Top Tips From HR Leaders Learned at HR Summit: Thriving in HR

HR Leaders


Each year, Star Staffing hosts a mega HR Conference known as the HR Summit. We invite expert HR speakers who are leading the way with innovative thinking who share thought-provoking content and best practices. This year, our theme was Thriving in HR and we focused on empowering HR leaders who are undoubtedly at the heart of organizations big and small. Pushed to the forefront during a worldwide pandemic, we are simply in awe of all that HR leaders have accomplished.

This year’s event included top speakers Ben Eubanks and Aysha Alawadhi.  Ben, who is fired up about HR, shared a new perspective on the Great Resignation as more appropriately classified as the Great Reprioritization. He shared some incredible data, including how important consistent communication is to the budget as it is to morale and employee experience.

During Aysha’s session, we were challenged with the question, do you understand the business or are we in an HR bubble? Aysha knows that powerful HR leaders aren’t a cost center, but a powerhouse that is leading the company toward long-term growth and business success.

We also gained tips and insights from HR leaders focused on important topics in a breakout session format. If you were one of the people who was bummed you couldn’t attend more than one breakout session at the HR Summit...

We heard you! To share the knowledge, we’ve compiled the top takeaways from each session. If you’re just now joining, no worries, feel free to dive in for top tips on the topics affecting our industry right now. And be sure to sign up for event news!


Wellness Programs

The wellness group was the most popular, and not surprising! Burnout and pandemic fatigue are at the forefront of our culture and many people are shifting the way they think about work. We started by defining that an employee wellness program includes any activity designed to support better health at work and/or to improve health outcomes. 

There are 6 categories that define wellness; physical, mental, financial, social, spiritual, and lifestyle. Employee-focused programs can hit one or more of these topics. 

For many, the hardest part is getting started, these are the top tips from HR leaders:

  • create a wellness committee that HR can tap into
  • start a newsletter with healthy recipes, events, and resources 
  • provide healthy snacks like fruit, nuts, and those low in sugar and sodium
  • survey employees to get feedback and ideas

While many people prefer on-site events, the pandemic taught us to pivot and offer both remote and in-person events. Some ideas were fun runs and fitness challenges, health fairs, skating parties, and walking competitions. 


Recruiting Automation 

Recruiting automation is an essential part of recruiting today, especially when volume is a consideration. We started with the base knowledge that recruiting automation is a category of technology that allows companies to automate recruiting tasks and workflows so they can increase recruiter productivity. Automation can accelerate time-to-fill, reduce cost-per-hire and improve the overall talent profile of their organization.

The most common first step is to start with an Applicant Tracking System (ATS). An ATS can help streamline communication, scheduling and automate reoccurring items. It can also hold related applicant documents and help when coordinating with multiple staff members or departments. All other tools will ideally integrate with your ATS.

Secondly, if you’re not texting and communicating with candidates, it may be time to start. Texting is becoming an increasingly important tool to reach candidates and help your company stay top of mind. Start by learning and comparing platforms to find the one right for you. For many ATS systems, this may be an add-on service. 

Likewise, automation can help manage and engage your pipeline when applicants aren’t the right fit for a current opening but may be a fit for another role. Create helpful communications that will connect with your candidates and keep them warm may the right position become available. 

DEI Initiatives

DEI stands for diversity, equity, and inclusion.  We started the conversation by understanding that DEI initiatives help organizations create a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable workforce.  Understandably, with so much opportunity out there, it can be tough to get started.

Local leaders advised starting by understanding your goals and then creating small digestible actions to get manageable results. Ideally, programs are employee-driven. This means starting with the things that matter most to your current employees. 

A valuable tool for getting started is unconscious bias training. It includes a self-assessment and focuses on gaining awareness. While extremely relevant for HR leaders, the training is valuable for any leadership role. 

Finally, the interview process provides an opportunity to easily implement ways to attract and review talent in an unbiased manner. This includes standardizing the process, You may have to seek out diverse populations to attract talent. Members of this session suggested looking for outside groups and doing research to find talent pools. 


Employer Branding

Employer brand is a term used to describe a company’s reputation and popularity from a potential employer’s perspective and describes the values company gives to its employees. The employer brand has increased in visibility over the past decade with social media playing a critical role. 

What we know is that top companies put people first, vs. company first. This means taking into consideration their safety, their family, and even putting your people before revenue.

To put your great employer brand to work, HR needs to partner with marketing. Marketing’s reach will supercharge HR’s reach and effectiveness. Consider adding monthly meetings between HR and Marketing to stay aligned. This will help you craft the best messaging to showcase company culture and communication. Find ways to provide examples and specifics on what makes your company stand out. 

Employer branding can be especially important when you’re not able to match competing offers.  Culture continues to reign supreme. Things that outweigh pay:

  • A person-first company versus a revenue-first company
  • Non-vertical, transparent company culture
  • A positive work environment with open communication
  • Visible growth ladders and learning opportunities 
  • Flexibility
  • Community involvement

Saying you have a great company culture isn’t enough. Show examples, quotes, and details of what your company is all about. Be specific and showcase what makes your company so amazing – it’s people!


Whew – so much knowledge shared! Thank you to everyone who participated. We can’t wait for HR Summit 2023…     [powr-poll id=59db7dec_1649792746999]

Want to access the recordings from the day? Click here to reach additional event materials.