Friday, November 18, 2016


It’s day two of the SHRM Volunteer Leader Summit (#SHRMVLS). Yesterday was a good day.  We had 300+ HR pros visit Capitol Hill and talk with our elected officials.  A big thanks to Mike Aitken and the Legislative Affairs Team. This event came off without a flaw, and always does so kudos to the team. Later in the day we heard from SHRM CEO Hank Jackson on the state of the society.  The condensed version of his remarks would be… all is well.

I agree with Hank, at least from where I sit in my SHRM Volunteer role. There is one thing however, that I continue to be concerned about.   As I look around the room at the event I do not see a lot of young faces.  To be clear, a young face would 35 or under. So based upon my completely unscientific analysis I think we as volunteer leaders need to do more to engage and welcome younger people and get them involved in board positions and then groom them for chapter president and state director positions.

You will notice I have refrained from using the “M” word about these folks.  I don’t like the labels because we then associate that with a whole bunch of stereotypical views about them. Google “SHRM” and “Millennials” and you will see what I am talking about.

So what do we do about this? I do not have the pat answers, but I know this; doing something is better than doing nothing. So try something – anything.  My chapter has had a couple after-(drinks) and engaged a couple young folks to reach out to their peers and give them a personal invitation.  Last year at our state council leadership meeting we had a panel discussion with some articulate young folks and gave them an opportunity to tell us (the old people) what is wrong with us and then do some Q & A to help create a dialogue.  As the planning for next year is coming around, we are contemplating doing some 10 minute TED Talks having the younger folks speak to our leaders and tell us how we can better engage them and their peers.

Many of us deal with this in our day jobs and we call it succession planning.  I am suggesting this, all of us as SHRM volunteer leaders need to add this to our collective list of things to do; engage and recruit millennials to our boards.   And just like an effective affirmative action plan, you have to work at this, you have to reach out, and do some things that might fail or that may be uncomfortable. 

Just like Hank told us yesterday, HR has “lead the change.”   

Thursday, November 17, 2016

SHRM Certification Update

One of the next major steps in the evolvement of the SHRM Certification process has been completed. As of two days ago, November 15, SHRM is proud to announce that the SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP exams have been accredited by The Buros Center for Testing, a pronouncement that the HR credentials meet the highest standards in testing.  
In a statement from Hank Jackson, SHRM President and CEO, “HR professionals around the world have embraced SHRM Certification,” said Henry G. (Hank) Jackson, SHRM’s president and CEO.  “They know — and the Buros Center has confirmed through its accreditation — that SHRM credentials meet the highest quality and standards of an industry-leading certification. This is groundbreaking for human resource certifications.”
The Buros Center for Testing, located at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, is an independent nonprofit organization that has reviewed or accredited other well-known tests including major state educational achievement exams; admissions tests for medical school, law school and graduate school, such as the LSAT, MCAT, GMAT and GRE exams; and licensure exams for physical therapists, clinicians and technicians. It specializes in auditing major educational and licensure testing programs for fairness in testing and overall psychometric quality of tests based on standards for testing developed by the American Psychological Association, the American Educational Research Association and the National Council on Measurement in Education, the leading authorities in high-stakes testing. 
In a statement from Kurt F. Geisinger, Ph.D., director of the Buros Center said, “We not only find that you meet our standards ... for accreditation, but we also find that you are thoroughly, competently and appropriately meeting the mission of SHRM, and therefore, the needs of the public. For more information on the accrediting body, visit
Since the launch of the SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP two years ago, SHRM has worked to gain recognition as the global standard in HR certification. Achieving accreditation further demonstrates to HR professionals and their employers that SHRM-certified professionals meet the high standards expected and needed in HR today. 

We celebrate this milestone with almost 100,000 SHRM-certified professionals, the fastest-growing HR certification community. The SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP are the most widely-taken HR exams in the world. Last year alone, over 20,000 people have taken the examination.
Accreditation does not mean SHRM Certification will be sitting still. SHRM’s work on competencies continues, and an update of the framework for the certification exams—the SHRM Body of Competency and Knowledge—is being released in December. The SHRM Learning System and the Certification exam will be adjusted to reflect that change.
Full disclosure: I currently hold both the SHRM-SCP (obtained by the Pathway AND testing) and SPHR. I have no plans on getting rid of either. I am an Instructor for Northern Illinois University’s HR Outreach program teaching the SHRM Certification Preparation Program preparing HR professionals to pass the SHRM Certification exams since January 2015. Prior to that I taught the SHRM Learning System preparing HR pros to take and pass the HRCI Certification exam for years.
-John Jorgensen ISC Strategic Advisor

Wednesday, November 16, 2016


It's the week before Thanksgiving, deer hunting season opens this week in the Midwest and the SHRM Volunteer Leaders Summit is taking place. This annual event is many things to many people but as I reflect on the event, I can easily group folks into three groups.

