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2021 HR Connect

2021 HR Connect

Product Code: CHR10192021--

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2021 HR Connect

Main Conference: Tuesday, October 19 – Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Pre-Conference Workshops: Monday, October 18, 2021

HR professionals faced a year of historic change in 2020, primarily due to the coronavirus pandemic. Forced to adjust to hastily created remote work spaces as areas of the country 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 COVID-19.

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 from October 18–20, 2021, you’ll head into the new year armed with valuable information and insights you’ll need to protect your organization in the years ahead.

This exciting live event—which will be compliant with all current COVID-19 safeguards and protocols—will cover all aspects of the HR function! You’ll have the opportunity to choose from three separate tracks that best suit your organization’s needs! Our expert speakers will present sessions on employment law, recruiting, and talent and culture.

Other conference topics that will be discussed:

  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI)
  • Open enrollment benefits communication
  • Leave management in the aftermath of COVID-19
  • Employee classification in the gig era
  • Onboarding in a remote setting
  • Cheap and easy ways to source talent
  • Requiring mandatory flu and COVID-19 vaccines
  • Drug testing do’s and don’ts
  • And more!

Gain even more HR knowledge by attending our preconference event on October 18, 2021. You’ll have the opportunity to select from a variety of sessions that will help meet your HR needs!

Pre-Conference Agenda

AM Preconference Workshops

8:45 a.m.–12:15 p.m.   
AM Preconferences (One retail price offers three sessions.)

AM Precon 1 — Performance Management in the New Normal: How to Monitor and Track Productivity in a Remote Setting
8:45 a.m.–9:45 a.m. 
The coronavirus pandemic ushered in a new way of work that many were ill-prepared for. Now that we’ve all gotten used to remote work, it’s time to take a step back and identify where your hastily created processes can be refocused to be better-suited for the new normal.

One area that can be revamped is how you monitor employee performance and productivity in a remote setting. What key performance indicators should you be measuring? How often should you be providing feedback? What tools or platforms are available to help monitor employee productivity? Get the answers to these questions and more in this informative session.

You’ll also learn:

  • How to rethink performance management and your company’s approach to giving reviews;
  • How to plan and structure ongoing feedback conversations;
  • How to set goals and provide direction that is clear;
  • How to frame performance feedback in the context of an employee’s fulfillment at work; and
  • How to set expectations for development, as well as performance, and respond to how employees meet those expectations.

AM Precon 2 — Immigration Under the Biden Administration
10:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m. 
From regulations designed to significantly alter the H-1B program to travel and visa bans, the immigration landscape has changed at a fast and furious pace over the last 4 years. With a change in administrations, comprehensive immigration reform, and a path to citizenship for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), program beneficiaries are suddenly back on the political agenda.

While the Biden administration has indicated an intent to limit Immigrations and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) work-related activity to arrests and deportations, the change in leadership could result in a renewed emphasis on I-9 worksite enforcement.

Under the Biden administration, I-9 compliance should be a top area of emphasis for employers, especially considering the rules have been relaxed during the COVID-19 crisis. Internal I-9 audits should be a priority in 2021 and beyond. In this session, our expert speaker will discuss:

  • What to do if your organization is the subject of an ICE audit;
  • How the current Form I-9 differs from past versions;
  • The benefits of registering with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ new website;
  • Best practices for filling out the Form I-9 and legally acceptable ways to verify employee documentation;
  • How to benefit from the error-checking feature of the smart Form I-9;
  • Form I-9 reverification requirements for non-U.S. citizens and nonpermanent residents;
  • How to complete a Form I-9 for new employees using automatically extended employment authorization documents (EADs);
  • Best practices for copying and storing Forms I-9, from supporting documentation to paper Forms I-9 and electronic records;
  • How to comply with the Form I-9 retention period and when it’s safe to destroy a Form I-9; and
  • Which recordkeeping errors attract the ICE’s scrutiny and hefty fines.

AM Precon 3 — Upskilling/Reskilling Workers to Close the Skills Gap at Your Organization
11:15 a.m.–12:15 p.m. 
Before the pandemic, employers struggled to fill vacant roles, citing the all-too-real “skills gap” as one of the primary reasons. Despite the high unemployment rate caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the skills gap still remains, and some may argue that it has grown due to the implementation of new technology and remote working arrangements.

