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HR Connect Virtual

HR Connect Virtual

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HR Connect Virtual

Tuesday, November 9 – Wednesday, November 10, 2021
10:00 a.m. – 4:15 p.m. Eastern each day

CONFERENCE SNAPSHOT: If live events still aren't your thing, enjoy HR Connect from the comfort of your office chair! Attend 2021 HR Connect Virtual, from November 9-10, 2021, to obtain knowledge on hot topics in the employment law landscape, uncover new strategies to fill the talent void, and learn valuable insights to engage and retain your top performers.


Due to the global coronavirus pandemic, 2020 brought a historic year of change for all HR professionals. Forced to adjust to hastily created remote work spaces as the nation went in and out of lockdown, HR pros were also tasked with understanding and complying with new laws designed to help employers and employees alike overcome some of the challenges brought on by the pandemic.

On top of compliance challenges, HR professionals had to pivot the workplace culture (and the workplace itself) to accommodate for social distancing guidelines and other safety precautions. Workplace happy hours and corporate meetings became Zoom calls and e-mails. In-person face time became virtual screen time, and many employees were stuck caring for children forced into remote learning for the same reasons.

With 2021 came the hope for “normal,” but just because the calendar changed dates doesn’t mean these challenges magically disappeared. This year is a time for recovery and building back your organization to pre-pandemic levels.

To do that, you must learn how to prepare and plan for new challenges while mastering the art of overcoming the current ones. By attending 2021 HR Connect Virtual from November 9-10, 2021, you’ll head into 2022 armed with valuable lessons learned and the hindsight to protect your organization in the years ahead.

This exciting virtual conference will cover all aspects of the HR function! Our expert speakers will present sessions on employment law, recruiting, and talent and culture topics.

Other session topics that will be discussed:

  • Diversity, inclusion, and equity (DEI)
  • Open enrollment benefits communication
  • Rehiring laid-off workers
  • Employee classification in the gig era
  • Onboarding in a remote setting
  • Requiring mandatory COVID-19 vaccines
  • Talent optimization strategies
  • Empowering workers to become agents of change
  • Inexpensive methods for sourcing top talent
  • And more!

HR Connect Virtual

Agenda

*All times are in Eastern

Day 1 — Tuesday, November 9, 2021

10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Open Enrollment Season Is Here! Establish or Fine-Tune Your Communication Strategy for Hassle-Free Enrollment

Presented by Kim Buckey, Vice President, Client Services, DirectPath

Open enrollment can be the bane of existence for many HR professionals—and for good reason. Benefits can be confusing for many workers, and the onus is on HR to help employees make sense of it all. On top of communicating benefits, HR professionals must also ensure that the benefits their organizations offer will be utilized.

The way COVID-19 altered the work environment, and possibly the benefits needs of employees, makes effective, multipronged outreach all the more critical. And given the current climate of digital communication and socialization (socializing?) on top of new resources like telehealth, your workforce may need more handholding when it comes to making sense of their benefits selections. At the end of this session, attendees will be able to:

  • Know what to look for when reviewing current plans and how to decide on any plan changes.
  • Implement timelines and due dates for open enrollment.
  • Understand best practices for creating accessible benefit plan links and resources.
  • Establish, conduct, and analyze periodic surveys of employee needs.
  • Develop a communication strategy that encompasses all mediums to maximize engagement.
  • Identify key channels of communication that are most effective for reaching all employees.
  • Provide clear and concise information on benefits plans to help employees better understand their offerings.


11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Legal Do’s and Don’ts to Rehiring Laid-Off Workers
Presented by Jeffrey Slanker, Shareholder, Sniffen & Spellman, P.A.

In April 2020, the United States saw one of the highest unemployment rates on record at 14.7% due to the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent layoffs and furloughs. While the country is continuing to recover and the unemployment rate has continued to drop, there are still many laid-off workers looking to reenter the workforce and find gainful employment again.

