HR Lagniappe

Louisiana SHRM


NY Comes to Baton Rouge – #lashrm13

new-york-skyline-at-nightToday’s guest post is from Janine Truitt who will be attending the Louisiana SHRM State Conference as a member of the Social Media Team. Janine’s career spans eight years in HR and Recruitment and she is best known for her blog “The Aristocracy of HR” (TAOHR) where she discusses Talent Management triumphs, blunders, and best practices.  You can follow Janine on twitter at @CzarinaofHR.


My pending travels to Baton Rouge for Louisiana SHRM 2013 (LASHRM) is my first trip to Louisiana ever. Even more interesting is that this is my first state SHRM conference (gasp). I had no clue that people from other states attended other state conferences and that there was all of this pomp and circumstance behind it. Who knew? I have never even gone to the SHRM New York State Conference in Saratoga Springs, NY, which is slightly shameful. The only brownie point I get is for knowing that it is held in Saratoga Springs, NY, I mean Buffalo, NY.

Many of my colleagues have asked me, what is the purpose of my involvement with LASHRM? How is it benefiting you? More importantly, why am I going all the way to Baton Rouge to learn more about HR?

Quite simply. I’m intrigued.

It is amazing that there is a social network that exists beyond, well, social media. This network moves from state to state supporting each other’s state SHRM conferences and other HR events. Isn’t this after all what HR aspires to be? It is the epitome of HR moving from silos to working collaboratively and sharing knowledge freely.

How boring we were sitting in our own ordinary conferences commiserating over the same legislature challenges and HR state trends year after year. The same faces. The same voices. The same program. Boring!

Conferences like LASHRM are shifting the paradigm of conference attendance to something more haute and fashionable. It is a paradigm of getting a diverse group of people in a room somewhere across this great U.S. A. to discuss how we keep this HR machine alive and going.

I am a diehard fan of HR. Progressive HR events and initiatives are what get me going. Plus, I’m a New Yorker so if it’s or a reason to party I’m all there. I can’t dismiss the true jewel in all of this which will be my chance to explore a new locale and some great food.

As a member of LASHRM’s esteemed social media team, I will be coaching HR people on how to effectively utilize social media for their HR efforts. However, please know that I will be indulging in some Gumbo, Po Boys, and some warm, powdery beignets when I am not fulfilling my social HR duties.

Okay, I’m a self-confessed foodie, but anyhow, be sure to give this New Yorker a warm welcome when you see me at LASHRM on Social Media Street. I know they say that we New Yorkers aren’t friendly, but I promise I will let the hospitality of the south overcome me. I hope to see you there.

Leave a comment

Keep Calm – Social Media is Just Like Real Life #lashrm13

keep-calm-and-tweet-onToday’s guest post is from Janine Truitt who will be attending the Louisiana SHRM State Conference as a member of the Social Media Team. Janine’s career spans eight years in HR and Recruitment and she is best known for her blog “The Aristocracy of HR” (TAOHR) where she discusses Talent Management triumphs, blunders, and best practices.  You can follow Janine on twitter at @CzarinaofHR.


I’m not sure where these countless “Keep Calm” messages keep emanating from but they are catchy and redundant. The catchy reason is why I decided to use it as a title. The other reason is it drives an important message I want to send to my fellow HR colleagues.

Dear HR Professional:

I want you to know that you can calm down. Social Media is just like real life only digital. There are altruists. There are pessimists. There are the people that won’t be caught dead engaging with you if you’re not part of their clique so guess what they do they contact you behind the scenes rather than engage with you openly for all to see. It’s like the jock that secretly has a love for all things nerdy and meets their nerd friend in an alley to read Moby Dick after school, but shoves and ignores the nerd while in school. I guess it is better to engage in private than not at all, because there are those that won’t give you the time of day ever. Can we say narcissism?

In any event, the same challenges and joys of engaging with people in real life exist in the social media space. People are no different in social media than in real life, they just favor social engagement of the digital kind.

Weird. Maybe.

