Two-Day Basic Training Course

Fundamentals for a Successful HR Career

Monday, May 11 – Tuesday, May 12, 2020 | Registration Fee: $525


The following information is from the completed 2019 event. Please check back in the fall for details on next year. 

Start your career in Human Resources off on the right foot! This two-day crash course in all things HR is the perfect first step to navigating your new field. With five comprehensive modules on key topics, taught by top HR leaders from the state, plus a taste of the Annual Maine HR Convention on Tuesday, you’ll leave the Samoset confident and armed with new professional know-how.

This program includes: Monday dinner, Tuesday breakfast and lunch, two Maine HR Convention keynotes, conference receptions, access to a Samoset overnight room on Monday evening, and most important – the following Learning Modules:

  1. HR Skills and Overview
  2. Talent Acquisition Tips and Tricks
  3. Building Your Professional Network & Reputation
  4. Employment Law Compliance
  5. Compensation & Benefits

Faculty: Deb Gallant, David Pease, Peter Lowe, Eamonn Hart, and David Weaver

Sponsored By: 


Program Outline:

MONDAY | 12:00 | Registration Opens

Visit the Registration Desk in the lobby to check in and grab your event materials.

MONDAY | 1:00-3:00 | Skills and Overview for the New HR Professional

What’s it all about? Keeping up with the latest legal trends, workplace best practices, talent needs, legislation updates, and more is a big job for someone new to the field. It’s clear, Human Resources professionals need to know their stuff! Deb Gallant, VP of Career Management Associates joins us as your guide to becoming an effective HR professional. She’ll introduce you to the common skills needed to accomplish great work, and the unique proficiencies required for certain specialty aspects of the job. Through storytelling and situational exercises, you will leave this session ready to take on the HR world.


Why you’ll want to participate in this session.

  1. Discuss the breadth of the “Human Resources” profession, and specialties within the field.
  2. Learn day-to-day conduct and common skills required for success with talent acquisition, legal compliance, compensation & benefits, and more.
  3. Engage in interactive exercises and discussions of real-world HR situations that will teach you to ask the right questions, first steps to follow, and problem solving techniques to employ.
MONDAY | 3:15-4:15 | Talent Acquisition Tips and Tricks

What’s it all about? Finding the right people, getting them enticing job offers before your competitors, all while assimilating new employees to your organization, is no easy task. What are your sources? How do you attract good talent to your organization? And once you’ve found them – how do you interview, hire, and onboard potential employees to set them (and their managers) up for success? HR superstar David Pease, Senior VP of HR at Bangor Savings Bank, leads you on a journey through the talent acquisition pipeline. Beyond the basics, David will discuss how savvy new-to-HR professionals can shake things up with trends like social recruiting and AI, as well as how to think like a marketer to source candidates and build an authentic employment brand.


Why you’ll want to participate in this session.

  1. Understand the state of affairs in the current talent acquisition landscape by assessing opportunities and threats.
  2. Learn the basics of the hiring pipeline – the stages of the candidate process, key success factors at each step, and common pitfalls.
  3. Engage in a discussion of the future of talent acquisition and the candidate experience.
MONDAY | 4:15-5:00 | Build Your Professional Network and Reputation

What’s it all about? In the digital age, networking and creating a personal brand has more importance than ever before. From answering emails to connecting on LinkedIn to managing shared documents to attending webinars – connectivity is engrained in our work. It’s easy to spend an entire day “networking” without ever seeing a person face-to-face. While most people agree that the human connection is imperative to building a solid professional reputation, few take the time to develop these powerful relationships away from their desks. David Pease returns for our final Monday module to jumpstart the process of making new connections and cultivating them into something meaningful. Discover how to find a mentor, navigate networking events, and build a support system you can trust for professional advice.


Why you’ll want to participate in this session.

  1. Engage in a discussion of real-world benefits to cultivating a strong professional network and brand.
  2. Take stock in your current network and reputation. What connections and resources do you already have? Which relationships could be strengthened?
  3. Learn to seek out new relationships, and recognize existing opportunities to expand your professional network.
MONDAY | 5:00-6:00 | Networking Social

Continue the networking conversation outside of the classroom! Put your knowledge to practice downstairs in La Bella Vita lounge.

MONDAY | 6:00-7:00 | Dinner

Reconnect with your peers, get introduced to Maine SHRM, and reflect on the day over pizza at the Samoset.

TUESDAY | 8:30-9:30 | Breakfast

Enjoy breakfast and complimentary barista-made coffee from Bard before starting HR Basic Training Day TWO!

