A look back at the Partnership’s inaugural conference for federal human capital professionals
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A look back at the Partnership’s inaugural conference for federal human capital professionals

May 28, 2024

When the federal human capital community told us that they lacked a convening for practitioners, we answered the call and delivered our inaugural Federal Human Capital Conference.  

Over three days in April, 370 human capital professionals across specialties and experience levels from more than 75 agencies attended in person and virtually to learn from their peers and federal and industry experts. 

  • Keynote and plenary sessions featured leaders such as Ventris Gibson, director of the U.S. Mint; Kiran Ahuja, then the director of the Office of Personnel Management; and speakers from educational institutions, the private sector and the media.  
  • Attendees also participated in nearly 30 breakout session options across three tracks: Talent Acquisition, Thriving Workforce and Back to Basics. 
  • According to our post-event survey, 98% of respondents said they would consider attending another Federal Human Capital Conference in the future! 

Participants were engaged throughout with a steady buzz of learning, sharing, networking, and reuniting with friends and colleagues. Here are three takeaways from the event: 

1. There is a tremendous appetite for actionable tools and strategies.  

The conference provided participants with tools and strategies they can immediately incorporate into their work, covering topics such as:  

  • Implementing new employee orientation and onboarding programs 
  • Using OPM’s USAJOBS talent portal for recruiting and outreach activities 
  • Emphasizing hiring participants in the Pathways Programs for succession planning  
  • Engaging with a mental health community of practice 
  • Implementing feedback loops—listening to employee concerns, planning meaningful efforts, acting on plans and communicating impact—into employee engagement projects 
  • Educating institutions of higher learning about the Federal Advisor Certificate Program to boost students’ awareness of and access to federal career opportunities 

2. Learning together as a community is energizing.  

It was rewarding to witness participants commit themselves to learning throughout the conference, as evidenced by continual virtual chats and in-person dialogue.  

Peer-to-peer learning was celebrated, poignantly so during concluding remarks, when a participant shared how she successfully managed up with an impassioned business case for change after being told no to a solution because “it’s how things have always been done.”  

Following the event, participants shared the following testimonials:

“It was so great to see people we’ve both worked with at other agencies, and each other, because we mostly work from home. Speakers were amazing. Sessions were on point. I hope you do this again.”

“Please make this an annual event! I truly enjoyed the connections I made with other agency partners. I was also able to reconnect with old colleagues and plan to continue these conversations.”

“[I will seek to] mentor newly hired HR professionals.”

2024 Federal Human Capital Conference participants

3. Artificial Intelligence is here, and it’s complex. 

Conference speakers discussed AI in various sessions, with many touting the benefits of the technology alongside cautionary notes of lessons learned.

This technology has the potential to improve how government works, and we must understand it and learn how to use it safely and responsibly. One participant said the conference “provided a unique perspective on how technology will have an impact on HR and jobs in the near future, [and] made me more excited about HR in general.”  

“I’m looking forward to learning more about AI and how to leverage it in the federal landscape,” the participant said. 

Thank you!

This conference would not have been possible without the support of our many partners, including:  

  • Our Conference Steering Committee of chief human capital officers from Customs and Border Protection, the Internal Revenue Service, the National Institutes of Health and the Small Business Administration 
  • OPM, which helped shape our conference agenda and recruited numerous speakers
  • The many speakers across the federal government and industry who led with engaging and insightful content
  • Our gold sponsors, LinkedIn and Accenture Federal Services, and our presenting sponsor, Microsoft, a terrific partner, a champion of our work and an advocate of the federal human capital community.

Engage with us further. 

Our Federal Human Capital Collaborative is a problem-solving community of agency human capital leaders that seeks to transform the way government works. 

Not sure if your agency is a member? Visit our site to find out and learn how your agency can benefit! 

You can also read our blog to learn about federal HR leaders who have benefited from the Collaborative. 

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