I hope you feel safe and loved.
I am not America’s HR lady.
America’s HR lady is actually Robin Schooling.
But one of the unique things about my company is that I offer HR for human resources professionals. From talking CEOs and CHROs off the ledge to working with learning teams to win the support of their colleagues, my job has evolved into something that’s unique.
I am part coach, part marketing professional and part older sister.
There are lots of complaints that HR doesn’t do social media and that Twitter is full of HR consultants and vendors. That might be true in 2010, but I have met a ton of human resources professionals in 2014 who are online. I have also gained a ton of followers on Twitter who work directly in human resources. Let me introduce you to a few accounts.
Kevin Fries is @kwfry, and he’s a volunteer leader at SHRM. Check out his tweets about work, family and travel. Pretty fun.
— Kevin Fries (@kwfry) November 23, 2014
Sophie Lepercq is @SophieLepercq at JC Deaux. JCDecaux Group is a multinational corporation based in Neuilly-sur-Seine, Paris, France, known for its bus-stop advertising systems, billboards, public bicycle rental systems, and street furniture. In my life, they are known for Southpoint Mall where I go buy stuff from Lululemon.
JCDecaux recrute un Payroll / HR Officer. Intéressé(e)? N’hésitez pas à me contacter par email [email protected] …
— Sophie Lepercq (@SophieLepercq) September 2, 2014
Caitriona Staunton is @caitstaunton. She is the APAC Recruiting Lead for Atlassian in Sydney. Atlassian is an Australian enterprise software company that develops products geared towards software developers and project managers. She is new to Twitter but seems to be getting it right.
Bronwyn Hall is @HallBronwyn. She is the HR Manager for Asia Pacific and Orion Health. I’ve met her in real life. She is my height, hilarious and fierce.
Zombie attack training at Orion Health! A key part of any H&S training programme. http://t.co/Wm3lGBILqt
— Bronwyn Hall (@HallBronwyn) November 20, 2014
Jill Kaiyalethe is @JillRecruiter. She is a recruiter at Fairview Health Services in Minneapolis. Her account is a mix of employer brand advocacy, topical articles, and pictures to make her profile very real! Good job.
Karen Crone is @klcrone, also known as the CHRO of Paycor. Wonder if a CHRO tweets? Maybe she has a team to support her, but these tweets feel real to me.
— Karen Crone (@klcrone) November 7, 2014
Candice Winter is @Candice_Winter, and she works as a talent acquisition leader for Truven Health Analytics, a leader in delivering unbiased information, analytic tools, benchmarks, services, and related expertise to the healthcare industry.
Everyone has quirks and weaknesses. Does the value they bring outweigh them? Great question I was asked early on. — CandiceW (@Candice_Winter) November 14, 2014
Jackie Ore is @jackie_ore, a recent graduate who works as a recruiter for Career XChange, a leading Florida staffing agency.
— Jacqueline Ore (@jackie_ore) November 14, 2014
Finally, there’s always Rob Jones. He is a friend, yes. More importantly, it’s not like he works for the most liberal of companies. He even puts photos in his tweets. If he can do it, what’s your excuse?
If you want to expand your global network and meet great people, the way to do this is to hop on Twitter and follow some of the great people above. Be curious. Say hello. Or simply watch and learn a little something about a different approach to HR.
And if you want to criticize HR for being slow and dull, you better be ready to defend yourself to the tens of thousands of HR professionals who follow me online. They are watching you, and they’re not going to take your criticisms lightly.
Can someone in-the-know please answer my questions?
2. Per the internet and life, a competency is a set of defined behaviors that provide a structured guide enabling the identification, evaluation and development of the behaviors in individual employees. Has the new SHRM certification program been validated as an instrument that accurately measures competencies? Who validated it? How does the SHRM test differ from HRCI’s exam?
3. The HRCI program was accredited and (allegedly) carried the same weight as a CPA. Don’t tell that to CPAs. Does the new SHRM program carry that weight?
4. Has anyone tested how valuable and meaningful SHRM’s program is to the marketplace? Is there any data showing how SHRM’s program measures against an MBA? Or how the program is measured by CHROs and CEOs?
5. Will the SHRM board and leadership team be required to participate in the SHRM certification program?
6. Can you be a CHRO or CEO without these new credentials?
7. Is this program appropriate for any talent acquisition professionals or recruiters who work in human resources? Or is this program just focused on business partners and generalists?
8. What was the HRCI funding scheme? How did state and local chapters benefit from the certification program? How does SHRM measure against HRCI in this regard? Should anyone profit from HR professionals who take the test?
9. There’s currently a mechanism in place to gain your SHRM certification quickly if you’re already certified from HRCI. Doesn’t the quick certification process prove the similarities between the two programs more than it demonstrates the differences?
