At the end of April, I’ll be heading to Las Vegas for UNLEASH America 2023’s International Festival of HR.

This is one of the best conferences anywhere for HR leaders to connect and share ideas. I’m excited to meet with those folks and learn everything I can.

Until then, here are 13 of the sessions, talks and speakers I’m most looking forward to at UNLEASH America. The list below is arranged chronologically to help other attendees plan their schedules.

The KPMG Talent Intelligence Case Study

Wednesday, April 26 at 11:00 a.m.

Rob Dunderdale, the head of talent attraction and people analytics at KPMG, will give a presentation on how his company is using talent intelligence to get a 360-degree view of its workforce and those employees’ skills. KPMG is using that intel to make decisions about where to deploy talent, how to improve its employee experience and how to create meaningful career pathways for employees.

Know Your Numbers

Wednesday, April 26 at 11:35 a.m.

Annemarie Verwaaijen, vice president and global head of pay services at S&P Global, will talk about how finance and payroll data can help companies lay the foundation for HR transformation.

This is one that too few companies still understand: By looping payroll and finance into HR transformation (or transforming those functions in tandem), organizations can achieve a much more complete transformation that sets them up for the future.

How Crafting a Great Employee Experience Can Change Organizational Outcomes

Wednesday, April 26 at 12:10 p.m.

Jack Klott, VP of total rewards at Independent Bank, will talk about why having a first-class employee experience is such an advantage when recruiting talent.

“Many companies have a first-rate culture, good benefits, and more, but they struggle to effectively communicate their value to potential talent and current employees – or worse, they sound like everyone else,” the UNLEASH America conference agenda says. Klott will talk about what things an organization can do to stand out as an employer.

Help Employees Feel Valued and Connected to Their Work

Wednesday, April 26 at 1:00 p.m.

Drew West, VP of marketing at ADP, will showcase its Voice of the Employee initiative, which collects employee sentiment across the employee lifecycle to help ADP constantly improve its culture and employee experience. I’ll be curious to hear about the steps ADP takes to collect employee feedback then build policies around that information.

Making the Worker-First Agenda a Reality While Driving Growth

Wednesday, April 26 at 2:00 p.m.

Jobcase founder and CEO Fred Goff and CFO Beth Clymer will have a roundtable discussion on how employers can balance labor’s need for better treatment in the workplace with capital’s demand for growth and profit.

“We’re at a serendipitous point in time where employers, workers, & unions all agree we need to do more to treat our workforce better and bring balance to capitalism,” the conference agenda says. “… Doing the right thing by implementing DEI and AI practices is no longer a choice between ethics and profits.”

Seated people, chatting and smiling, waiting for show to being; UNLEASH America concept

Walk the Walk

Thursday, April 27 at 11:00 a.m.

Maureen Jules-Perez, divisional CIO and managing VP of people tech at Capital One, will talk about how important it is to foster a culture of psychological safety, or a place where people feel comfortable sharing ideas without fear of judgment or retribution.

Jules-Perez will discuss the business impacts of creating such a culture, including the measurable revenue growth it can facilitate, and how HR leaders can foster such a culture in their organizations.

Leveraging Cultural Insights to Achieve Organizational Growth

Thursday, April 27 at 11:00 a.m.

Jim Carling, the SVP of HR at TE Connectivity, will talk about the bottom-line impacts organizational culture can have, and why culture should be a priority during market uncertainty. A key point in Carling’s talk I’m interested to hear: aligning the company’s mission “with adaptability to satisfy customer demands resulting in above-market growth.”

Realizing Culture: Moving From Platitudes to Practice

Thursday, April 27 at 11:35 a.m.

Jill Coln, VP of talent performance and development at Discover Financial Services, will take a pragmatic look at culture-building. Personally, I’m curious to hear Coln’s thoughts on how organizations can strike a balance between short-term growth and long-term mission orientation in their cultures.

Workplace Accessibility: Intentionality in Workforce Processes

Thursday, April 27 at 11:35 a.m.

Allstate CHRO Robert Toohey will speak about the intentionality that goes into creating an engaging workplace that drives company performance. Key points Toohey will touch on: the role of DEI initiatives within this framework of intentionality, how to empower employees materially to succeed, and how to align career opportunities with people’s ambitions.

Talent Mobility: Method to the Madness

Thursday, April 27 at 12:10 p.m.

Shradha Prakash, VP of talent management and senior talent partner at Prudential Financial, will do a deep dive into talent mobility, and how creating internal career pathways for employees pays dividends for organizations.

I’m curious to hear how Prakash and her team facilitate this kind of internal mobility at a company whose headcount is measured in the tens of thousands.

uFlexReward – The Digital Total Reward Platform

Thursday, April 27 at 12:10 p.m.

Steve Brink, president and CRO at uFlexReward, will talk about the trails his company has blazed in creating the first real-time, always-on digital total reward platform. The platform helps managers and executives get granular data on reward and labor costs, by far the biggest spend for most organizations.

Stop Looking Outside – Your Best Candidates Already Work for You

Thursday, April 27 at 1:25 p.m.

Katie Ballantyne, VP of global learning strategy and development at Cornerstone, will talk about how her company takes an agile approach to retention, reskilling and mobilization of talent.

Here’s the part that caught my eye: “Your people, just like your business, are looking for opportunity around every corner and want new ways to grow and build sustainable careers. Companies must re-strategize how they retain and reskill their talent to meet new employee expectations and adequately prepare for the future.”

How Dell’s Talent Acquisition Team Is Meeting Their Bold Diversity Goals

Thursday, April 27 at 2:00 p.m.

Gabe Rodarte-Miller, the underrepresented minorities pillar lead on Dell’s diversity talent acquisition team, will talk about the company’s ambitious DEI goals.

“By 2030, Dell aims to have 50% of its global workforce identify as women, as well as 25% of its US workforce and 15% of its US people leaders, identify as African Americans and Latino minorities, along with many other goals,” the UNLEASH America agenda says.

Conference Details

UNLEASH America 2023 will take place at Caesars Forum, which is the one east of the Strip, across the street from Caesars Palace and The Forum Shops.

If you’re attending and would like to connect, please feel free to reach out on LinkedIn.

Images by: kasto/©, leszekglasner/©

Casey Meehan