How can employers and HR professionals close the skills gap in their organizations and retain top talent longer? One solution is by training your workforce through upskilling initiatives or reskilling programs. Learn the latest strategies for reskilling/upskilling your workforce when you attend this expert-led session. You’ll also learn:

  • How to measure the cost of training current employees vs. the cost of hiring new employees
  • How to engage tenured workers
  • Ideas to make training easy and accessible
  • Strategies for motivating employees to take advantage of training opportunities
  • How to leverage training as an employee benefit


12:15 p.m.–1:45 p.m.
Lunch on Your Own

PM Preconference Workshops

12:45 p.m.–1:45 p.m.   
Afternoon Registration

1:45 p.m.–5:15 p.m.                 
PM Preconferences (One retail price offers three sessions.)

PM Precon 1 — Employee Engagement Strategies for Distributed Teams
1:45 p.m.–2:45 p.m.
The coronavirus pandemic forced many organizations into a distributed setting in which some employees were forced to work from home, while others had to remain in-house due to the essential nature of their jobs. Offices were closed to help slow the spread of the virus, but essential facilities were forced to remain open, causing a rift among workforces across the country. Trying to engage both essential and nonessential workers has proven difficult. What works for one group may not work for the other. And as we continue to rebound and recover from this crisis, it’s time to question whether to keep your teams apart or bring everyone back together.

If you plan on keeping remote work in place post-pandemic but still have essential workers who must come into the workplace, you may be wondering how to keep these distributed workers engaged.

In this session, you’ll learn:

  • The importance of employee engagement, even when teams are distributed;
  • Best practices for uniting distributed teams to create one cohesive workforce;
  • Tips for communicating workplace safety to encourage all employees to come back into the office;
  • Social distance-friendly strategies for teambuilding and employee networking;
  • And more!

PM Precon 2 — Mental Health Considerations in a Post-Pandemic Workplace
3:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m. 
In January 2021, a Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) survey revealed that 41% of adults reported symptoms of anxiety and/or depressive disorder during the coronavirus pandemic, and that was almost a full year into the crisis.

Additionally, KFF reports that adults in households with job loss or lower incomes reported higher rates of symptoms of mental illness than those without job or income loss (53% vs. 32%), and as we know, 2020 was rife with mass layoffs, furloughs, and other cost-saving measures made by employers across the nation.

When employees are depressed or anxious, they aren’t productive or focused, which can negatively impact your bottom line. As your organization continues to recover from the pandemic, it is imperative that you take employees’ mental health into consideration, as well. This session will focus on:

  • Recognizing the symptoms of various mental health disorders, including major depressive, bipolar, and anxiety disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and panic disorder;
  • Understanding the pressures of people who are working on the “front lines” during the coronavirus pandemic and being ready to provide accommodations when warranted;
  • Workplace accommodations a doctor may recommend for someone undergoing treatment for anxiety or other mental conditions;
  • What you need to ask when addressing the limitations of an employee with a mental health disorder;
  • What medical documentation you may legally ask for regarding a mental health-related disability before determining if an accommodation request should be granted; 
  • How to approach a worker who you suspect may be suffering from some form of mental illness that affects his or her job and when you should not approach; and
  • What types of leave can be required under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or the FMLA due to mental health impairments, such as PTSD, depression, or anxiety.

PM Precon 3 — Out with the Old, In with the New: Refining Your Benefits Offerings to Attract and Retain Top-Tier Talent

4:15 p.m.–5:15 p.m.
Top-tier talent requires a top-tier benefits package if you want to attract and retain workers for the long haul, but gone are the days of Ping-Pong tables and nap pods; employees want bigger and better benefits. But which ones?

This session will help you understand which benefits your employees need the most, especially when recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. You’ll also learn:

  • How to communicate new benefits offerings using digital channels;
  • The importance of using employee feedback to help determine which benefits are of most value and which feedback methods will help yield the most results;
  • The difference between a one-size-fits-all vs. an a la carte benefits package and which one is best for your organization;
  • Cost-effective benefits offerings for those on a tight budget;
  • How to communicate benefits offerings during the hiring process; and
  • Which benefits help retain talent the longest.