10. If I’m in human resources, can someone give me one good reason the SHRM certification program enhances my career prospects and is worth my time?
11. How do Hank Jackson, Bob Carr or anyone in SHRM’s public relations or marketing department still have a job after the failed SHRM-HRCI integration and the poor launch of this program? Who on the board has been held accountable for this mess? Does the board see this for the shabby mess that it is? How will SHRM do better by its members in the future? Why am I talking to myself on this bullet point? Why don’t I just shout into the wind a little more?
Those are my questions. Do you have questions? Did I miss yours? Do you have answers? Let me know!
About a month ago, I had a conversation with Tim Sackett that went something like this.
Laurie: You know Vala Afshar?
Timmy: No, I mean, I guess.
Laurie: I don’t think he is real. And I want to figure his posting strategy out.
Timmy: I don’t see where you are going with this, Laur. Explain.
So here is my explanation.
Vala Afshar is a guy on Twitter, but more importantly, he could be any guy on Twitter who wants to be recognized as a leadership and management guru. He shares articles that he doesn’t write, and he tweets about leadership and technology.
It feels like he uses an algorithm to write his wteets. They are almost perfect.
Show gratitude. Show up on time. Choose happiness. Talk less, but say more. Be a supportive truth teller. Give without expecting a get.
— Vala Afshar (@ValaAfshar) November 20, 2014
Is he real? Yes. What does he do for money? It doesn’t matter.
This guy could be a computer. He could be a woman. People love his stuff.
So I did what Vala does, to some extent. I went on vacation, but I’ve been posting daily tweets that lack substance.
Recruiters want you to believe they hold the keys to the kingdom. Don’t believe the hype. You are in control of your career destiny. — Laurie Ruettimann (@lruettimann) November 5, 2014
Nobody finds jobs on Facebook just like nobody found jobs in the newspaper. The social web is a beginning, not an ending.
— Laurie Ruettimann (@lruettimann) November 6, 2014
Always marry for love. Always take a job for money. — Laurie Ruettimann (@lruettimann) November 13, 2014
Confident, smart people do not engage in self-deprecating humor.
— Laurie Ruettimann (@lruettimann) November 14, 2014
No creativity. No engagement. No authenticity. My clicks, retweets and @mentions are all up. Way up. Off the charts.
All it takes is a keen eye for the obvious and a twitter account.
Your resume can be one page or six pages. If you suck, you won't get the job.
— Laurie Ruettimann (@lruettimann) November 20, 2014
Can you imagine if I did this, like Vala, multiple times a day? I would be #1 on all of those management guru lists. But I would also be an asshole. Nobody wants that.
So after playing with my “management guru” tweeting strategy, I am killing it today. And I’ve been thinking of some of my smart friends who have thoughtful social media strategies.
* My friend Sarah White no longer takes photos at conferences and guards her privacy. Her personal brand now reflects important things in her life: work and family. She says that Twitter is a platform where lonely people talk to themselves. I resemble that remark.
* Jennifer McClure talks about personal branding, authenticity and social media in our little community quite a bit. She has great things to say about developing a personal brand and leveraging key sites — Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook pages, Slideshare — to build your online reputation. I am with her, too. You should use these tools to your advantage when they serve your purposes.
I think most of us occupy the grounded middle. There is probably a place where we can be on Twitter and offer smart things to say about our areas of experise. I haven’t found that place. I’m still sorta looking.
But if you want to make a deal with the devil and hang with other management gurus, the simple technique is to schedule meaningless tweets throughout the day. That’s it. Write things that are opaque and emotional. Be a vainglorious bastard. Gain a bunch of followers for no apparent reason. Buy your own hype.
But I think we can all do better than that.
I’m headed home from Australia. I had a great trip.
At one point, my husband and I took a semi-private tour of a secluded island. We did some snorkeling and hiking. We knew we were in trouble when our tour guide, upon hearing that we worked in the pharmaceutical industry, told us that he could show us the cure to AIDS and HIV in the bush.
“It’s an aboriginal cure. They don’t want to give it to white people because we gave them cholera.”
If they can cure HIV and AIDS, why can’t they cure cholera? Never mind. Tell us more, dear tour guide.
He obliged and told us to call him the Little Steve Irwin. He’s tan and Australian, so he’s either Steve Irwin or Crocodile Dundee in my GenX eyes. Our guide also told us about his experiences with crocodiles, and went into a lengthy discussion about how climate change is a lie that made Al Gore rich.
(Well, part of that might be true.)
Also, our guide once made Matthew McConaughey apologize to a local waitress at a bar. He played soccer with Hugh Jackman. When Nicole Kidman came to his island to film a movie, she rented an aboriginal child because she missed her kids who were under the control of Tom Cruise.