The newbies, are the first or second timers. Welcome! These are the folks who are new to their SHRM leadership role and have been dispatched to #SHRMVLS (as we call it on twitter, Facebook and Instagram) to see what this is all about and what is expected of them. At the other end of the spectrum is the "old timers" or veterans. These folks have been attended since the event was called SHRM Leadership and it was held at the Crystal City Marriot. Then the other group would be those that don't fit into these other two groups.

VLS has several objectives. One is to initiate volunteer leaders to their new roles. Another is to update all attendees on SHRM's path and mission. Then there is the Capitol Hill visits, whereupon nearly 500 volunteer leaders go to Capitol Hill and offer the SHRM position on the legislative issues that are "in play". It would also be the hope that the trips to Capitol Hill result in some deeper relationships with our elected representatives. Lastly I think the conference is about "amping up" the leaders before they are sent back home. This is usually accomplished though the keynote addresses.  Most of the speakers at these events are damn good. They motivate us and tug at our heartstrings.
For the long-term volunteers, there is one more aspect to the event. Us "old dogs" get to see our old friends, the ones we have met over the years. These are the like-minded people who share a passion for Human Resources, volunteering and networking. We seem to gravitate to one and other.  These relationships run long and deep!  (I challenge you to meet 50 new people at the event.)

Having said all of that, I may have totally missed the mark, for you; but this is what VLS is all about but these have been my takeaways over the years.

And just in case you didn't know this SHRM's Martha Ramirez was the lead person on this event for last year (2015) and this year. In Illinois, last year we were so proud of Martha for doing a great job with the event, the Illinois State Council of SHRM presented Martha with a board resolution congratulating her on what an awesome conference she assembled. She has set the bar high for this year.

Don't forget to download SHRM's new conference app. It is available in the iTunes Store of the Google Play Store.  This app will keep you plugged into all that is going on at each SHRM event.

Looking forward to a great conference, I hope to meet all of you!!

- Dave Ryan ISC SHRM Director Elect

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Building An Employment Brand That Fuels Your Personal Brand

Are you a millennial ready to get your feet wet in HR? 

At the 2016 Illinois State Council Society for Human Resource Management (ILSHRM) conference beginning September 25th, HR leaders from a diverse group of industries will get together to help millennials gain value skills to take home to their careers.

Kristy Nittskoff, a speaker at this year’s ILSHRM conference, is the Founder of Talent-Savvy and has  over 10 years of human resources experience. Kristy helps companies to optimize recruitment and retention programs through implementing innovative talent attraction and employment branding strategies.

As a leader in the HR industry, Kristy will share what it takes to set yourself apart in the industry, and how to treat yourself as “brand” in order to best market yourself. Kristy works with top recruiters and HR managers to help them exceed expectations, and her session will discuss first hand different trials and tribulations she has helped them overcome.

Don’t miss Kristy’s session as she shares tips on how to build a robust employment brand, and more at ILSHRM.  More information and registration can be found here

Be sure to also follow along on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #ILSHRM16YP

Monday, September 12, 2016

Take Your Career From 0 - 100 at ILSHRM Young Professionals 2016

Ready to hear what it takes for Human Resources career success? At the 2016 Illinois State Council Society for Human Resource Management (ILSHRM) conference  beginning September 25th, HR leaders from a diverse group of industries will get together to help millennials gain value skills to take home to their careers.
Melonie Boone, currently serves as the Global Director of Human Resources for Ventiv Technology. With over 20 years experience focusing on human resources strategy, business optimization, and organization growth, Melonie will share how millennials can move beyond the entry level, and gain the right skills in order to move up in your career.
In her session, Melonie will share some of her personal career highs along with roadblocks she faced along the way. Having much experience in the HR industry, she’ll discuss the truth about a career in human resources, and what it takes to have ultimate success
As a millennial in human resources,  ILSHRM is the conference to help learn what to takes to take off in your career. More information and registration can be found here

Be sure to also follow along on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #ILSHRM16YP

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Getting Ahead of the Recruiting Curve

