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Human Resources

At OPM, we are always looking for new and innovative ways to provide meaningful training opportunities for the Federal workforce. When we decided to offer our first-ever Virtual HR Training Conference, the idea was to give employees a great opportunity for learning that was also affordable in today’s tight budgets.

I’m happy to report that this first virtual conference exceeded even my high expectations. More than 2,400 employees, representing 75 Federal agencies across the country, participated in the two-day event, co-sponsored by OPM and the Chief Human Capital Officers Council in April.

And I’m not the only one who thinks the conference hit the mark.

“By all accounts, the OPM Virtual HR Conference was a smashing success!” said Gary Musicante, Director of Workplace Planning at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

On our conference evaluation form, an employee with the Department of Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs said, “Why haven’t we done this sooner?”

We virtually transported nearly 60 experts to the computers and laptops of conference participants, taking advantage of the latest multimedia tools – videos and virtual panels and breakouts chats. That made our conference an unprecedented learning opportunity for the Federal HR community.

It cost only $95 for an individual to attend, demonstrating that high-quality employee training doesn’t have to be expensive or require travel. The government saved an estimated $4 million compared to a traditional brick-and-mortar conference for a like number of employees. And, employees who otherwise would have been denied a conference opportunity because of the travel costs were able to benefit.

As an added bonus, conference participants have access to the recorded sessions they missed – or just want to see again – for a full year.

This conference fulfills one of the key goals of OPM’s human capital management strategy – REDI. REDI stands for Recruitment, Engagement, Diversity, and Inclusion. Participants had the chance to immerse themselves in a variety of HR strategies and to share agency success stories on topics such as performance management, leave, work-life flexibilities, engagement, diversity, and recruitment. 

An exciting element of the conference was bringing together program leaders and human capital experts. Thirty-nine percent of attendees were not HR professionals. Such partnerships are critical to our ability to solve management challenges across government.

We know effective training saves time and money.  That’s why OPM and the CHCO Council are dedicated to pursuing state-of-the-art, affordable learning experiences for all Federal employees.

I’m proud of OPM’s HR Solutions team for the hard work they put into making the 2015 HR Virtual Conference such a success. Stay tuned. This year’s conference was just the first. There are more exciting learning opportunities to come.


One of the President’s highest management priorities is to make sure that all Federal employees have access to effective training. One way that OPM and the Chief Human Capital Officers Council are working together to support this priority is by sponsoring an interactive virtual human resources training conference on April 15 and 16.

The 2015 Virtual HR Training Conference’s theme is REDI for the Future. REDI stands for Recruitment, Engagement, Diversity, and Inclusion.  To fully implement the new REDI Roadmap, HR professionals must continue to build, develop, and retain a mission-driven workforce. The skills you can learn and the connections you can make at the conference will help you begin to untie hiring knots, form strategic partnerships, and better use data to drive your decisions.

The conference features more than 40 sessions in tracks that break down the essential core competencies HR professionals need. The five topic areas are:

  • Back-to-Basics – Learn about basic Federal HR functions, policies, programs, and processes.
  • Hiring Process – Discover Federal hiring flexibilities, how to accelerate hiring efforts, and how to acquire top talent for your agency.
  • Strategic Human Capital Management – Explore key tenets of strategic human capital management as outlined in OPM’s Human Capital Framework.
  • HR Innovations – Dive into emerging HR/HC solutions, trends, best practices, and innovations that are showing great promise in enhancing organizational performance.
  • Hiring Managers – Review HR/HC practices hiring managers should know in order to better recruit, engage, retain, and develop their employees.

Federal HR specialists deal with challenges that are complex, numerous, and ever-changing. The Virtual HR Training Conference is a unique opportunity for the Federal human resources and human capital communities to come together to identify critical issues and challenges, to share ideas and best practices, and to offer strategies and solutions across government.

Everyone benefits from training, regardless of their career stage. Through REDI, we want to ensure that Federal employees continue to be talented, well-trained, and engaged. The skills that you will develop, sharpen, and refine at the 2015 Virtual HR Training Conference are invaluable toward reaching that goal. Here’s how to sign-up.

Hands on a keyboard behind the text: '2015 Virtual HR Training Conference'


HR University has a new look. OPM and the Chief Human Capital Officers Council just unveiled a refurbished HRU website that is designed to better serve human resources professionals and the Federal workforce. As a result of the hard work of our great teams here at OPM and on the CHCO Council -- and with the help of feedback we’ve gotten from HRU students -- is now more accessible and easier to navigate. We hope the impressive new features help you with your training needs. On the new you will find:

  • A Career Development menu that offers easy access to popular career development tools, such as HR career paths, HR professional roles, the online Individual Development Plan, and the HR customized self-assessment.
  • Four new studio resource pages that centralize resources for specific HR subject matters in employee services policy, mentoring, recruitment policy, and work-life.
  • Easier access to the Manger’s Corner, which has resources for leaders, managers, and executives.
  • A training opportunities menu that provides clear access to the full list of free, accredited courses.
  • An HRU tour guide that helps users find the tools they need and answer common questions.

  • Improved usability and readability on mobile devices.

The CHCO Council launched HRU in 2011 to address the growing need to train and develop the 21st Century Federal workforce. Since its launch, it has taken off and now offers 130 courses as well as many tools and resources to more than 50,000 registered users across government. Through its innovative method of leveraging existing resources throughout government, HRU has helped train thousands of employees and saved the government more than $100 million.

I invite you to learn more about HRU and what it has to offer during a live Twitter chat on July 22 from 2 to 3 p.m. EDT. CHCO Council Executive Director Justin Johnson will be ready to answer your questions using hashtag #NewHRU. I hope you can join him. But even if you can’t participate in the chat, you might want to check out Let us know what you think. We hope you find it to be a useful and accessible portal to get the training you need.

HR University (HRU) reached a milestone today with $100 million in cost-savings government-wide. HRU is a prime example of how we are developing a first-class Federal workforce that is well-prepared, well-trained and has the right skills.

 With tight budgets, HRU is a creative way to offer quality training to our employees that is affordable and that meets our goals.

The Chief Human Capital Officers (CHCO) Council launched HRU in February 2011 as the Government’s one stop shop for Federal HR training. Through HRU, we are collaborating across government to share existing resources and address competency and skill gaps within the HR community.


HRU is an online platform that hosts courses that are identified as the best HR training across government. Since HRU offers courses and resources that agencies have already developed, it reduces duplication across government and saves precious resources.

I applaud the CHCO Council for its innovative thinking in creating HRU. It’s another way we are working to share not only resources, but best practices. In his 2015 budget proposal, President Obama calls for just such training collaborations.

Just take a look at HRU and you’ll see that it offers courses on a variety of competencies and needs ranging from performance management, to employee benefits, to emergency preparedness. It’s another way that OPM is fulfilling its mission of providing the training Federal workers need to develop and progress in their career paths.

HRU’s is available to all Federal employees at Spread the word. Help us as we continue to build a world-class workforce for the 21st Century.

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