If you’re in HR, there are few more important events than the Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM) annual conference. While we travel to SHRM as a vendor, its value as a conference goes far beyond the business we’re trying to attract. SHRM is a great place to put your finger on the pulse of HR — to network with other HR professionals, to see the latest and greatest in HR tech and to commiserate over a few drinks about the common pain points we’re all feeling.
Best Sessions at SHRM 2019
“Pay equity is a hot-button topic,” says Carla Pittman, our senior manager of marketing. “As acquiring talent becomes more competitive, pay is often used as the weapon of choice to win over candidates.”
Carla says she especially enjoyed Berkshire’s own Michele Hester’s presentation, “Setting Base Pay: Top Strategies for Collaborating with Compensation to Achieve Pay Equity from the Start.” The session was a reminder about the importance of companies’ pay decisions — including how they affect pay equality.
Consultant Kelly Andrews says she found Tim Sackett’s session, “The Future of HR Technology: How It Will Impact You and Your Organization,” incredibly enlightening. The session dealt with the overwhelming number of HR tech options — a number that’s in the thousands! She says it gave her a better understanding of the pain points practitioners face with their ATS and HRIS systems, information that we’ll put to good use to make sure that balanceTRAK solves common recruiting challenges.
Automation: The Topic on the Tip of Everyone’s Tongue
The big topic at SHRM was automation, automation, automation. “The use of technology to create better workplaces was at the forefront of SHRM, and for the most part, inescapable,” Carla says.
She says her big takeaway with automation was the need for organizations to continue to do what they can to stay ahead of the curve. “The time is now to start learning how to use technology” if you’re an HR practitioner, she says. Learning to automate tasks will help you also focus on work that has a larger impact. “Tasks like applicant tracking can and should be automated,” she says. “It frees up time for HR to focus on other high-level tasks.”
The Challenges HR Faces Going Forward
Another big challenge is that many of the HR tech offerings aren’t yet where users need them to be. “HR folks are looking for ways to complete their daily tasks in a more efficient manner,” says Christlyn A. Greaves, Berkshire Associates account executive. “They want one system that is able to function at all levels, but often they are finding that there is no perfect complete system.”
Kelly says automation is leaving a lot of pain points unaddressed. Even some forms of data entry that seem like they should be easily automated still have to be completed manually, she says. “It is not always super-efficient.”
It seems we’ve got a long way to go until we get the future we’re dreaming of.
See you next year at SHRM 2020!