Good morning from the SHRM Conference in sweltering hot Las Vegas! A few of us in the FOT crew are here, and we’ll try to keep you up to date over the next few days and shed some insight and learnings from the different perspectives we each come from. For me? I’m here to learn and connect with some of the great HR pros I’ve come to know through the power of social media and the blogosphere. On the learning side, I’m here with an open mind, a blank slate, and a desire to pick up a new trick or two or three.
As I picked up the conference brochure to try to stake out a plan for what sessions I’d attend though, I was a bit overwhelmed with all of the options… not to mention all of the people here too. How do you know where to start if you’re at a conference like this? There are THOUSANDS, tens of thousands, of HR pros here and hundreds of session taking place. Yet I want to connect.
So at 7am on day one, I chose to get an early start and sit in on a session by the guys from the consulting firm, Talent Anarchy. The title of the session, Strategic Relationship Management: The Breakthrough HR Competency… fancy title but really, what this chat was focused on was relationships, and the moral of the story there was simply that it’s who you know that matters.
So we’re talking about Social Capital – resources available to an individual through their relationships to and connections with others. A great topic to kick off the conference where even I feel super overwhelmed by all the people, and all the sessions… which means I totally appreciated these take aways that I thought I’d share with y’all. Six laws of connection from Jason and Joe at Talent Anarchy —
- Be open to connections… super important at a place like SHRM. It’s body language. It’s making the first step and introducing yourself first. It’s taking a moment to smile first and letting others know that you’d be comfortable and open to them striking up a conversation with you.
- Get involved in meaningful activity.
- Always be authentic… but where do you start with that? ask yourself a few questions. Do you know who you are? Do you know what you are here for? Do you know what your gift is? Is there any evidence of that?
- Stay in touch. Which is probably one of the hardest parts. You meet person after person. I leave conferences with stacks of biz cards. And then what? So you take a sales person’s approach and… ask lots of questions, listen, find commonalities, take notes, and follow up. A lot.
- Use karma to your advantage.
- Invest in connecting.
Good practical stuff. So use it at a conference, use it back home, use it as you recruit. And if you’re looking for updates and intel from other sessions while we’re at SHRM, just holler. We want to hear.
Jessica Lee is a VP of TA at Marriott International where she leads a team that enables the company to think big, broad and boldly about all things talent acquisition and in effect, keeps them relevant and ahead of the curve in how they attract and acquire top talent. Don’t be fooled by that fancy pants title and description though, she’s still an everyday HR gal in the trenches at the core. SPHR certified, a decade and a half into trench HR life… she can whip up a corrective action plan or source for your purple squirrel in a heartbeat.