Before you hire back your laid-off or furloughed workers, you must understand your legal obligations, and this session is here to help. After attending this session, you’ll:

  • Establish a return-to-work plan.
  • Understand best practices for communicating with laid-off employees.
  • Learn tips for handling furloughed employees who refuse to return to work.
  • Implement strategies for drug testing, background checks, and other employment screenings with returning employees.
  • Successfully administer benefits to rehired furloughed or laid-off workers.


12:15 p.m. – 12:45 p.m.
Break

12:45 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.
Cracking the Code to Effective Talent Optimization
Presented by Jerry Seibert, Executive Consultant, OrgVitality

Even before the pandemic, and certainly throughout, many companies fell short of their business goals year after year, even with lots of planning and financial resources. What if there were a better way?

By shifting focus to include both business strategy and talent strategy, companies can design teams with clear road maps and ensure the right people are in the right positions, optimizing productivity.

Using firsthand knowledge and insight, our expert will crack the code to talent optimization to help your organization remain successful in the years ahead.

This session will uncover:

  • The importance of understanding your people data;
  • Tips for developing a people strategy;
  • How to integrate your business strategy with your people strategy;
  • How the success of your organization stems from the engagement of your workforce and the success of your workforce stems from the success of each employee;
  • Ways to successfully engage individual employees and teams;
  • Best practices for aligning each stage of the employee life cycle to your talent optimization strategy; and
  • How to design talent road maps to keep workers engaged and retained.


2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Setting Gen Z Up for Success: How Mentoring Programs Aid in Retention and Succession
Presented by Thomas A. Toth, Managing Director and Founder, dWeb Studios, Inc.

Generation Z has entered the workforce and they have made it clear that employers who want to engage and retain them must offer training and developmental opportunities. And it’s no wonder why, when you consider Zippia survey findings, which reveal that 93% of Gen Z workers—more than any other generation—spend their own time learning new skills to advance their career.

While Gen Z seeks out learning opportunities on their own, why not create a learning program that can train these workers on the ins and outs of your organization? That’s right: We’re talking about mentorship programs. Offering Gen Z workers a chance to learn from colleagues will help spread organizational knowledge and prepare these workers (and your business) for long-term success.

At the conclusion of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the importance of offering mentorship programs to Gen Z (and all workers).
  • Understand the ins and outs of developing mentorship programs.
  • Learn how to overcome the challenges brought on by institutional knowledge loss when a key employee leaves or retires—and why mentoring can solve this problem.
  • Learn how to emulate successful mentoring programs based on real-life examples.
  • Develop a program within their own organization


3:15 p.m. – 4:15 p.m. 
Employee Classification: Applying the Old ‘New’ ABC Test
Presented by Jeffrey Slanker, Shareholder, Sniffen & Spellman, P.A.

Increased spending to identify and penalize worker misclassification is a clear budget goal for the Biden administration, with both the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announcing their intent to focus on the volatile topic.

The additional goal of bringing more independent contractors under the protection of the labor and employment laws is likely to be pursued by the DOL’s various agencies, including the WHD, the EEOC, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). 

It is predicted that the Biden DOL will rapidly propose reverting to the ABC test that allows for “indirect control,” which could result in the reclassification of many independent contractors as employees, making them eligible for overtime and protection under a state’s wage and hour, antidiscrimination, and safety laws. Get ahead of the change by getting a refresher course on employee classification!

This session will explore:

  • The difference between employees and independent contractors under the FLSA,
  • Applying the “economics realities” or ABC test to correctly classify workers,
  • Identifying applicable state regulations that take precedent over the new federal rule,
  • Defining the benefits and obstacles of the independent contractor role,
  • The repercussions of misclassifying workers,
  • How to adjust your compensation structure for newly designated employees,
  • And more.




Day 2 — Wednesday, November 10, 2021

10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
 All Things Vaccine: Passports, Protected Status, and Rules on Employer Mandates
Presented by Catherine F. Burgett, Member, Frost Brown Todd

There have been several recent headline-makers that have likely got people wondering about the trends arising from the COVID-19 vaccine. Should vaccines be mandated in the workplace, and what exceptions are or should be allowed. 