TUESDAY | 9:30-11:30 | Employment Law and the New HR Practitioner

What’s it all about? Knowledge of workplace law is essential to your career development as an HR professional. What you say, what you do, and how you memorialize the work around you will help your organization maintain healthy employer-employee relations and stay in legal compliance. While we can’t teach you every element of the alphabet soup of laws (FMLA, ADA, MHRA, FLSA, et al), we will get you thinking like a lawyer and acting as a problem-solver and smart business partner for your employer. Peter Lowe and Eamonn Hart have developed this engaging, participatory session to set you on the right path.


Why you’ll want to participate in this session.

  1. Build your base of knowledge of Maine and Federal laws that affect your work in human resources, and leave with helpful checklists.
  2. Learn how to spot trouble – become more proactive than reactive by seeing the potential for legal disputes and what you can do to mitigate these situations.
  3. Our team will employ a variety of educational tools, many of them participatory, to get at ten practical tips focused on: personnel files, discrimination basics, harassment issues, workplace alcohol and drug use, medical leaves, disabilities, workers’ compensation, break times and other wage and hour issues, and social media basics.

Approved for CLE credit.

TUESDAY | 11:30 - 12:50 | Lunch

Enjoy a scrumptious buffet lunch!

Recharge and check emails at the Mobile Hub.

Complimentary barista-made coffee anyone? Join the fabulous brewmeisters from Bard Coffee in Portland, Maine.


TUESDAY | 1:00-2:00 | KEYNOTE

Reaching Peak Potential: Stories to Shape a New HR Vision

Randy Pierce, 2020 VisionQuest 

What’s it all about? Despite unexpectedly losing his vision due to a neurological disease at the age of 22, Randy Pierce has chosen a life filled with incredible adventure. Randy is the first blind hiker to summit all 48 of the New Hampshire 4,000-footers (in just one season!), a 2-time Boston Marathon finisher, and has climbed the iconic Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. Randy joins us on Monday to share the highs, lows, and problem-solving techniques he used to convert adversity into achievement, and identify universal strategies to work beyond our self-imposed limitations – all alongside his guide dog, Autumn!

Why you’ll want to participate in this session.

  1. Find inspiration in Randy’s tenacious and resilient personal story of tackling adversity.
  2. Take honest stock in organizational challenges, and assess alternative approaches to self-imposed limitations.
  3. Learn new strategies to bring back to your organization: from goal-setting and problem-solving, to team motivation.


TUESDAY | 2:15-3:45 | Foundations of Compensation: The Basics of Pay & Benefits

What’s it all about? In today’s rapidly shifting workforce, competition for talent is fierce. There’s no doubt that an effective compensation plan is critical for attracting and retaining employees for organizational success. As someone early on in your HR career, you will need a strong foundation of knowledge around pay and benefits. David Weaver, President of the Compensation and HR Group in Burlington, MA will teach you the starting points.  Learn the basic structure and differentials in compensations plans, how to administer them, and some of the legal underpinnings that regulate the industry. You’ll get some tips on HR’s role in management and maintenance, as well as information on benefits purchasing decisions.

Why you’ll want to participate in this session.

  1. Gain an understanding of what makes up a progressive, inclusive compensation and benefits program including base pay, incentives, and the key legislation that affects these programs.
  2. Learn to design, administer, and maintain a compensation plan that aligns with your organization’s needs, values, and resources.
  3. Develop tactics for communicating details and changes of a compensation plan throughout your workplace.
TUESDAY | 4:00-5:00 | KEYNOTE

What HR Can Learn from Social Entrepreneurs

And Vice Versa 

Courtney Klein, SEED SPOT

Adam Burk, Treehouse Institute

What’s it all about? The heart of the Maine HR Convention is helping you make a difference in the lives of your employees, the direction of your organization, and the health of neighboring communities. That is why two people who dream of making a difference on a large scale take to the convention stage this year. Courtney Klein (founder of SEED SPOT, an organization based in Arizona with a national reach in startups designed for societal good) leads a lively discussion that will refresh your thinking about human resources. Adam Burk (founder of The Treehouse Institute in Portland and Producer of TedXDirigo) will moderate this session, bringing a Maine perspective to the conversation. There will be a three-part focus on values, process, and results. How are values the guiding light of a start-up enterprise and how do you sustain them? What HR practices are crucial for startup thinking? And how do you measure results?

Why you’ll want to participate in this session.

  1. Gain a better understanding of how core values are crucial to your organization’s long-term success.
  2. Witness how social startups view the talent function – from acquisition, to development, and management – and how you can bring “fresh eyes” to your organization’s talent equation.
  3. Consider the implications of thinking beyond bottom-line financial results, leaning towards a sustainable business model that keeps your values on true north while maintaining the needed flexibility for the short term.


TUESDAY | 5:00-6:30 | Reception

Join the Convention’s opening reception. It’s a great way to make new HR friends. Enjoy delicious hors d’oeuvres and conversations about all the day’s exciting moments.