that are available? If there is one thing that I’ve learned over the years in growing a small business and working in small business HR, Knowledge is power but leveraging knowledge is the key to innovative impact. (Click link to tweet that quote)

Connecting with relationships I’ve made through social media outlets. I can think of about 30 HR professionals that I’m looking forward to “meeting” for the first time at #SHRM13. While we’ve gone back and forth about the merit of metrics in HR and convene once a week in a weekly SHRM-developed chat called #nextchat, we’ve yet to actually connect IRL (FYI that means “In Real Life”). I’ve been able to actually connect with a few great colleagues in person but nothing like this. #SHRM13 is like a family reunion for social-savvy HR pros! (Click link to tweet that quote)

Seeing the passion and vitality of the HR profession right at it’s very core. One of the things you realize when you’re first getting into HR is that it can be a pretty lonely profession if all you know is HR at your office. Of course HR is the “we’re here to help in any way” department but it’s also has to save management from making really dumb decisions and deliver news that no one wants to hear (something I’ve personally had to experience twice in my career). But in spite of the fact that HR can be forced to be very neutral and “friendly but not close” to staff members, there is a huge group of professionals who tread the same path at organizations large and small. Conferences and meetups are a great way to connect with colleagues when you’re more seasoned and share what you’ve experienced but it’s also great for less experienced professionals to see the potential for the field and be inspired to take the industry further. I’m betting on the fact that #SHRM13 will be the spark that ignites HR pros both old and new, and I can’t wait to be a part of it! (Click link to tweet that quote)

When I venture off to Chicago on Sunday and hit the ground running, I might not get much sleep until I return to the East Coast on Thursday. That’s totally fine with me though, because the experience will be one that I’ll remember for years and years to come.


Are you going to #SHRM13? What are YOU looking forward to this year?