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Become a Gold-Medal Compensation Expert: Train at Compference

We’re nearly half way through the Olympics and I’m still glued to the TV set every night.  Watching the swimmers and volleyball and gymnasts and all the passionate athletes is beyond inspiring. One thing they all share is the dedication and sheer number of hours that they’ve put into becoming the best that they can be. As HR and Compensation professionals, our professional development budgets are often the first to get cut, but if I’ve learned anything these past nail-biting days, it’s that training matters. As you consider your various training options, from online webinars, to classroom training, to reading every short blurb you can about pay-for-performance or talent or whatever it may be, let me make a quick plug for Compference, the modern compensation conference.

Here are the top 5 reasons I personally can’t wait for Compference:

#1 Meet other professionals face-to-face

There is so much to be gained by speaking with other folks who may have similar challenges and struggles. I’m looking forward to meeting with Comp and HR professionals from across both the US and Canada to hear what’s top of mind. What has been keeping them awake at night, and more importantly, how have they been resolving things so that they could fall asleep again? This community aspect of conferences is absolutely why I attend them, and maintain those connections afterwards.

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#2 There are going to be some great presenters

I’m close enough to the planning that I have a sense of some of the really great speakers and knowledge that’s going to be shared. Many of our speakers have been to other industry conferences, not naming names of course, and know that talking about compensation can be really dull when we forget the main purpose of having compensation in the first place: people. I was on the phone yesterday, talking about our upcoming panel on FLSA changes, and one of panelists couldn’t stress enough that she didn’t want to bore people. She wanted to make sure we were covering things that are pertinent and relevant to every person in the room.

#3 Some of our peers are doing some really innovative stuff

Performance is going through an overhaul this year, but that’s not all. Many of the folks we work with at PayScale are doing truly innovative things with compensation. Many will be sharing those innovations at Compference. I’ve gotten a sneak peek into some of them, like carefully selecting market data sources and still knowing when to deviate from market recommendations. I can’t wait to hear what the rest of you all are doing.

#4 Hear how folks are using our products

Now and then I find myself on the phone with customers who tell me about their favorite report or view or whatever it may be. I love hearing what people are doing and what they’re looking at in order to make their key talent decisions around retention, recruitment, development, engagement, or some combination of the group. Sometimes they’ve thought of things I haven’t considered; sometimes I share ways that I’ve used the analytics before. I frankly think we have a good product going, and I feel good when people get the most out of it they can.

#5 It’s a great time to be in Seattle

Seattle gets a bad rap for having terrible weather. As a reformed New Yorker, I know what really bad weather can be like, from 95 with 95% humidity, to highs in the teens with a negative wind-chill factor, to rain that comes down so fast you actually can’t drive in it. These things are extremely rare in Seattle, and September is one of the best times to get out and walk around here. I can’t wait to hear folks abuzz, talking about what they explored and did in this beautiful city.

If none of those reasons work for you, here’s a few more to consider. Whatever your reasons, I hope you’ll come join us for Compference. We can extend the spirit of the Olympics through training and community. We’ll all become our own Comp Olympians.

Mykkah Herner
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