“She has more money than sense.”
Other things? When a butterfly or dragonfly lands on you, it’s a dead person trying to communicate with you. (I like that one.) And there’s a bush called a black boy, but it’s not politically correct to say “black” in Australia — but no one has a gun to his head. He doesn’t celebrate Australia Day, either.
The massacres in Syria and the Ukraine? Those happen on a green screen. The media are in bed with the government and will fake all kinds of things. Candy crush and TV are drugs of social control, and drones follow him on the beach to watch him, btw.
I didn’t pay for any of this, of course, and one of the women on the tour complained. Our tour guide told her to keep walking on her own. Then he apologized and took her into the woods — to a particular place that is sacred to Aborigines — so they could hug it out.
And the tour guide felt like he had to explain all of this to me in great detail because I have an open face and I’m the world’s older sister.
Ken and I were like — well, that was something.
At first, I wanted to complain. But this guy needs a job, and he’s clearly passionate about Australia. He can swim, he can keep people organized, and he knows the lay of the land. This job is perfect for him, and it probably keeps him out of trouble.
Customers suck, people complain too much, and Americans feel like they have to have a Disney-like experience when the go on vacation. Frankly, it’s kind of nice to have an insane tour guide who says bat-shit crazy things. My husband and I have a story. We had fun with this guy. And nobody got hurt.
I don’t want this guy fired at all.
The next time you want to complain about poor customer service, think about this blog post and ask yourself — is something so awful that I ought to complain?
So you want to be disruptive and innovative, eh?
You fools. I’m barely disruptive, but when I write something different, people say things like:
1. Oh, Laurie!
2. Isn’t she something?
3. Gotta love her!
It’s so condescending and meant to diminish my contributions. It’s beyond cynical — and sometimes rooted in the institutional sexism in my industry.
Oh. Fucking. Well.
I chose this path. I brush dirt off my shoulder on a daily basis. I can do this because I have good mentors who lead by example. But I can’t tell you how many times people tell me that they’re longing to be recognized as more disruptive and innovative at work — especially in human resources and recruiting.
You don’t want that.
Disruptive and innovative employees have good ideas that nobody wants to hear. They don’t speak in a quiet tone. They don’t fit in. They are not good cultural hires.
Nobody likes disruptive and innovative employees, by the way. They are mocked. They don’t get invited to fancy dinners and private parties. They are often fired.
Disruptive and innovative people are influencers, but they don’t care for recognition. They know who they are. They teach us, and they inspire us despite our great protestations against their refreshing ideas. They are influential on a subconscious level, but they don’t need to be told that they are influential. They are courageous and bold. They stand in front of a room full of strangers and offer an informed and controversial opinion — even if those strangers don’t deserve that kind of brilliance.
Do you still want to be disruptive or innovative? Listen up.
There is no roadmap for disruption and innovation — especially if you work in human resources.
Want a map? Make one for yourself. And don’t complain when you are not invited to the party.
Forgive me for the inside baseball, but I have something to say.
Every year, several hundred human resources nerds across the world vie for an opportunity to speak at an event called SHRM’s Annual Conference and Exposition.
Much like an RFP process — with no ROI for anyone involved and no transparency — SHRM selects speakers for mega sessions and concurrent sessions. Nobody gets paid, but airfare and hotel are included for a few nights.
This year, SHRM selected its speakers in its normal veil of secrecy. I’m not complaining because there are some new names on the agenda, which is great. Unfortunately, among the people who were not selected in my little HR community, there are some sour grapes.
I looked at some of the comments online from people who are clearly aggrieved — but don’t know how to set their privacy settings on Facebook — and I thought that, in light of what I know about the professional development of my colleagues in the HR social media community, SHRM did okay.
You didn’t get chosen to speak? The HR coach in me wants you to look inside yourself and think about the reasons why you weren’t selected. The legacy HR blogger in me wants you to say something nice about someone else who was selected. And the HR leader in me wants you to come to Las Vegas determined to learn, grow and contribute in a different way.
But mostly I just want you to suck. it. the. fuck. up.
Be gracious. One day, you will be selected to speak. You wouldn’t want people saying nasty things about you, would you? (I wouldn’t tolerate that, either.)
So please snap out of your #shrmennui. Lighten up. And live to speak for free at a different mediocre conference on another day.
So what’s happening in Australia? Well, lots of splashy consultants are walking around this conference talking about the future of the modern workforce.
“Things are different, Laurie. Everyone should learn to code. The very nature of work is changing, and human resources has fallen behind.”
When I hear someone lecture me about the 2020 workforce, I can’t help but think of my friend, Sarah White. She recently reminded me that 2020 is just about as far away as 2010. The 2020 workforce will look a lot like it does today — stupid and chubby.