Main Agenda

Day 1: Tuesday October 19, 2021

Opening Keynote

Lead Change with Confidence: Your 5-Step Plan 
9:00 a.m.–10:00 a.m.
Presented by Dr. Michelle Rozen
Dr. Michelle Rozen’s powerful blueprint for leading changes has transformed the lives, performance, and success of leading brands in all industries. Her science-based, easy-to-apply strategies have given leaders the actionable solutions and powerful confidence to lead their teams through rapid changes—all the way to off-the-charts results. Join Rozen for this one-of-a-kind actionable and motivating experience, and master the most powerful tools for mind-blowing results as a team, as a leader, and as an individual!

Actionable takeaways:

  • Understand change resistance, and get the tools to handle it.
  • Master the power of “2-Second Decisions” to transform performance and get the results you are looking for.
  • Learn about the C.H.A.N.G.E. Model and how to lead change with confidence.
  • Master the most powerful five-step plan for supporting your team through change.

10:00 a.m.–10:20 a.m.
Networking & Refreshment Break

Employment Law Track
Open Enrollment Season Is Here! Establish or Fine-Tune Your Communication Strategy for Hassle-Free Enrollment
10:20 a.m.–11:20 a.m.
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.

Talent & Culture Track
Recruiting Track
The Secret to Recruiting—and Retaining—Talent: Creating an Authentic Employer Brand
10:20 a.m.–11:20 a.m. 
The employer brand is an essential component of your recruiting and talent acquisition process. A company’s brand helps define the type of culture that’s in place and showcases what it’s like to work there. A strong, authentic brand is vital for attracting and retaining top talent, and many jobseekers have the uncanny ability to spot ingenuine brands when they see them.

Think about your competitors and their brand. How can you compete against them for top talent? What makes their brand stand out above your own? These are questions you’ll want answers to when you start defining your employer brand, and this session will provide these answers and more!

During this session, attendees will learn:

  • The importance of brand authenticity
  • Key components that make up your brand
  • How to use employee feedback methods to help define your brand
  • How to determine who is responsible for maintaining your brand
  • What to do if your brand is tarnished by negative reviews on sites like Glassdoor
  • How to utilize your brand during the recruiting process

Talent & Culture Track  +
Employment Law Track 
Harassment, Bullying, and Toxic Behaviors: Creating a Culture of Compassion and Empathy to Eliminate Hate and Negativity
11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. 
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.

Recruiting Track 
Great on Paper: How to Ensure Candidates’ Skill Sets Match Their R
11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m
When a candidate looks great on paper, it’s easy to assume you’ve found the best fit for the role. But once the candidate starts the job and it becomes apparent he or she doesn’t have the skill set he or she claimed to have, it’ll end up costing you big!

According to CareerBuilder, the average bad hire can cost a company up to $14,900 per hire. How can you stop making bad hires and start making better hiring decisions? It starts with assessments and other tools for gauging a candidate’s hard skill set. If the role requires soft skills, you must structure the interview process to access those.

In this session, a recruiting expert will break down the most effective assessments for evaluating candidates’ hard skills and the types of interview questions you can ask to better understand their soft skills. You’ll also learn:

  • What behavioral-based interviewing is and how to incorporate it into your hiring process,
  • How to strategically select and organize your interviews so no one is “winging it” and questions are consistent for every candidate,
  • How to craft interview questions that reveal candidates’ skills,
  • How to determine which skills are required for a position,
  • When to alter approaches for the varied skills and competencies needed in an organization,
  • How to use talent assessments to gauge leadership qualities, and
  • How to avoid assessments that may be unintentionally discriminatory.


12:30 p.m.–1:30 p.m.               
Networking Lunch (Provided)

Employment Law Track + Recruiting Track
Legal Do’s and Don’ts to Rehiring Laid-Off Workers
1:30 p.m.–2:30 p.m.
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.


Talent & Culture Track
Cracking the Code to Effective Talent Optimization
1:30 p.m.–2:30 p.m. 
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.


