Contact: Joe King, NIU Office of Public Affairs
April 25, 2007
DeKalb, Ill. — The issues that human resource professionals deal with are serious business, but for one weekend at Northern Illinois University it was the stuff of fun and games.
The NIU College of Business hosted the North Central Regional Human Resource Games and Conference, April 14-15. The event, which was sponsored by the Society for Human Resource Management, attracted about 50 students from 12 universities competing on 17 teams, all angling for a shot at national recognition. About 60 human resource professionals (many of them graduates of NIU’s highly respected program) were on hand to oversee and assist with the competition.
For two days the students battled in Jeopardy-style competition, each trying to be the first to chime in with answers to questions that probed their knowledge in the areas of employment case law, employee recruitment, policies and practices related to training, and health and safety in the workplace. All of the questions related directly to topics found on professional certification exams that most of the students will eventually take.
After grueling preliminary rounds and an eight-team single-elimination tournament on the second day, the event came down to the final question with a team of students from Toledo edging out a team from Southwest Minnesota. If that doesn’t sound exciting to you, chances are you do not work in human resources.
“It might be terribly boring for someone who doesn’t know anything about HR, but for those in the field, it was pretty compelling,” says NIU Management Professor Terry Bishop who helped run the event. “You see some outstanding talent at these competitions and it allows us to show off our programs. The HR professionals who attend always leave impressed. They enjoy meeting our students and the students gain a great deal from being able to interact with the professionals. It is a win-win situation.”
The weekend is about more than just competition. In between rounds, students attend sessions on issues related to professional development, plus there are opportunities to socialize and network with professionals in the field.
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