Sarah said something like, “We can see 2020. It’s now within our planning capabilities. Freak out about something else.”
I like that kind of sensible thinking.
Yes, the world is always changing. Some of us use mobile devices. Some of us work at treadmill desks. These are crazy times. But 2020 looks a lot like 2015 in that 70% of the jobs created in America will be created in the restaurant and hospitality industry. The need for reliable home-healthcare workers to bathe and care for old and sick people is at an all-time high. And the gap between the rich and poor doesn’t seem to be shrinking anytime soon unless you’re a C++ programmer or a Java developer — and maybe not even then.
So how exactly is work changing? Are kids wearing hoodies? Facebook??! People want to talk about their feelings? GenY? iPads?
Much of this garbage has an agenda.
While work is allegedly changing, work has always changed. We no longer use our hands and stones to make flour, do we? The need to pay people a fair and decent wage — and treat all workers with respect — has not changed. The need to protect the health and safety of our workforce is not changing. And the need to protect the civil and human rights of our workforce has not changed.
So keep 2020 in mind when you do your strategic HR planning, duh, but maybe think about pressing needs of your existing workforce. Do something about that. Work is changing, but your shitty PTO policy has not changed in eight years.
Fix that. Move forward. Fix the next broken thing. That’s how we do HR in 2015 and beyond.
I had no manners back when I was a novice runner.
People would tell me about a great accomplishment — a 5k, half-marathon or marathon — and I would inevitably ask a coarse question.
“What was your time?”
I didn’t know that, just like weight or age, the time in which you finish your race is personal.
Your race time cannot be compared to the results of other runners. It’s apples and oranges. And when someone asks you for your time, it’s either out of naivete or because they want to compare your results to someone else.
Those comparisons are for suckers.
But that being said, I blew my planned marathon time by an enormous number. Ugh. After paying for four marathons and running two, I was happy to finish. It’s an accomplishment. But I aggravated an old injury at mile 15, and my analytics dashboard shows how much it hurt my overall time.
While it still sucked to miss my goal, I am okay with the experience. Why be mad? I saw friends all over the place. I met a few new people, too. For awhile, I ran with a former NFL player who hurt his foot. He was fifty-one years old and told me I look 29. He also told me that I should just be happy that I was doing the impossible.
I thanked him for his motivational speech and passed him.
I accepted water and hugs at the Black Girls Run water aid station around mile 25. I stopped looking at my watch. I crossed the finish line smiling, but then I saw my time. Ugh. The final marathon photo sums up my failure to achieve my time-related goal.
(Christ, I need to lighten up. I’m just short of having an Al Gore failure beard in this photo.)
But the race is over. I’ve already picked my next marathon. I didn’t fail. I tried my best. I finished. That’s what counts.
But please quit asking me — or any other runner — about my overall time.
I would rather talk about my weight!
It’s no lie that recruiters and hiring managers dismiss your resume — and your appearance — within 11 seconds of coming into contact with you. (Google it.)
People make snap judgments based on hair, weight, color, gender, age and font. That’s science, which is rooted in the ugly side human nature. But just because it’s science doesn’t mean that it’s fate.
We can overcome the ugly side of human nature and retrain our brains to consider the content of someone’s character over the content of a stupid resume.
We don’t have to spend 11 seconds on a resume. We can spend thirty seconds. We stop lying to ourselves that we’re so busy. We can plan our work better. We can opt out of the busy-trap and be more deliberate with our schedules.
But I’m not here to just indict HR.
As job seekers, you fail yourselves on a regular basis. You don’t bring your best selves to an interview. You are cynical and depressed. You are not ready to clearly articulate what makes you special and unique. You don’t wear clean clothes, you don’t brush our hair, and you might have a drink or a smoke before the interview to settle your nerves.
Job seekers should seek, when possible, to make their appearances neutral in order to draw attention to their shining skills.
But I still blame human resources professionals and managers for being simplistic assholes. Group-think hits us like a ton of bricks when assume positions of power. We start judging people for niggly shit that doesn’t matter. And just because we assumed a position of power doesn’t mean that we passed the “sniff test.” We forget that we probably got our jobs because we knew someone who knew someone who knew someone who gave us a chance.
We are more than what we look like.
HR professionals need to lose five pounds. Hiring managers are too petite or too tall. And some job seekers are missing fingers, toes and limbs. That’s life. People do fine while living life with blindness, deafness or downs syndrome. Candidates can work for you while fighting cancer. And older workers aren’t desperate and pathetic.
Take a few minutes. Look deeper. And stop being so judgmental.
I want to you to adopt a level-headed approach to hiring and stop judging people on the easy stuff. Just as you are more than that shitty hair cut or Coach bag, dear HR readers, your candidates are wholly differentiated human beings who are more than their superficial resumes suggest.