by Samantha Colby
The HCM industry changes at a pace that sometimes seems like lightspeed. Here are 5 ways you can keep your HCM knowledge current.
1. Leverage free webinars
If you know where to look, you can find webinars on a wide variety of industry-related topics happening daily. They’re almost always offered at no cost to the attendee. Plus, you get the added benefit of interactivity with the presenter in the form of the ability to ask questions. You don’t get that benefit with written content like industry related magazine articles, and research reports. Carve out one work hour per month to hear a webinar highlighting a client case study from a consulting firm, learn about new release features from your HCM software vendor, or a hot topic in a functional HR area from an online community like HR.com. I can guarantee you’ll be glad you did.
Bonus: Many webinars are approved for recertification credits, so if you have a professional certification to maintain (see #3 below), attending webinars is doubly beneficial.
2. Get Social!
You’re probably already using LinkedIn to build your professional network, but if you aren’t already using Twitter to keep up with industry news, you should be! Most software vendors and HCM professional services firms are active on Twitter. There’s a character limit when composing tweets which forces companies to keep their messaging short and sweet. You’ll see only the most important updates at a high level, and there are usually links to more in-depth content for when you’d like to dive deeper into a subject. If you’re already reaching for your phone multiple times a day to check Facebook or other social networks, switch it up and next time use those 1 or 2 minutes of down time in the elevator to check your Twitter app and bolster your professional knowledge.
3. Join a Software User Group or Industry Association
Association and user group membership will provide you with an opportunity to connect with others that you have something in common with, like living in the same state, working in the same industry, or using the same software. You may also have an opportunity to earn a professional certification (like HRIP, PHR, or SHRM-CP) through the association or user group. Members in these groups face similar professional challenges, so these groups/associations will have resources like discussion forums and specific workshops that will be helpful. Some of the groups and associations you may want to check out include: your state’s SHRM chapter, IHRIM, IPMA-HR if you’re in the public sector, ASHHRA if you’re in healthcare, American Payroll Association, ASUG if you’re an SAP user, and OHUG if you’re an Oracle HCM user. There are a ton of groups out there, and this list certainly isn’t exhaustive, so do a quick online search or talk to your counterparts/software vendor for additional recommendations.
4. Attend a conference (or two!)
If your professional development budget allows, and you can swing a few days out of the office, it’s always a smart idea to attend one general industry conference (like HR Tech, LEHRN or Unleash), and/or one HCM system specific user conference each year. User conferences are exclusive to customers and in some cases prospects, so check with your software vendors to make sure you’re on the list to receive an invite. Both types of conferences will provide information on industry trends covered in keynote sessions, more specialized learning opportunities during breakout sessions, and of course networking. Many sessions at these conferences provide the opportunity to earn recertification credits, if you hold a certification like mentioned in #3.
Most conferences will have some sort of expo hall / vendor hall, too. Block out some time to visit the expo hall and make a quick round through all the booths to make sure you know who they are/what they offer, and get your badge scanned so you can receive e-mail updates on what’s new.
5. Talk to a consultant
Consultants (like HRchitect) are reviewing HCM industry trends and analyzing the impact, and keeping up to date with software vendor offerings every day – after all, how could they best help clients if their knowledge isn’t current. Instead of spending hours online researching HCM vendors and industry trends, consider going a more efficient route by speaking to an unbiased source. We can provide you with a marketplace overview of software vendors, help you figure out which trends apply to your business, and provide insight on how to configure new system enhancements to get the most value for your organization. Contact us to get started.
There you have it – keeping your HCM industry knowledge up-to-date is easier than you’d think. Happy Learning!
About Samantha Colby
Samantha Colby is the Marketing Director at HRchitect, the leader in HCM systems strategic consulting. Samantha has several years of experience in the payroll and benefits administration space. Samantha has B2B and consumer marketing experience in several industries including consulting, higher education, and sports and entertainment. When not preparing for upcoming trade shows or executing marketing campaigns, Samantha can be found following Boston-based sports teams or reading a book from the local library.