Last week, the Cornerstone team took our annual pilgrimage to HR Tech in Las Vegas. For years, HR Tech has been a beacon in foggy waters for HR leaders and practitioners. A north star, guiding us through the latest trends and technologies and a platform to meet with industry experts who have tales of success and lessons learned.
Like with most social engagements in our lives, HR Tech was put on pause because of COVID-19. While there was an HR Tech last year, the crowd was smaller than it used to be. But this year, HR Tech felt like the old days. If there’s one thing our time at HR Tech taught us, it’s this: People are ready to dust off their suitcases and dive into this new world of work.
And the energy was palpable!
The entire week was jam-packed with events, meetings and expert sessions. The conference had the largest list of exhibitors ever, with 450 companies vying for attention and traffic to their booths. Themes on booth walls and in conversations across the venue covered things like:
- The evolving hybrid workplace
- The toils of recruiting
- How to keep up with digital transformation
- How to unlock talent data
- Where to start with skills technology
- How to modernize the employee experience
While not necessarily new topics, it was apparent that companies and people weren’t just talking about these trends on a macro level. They were digging into the details, exploring new innovations and reminding us all that HR technology is more crucial now than ever before.
It truly was a remarkable week for our industry. We left re-energized and ready to tackle what’s ahead.
In the opening keynote, Cynthia Marshall, CEO of the Dallas Mavericks, led the audience through a showcase of the values she believes HR leaders can apply when making critical business decisions. As a long-time HR leader, Marshall shared her gold standard for creating a healthy and diverse work climate that puts people first. It was an inspiring presentation, to say the least.
Josh Bersin, always a crowd favorite, educated us with his take on the state of HR technology. He debuted findings from his annual report and dug into the trends he sees disrupting the market, including the economy, a labor shortage, burnout, turnover and the diminishing workforce. When you put it like that, it’s hard to find the silver lining!
But fortunately, Bersin feels the solution to all of this disruption is actually our industry, HR technology. He said, “If you’re not training, empowering and moving people around inside your company, you could fail. Your technology has to facilitate these things, and these things all need to be interconnected.” The biggest shift we need to make, Bersin said, was that “HR tech is not for HR. It’s for employees.” That’s a mindset all technology providers must adopt to succeed.
Cornerstone VP of Content Summer Salomonsen, led a session about how to build modern and effective content strategies. Summer, who has a doctorate in Education, shared her pearls of wisdom on how to amplify your content strategy by stripping it down to the basics. When it comes to your content, she said, “Be authentic, be relevant and be brief.” Riddled with personal anecdotes and her classic one-liners, Summer showcased her knack for engaging the crowd while teaching them something new.
On Wednesday afternoon, Katie Ballantyne, VP of product marketing and customer experience, was joined by Joe Kaylen, solutions consultant, to present the first-ever demo of Cornerstone’s new solutions ecosystem. The demo covered everything from our core products — like Cornerstone Learning and Cornerstone Performance — to recent advancements in our skills technology, new Cornerstone Originals content and the latest innovations to EdCast by Cornerstone. Katie and Joe took a room full of attendees on a ride through our latest and greatest. It was quite exciting to see everything come together!
Fun with our brand
Orange is the new blue — and we sure had fun with it!
After launching our new brand last November, we haven’t had too many opportunities to show it off at live events. Last week, it all came together beautifully in our booth and on posters and displays around the venue. It welcomed people back to HR Tech and re-introduced Cornerstone to the crowd. We had swag galore (the squishy Cornerstone bots are our personal favorite!), and attendees never went thirsty. Between our champagne happy hour and our bloody mary bar, we kept the libations and conversations flowing.
There was a renewed sense of energy and optimism at HR Tech this year. Perhaps it was the bright colors in our booth or the troves of people with smiles on their faces. This year’s HR Tech elicited a sense of rejuvenated energy. And we’re more ready than ever to jump back into this new world of work.
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