2:30 p.m.–2:50 p.m.     
Networking & Refreshment Break

Employment Law Track
Employee Handbook Updates for the New Year: What to Keep, What to Toss, and What to Think About for the Future
2:50 p.m.–3:50 p.m. 
One of the most important documents all employers need to have is an employee handbook, and it should be up to date and legally compliant. Why? An out-of-date, inaccurate, or poorly written handbook really can do more harm than good. If you don’t have a handbook, you need to put one in place. If you have one and haven’t reviewed it in the past year, now is the time to do so.

With 2022 just around the corner, now is a good time to review your employee handbook and make sure it accomplishes what you want it to and is compliant with all state and federal laws. There have been many changes to state and federal laws, new laws, and court interpretations of laws that may affect your existing employment policies. The laws are always evolving at both the state and the federal level, and courts’ and agencies’ interpretations of older laws evolve, as well. Over the past several years, there have been a flurry of employment laws enacted affecting employer policies, and you need to be sure you address them in your handbooks.

Use this session to get a jump on what you should update in your employee handbook ahead of the new year. Our presenter, a skilled labor and employment attorney, will provide valuable insight on recent and coming changes in the law that may affect your employee handbooks and guidance on how to effectively prepare for 2022 updates to avoid legal missteps.

You'll also learn:

  • Employee handbook updates to be made before 2022,
  • How to prepare an employee handbook or audit your current employee handbook to determine how it needs to be updated for next year,
  • Examples of legally risky wording to avoid,
  • A list of essential policies to always include and best practice policies you should strongly consider,
  • Disclaimer language to always include in your employee handbook,
  • How to generally craft an employee handbook that meets your organization’s needs,
  • How to avoid inadvertently creating a binding contract,
  • And much more!

Talent & Culture Track + Recruiting Track 
Is Preboarding the New Onboarding? Setting Employees Up for Success Before Day 1
2:50 p.m.–3:50 p.m. 
Getting employees up to speed on their first day is crucial for the long-term success of your new hires, but given the changing times due to COVID-19, onboarding new talent has become a challenge for many organizations forced into remote work settings. What can HR professionals do to overcome this challenge and get new employees on track for career success?

Start onboarding employees before they even start! It’s called “preboarding,” and it is one of the best ways to help your new hires achieve success in a short period of time. Wondering what preboarding entails and how you can work it into your onboarding strategy? This session has you covered!

You’ll learn:

  • The importance of preboarding employees before the onboarding stage,
  • How to develop a preboarding strategy,
  • What components make up your preboarding strategy,
  • How to align your preboarding strategy with your onboarding program for seamless entry into the workplace,
  • How to preboard and onboard employees in a remote strategy, and
  • How to train managers on remote onboarding.

4:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m.
Networking Reception in the Exhibit Hall

Day 2—Wednesday, October 20, 2021

8:00 a.m.–9:00 a.m.                 
Morning Registration & Continental Breakfast

Employment Law Track 
Preparing for Flu Season and Eliminating COVID-19: HR’s Guide to Mandatory Vaccinations and ADA Compliance
9:00 a.m.–10:00 a.m. 
The winter months will be here before you know it, which means your employees will be headed indoors, increasing the likelihood of contracting influenza. But there’s another threat HR pros must keep in mind: COVID-19.

The virus has yet to be eradicated, and with more indoor gatherings comes the increase in positive cases. While the vaccine has been made available to adults across the nation, some individuals can’t or won’t get vaccinated, and employers need to know how to respond.

Whether to require vaccinations isn’t a new issue for some employers, as many, particularly those in the healthcare field, already have policies requiring vaccinations in place, but some employees may require an exception under the ADA and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

In this session, we’ll break down each law and how it applies to requiring mandatory vaccines in your workplace. You’ll also learn:

  • How to accommodate an employee who cannot get the vaccine;
  • When exceptions should be made under the ADA, Title VII, and other federal laws;
  • The risk factors associated with workplace transmission of the flu and COVID-19;
  • Various strategies for keeping workers safe, other than requiring vaccination;
  • Current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and ADA guidelines and what is recommended to keep workers safe; and
  • How to implement best practices and guidelines to align your organization with state, local, and federal laws.