An increase in employee lawsuits challenging mandatory vaccines for work and vaccine status as a protected class (like race, gender, etc.) are just a few examples of the current challenges that employers are faced with.

This session will discuss all the potential legal pitfalls regarding implementation of a vaccine policy, how to respond to employee concerns and objections, and all other guidelines for an effective and safe transition back to the workplace.

At the conclusion of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Determine the best vaccine policy for their organizations
  • Implement that policy while avoiding legal pitfalls
  • Properly respond to employees who object to vaccine requirements
  • Utilize best practices and guidelines to align their organizations with state, local and federal laws


11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: How to Implement Actionable Change in Your Hiring Process
Presented by Mariam Malik, Sr. Technical Recruiter, D&I Consultant

As you continue to build back your workforce in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, now is the time to ensure that your recruiters and hiring managers are sourcing and recruiting diverse talent to fit your organization's needs.

But when it comes to making actionable change to DEI hiring practices, many companies are falling flat—and all you have to do is look at their DEI metrics to see this. According to one consultant, "Metrics help employers committed to diversity and inclusion stay on track by encouraging the identification and management of bias blindspots—mindsets and practices that promote homogeneity but which are largely hidden."

So which metrics should you be tracking to make sure your organization is meeting its DEI goals? And how can you implement actionable change to make sure your recruiters are sourcing and hiring diverse talent? Get these questions answered, and more, when you join Mariam Malik for this insightful session. After attending this session, you'll be able to:

  • Define DEI in your organization and communicate your DEI goals to jobseekers and candidates.
  • Uncover risk areas and opportunities for improving DEI.
  • Track the progress of your DEI initiatives.
  • Implement new sourcing strategies to uncover diverse talent.
  • Utilize new social media channels, like TikTok, to source workers.
  • Apply actionable change strategies in the hiring process for better DEI recruitment.


12:15 p.m. – 12:45 p.m.
Break

12:45 p.m. – 1:45 p.m. 
EQ in Times of Uncertainty: Transforming Teams to Be Agents of Change

Presented by Joan Peterson, Vice President, Master Facilitator & Leadership Coach, Bluepoint Leadership

Change management is a notoriously difficult endeavor in virtually any organization, and the larger and more complex an organization is, the harder it typically is to implement. But emotional intelligence (EQ) may offer help. A strong EQ not only will help employees deal with personal emotions of confusion and frustration in times of uncertainty but also can be key for employees and managers alike to help the rest of the organization come to grips with the change they currently fear.

Additionally, emotionally intelligent employees and leaders are much more engaged and are less likely to leave an organization. They also have higher customer ratings, prompt more profitability for an organization, have higher rates of productivity, report fewer theft and safety incidents, and have lower rates of absenteeism.

If you want your organization to remain a competitive force in these times of uncertainty, you’ll have to begin training your employees to be more emotionally intelligent moving forward, whether you like it or not.

During this session, attendees will learn:

  • The core competencies of EQ
  • How to help managers find their EQ
  • Tips on how to raise EQ in your workplace
  • How to motivate managers to help drive change
  • Best practices for understanding team members’ strengths and weaknesses
  • How to use strengths and weaknesses to build more diverse, productive teams


2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. 
Sourcing Hacks: Cheap and Easy Ways to Source and Recruit Top Talent
Presented by Brian Fink, Senior Sourcing Technical Recruiter, Twitter

If COVID-19 killed your hiring budget, you’re not alone! The coronavirus pandemic has forced a new normal upon many businesses and organizations, and because of this, hiring budgets are getting cut as companies look to save money and overcome this crisis.

If you think finding top talent can only be done with a robust hiring budget, think again. There are various ways to source and recruit talent on a tight budget, with some methods even being free! Attend this session to learn all about the cheap and easy ways to source and recruit top talent! You’ll learn:

  • Which tech tools are best for sourcing and recruiting talent
  • How to use these tools to source talent
  • Top strategies for engaging talent on social media
  • Basic Boolean tips for sourcing talent on the Internet
  • How to convince your boss that you need a hiring budget now!


