HR Tech Conference is back in person this fall. Here’s what’s on tap

Pandemic-driven innovation will be showcased at the Las Vegas event.
By: | June 9, 2021

While the COVID-19 pandemic has brought continuous disruption to the world of work in the last year, employers are now strategizing for post-pandemic stability—and smart utilization of HR technology will be key to reaching those goals.

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The role of HR tech in a post-pandemic world will be among the major themes at the HR Technology Conference & Exposition®, the agenda for which was announced this week. The event will return to an in-person setting in Las Vegas, Sept. 28-Oct. 1.

Related: To register, click here.

Steve Boese, conference chair, notes that, while he initially thought the global health crisis would grind development, implementation and innovation in HR tech to a halt, that was not the case.

“I think that the smartest organizations, once they recovered from the initial set of business and workplace disruptions of 2020, looked to leverage HR technology in new ways,” he says, noting that this year’s conference, in particular, will highlight the many emerging technologies being used to advance employee experience, wellbeing and diversity, equity and inclusion, among other areas.

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Attendees can explore those topics in depth at HR Tech, which features five keynote addresses from industry leaders. For instance, Olympic gold medal-winning soccer star Abby Wambach delivers the opening keynote on Sept. 28, highlighting strategies for creating inclusive workplaces. The developing impact of the pandemic on the HR tech market will be the focus of Josh Bersin’s keynote the following morning, during which he will release the initial findings of the Josh Bersin Academy’s annual HR Technology Market report.

HR Tech Conference Chair Steve Boese

On Thursday, a keynote from ADP’s Marcus Buckingham will discuss ways to improve HR service delivery, followed by author, futurist and HRE Top 100 HR Tech Influencer Ravin Jesuthasan, who will dive into how the pandemic is reinventing the HR profession itself. On Oct. 1, Ideas and Innovators in HR Tech: All-Star Edition, led by Boese, spotlights exciting new ideas in HR technology. The conference closes with a keynote from Leapgen’s Jason Averbook, who will offer insights on what HR and business leaders need to be doing today to transform for a post-pandemic world.

The conference also features a dozen mega sessions and breakout sessions across eight tracks that represent the gamut of issues facing HR and tech leaders today: AI in HR, core HR, DE&I, employee experience, employee wellbeing, building a future-ready workforce, learning/reskilling and talent acquisition.

Another trend—the exodus of women from the workforce during the pandemic—will be the focus of the Women in HR Tech Summit. Held the first day of the conference and concluding before Wambach’s keynote, the summit will look at factors from recruiting and retention to how to build a better pipeline of women leaders.

In addition to the content, the conference will offer networking opportunities and an expo featuring vendors across the HR tech space.

Boese says he has participated in hundreds of meetings and calls about the conference this year and the “excitement across the industry to return to HR Tech in person is extremely high.”

Industry professionals are likely feeling the “pent-up demand” to get out of their home offices, learn alongside colleagues and hear from compelling speakers, Boese says, predicting that this will “lead to probably the most memorable HR Tech Conference yet.”

Jen Colletta is managing editor at HRE. She earned bachelor's and master's degrees in writing from La Salle University in Philadelphia and spent 10 years as a newspaper reporter and editor before joining HRE. She can be reached at hreletters@lrp.com.

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