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Today is the Carnival of HR, a glorious celebration of writers and thinkers who create fabulous HR and recruiting content. It’s an excellent list of reading, but it’s long. My advice? Bookmark this page. Come back when you catch yourself mindlessly scrolling on Facebook.

Joey Price interviewed Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM President and CEO. jumpstart-hr.com/129-are-todays-hr-leaders-living-in-la-la-land-ft-johnny-c-taylor-jr-shrm-president-and-ceo/

Legendary blogger Sabrina Baker offers three questions to ask all candidates when you’re hiring for your small business. www.acaciahrsolutions.com/interview-questions-to-ask-a-potential-employee-when-finding-recruiting-and-hiring-good-prospective-staff-employees-for-your-small-business/

Wendy Berry is back from paid family leave. Look at her boys. They melt my heart. wendyberry.com/back-from-paidfamilyleave/

My partner-in-crime Sarah Brennan recommends the top 20 HR conferences to attend in 2018. www.hrtechblog.com/top-20-hr-conferences-to-attend-in-2018/

Longtime buddy Charlie Judy implores you to reconsider the soul-crushing activity of performance management. www.workxo.com/blog/post/239-performance-management-soul-crusher

My friend and #HustleUpTheHancock supporter Brad Galin is screaming at his HR technology! www.rollercoasterhr.com/screaming-at-my-technology/

Raj Singh and I met during my trip to New Zealand. He’s fabulous and wants you to be anyone you want to be. employmentinnewzealand.blogspot.co.nz/2017/11/be-anyone-you-want.html?m=1

Here is Cheryl Nelson’s first blog post ever. Congratulate her for taking the plunge! kolormehr.wordpress.com/2018/02/14/jumping-in/

Wally Bock is famous for his #FF recommendations. In this piece, he writes about leadership’s dirty little secret. www.threestarleadership.com/leadership/leaderships-dirty-little-secret

Melissa Fairman is a compassionate leader and tells you why she meets once a week with every single person on her HR team. hrremix.com/2018/02/06/meet-week-team/

My awesome friend and elected SHRM board member Steve Browne wants you to flourish. Yes, he’s talking to you. sbrownehr.com/just-flourish/

Kate Bischoff asks and answers why you’d help employees. Really, you should help them. thrivelawconsulting.com/2018/01/29/why-help-an-employee/

Tamara Rasberry is a critical thinker and asks you to consider the everyday black history makers and moments. tamaramrasberry.com/2018/02/10/everyday-black-history-makers-moments/

Meet Mark Souter, an HR leader who needs you to say yes. Do it! medium.com/@MarkSouterLive/just-say-yes-7205a3463fc3

Yvonne LaRose is tackling tough subjects: office drama and betrayal. careercoachcorner.wordpress.com/2018/02/17/betrayal/

Mike Haberman offers ten human resources steps that will save you. omegahrsolutions.com/2018/02/ten-human-resources-steps-that-will-save-you.html

Here’s Julie Winkle Giulioni. She’s writing about challenges facing leaders and managers. www.juliewinklegiulioni.com/blog/leadership-matters/whoa-what-are-todays-most-common-leadership-mistakes/

Katrina Collier is the most fun and entertaining woman in our industry. She’s talking about women and the workplace. www.crowdcast.io/e/the-socialrecruiting-26/register?session=1

Renée Robson is a strong writer and asks you to invest in yourself. reneerobson.com/2018/02/20/investing-in-yourself/

Kelly Marinelli writes about combating sexual harassment and offers a game plan for HR. www.solvehrinc.com/the-solve-hr-blog/2018/1/10/combating-sexual-harassment-a-game-plan-for-hr

John Hollon explores what a great candidate experience means. recruitingdaily.com/organizations-great-candidate-experience-others-dont-john-hollon/

Have a look at John Baldino on employer branding and the idea of family in the workplace. humareso.com/2018/02/07/please-mr-postman/

Jennifer Juo is writing on Udemy about L&D’s role in the reskilling revolution. business.udemy.com/blog/lds-role-in-the-reskilling-revolution/

Jazmine Wilkes wants you to know that black blogs matter. hrjazzy.blog/2018/02/01/we-are-here-and-we-matter-blackblogsmatter-challenge-week1/

Heather Bussing of HR Examiner agrees with Jazmine and also believes that black blogs matter. www.hrexaminer.com/why-black-blogs-matter/

John Sumser wonders why HR is fiddling while Rome burns. www.hrexaminer.com/fiddling-while-rome-burns/

Helo Tamme has a strong post about the role of people in workplace happiness. workplace-happiness.com/2018/01/22/role-of-people-in-workplace-happiness/

The #MeToo movement has made an impact on HR. Jane Watson writes about organizational culture and harassment. talentvanguard.com/2018/02/18/its-a-sign-org-culture-harassment/

Maren Hogan of Red Branch Media wants you to follow the 15 steps to hire the right remote worker every time. redbranchmedia.com/blog/15-steps-remote-hire/