Recruiting is tough business. Sure there are those doing it well, but even they complain about it how challenging it can me. Times are changing. The reasons individuals decide to leave or stay with a company are more individual needs based than ever before. Technology moves faster than we can keep up. Social media demands a more transparent experience. Candidates are savvy and come with high expectations.
And all of that can be hard for any recruiter to navigate, much less the recruiter who is also administering benefits and trying to be "strategic" and innovative.
And yet, the demand for talent doesn't go away. Hiring managers still bring requests for purple squirrels riding on pink unicorns that they would have preferred to have hired yesterday. Recruiting is a constant uphill battle, pushing a huge boulder while hoping on one foot.
That's how you feel about it right?
If you do, then the pre-conference workshop at ILSHRM16 is for you. In three hours we are going to talk about how we get ahead of the recruiting curve. How we become more proactive instead of reactive. How we create strategy instead of just saying we want to be strategic. We are going to talk about specific roles you struggle with on a regular basis and see if we can't brainstorm creative ideas together to create a pipeline of candidates for that role. We will be covering ways recruiters and recruiting teams can be more forward thinking about recruiting and stay that way.
Because unless we get ahead of the curve, we will continue to trip over it.
Now let me be clear. This is no lesson in silver bullets. There is not now, nor has there ever been a silver bullet for recruiting that is going to fix all of your troubles. Anyone who tells you otherwise is deceiving you. Strategy takes time. It takes time to dig out from the pile, but unless you get started you will continue to struggle to breath at the bottom of it. This workshop will give you the skills needed to dig out, but the work will have to be done.
The session will be highly interactive. I firmly believe that not one person has all the answers in recruiting. Others in the room may have faced exactly what you are facing and come through it successfully. I want to make sure we have time to share those interactions during our time together. We will be using examples from the audience so bring your toughest job opening and we'll see if we can't come up with a strategy together to overcome it.
I hope to see you there. I promise it will be worth your time.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Conference Insider - What to Expect

Amy R. Dillman
Your ILSHRM Communications Director
and ILSHRM16 attendee

Here we are in the last month of August! Can you believe it? The summer vacations are coming to an end, schools are back in session and Christmas advertising is starting to pop up. Ok, maybe that last one is a stretch, but it will be coming soon enough.

I love Fall. It is my favorite season and this year it just might be the best yet as ILSHRM16 is on the calendar in September! Have you registered? Still thinking of registering? Here are a few insider details for what you can expect.

1. Learning Opportunities. The conference is jam packed with sessions that are broken down into tracks. You can sharpen your skills by staying in a particular track or you can broaden your knowledge base by attending a session in each.  The tracks are.Business Acumen & HR Strategy, Talent Acquisition & Workforce Planning, Personal and Leadership Development, Total Rewards (Compensation & Benefits, Employee & Labor Relations and Compliance. More information can be found at track descriptions.

2. Networking. You hear it all the time. This event or that offers networking opportunities, but at ILSHRM16 it can really happen! That said, networking says 'work' and it takes a little work to network. We provide the platform, but it's up to you to say hi, introduce yourself, sit next to someone in a session or at lunch that you don't know. If you don't know where to start, seek out and say hello to an ILSHRM board member. We love to talk and would gladly help you meet other HR professionals.

3. Location, Location, Location. ILSHRM16 is back at Drury Lane in Oakbrook, Illinois. If you haven't been, access is easy, parking is easy, and here are no buses or mile-long hikes from your room. All the sessions are under one roof which makes #1 and #2 of this list easy! Breakfast and lunch are included Monday and Tuesday as well as the Monday night after hours event, but there are plenty of restaurants nearby to catch a bite or a beverage with those new colleagues you met while networking. While networking, did you find other shopaholics? Oakbrook Mall is practically next door - just shop 'til you drop after conference hours.

Got a question? Need some more advice? Hashtag #ILSHRM16 on Twitter or post a comment on our Facebook page.  We hope to see you there!

You can still register at ILSHRM16.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

At Least They Gave Us a Little Time

Amy Dillman
Your ILSHRM Communications Director
and attendee of ILSHRM16!

When the Department of Labor released new regulations regarding the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) on May 18th, the HR World felt the shockwaves.  The changes were significant, staring with the new salary threshold of $47,476.  If any of you were like me, we began producing reports, counting the numbers of impacted, exempt employees under the salary threshold and determining effect of budgets, overtime, and considering potential wage increases. We jump into action because before I can even finish my Excel formulas, I have directors at my door, on my email and ringing my phone.

SHRM was ready too. Did you search their site for information, articles and webinars? I did. They were a great source of information! They explained in their May 18th government affairs update the key elements to the new regulation:

1.    Salary Threshold Changed to $913/week ($47,476 per Year)
This threshold doubles the current salary threshold level. While this level is slightly lower than the threshold in the proposed rule, it still encompasses many employees that are currently classified as exempt. SHRM was disappointed that DOL did not offer a more reasonable increase and set the threshold, as it has in the past, at a level designed to encompass those employees that are clearly not engaged in exempt-type work.