If you asked someone ten years ago if they could imagine spending more time in front of a computer speaking to other people than their real-life colleagues, they would probably think you needed your head checked. Yes, there was My Space and the beginnings of social media but nothing like what it is today. According to a Huffington Post article authored by Sam Fiorella, “the total time spent engaging on social media sites is up to 37% as of July 2012.” It might seem strange to an HR professional that hasn’t already taken the social plunge that there would be such meaningful and profound opportunities to learn, engage, and collaborate via social media. The unfortunate reality for that individual is that they are increasingly the strange one for not taking advantage of something that is vastly becoming a business imperative. Newsflash: social media is no longer a trendy or a fleeting thing. Social Media is an ecosystem of active job seekers, passive job seekers, entrepreneurs, thought leaders, professionals from every industry just looking to be a signal in the noise etc.

The moral of the story is: HR professionals may not see the need to be on a social network for personal reasons, but they should at least be willing to see the benefit in utilizing it for professional and business purposes. It is not a one size fits all sort of thing. Like most things in life and business, you should utilize the tools that provide the best return on investment. That is-don’t do social media for the sake of doing it. Be intentional about your reasons and what is best suited for your customer base.  At least now, as you rethink your position on social media, you can breathe easier knowing that there are no unicorns or mystical characters in this space. It is the same ol’ same and you know what that entails so keep calm and take the plunge.

If you need support, consider coming to Louisiana SHRM State Conference  from April 7-9 to get some tips from the social media team on how to get started.


image courtesy of Kelly Lux


Why I’m Going to #LASHRM12 – Connections

While I have been an HR professional for over a decade now, I have only become committed to developing my professional network the last 2 years. After unsuccessfully persuading my employer to venture into social media, I started my own blog last year. Since then, I have been waiting for the right time to step from behind my cartoon avatar and start to meet in real life some of the great HR professionals I’ve met online. 

When I learned about the Louisiana SHRM conference through twitter, I knew it was the event for me!

–        The conference speakers list reads like Who’s Who of HR Power Players. Their voices and influence are undeniable and contagious! There is no doubt I will learn new things, refresh old skills and walk away inspired after listening to this group.

–        My social media peops will be there. At last count, there were half a dozen people that I regularly email, tweet, chat and “poke” through social media channels who will attend LASHRM12. It feels more like a reunion than a typical, stuffy conference! I am excited to spend time in session and out of session with folks like Robin Schooling, Chris Ponder, Dan Crosby, William Tincup, Dwane LayJoe Gerstandt, Jason Lauritsen and Shauna Moerke – and the peops these peops call their peops!

–        It’s a big conference but feels small. As much as I love social media, I am not the most social butterfly. Brand new people and brand new places make me a little nervous. LASHRM12 offers some of the best of balance in this area. I’ve heard over 400 professionals attend but the setup of the center and sessions still feel intimate and familiar. 

And I also hear there will be beignets and beads. Lots of them. Yum and yay! Laissez les bons temps rouler! See y’all in N’Awlins!


Today’s guest post is from Buzz Rooney – a practicing HR Professional with over 10 years experience in the production, manufacturing and retail industries. She currently works for a large retail franchise handling employee relations, health benefits, COBRA, wellness, leave of absence and compliance.

Buzz has Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Studies with a focus on Organizational Communication and Leadership as well as a Master’s Degree in Human Resources Management. She is also a part-time HR consultant offering resume writing, basic management coaching, process improvement and compliance assistance services.

When not working or writing or researching, Buzz is a single mom with 2 young children living in North Carolina. She enjoys mindlessly watching television, spending time with friends and family, reading, eating and sleeping.

Read more of her writings, connect and contact her through her blog’s website: The Buzz on HR (

Leave a comment

Drive thru HR – #LASHRM12 Preview

I hope by now you’ve had the opportunity to listen to the Drive Thru HR show – the only daily radio show devoted to everything HR!  The Drive Thru HR guys have been champions of Louisiana SHRM for quite some time; in 2011 they even did their show LIVE from the conference when it was held in Lafayette!

