HR Vendor Conference

I have been in the HR business for about 20 years now – and this is a first for me.

A large client of ours hosted a 1 day conference for all of their HR Partners/Vendors. I think there were about 75 vendors in attendance – maybe 120 people in all.

The morning of the conference was spent explaining the Company Strategy (mission, brand, vision) to the vendors including a facility tour, detailed presentation by the CFO, preso by the CMO and a presentation from the Chief of Design. This was fascinating to me – as they were VERY MUCH on the same page with each other, and every important point was obviously linked to the overall mission. It is rare to see this kind of alignment across disparate functions like finance, marketing and design.

Once we had a basic understanding of what the Company was about, the HR team came on. This segment began with the Exec VP of HR (who started his career in field operations/management with the same Company) who articulated the HR strategy – which (surprise, surprise) was aligned with what we heard from the prior execs.

Following the EVP HR were the HR VP’s including OD, Recruiting/Training and HR Services. Each of them gave us details of their initiatives and roadmap over the next 3 to 5 years. (All of which support the Company Vision.) Part of this session was some brainstorming – the Company asking Vendors for ideas, best practices, new approaches – that could support the roadmap.

Finally there was a brief awards ceremony and it was over.

A couple of observations. I wonder why more large companies don’t do this. I was really impressed with the alignment across functions. Strong positive culture makes a HUGE difference in all aspects of company performance.

Ask yourself this. Do you have an HR roadmap? Do you know how many people you have to hire over the next 3 years? Do you have an HRIT roadmap? If not – you should.

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