3:15 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.
Harassment, Bullying, and Toxic Behaviors: Creating a Culture of Compassion and Empathy to Eliminate Hate and Negativity
Presented by Marilyn G. Moran, Partner, FordHarrison

COVID-19 wasn’t the only factor that turned 2020 into a roller coaster for employers. The continuation of the #MeToo movement, Black Lives Matter, a turbulent election, and other social unrest contributed to an already chaotic year. Unfortunately, these issues have spilled over into the workplace, and it is up to HR professionals to unite their workforce and create a cohesive and caring culture. And your culture is the key to harassment prevention at work—even more than training.

Many managers are unaware of how to change or turn around bad behavior, so over time, it becomes the organization’s culture. Anyone not stepping in to put a stop to these behaviors—whether an employee, a supervisor, or a manager—unknowingly becomes a reinforcer of them. All employees, from top to bottom, should know what to say and how to act in order to have a civil work environment.

Learn how to create a culture of compassion and empathy in this informative session! You’ll also learn:

  • The different forms of bullying and harassment, which may be subtle and insidious at times;
  • How to identify “bad” behaviors on a spectrum from incivility to violence and how they can fester as a social phenomenon;
  • How employees, managers, and company leaders may inadvertently support a negative environment;
  • Organizational risk factors for bullying and harassment so you can work to change them;
  • How to review and update your harassment policies and ensure they are communicated to the workforce;
  • How to communicate with your employees and allow them to let you know when things are not good at work;
  • How not addressing incivility is causing people to lose their trust in you; and
  • Techniques to use when a negative employee blames others or denies responsibility.



— Agenda and speakers subject to change

HR Connect Virtual

Your Presenters

Kim Buckey

Kim Buckey serves as DirectPath’s key advisor and senior subject matter expert on employer-sponsored benefits and communications to improve the employee experience. She founded DirectPath's compliance and communications team, which provides strategy, content development, and management services that drive business results through engaging communications and connecting employees through a year-round personalized benefits journey.

As an industry thought leader, Buckey is often quoted in top business and trade publications.  She also works closely with client services, marketing, and product development to improve the employee experience, increase the health literacy of consumers, and explore the potential impact of new regulations on employers.

Catherine Burgett

As a member with Frost Brown Todd, Catherine Burgett divides her time between a traditional labor practice and employment work.  Her labor practice includes working with clients to improve labor relations and resolve labor disputes; creating and assisting with corporate campaigns and representation elections; helping companies stay union-free; handling unfair labor practice charges; representing companies through the labor arbitration process; and negotiating collective bargaining agreements. 

Burgett's employment practice includes employment litigation; wage and hour litigation; discrimination, harassment, and retaliation investigations and litigation; drafting and litigating employment contracts; creating and implementing corporate training programs; advising and assisting companies in negotiating the WARN Act; drafting and enforcing workplace policies; and serving as counsel on all aspects of employer-employee relations.

Brian Fink

Brian Fink is currently a Senior Sourcing Technical Recruiter for Twitter. With 10+ years of specialized recruiting experience, he has helped a wide range of professionals ranging from entry-level candidates (new grads) to C-Suite executives take the next step up in their careers and stretch their professional capabilities. Fink specializes in recruitment tooling, building Boolean strings, natural language search, and raw sourcing. He believes and advocates that you are never done learning, regardless of where you are in your career.

Mariam Malik

Mariam Malik graduated from Georgia State University with a BBA in Marketing in 2013. Malik has spent her career in full-lifecycle recruitment for various companies and industries, with a focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). As a minority, this has always been an important topic for Malik, as she helps companies strategize and implement DEI programs with their talent acquisition teams. She currently serves as a Women in Tech (WIT) Advisor for the Georgia State University campus, and conducts free résumé reviews for current students and alumni.

