I got a SHRM Strategy Conference rejection letter last week. Some of you might remember the last rejection I got from SHRM – if not – here’s the post on FOT – SHRM Doesn’t Like Us – But You Should. Here’s the email from rejection #2:
Thank you for submitting a presentation proposal….blah, blah, blah.
I either liked it or didn’t like, it doesn’t matter – we didn’t select it. We didn’t select it because: (followed by 3 actual reasons)
1. The content didn’t fit what we wanted to do – next time try….
2. It’s been done before a thousands times – next time try…
3. You have no idea what you’re talking about, etc., etc., etc.
Please try again next time – if you want some pointers catch me at the next conference and we can have a cup a coffee.
There’s no doubt Letty is smart – George Washington MBA grad – actually worked at a staffing company (you would think Letty would have a kinship with me!), long time SHRM employee. I’ve been a SHRM SPHR holder and member since 2001 – and I keep hearing how they want ‘fresh blood’ and ‘new ideas’ and, yet, every SHRM conference I attend I see the same content, same faces presenting, same SHRM. I’ve actually seen a presentation from a guy at SHRM national who has been doing the same presentation for the last 10 years – he just changes the dates on the first slide! I wanted to shoot myself. But I stayed and he gave me these tips for getting accepted by Letty and the SHRM crew:
1. Sell out. Go completely old school HR – FMLA is exciting, OHSA rocks, I have 4 cats.
2. Make a title that sounds so boring you fall asleep actually making it – but make sure to use words like: Strategic, Influence and Results.
3. Don’t say anything slightly controversial in your bio or presentation description – don’t piss off the powers that be.
Sorry, crew – I won’t do it. Truth be told Kris Dunn and I actually did follow these rules for the 2012 SHRM national show and got accepted – but then did the presentation the way we wanted to just using SHRM’s boring title slide. It was well attended, we got great feedback and got strong survey numbers – and – we didn’t get invited back this year.
Letty, Letty, Letty – it’s O.K. – I don’t bite, really! I’m a former headhunter like you, our kind needs to stick together!
Ugh – this just sounds like sour grapes. I give up on trying to help SHRM.