Recruiting Track
Building a Blind Hiring Program to Assist Your Company’s D&I Efforts
9:00 a.m.–10:00 a.m. 
Research has shown over and over again that the hiring process is often unfair, as unconscious bias plagues the workplace. When unconscious bias is part of the hiring process, your organization’s diversity and inclusion (D&I) goals become almost impossible to meet. If only there were a way you could hire someone without knowing anything about the person, other than his or her skill set. Enter: blind hiring.

Blind hiring reduces biases during the talent acquisition process by removing information that can indicate gender, age, race, religion, or socioeconomic background. In this session, you’ll get expert tips and best practices for designing and implementing a blind hiring program that meets your organization’s specific needs. You’ll also learn:

  • The pros and cons of blind hiring
  • The key components of a blind hiring program
  • What role technology can play in the blind hiring process
  • How to communicate this program to jobseekers and candidates
  • And more!

Talent & Culture Track
How to Thrive in a Multigenerational Workplace: Fostering a Harmonious Culture
9:00 a.m.–10:00 a.m.
The Silent Generation, Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials, and now Gen Z—oh my! That’s up to five generations of workers in the workplace. You may be thinking, “The Silent Generation? They’re far too old to be in the workforce.” Yet they are, and some are even running the country!

Part-time roles in particular attract a diverse range of age groups for a variety of reasons: Students have the flexibility to attend classes, parents can take care of children, and seniors can partially work while still enjoying their retirement. Look around your workforce—you most likely have at least three of these generations currently working for you!

Each generation has its own preferences, work styles, opinions, and experiences. So how can you get them all to work together effectively and harmoniously? During this session, attendees will learn:

  • What each generation values in an employer
  • Problems and opportunities created by multigenerational workforces
  • How to create a cohesive culture with mutual respect for all employees
  • Strategies for building teams across generations
  • Collaboration and communication tips that work for anyone of any age

10:00 a.m.–10:20 a.m.             
Networking & Refreshment Break

Employment Law Track
Employee Leave Management in the Aftermath of COVID-19
10:20 a.m.–11:20 a.m.
Employee leave laws, like the FMLA, can cause a major headache for HR professionals, and during the COVID-19 pandemic, employee leave management became a major issue as workers contracted the virus, were forced to stay at home with school-aged children, and took care of loved ones who were also infected with COVID-19.

The FFCRA was put in place to address these employee leave issues, but unfortunately, the law expired at the end of 2020. Despite this, employee leave continues to be a top challenge, and now there are no longer federal protections in place specifically designed to manage employee leave related to COVID-19.

The FMLA can only go so far with protecting workers, so what options do HR professionals have when it comes to leave management in the aftermath of COVID-19? This session will unpack all the various leave laws your organization must know about, as well as:

  • How to request documentation from employees who have taken leave for COVID-19 reasons;
  • How to accommodate workers who have exhausted their leave entitlements;
  • How to creatively approach ongoing needs for leave to help the greatest number of employees while navigating the complex network of new and existing laws;
  • How to handle ongoing requests for remote work in the aftermath of COVID-19;
  • How to treat COVID-19-related employment decisions in accordance with applicable laws, as well as approach coronavirus symptoms or diagnoses like any other disability and always engage in the interactive process; and
  • How to develop an effective method to follow and analyze all applicable leave laws, paying particular attention to the messy intersection of federal and state laws when the right answer isn’t always clear.


Recruiting Track
Bad Fit Now, But Not for Long: Keeping Rejected Candidates on Ice for Future Recruitment Needs
10:20 a.m.–11:20 a.m.
Keeping the talent pipeline stocked with potential candidates is a great way to fill vacant roles in a hurry, but where does this talent come from? Consider going back to the well of candidates who didn’t make the final cut previously. The concept may sound foreign, but rejected candidates make the perfect future contenders when you’re trying to build your talent pipeline.

You know they want to work for your organization. They have experience with your application process.