Marilyn Moran Marilyn G. Moran has been representing employers for over 20 years as a trusted advisor and experienced litigator. She is passionate about learning her clients’ businesses from the ground up and working with management to solve problems and implement smart business solutions as efficiently as possible. Moran provides advice and training to employers on a wide variety of employment law issues, including discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wage and hour violations, noncompetition agreements, executive compensation issues, and reductions in force. She also helps employers navigate the process of accommodating employees with disabilities under the ADA and managing employee leave under the FMLA and USERRA
Joan Peterson

Joan Peterson is the Master Facilitator, Leadership Coach, and Vice President of Bluepoint Leadership. Peterson is a highly skilled facilitator and coach with over 15 years of hands-on experience working with leaders at all levels and in many different industries. She is noted for her passion for what she does and for her energetic and interactive facilitation style. Her feedback typically includes the words: engaging, excellent, enthusiastic, informative, and professional. She is equally adept at working with front line emerging leaders as she is with executive teams.

Her areas of expertise include helping organizations, teams, and individuals understand how to lift the performance of others, how to improve team execution by way of innovation and creativity, and how to create an aligned and engaged organization that is primed to deliver on its vision. Peterson has a BA in English and a Master's Degree in Organizational Science from Villanova University. She has also earned professional accreditations from DDI, Career Systems, Lominger LTD, and Right Associates.

Jerry Seibert

Jerry Seibert is an executive consultant at OrgVitality. He has 30 years of experience working with organizations to measure and improve customer, employee, and other stakeholder perceptions. In addition to leading a wide range of client engagements, Seibert has also led research in internal customer service and its connection to business outcomes. He has designed and implemented employee surveys for numerous organizations, ranging in scope from global entities to small privately held firms.

Seibert is the coauthor of Hidden Drivers of Success: Leveraging Employee Insights for Strategic Advantage, published by SHRM in 2013, and has more than 20 publications to his credit in a variety of peer reviewed and professional journals. Seibert received his M.A. degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green. He has a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Delaware.

Jeffrey Slanker

Jeffrey Slanker, a shareholder at Sniffen & Spellman, P.A., concentrates his practice in the areas of Labor and Employment Law and Appellate Law. His labor and employment law focus is on representing employers and management in federal, state, and administrative litigation. He has defended employers in discrimination, retaliation, wage and hour, labor relations, employee benefits, and harassment matters. Slanker's Appellate Law experience includes both trial support and briefing and argument of cases before Florida and Federal appellate courts in cases involving labor and employment, education, civil rights, and constitutional law matters.

Thomas A. Toth

Thomas A. Toth, Thomas Toth has over 25 years of global experience in the design and development of training programs and educational technology. He has led the creation and implementation of global learning initiatives for companies like Western Union, Janus Capital Group, and SafeNet. As a consultant, he has designed training programs for clients such as CHANEL, DiSH, Kelly-Moore Paint, Swarovski, Newmont Mining, the Walmart Foundation, Airgas, Murale and Trizetto.

Mr. Toth is a recognized as an expert and innovator in the area of online learning and is a regular speaker for the Association for Talent Development (ATD), and has delivered presentations to the eLearning Guild, the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) and Pepperdine University. He is the winner of ELearning! Magazine's Learning Champion Award 2016 in the category of Mentor.

Mr. Toth is the author of the books “Technology for Trainers,” first and second edition, and a contributing author to both the “ASTD Handbook for Workplace Learning Professionals” and Michael Allen’s “eLearning Annual 2012”. His work in the area of leadership program development lead to an ASTD BEST award for training and development in 2008.

— Agenda and speakers subject to change

Credit Information

HR Certification Institute HRCI
SHRM Preferred Provider

CREDIT INFORMATION: This program has been submitted to the HR Certification Institute® for review.

BLR®—Business & Learning Resources is recognized by SHRM to offer SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP professional development credits (PDCs). This program is valid for (10) PDCs. For more information about certification or recertification, please visit shrmcertification.org.
The live credits expire 11/10/2021
The on-demand credits expire 12/31/21.