The workplace is in a state of flux. The traditional structure of work has been upended and new forms are quickly emerging. More employers are adopting flexible schedules and work-from-home and hybrid strategies. More workers are changing careers or transitioning to the gig economy. And concepts we’ve never considered are now redefining how organizations operate and manage their work teams.
This year’s HR Technology Conference & Exposition, taking place Sept. 13-16 in Las Vegas, will take a deeper dive into this new reality of the work. SmartBrief spoke with HR Technology Conference Chair Steve Boese about what attendees can look forward to seeing and learning at the show. This interview has been lightly edited for formatting and clarity purposes.
What themes and topics will attendees hear about at this year’s conference?
One of the primary themes we’ll cover will be the “new world of work.” We’ll delve into innovative HR and workplace technologies that can support today’s distributed, digital workforces. We’ll discuss how technology can fuel more sustainable business outcomes and empower an enduring and thriving workplace culture. And of course, we all know it’s been difficult for HR to hire and retain talent lately, so we’ll be presenting a lot of innovative strategies and new technologies that will help HR attract and retain employees in this extremely tight labor market.
Can you talk about some of the activities and networking opportunities attendees can take advantage of?
HR Tech is recognized as the industry’s “town hall meeting” where all the top thinkers and strategists as well as everyone who needs to learn more, gathers for an unparalleled networking experience. That means that everyone you need to meet with who can help with your current challenges is right there with you. Our world-famous expo, which features thousands of solutions from hundreds of vendors, is the center of most of the networking activity and is energized further with some fun happenings, like our opening night Pub Crawl and HR Happy Hour.
How can first-time attendees get the most out of this event?
The single most important thing that a first-timer to HR Tech can do is to plan their schedule. It sounds fairly obvious, but it’s essential since there is so much going on at any given time and plenty of opportunities to get distracted from your intent. Study the agenda in advance and identify your can’t-miss sessions. Then do the same with the exhibitors. With more than 400 HR technology providers covering every facet of HR in the Expo it’s easy to be overwhelmed if you aren’t sure where to start. Our website and mobile app have tools to help you narrow down the sessions and exhibitors that will be of most interest to you.
What sessions are you excited about?
We are super excited to kick off HR Tech this year with Cynthia Marshall, CEO of the Dallas Mavericks and a celebrated HR leader named by Forbes last year as one of the world’s 15 most inspiring female leaders. She’ll share how she transformed a toxic and misogynistic culture in her first 100 days as CEO to create the right climate for employees and to make sure every voice matters. Additionally, we’re eagerly awaiting for Josh Bersin to debut the initial findings of his extensive annual HR technology market report. Josh never fails to provide invaluable insight to help our attendees make better sense of their HR tech purchasing decisions and design future-forward solutions that fit into the flow of work – and life – in this age of digital transformation.
What topic or track should attendees definitely plan to dig into?
We’ve seen a trend towards an increased focus on skills-based talent practices due to the prolonged and challenging labor market. This approach relies less on resumes and job descriptions and more about identifying and mapping skills that candidates and current employees possess or can develop. HR Tech will give you the opportunity to hear how progressive organizations are using emerging technologies to assist in identifying the employee skills needed that align with business strategies. It’s an important and complex topic, and one that has re-emerged as a priority as organizations adapt to business after the pandemic.
Kanoe Namahoe is the director of content for SmartBrief Education and Business Services. Reach her [email protected].