We had an amazing time at the SHRM Talent Expo last week in Las Vegas! We felt especially grateful to be sponsored by SHRMLabs, which meant we got to participate in some really cool networking events. 

Great people. Interesting convos. Swanky vibes! We’ll post some pics of the OneRange team looking sharp as soon as we get them from the pros.

The conference was a total whirlwind – as they usually are – and in reality we spent most of the time tethered to our booth in the exhibit hall. But we were quite happily tethered, as it gave us the chance to connect with people to learn about their upskilling programs and challenges. 

Here’s some of the themes we heard: 

No integration – no bueno

Integrations are maybe not the sexiest of topics for the non-tech obsessed, but it’s on the mind of L&D leaders because it’s a huge pain point. If you’ve ever had to manually enter and update employee data into a third-party system from your system of record, you know how much of a total nightmare it is. All of the sudden you find yourself wondering why you got a college degree to become a copy-and-paste monkey. Things start to get bleak.

We heard from many that they were done with learning systems that didn’t have the strength of integrations they needed. Luckily, this is an area where we’ve made huge investments in our product with 50+ integrations. So we were glad to be able to offer at least a little relief from the burden of administration that our HR friends deal with on a daily basis.

Data, what data?

It’s clear that a lot of L&D and people operations leaders just don’t have great information about what their people are learning. For compliance, they generally know who has or has not completed required training activities. But that’s about it. They have no idea what upskilling programs their employees are taking, or which topics and themes are of interest to them. They really don’t have the insights they need to evolve their upskilling programs or make the case to get funding for additional investments. The promise of more data and insights sparked a lot of light bulb moments for the people with whom we spoke.

Gone fishing (for Talent)

Many HR leaders are feeling the pinch of a tight labor market. Within that hiring context, they’re trying to pin down talent with in-demand technical skills, such as AI engineers and medical researchers. All this while dealing with a younger generation that has different norms and attitudes about work. Companies are really seeing upskilling as a key tool to attract talent. And given the challenges of hiring in a tight labor market, many are focusing on using upskilling as a strategy to build sustainable internal talent pipelines, rather than hiring externally.
We left the conference feeling tired but inspired, and excited for the SHRM Annual Conference in Chicago in June. If you missed us in Vegas, you can find the slides from our presentation “Unveiling the Path to True Employee Upskilling: Overcoming Obvious and Hidden Barriers,” here. Hope to see you in June for another great SHRM event!
Steve delivering a presentation about upskilling barriers
Out to dinner with other SHRMLabs innovators
Steve Gilman at SHRM peace signs
Steve ready for business
Madi at booth SHRM
Madi woman-ing the booth
Houtan talking data
Everyone's favorite Charlie's angels