2.    Automatic Salary Threshold Increases Every 3 Years (Not Annually) to Maintain Level at 40th Percentile in Lowest-Wage Census Region
DOL reduced the frequency of the automatic increases in response to concerns raised by SHRM and others. Instead of annual increases, the threshold will be adjusted every 3 years to maintain the level at the 40th percentile of full-time salaried workers in the lowest-wage Census region. Automatically updating the salary threshold, however, does not allow the government to take into account changing economic conditions, specific impact on certain industries, or regional differences. It also denies the public the ability to have input on the threshold as required by the regulatory process.

3.    Duties Test is Unchanged
The absence of a duties test change is a significant win for the thousands of SHRM members who expressed concern in this area. DOL did not make changes to the standard duties test.

4.    Effective Date is December 1, 2016.
SHRM advocated for a longer implementation period than the standard 60 days and the final rule provides additional time for employers to prepare. With the rule going into effect on December 1, 2016, HR professionals should review their current workforce immediately to determine which employees are affected, whether to re-classify those employees, and execute a communications strategy. HR should keep in mind the periodic adjustments and set a regular review process.

5.    Highly Compensated Employee (HCE) Exemption Is Now $134,004 Per Year
The final rule retains the methodology in the proposed rule setting the threshold at the 90th percentile of full-time salaried workers nationally.

I, and I hope you, have a firm understanding of the new requirements. Now, the work begins. New training on time sheets, new data management tools to track financial impact for future adjustments, developing an educational pipeline to managers and employees, writing new internal policies and changing payroll records and codes, leading efforts to minimize cultural and morale damage, and more.

At least the DOL gave us a little time - and we can discuss it together at #ILSHRM16 in related sessions!

See you at the conference and when I come up for air on December 2.

Are you prepared for the FLSA changes? Make sure you aren’t missing anything by attending #ILSHRM16. Register today at ILSHRM16

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

ILSHRM CIC-SHRM Legislative Conference

So having attended Capitol Hill day several times in Washington DC, I thought that our ILSHRM efforts for this year were a bust. We had more people than ever go to the Illinois Statehouse and the count was 24.  But then I thought about that for a moment and thought things need to be proportional.    The last time I went to Capitol Hill there were 400+ members who went - impressive! We sent 24 to our statehouse.   Wait though let’s do the math.  On the last trip to Capitol Hill 400 of the 280,000 members attended or 0.0014 % the membership.   Now looking at our Illinois delegation, 24 of the 12,300 members attended or 0.0019% of our state membership; BAM #ILSHMR wins!

While I have not attended all of the Legislative Conferences, I have made a number of them. I still enjoy being around a bunch of like minded #HR pros, it just gets me stoked.  Yesterday’s version was no different.    We heard from Jonathan Segal, who is an accomplished – often quoted labor lawyer. He shared his brand of HR Law which often brought levity to the whole matter.

This was followed up by ILSHRM Lobbyist Jay Dee Shadduck.  Jay brought us three state agency directors, a state senator and one state representative. These folks all had interesting prospective on what was going on in state government and why we should care, and /or feel good about it.  Some of them did a better job articulating this point than others. I will leave the final decision as to who was who, to the others that attended.

After lunch we heard from Kelly Hastings, a member of the SHRM Legislative Affairs team.  And while Kelly touched on a number of subjects that had already been kicked around, she provided some hard facts and legislative insight that could only come from a true insider.   We thank Kelly for an early out in DC and a late night back in.  (The new rules on exempt employees will be here very soon!)

Then it was off to the Illinois Statehouse.  While the Senate was not in session when we arrived, they were doing committee hearings, the House was in session.  The consensus was it is easy to see why we don’t have a budget.  What we saw from our brief visit there was organized confusion at best.  There was no real debate going on and only a vote or two took place.  There were a lot of people in the Capitol but I am not sure what they were all doing.  Although from my vantage point I so no one talking or worrying about a budget.  Hmm, I guess government just works different that private sector business.

Tomorrow is Day two of the conference; we will see what that holds for us.  See you there!

     Dave Ryan – ISC SHRM Director Elect

Monday, March 7, 2016

And The Winner Is...

Stop. Don’t read any further until you watch the video of the February 2016 Illinois State HR Games and Case Competition hosted by Illinois State University (@ISU-SHRM). 

