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Toronto, ON -Join Us for the 2017 IHRIM Conference in Toronto

March 26th - 29th, 2017

The Westin Harbour Castle Toronto, Canada


Thursday, December 6, 2012
Josh Bersin,

CEO, President, Bersin & Associates


SHRM Editors Report from the 2011 IHRIM Conference

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Day Three
IHRIM came to a close Wednesday, May 18, 2011, with corporate comedian Greg Schwem, author of the book Text Me If You’re Breathing: Observations, Frustrations and Life Lessons From a Low-Tech Dad (Comedy With a Byte, Inc.; 2010), performing a funny and informative HR tech-related standup routine before some 900 conference attendees.

“Our overall attendance is 30 percent higher than last year,” Lynne Mealy, IHRIM’s president and CEO, said, attributing the increase to stronger educational content and a special government track targeting federal employees from the D.C. region.

From across the United States and abroad, HR tech employees converged at the breathtaking Gaylord National Hotel Resort and Convention Center on the shores of the Potomac for the annual conference. The last full day included sessions on implementing new HR technologies with limited resources, the increasing shift of moving HR practices to the cloud, and aligning compensation processes with company strategies, among other sessions.

Interviewed on the exposition floor where dozens and dozens of technology vendors showed off their wares, IHRIM Board Chair Nov Omana predicted that in a few years, HR would be leveraging predictive analytics in succession planning and deploying that strategy to retain the best and brightest employees.

Already popular in other professions, Omana said predictive analytics would be a valuable tool HR professionals can use to aid employees in their career development.
“It’s taking all this vast information around people and making a judgment call about people’s careers,” Omana said. 

Another trend seen at the conference is a recurring one—use of virtual worlds—particularly Second Life for training, corporate communications and managing employee assistance programs. When Second Life was new, many companies jumped on the virtual bandwagon, setting up shop and opening offices within the virtual world to hold meetings with distant employees—only to abandon it in droves. But Celeste DeVaneaux of Club One Island, a division of a health and fitness company based in San Francisco, said “any company that tried it and failed, tried it wrong.” Her company has had tremendous success with using Second Life to train employees and to increase clientele—but consultants and training on using the platform help drive that success.

Omana’s consulting firm, Collective HR Solutions, of which he is chief executive officer and founder, uses scenarios set up within Second Life to help employees work better in teams.
In 2012, IHRIM heads to the windy city, Chicago, April 30-May 3.
Aliah D. Wright is an online editor/manager for SHRM.




Day Two
Rain fell in torrents outside the Gaylord National Hotel and Convention center where IHRIM shifted its focus on the second day of its conference toward government workers. In addition to many other sessions, four educational sessions and an open forum targeted government workers, many of them coming from the D.C., Maryland and Virginia regions to learn and discuss challenges and solutions for those working in that arena.
One of those sessions, “The Life Cycle of an HRIS Career,” was an open forum where Kevin Murphy, director of HR systems, analytics and information for the Office of HR of the National Institutes of Health said HRIS professionals often serve as “interpreters for their organizations.”
“We have to interpret the functional work of HR into a technology process that meets the requirements of our customers,” he said.
In addition to IT skills and HR knowledge, Murphy said project management and negotiation skills are critical competencies for HRIS professionals to possess.
Another good thing to realize is that even the best technology won’t solve issues surrounding implementation.
Diana Johannessen, consultant with Talent Function Group, and Elsie Martinez, director of Talent Acquisition and HRIS for the San Diego-headquartered medical devices company Volcano Corporation described how the company worked through its recent HRIS project implementation in their session titled “Change Management Architectural Drawings: Construction of a Successful HR Technology Project.” Volcano, badly in need of recruitment and payroll systems that would support its global operations, found that it was just as, if not more important, to have a change management strategy as it was to have the right technology tools to meet its business needs.
When considering technology, those attending a packed session titled “Integration or Best of Breed: HCM Choices,” listened as four panelists debated the differences between a one-size-fits-all HR system vs. an enterprise resource planning system (ERP).
Marty Fye, principal consultant with Kenexa, said the systems could work hand in hand. While Shafiq Lokhandwala, CEO of NuView Systems Inc., said “the best-of-breed solution is necessary when there’s a business imperative and the product you have at hand isn’t capable of doing it.”
As with any technology purchase, experts said, HRIS professionals should do their homework—including scripted demonstrations—which while time consuming, can go a long way in helping HRIS professionals present their cases to stakeholders about purchasing a system that fits their specific business needs.
Attendance increased slightly Tuesday as government workers from across the D.C. region took advantage of a one and one-half day attendance discount. Lynne Mealy, IHRIM’s president and CEO, told SHRM Online that total conference attendees excluding exhibitors were around 800 by Tuesday.
Compiled by Aliah D. Wright, Theresa Minton-Eversole and Desda Moss.

The first full day of the 31st annual International Association for Human Resource Information Management (IHRIM) HRM Strategies Conference and Technology Exposition began in earnest Monday, May 16, 2011, with opening keynote speaker Gretchen Alarcon, vice president of Human Capital Management Strategy for Oracle, where she challenged attendees to focus not on their user interface, but on their system’s “user experience” in order to build robust, collaborative, data-rich applications.
“Think of your system in context of how people do business, then make that system more intuitive” to that moment, she said. And noting the many roles HRIS professionals have in organizations, she said, “remember which hat to put on before you touch the system.”
Electronic I-9 and E-Verify compliance is on everyone’s lips at the conference, too, particularly in wake of the recent I-9 audit that cost Abercrombie & Fitch $1 million. The clothing retailer was found to be in violation of certain hiring and immigration laws—specifically dealing with I-9 forms in Michigan.
Pulling out an actual I-9 form, John Fay, vice president of products  and services and general counsel for LawLogix Group, Inc., told attendees in his session on “I-9 and E-Verify in the Cloud” that “it’s a very challenging form and there are a myriad ways to mess this up.”
That starts with how the electronic system is managed.
“It’s critical that if you’re looking at a provider, you do due diligence to make sure your vendor is meeting regulatory requirements.”
HR practitioner Freddye Silverman, vice president Eastern region for Jeitosa Group International, an HR technology consultancy, said her session on “Raising Your HR Technology Market IQ” was dedicated to all the conference attendees who roam the exhibit floor “with their eyes glazed over.”
Silverman ticked off a spate of recent mergers and acquisitions among HR technology vendors in several market sectors. The mergers and acquisition activity has left some wondering “what’s the next thing that’s going to happen to the product or service they’ve purchased.”
She cautioned buyers to be skeptical of some of the lines they’re likely to hear such as, “we will continue to support all product lines.”
Silverman said it’s up to HR customers to determine their business needs and to keep those requirements at the forefront of any vendor selection process.
“What are your expectations?” she asked. “Figure out what you want to get out of the system and work backwards. There’s no magic solution out there.”
Attendance at IHRIM this year is high. Nov Omana, IHRIM’s chair, said 750 people registered for the technology conference, being held in SHRM’s backyard at the Gaylord National Hotel and Convention Center in National Harbor, Md.  Attendance this year is 20 percent higher than it was when the conference was held in Las Vegas in 2010.
Compiled by Aliah D. Wright, Theresa Minton-Eversole and Desda Moss.

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