8 Can’t-Miss Sessions at the HR Tech Conference

September 24, 2017

The HR Tech Conference – which runs from Tuesday, Oct. 10 to Friday, Oct. 13 in Las Vegas – is one of the great conferences of the year for HR and learning and development pros. Along with all the great speakers at the event, it’s also a chance to see all the cool new HR technology out there on the market.

All attendees should spend some time walking the exhibit hall, seeing what technologies best meet their needs. But what are the sessions you absolutely shouldn’t miss, the ones you should plan your day around?

We are here to help. Here are the absolute can’t-miss sessions at this year's HR Tech Conference:

1. How HR Technology Can Foster a More Diverse, Inclusive Workplace

When: Tuesday, Oct. 10; 10:30 a.m.

Presenters: Charna Parkey, Loni Spratt, Jennifer Cambern, Jennifer Cambern

Session info: Technology can be one of the most important tools for HR and business leaders to support their efforts to build more diverse, inclusive and equitable organizations. As the challenges and opportunities creating diverse organizations become top of mind, modern HR technology solutions have been developed to address the issue from many different approaches. Developing a more diverse set of candidates for job openings, applying analytical tools to screen for pay equity, using advanced AI techniques to better identify internal candidates for promotion, and even “scrubbing” job descriptions to remove the potential for bias are just some of the HR tech solutions that speak to these issues. These leading HR tech solution providers will share with you how they are approaching building new tools to support organizations in meeting their diversity and inclusion goals.

2. Building and Maintaining an Engaging Company Culture at Scale

When: Tuesday, Oct. 10; 3:45 p.m.

Presenter: L. David Kingsley

Session info: Salesforce believes that "the business of business is improving the state of the world," and a well-defined culture is the keystone of an engaged workforce who can deliver on that commitment. Over the past 17 years, Salesforce has focused on five key steps it uses to build and maintain its "Ohana" culture. Join L. David Kingsley for an educational and thought-provoking presentation that will leave you with action-oriented takeaways about this important element of organizational growth and customer success. He’ll walk you through an actionable set of items that businesses and organizations of any size can use to either affirm their current practices or to take a fresh look at areas of opportunity for how they build and maintain employee engagement using the tools of culture and technology.

3. From Moonshots to Roofshots: What Everyone Gets Wrong About Innovation and How to Get It Right

When: Wednesday, Oct. 11; 8:30 a.m.

Presenter: Laszlo Bock

Session info: Everyone tells you they have the secret to innovation. Have crazy, aspirational, "moonshot" goals. Invest in a secret skunkworks facility. Brainstorm. Use design thinking. But that's all wrong. The fact is there’s no single path to innovation and creativity. Different situations, different teams, different problems all require different approaches — and very often a business’ success hinges on consistent and incremental advances (i.e. “roofshots”). Drawing heavily on Google's history of innovation, Laszlo Bock will detail the critical role HR and HR IT leaders can play in building organizations that are able to innovate in many ways. He’ll also explore the specific skill sets and tools these leaders will need in order to get workers to embrace this new mind-set and turn it into reality.

4. The Role of HR Technology in Driving Employee Engagement

When: Wednesday, Oct. 11; 11 a.m.

Presenters: Grant Beckett, Jason Lauritsen, Steven Hunt, Ron Hildebrandt, Jacki Bassani

Session info: In recent years, there has been an explosion of technology products that promise to improve employee engagement. Expanding well beyond the tradition engagement survey, these products run the spectrum from performance management and recognition to wellness and career development. As an HR professional, the seemingly endless options can be overwhelming. Can HR technologies really drive employee engagement, or do they just reflect and report on what is happening with engagement? Join us as representatives from industry leading vendors discuss and debate the right mix of technology to truly impact employee engagement.

5. Quantifying Financial Value of HR Transformation: Speaking C-Suite and Business Leaders’ Language

When: Wednesday, Oct. 11; 3:30 p.m.