What do you know about predictive analytics? Gemma Toth is here to teach you how it applies to HR. allinhr.wordpress.com/2018/02/12/predictive-analytics-in-hr-do-you-have-the-data-needed-to-back-that-up

Ben Eubanks is writing about the hidden battle for SHRM and HRCI recertification credits. I had no idea there was a battle. upstarthr.com/the-hidden-battle-for-shrm-and-hrci-recertification-credits/

An important message from Mark Fogel: Don’t believe everything you read or watch, including HR websites. fistfuloftalent.com/2018/02/dont-believe-everything-read-watch-even-hr-websites.html

The talented Wendy Daily is trying to escape procrastination like all of us. mydaileyjourney.com/2018/01/20/escaping-procrastination/

Anne Tomkinson asks a good question. “How solid is that career ladder?” hrunderground.wordpress.com/2018/02/05/how-solid-is-that-career-ladder/

Are you sick of buzzword bingo? Katrina Kibben riffs on the trendiest buzzword: employee engagement. katrinakibben.com/2018/02/07/employee-engagement-2018/

Brent Skinner is principal analyst covering HCM at Nucleus Research. Read about the state of the HCM market here. nucleusresearch.com/research/single/state-hcm-market-2018/

Voice of HR is back. Founded by Mark Stelzner, his colleague Kimberly Carroll writes about three big changes in talent acquisition software. ia-hr.com/3-big-changes-in-talent-acquisition-software-i-hope-we-see-in-2018/

Matt Stollak wonders what HR would be like in an organized crime family because he’s creative like that! truefaithhr.blogspot.com/2018/02/what-would-hr-be-like-in-organized.html

Check out Judy Lindenberger on maximizing the benefits of executive coaching. www.lindenbergergroup.com/7-step-guide-maximizing-benefits-executive-coaching/

See why Tim Sackett is jealous of pretty people. timsackett.com/2018/01/19/the-one-big-problem-with-being-pretty/

John Hunter writes about the new age of robots and what it means for jobs. management.curiouscatblog.net/2018/01/23/the-new-age-of-robots-and-what-it-means-for-jobs/

Sharlyn Lauby outlines the ten strategies for every human resources team on the HR Bartender website. www.hrbartender.com/2018/strategy-planning/future-hr-10-strategies-human-resources/

Tony Schwartz talks to Globoforce about how to effectively manage energy, rather than time. www.globoforce.com/gfblog/2018/employees-energy-schwartz/

Claire Petrie writes about transferable job skills and finding your path. clairepetriehr.wordpress.com/2018/01/18/transferable-skills-and-finding-your-path/

Do you know what Occam’s Razor is? Paul Hebert wrote an explanation and how it applies to HR. fistfuloftalent.com/2018/02/hr-needs-shave-occams-razor.html

Antoine Ray asks you to consider going global to combat your talent shortage. www.unleashgroup.io/news/going-global-talent-shortage/

Visit Dorothy Dalton’s blog and learn about the concept of “diversity of thought” and the talent pipeline. dorothydalton.com/2018/02/13/diversity-of-thought-and-the-talent-pipeline/

Is HR on the employee’s side? Dave Ryan has some thoughts. www.performanceicreate.com/hr-theyre-not-on-the-employees-side/

Ben Martinez wants you to embrace a goal mindset. fistfuloftalent.com/2018/01/simple-not-easy-goal-mindset.html

Read Kris Dunn’s take on VPs and leaders who print things out from the internet and make decisions using irrational data points. www.hrcapitalist.com/2018/01/when-your-boss-acts-like-a-dinosaur-and-you-just-serve-up-the-brontosaurus.html

In the #MeToo era, Dawn Burke asks if white men should be called privileged. fistfuloftalent.com/2018/02/metoo-era-white-men-called-privileged-yes-thats-ok.html

Lee Price tells us why you need to build a people stack before a marketing stack. managingeditor.com/jeff-perkins-focuses-building-people-stack-marketing-stack/

The team at TalentCulture, a website founded by Meghan M. Biro, would like you to get your email under control. talentculture.com/get-email-control/

As a bystander with power, if you see or hear harassing behavior, you must respond to it. But how? Jonathan Segal has answers. blog.shrm.org/blog/bystander-interventions-without-paternalism-or-re-victimization

Jesse Lyn Stoner believes if your organizational culture is not working, look to its polarities for clues on what needs to be changed. seapointcenter.com/organizational-culture-polarities/

Mary Faulkner wants you to learn leadership lessons from Frank Oz and The Muppets: survivingleadership.blog/2018/01/21/life-and-leadership-lessons-from-frank-oz/

Dan Cross writes about ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017. It’s a bill that will make it more difficult for people with disabilities to have equal opportunity to employment, access consumer goods and services, and participate in State and Local government. medium.com/crossover-hr/an-education-and-reform-act-that-doesnt-educate-or-reform-333cbeab9970

My friend and champion Jennifer McClure is thrilled for the new year, but she would like a vacation right now. I keep inviting her places. She’s too busy for me. jennifermcclure.net/2018/01/02/welcome-new-year-now-when-can-i-take-a-vacation/