But how do you handle a rejected candidate who may feel burned after not getting an offer the first time around? How do you avoid creating animosity if the candidate is rejected again? When you attend this informative session, you’ll also learn:

  • How to communicate to rejected candidates to keep them in the pipeline
  • How to source and engage passive candidates to help stock your talent pipeline
  • How to apply transferable skills to other vacant roles
  • Where to look to source other types of talent to help fill the void


Talent & Culture Track
EQ in Times of Uncertainty: Transforming Teams to Be Agents of Change
10:20 a.m.–11:20 a.m. 
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


Employment Law Track 
Employee Classification: Applying the Old ‘New’ ABC Test
11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Under the Trump administration, employee classification was very employer-friendly, but now that President Joe Biden is in charge, things are looking bleak for employers trying to classify workers as independent contractors and save a buck or two on benefits and other employee perks.

The Biden administration’s Department of Labor (DOL) objects to the previous administration’s “economic reality” test to determine whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Just before that rule was set to take effect on March 8, the Biden DOL announced it would be delayed to May 7 “to allow the Department to review issues of law, policy, and fact raised by the rule before it takes effect,” according to the announcement to be published in the Federal Register.

Legal experts are suggesting that we “pretend it’s 2015” and go back to the old economic reality test. 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.

Recruiting Track 
Sourcing Hacks: Cheap and Easy Ways to Source and Recruit Top Talent
11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. 
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!


Talent and Culture Track
Critical Conversations: Strategies for Developing HiPo Talent into Top-Tier Leaders
11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. 
Despite the high unemployment rate brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, employees are still jumping ship in favor of better career opportunities at your competition. Don’t let high-performers (HiPos) slip through the cracks! This talent pool is shallow, and these rare employees are costly to replace. Instead, develop your HiPo talent into top-tier leaders! In this session, you’ll learn:

  • The critical conversations you must have in order to motivate and engage HiPo talent;
  • What matters most to your HiPo employees—it may not be what you think;
  • How to keep HiPos engaged when there is currently little or no room at your company for advancement;
  • How to identify, and cultivate, your most promising talent for the future;
  • Tips for using the “HiPo” label to encourage rather than alienate; and
  • The key role of mentoring in a smart succession plan.


12:30 Conference Adjourns

Your Presenters

Michelle RozenMichelle Rozen, PhD, is a game-changing, revenue-building, performance-boosting change expert, keynote speaker, and highly respected authority on the psychology of change. She is an author, a Huffington Post contributor, and a frequent guest on media outlets such as NBC, ABC, FOX News, and CNN.

 Dr. Rozen’s rare blend of audience engagement, killer take-away strategies, and instant connection with the audience have made her one of the most unique and memorable speakers on the stage today. Her latest work is around “2-Second Decisions,” helping people to master time management and power through decision making in turbulent times. Dr. Rozen consistently speaks for Fortune 500 companies and her clients include some of the most recognizable companies in the world including Johnson & Johnson, Merrill Lynch, and The U.S. Navy.



Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center
6000 West Osceola Parkway
Kissimmee, FL, 34746

Room rate: $209 + $30 resort fee*/night
Hotel cut-off:  Friday, September 24, 2021. Hotel rooms may sell out earlier than the cut-off date, so book early!
Reservation Center: 1-407-586-0000 and refer to the HR Connect
Reservations URL

Simplify Compliance/BLR has no affiliation with any third-party companies or travel assistance providers. Rooms should be booked directly with the event hotel using the official information provided on the website and in the brochure. 

COVID Safety

Simplify Compliance places the highest priority on the safety of our guests. We will follow safety guidelines and advisements for meetings as outlined by the CDC and the WHO, as well as state and local mandates. In preparation for attendance at our events, we want to share the following measures to promote health and wellbeing.


  • At this time, all hotel guests are required to wear a mask while in public areas of the hotel and anywhere that social distancing measures cannot be met.
  • Meeting rooms will be set to comply with CDC, WHO, and applicable locally recommended social distancing guidelines.
  • Food service will follow the safety guidelines implemented by the hotel.


To view all the safety measures that Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center has implemented, please see the information listed on their website:

Simplify Compliance will continue to monitor the COVID-19 environment, the recommended guidelines, and communicate adjustments to the onsite policies and procedures as we approach the live event date.