Presenter: Cecile Alper-Leroux, Mark Simpson

Session info: HR transformation initiatives add significant value to the organization, but what is the best way for HR executives to quantify and articulate that value to business and financial leaders in their organizations? Beyond streamlined processes and cost savings, how do you communicate the larger value of HR transformation supported by HR technology? What metrics are most important to illustrate the impact of HR transformation on the larger business goals of the organization like revenue growth? Achievements in growth, culture and organizational mind shifts can be difficult to quantify when they may not directly lend themselves to traditional measurements. In this session, you’ll learn which elements executive stakeholders find the most compelling about HR transformation in order to achieve buy-in for technology purchase decisions. You will hear about data, proof points and case studies that can articulate HR transformation value and support productive conversations that lead to alliances between HR and C-suite champions. Finally, tips on terminology, timing and speaking the language of finance executives will be shared.

6. Talent Intelligence: Uncovering Hidden Talent Pools

When: Thursday, Oct 12; 11 a.m.

Presenter: Eric Owski, Kate Hastings

Session info: Currently in the midst of building the world's first economic graph, LinkedIn is able to derive economic insights from the profiles of its 450 million+ members, 8 million companies and 30,000 schools. As a result, the company sits at the forefront of all the issues impacting the workforce of the future. Find out how to navigate change through a concept called “talent intelligence” — the identification of new talent pools, regardless of company size, and an understanding of the hidden talent in your company. Kate Hastings and Eric Owski will show you how to use talent intelligence so you know who you have and what they’re capable of — knowledge you can use to identify career paths earlier on, re-skill workers where necessary, create learning and development programs and, in the end, create greater employment security. You’ll also learn how this affects hiring for specific roles, as well as employee retention and talent attraction strategies, and look at how talent intelligence feeds into the longer-term opportunity with artificial intelligence.

7. The Business Value of Diversity & Inclusion and the Role of HR and HR Technology

When: Michael Krupa, Naomi Bloom, Patricia Milligan, Rita Mitjans

Presenter: Thursday, Oct. 12; 1:45 p.m.

Session info: Many organizations contend, and there's a lot of research to support, that diversity of thought, expertise, life experiences, cultural assumptions and more improves not only their decision-making but also the creativity and even speed which helps drive improved business outcomes. And, increasingly, we've learned that organizations work best when that diversity is supported by a culture of inclusion and a work environment which adapts to the needs of a diverse workforce. Diversity means a lot more than gender and racial representation, and inclusion goes well beyond inviting everyone to the annual holiday party. This panel of Diversity & Inclusion leaders will tackle the biggest issues of diversity and inclusion from a business outcomes perspective and then combine their considerable expertise to make practical recommendations for addressing these issues today. The business purpose of both diversity and inclusion, and where modern HR technology enablement can help organizations with these challenges will be discussed. This is your chance to hear from those leading the charge in their organizations in addressing these top of mind challenges for today’s HR and business leaders.

8. Digital HR: A New Architecture for Technology

When: Friday, Oct. 13; 8:15 a.m.

Presenter: Josh Bersin

Session info: The world of HR technology is undergoing a major shift. While cloud, social and mobile have been technology topics for the last five years, we are now in the middle of a brand-new HR technology architecture — one built around teams, apps, feedback and a new breed of highly engaging applications. These new HR applications, mostly built by small innovative companies, are now threatening the markets of large ERP providers, prompting companies to build a new, Digital HR Architecture. Josh Bersin will describe the new architecture for HR technology, and help you understand ways to bring AI, cognitive computing, apps and a new breed of systems into your company. He’ll describe the growing role of chat and collaboration products and give you examples of how leading companies are creating new “Intelligent Platform” strategies that can make HR, talent management, recruiting and employee engagement real-time, productive, agile and data-driven.

Going to the HR Tech Conference? Then join us at LinkedIn Learning at our happy hour at the Rockhouse Bar at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 11! Learn more here.