Hosts Bryan Wempen and William Tincup (who will be leading a session at this year’s Louisiana SHRM State Conference) are the show’s hosts and every day at noon (central time) they have conversations with HR professionals – people just like you and me!

I’m pleased to report that I’m once again scheduled to be the DTHR guest on Monday April 2nd  – I must do an OK job (or not embarrass myself too much) because they keep inviting me back. In addition to our regular conversational topics surrounding what’s top-of-mind in HR and what it is that’s keeping me up at night, we’re going to do some previewing of the upcoming Louisiana SHRM State Conference (woo hoo!).

Oh sure, we’ll cover the awesomeness that awaits us in our conference city of New Orleans (food, fun, beads, Hurricanes) but more importantly I want us to talk about the focus for this year’s event – our desire to provide awesome and NEW content from speakers who engage with the attendees and provide information that is thought-provoking and relevant to HR practitioners in 2012.  Our conference committee’s goal is that all attendees go home with actionable ideas that they can use to drive the business of their organizations and the HR profession forward!

So put April 2nd on your calendar and listen in!  You can follow the twitter stream via the hashtag #dthr, or better yet, CALL IN at 347-996-5600.  Give us the reasons why YOU’RE attending the conference – in addition to the Hurricanes of course.


Today’s post is by Robin Schooling, SPHR, who is a Vice President of HR in Baton Rouge.  She blogs at HR Schoolhouse and you can also find her hanging out at Women of HR and SHRM’s We Know Next blog.  Robin serves on the LASHRM State Conference Committee so does have a bit of skin-in-the-game for the success of the conference.

1 Comment

Why I’m Going to #LASHRM12 – I’m Coming Home!

So the ten million dollar question faces me:  Why am I attending #LASHRM12?

Hmm, so many reasons. Can I buy a lifeline?

Not! I don’t need a lifeline to explain why I am super stoked to attend the #LASHRM12 conference. With that, let’s break it down:

–         I am coming back to my home state! I had the great satisfaction of spending a great portion of my life in Shreveport/Bossier/Lake Charles, Louisiana both educationally and professionally and look for every opportunity to get back.

–        I get to reconnect with friends from Shreveport and Baton Rouge, friends that I have met through social media, as well as meet new friends that will continue to push my professional and personal growth

–        Louisiana HR folks rock! Louisianans not only know how to have fun, but they also know how to get things done through innovative, impactful ideas. Thus, the reason why I had to make it a priority this year to attend.


–        Have you seen the conference presenters? If you haven’t, you can check them out at the LASHRM conference page. But I am going to let you in on a secret about the presenters:  the Louisiana SHRM group has put together a fantastic panel of speakers! I know many of the folks that will be presenting and you can expect some great return for your investment.


–        This conference will challenge you. You will be pushed to think outside of your normal comfort zone and the one thing that I ask:  embrace it. The more you open yourself to what these great speakers are challenging you with, the more you will gain.

–        I get to hang with Robin Schooling and Shauna Moerke on the #LASHRM12 Social Media Team providing attendees and non-attendees with conference updates through Twitter and blogging. Stay tuned for some great content.

I could most certainly go on with many more reasons, but I think you are getting the gist of what I am saying – the #LASHRM conference is AWESOME!

April 26th – April 27th is an opportunity for you to get out of your office, hang with great HR folks, learn a little bit, and have fun. If you haven’t registered yet, I suggest you register toot sweet.

On that note, I will see you all in the Big Easy.

P.S. I just found out that Buzz Rooney will be attending. She is cool people. Buzz blogs at her personal blog – The Buzz on HR – and my contribution blog – Performance I Create.


Today’s guest post is by Chris Ponder II, PHR – a human resources professional who has harnessed his human resources knowledge and experience across the casino, retail, and service industries, while pushing the extreme in: talent acquisition, employee engagement, training and development, human resources information systems, employee relations, process development and redesign, performance improvement, project management, and human resources analytics. Chris shares his knowledge and experiences at his blog,  XtremeHR, as well as at the contributor blog he founded,  PerformanceICreate. You can  follow him on Twitter at @ChrisPonder and connect with him via LinkedIn.