After watching, you’re either thinking 1) my team and I had a great time networking and learning from others or 2) Why did I miss that?  If you didn’t catch us this time, there’s always next year.  The Illinois State Council of SHRM (ILSHRM) gives all student chapters the opportunity to host the event on their campus annually.  Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?

Teams from Illinois State University (ISU), Northern Illinois University (NIU) and Olivet Nazarene University (ONU) competed in two events; HR Games Jeopardy style, and a Case Competition solving a real HR Case. The day wasn’t only about the competition. The students also enjoyed the comedic style of the IMPROV Attacks entertainment group.  These geniuses made the #puppymonkeybaby Superbowl commercial (which I never understood in the first place) even funnier than the original.

Teams ISU 2 and 1 placed first and second in the Jeopardy competition, respectively.  Another ISU team won the Case Competition and team NIU 2 placed second.  Each member of the winning ISU Case Competition team received a complimentary registration for the Young Professionals workshop at the ILSHRM State Conference, which will take place on September 25, 2016.  Way to go team ISU!

So who was the big winner of the day, you ask? Kudos goes to all involved. The ISU-SHRM chapter planned a great event that brought together the talents of the Jeopardy team(s) and the Case Competition winner. Let’s not forget the chapter advisors, professors, and ILSHRM volunteers conference attendees.  The day couldn’t have happened without them. We’re seeing the next generation of HR leaders. The future is so bright.

Help us host the 2017 HR Games and Case Competition! #SHRMstudent
Nikki Bolden, PHR, SHRM-CP

Thursday, February 11, 2016

The Path for ILSHRM

I agreed to it, and I have been trying to learn from my mentor Connie Wolgemuth on what it is I am supposed to do, and what I am in charge of as the Director of ILSHRM. Connie is fabulous and has been a joy to work with, but I still have a great deal of consternation within this troubled mind of mine.

We recently wrapped up our annual leadership conference (#ILSHRMLead) and now we have survey results. So like most other things I have been involved with to this point in my life, I am trying to understand, analyze and comprehend what the data from the survey is telling me. Once I get it figured out, then I need to develop an action plan as to what we are going to do next year. Isn't that right, we are supposed to learn from our failures and capitalize on our successes.

This year (2016) we moved the event to Bloomington (downstate) for the first time. When I review the remarks people made, they either hated it (Chicago land members) or they loved it (down staters). There were also very polarizing comments about our programming. Everybody seems to want killer, kick ass content that will send them out the door feeling 10 feet, tall ready to go home and lead their organizations and run the best damn SHRM chapter in the world! Oh, and we have to do this on a shoestring budget. So that's what I am looking at for next year.

The "Money Lady" getting ready to do her thing.
It appears to me that this is going to get more difficult. So, I guess this is where the LEADERSHIP thing is supposed to kick in. I do what I think is the right thing, because of my KSAs and life experiences, and if I am right everyone throws accolades my way and tells me how wonderful I am - or....let's not think about the alternative.

Plans for next year need to begin soon, so I had better get this figured out quickly. I think, I am going to need some input from smart people around me, as to what to do about this conference and some of the other matters that are going to be on my plate as the State Director. Who do I trust, whose opinion should I value, who is right? Dunno! I guess this is what I signed up to do.

As I prepare to post this, I look back over this blog site and see all of the stuff I wrote as the Director of Social Media and now I am soon to be the State Director, hmm quite a change in roles and responsibilities. ILSHRMies soon you will be passengers on the craft which is being piloted by @DaveTheHRCzar former Director of Social Media turned ILSHRM State Director. I will need all or your help - please be gentle with me!

-Dave Ryan Director Elect ISC-SHRM

Monday, January 25, 2016

These People. These Leaders.

Here's the thing about leadership and leadership conferences...they require leaders. These people that I'm currently gazing at, in awe, in real time, across the room are all leaders. They have volunteered to serve as board members, conference chairpersons, chapter presidents, membership directors and other roles, but more importantly, they have volunteered to contribute to the band of misfits that are working to make HR better in the state of Illinois.

These people are working professionals who have taken time out of their day today to attend the Illinois SHRM Leadership Conference today at Bloomington Marriott.

These people work extra hours volunteering to keep their chapters going, scheduling chapter speaking engagements, managing the chapter budgets, advocating for HR legislative issues, and representing the best of HR in Illinois.

I am in awe of these people.

If you want to reinvigorate your belief in HR and in leaders, consider a role in your SHRM chapter or state ILSHRM office.

Illinois SHRM is currently kicking off the year by hosting the annual ILSHRM Leadership Conference in Bloomington. We look forward to seeing you at chapter meetings, the state conference in September and other local, state and national activities.