Keynote speaker Ryan Estis lays out the four ways to help your small business grow. ryanestis.com/performance/4-keys-to-grow-your-small-business-in-2018/

The amazing Carlos Escobar asks you to put some good into the world. Please? cescobar.com/2018/02/14/put-some-good-into-the-world/

Over at HR Books, I wrote about why self-help books don’t always help HR. hrbooks.com/self-help-books-HR

Finally, one of my favourites is from Doug Shaw. He thinks angels punish us by answering our prayers. Reminds me of a quote from Truman Capote. “More tears are shed over answered prayers than unanswered ones.” artsensorium.com/2018/02/13/sometimes-the-angels-punish-us-by-answering-our-prayers/

Hope you enjoyed Carnival of HR for February. Want to participate in March? Want to be a host? Check out Robin Schooling’s blog for more information. And email me with late additions, revisions, or just to say hello.

I’ve missed you, HR friends!

 

 

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all jobs suck

My email inbox is full of messages from people just like you who hate their jobs.

Earnest folks. Men and women with degrees, professional careers, student loans, and mortgages. Human beings who are frustrated with work and have nowhere left to go except the internet. They google I+Hate+Work or I+Hate+HR, find my blog, and confirmation bias kicks into high gear. They feel like they’ve found a woman who hates work as much as they do.

It’s true. I hate work.

But all jobs suck. Even the good ones. Don’t email me just to complain. And, if you do, expect a templatized response.

Hello, Sally. Thanks for reaching out. I’m sorry to hear work is so stressful. I will tell you something you don’t want to hear: All jobs suck. There are highs and lows in every field. Want to feel better about work? Worry less about your career and care more about your life outside of work. Get a few hobbies or rediscover your friends. Gain perspective on what matters to you.

I know you see people on the internet who seem to love their jobs. They are lying. Okay, maybe they’re telling the truth. But they’re happy regardless of the work. And happy is the wrong word to use. Most likely, they are resilient. Happy people fall back on relationships and extra-curricular activities when a job is stressful or unsatisfying.

Do you have a best friend? Something to distract you from a tough day at the office? A creative outlet? No? Well, here’s my advice: Take work less seriously and reprioritize your life. Make a list of three things you would do if you had a day off tomorrow. Take the day off and do one thing. Get greedy and do two things. Or be disruptive and tackle the whole list.

Can’t take the day off? American PTO policies suck! Don’t be a jerk, but work 22% less hard tomorrow. Take a longer lunch or go on an extended Starbucks break. Get balance in your life by grabbing that balance back.

You can do it. I believe in you.

Love,
Laurie

People hate this response, but, years later, they write back and thank me for my pragmatic advice. They know I’m right. Yes, HR sucks. I’m sure your boss is a dick. But all jobs suck, even the good ones, and most of us are in a prison of our creation. Time to open the door from the inside and let yourself out.

To help reach more miserable people, I bought www.alljobssuck.com and will link to this blog post. Unhappy workers who hate their jobs will wind up here with you and everybody else who wasn’t born wealthy and has a job that sucks. This post will serve as a permanent reminder that feelings are temporary and jobs don’t suck forever. It’s possible to step off the treadmill and grab control of life.

The permission slip you’ve been waiting for — to take the day off, care a little less, or quit their jobs — has arrived. And it didn’t come from HR.

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Are you a Winter Olympics fan? Did you see the opening ceremony? We’re still getting over being sick, so we watched the ceremony from the comfort of our couch.

The best part of the Winter Olympics is watching people from warm-weather countries compete in cold weather sports. There are the Nigerian bobsledders who honed their craft in Houston. The Kenyan Olympian at the entire event who is an alpine skier and crowdfunded her way to the games. And I love the Iranian cross-country skier who flies to Turkey to train. It’s inspiring to see these women push their bodies to the limit in a variety of terrains that aren’t accessible to them.

I also love the Winter Olympics because each contest, no matter how boring, represents an innate desire for perfection achieved through a rigorous commitment to practice. The Winter Olympics reminds me it’s not enough to be gifted; your natural abilities won’t calm your nerves. Talent gets you the invitation to try; training awards you the privilege to compete for gold.

The final thing I appreciate about the Winter Olympics is that I learn about sports not on my radar screen. I’m looking at you, biathlon. Hard to get excited about people skiing and shooting rifles except, now that I’ve run marathons, I’m envious of the quiet and intense focus required to push your body to the limit and hit your mark with a weapon. 

I’m not Jason Bourne, but reading the coverage of the biathlon event makes me think that I’d love to try something like it. Curling it too social for me. I want endurance sports and guns, but, you know, in a healthy way.

So consider me a fan of the Winter Olympics. I’m all in with Skeleton, Freestyle Skiing, and Nordic Combined. But I’m not buying any Ralph Lauren winter gear. Those puffy gloves are ridiculous and too big for my petite hands!

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My politics are a little less than mainstream.

I’m a pro-choice secular humanist, a vegetarian, and someone who believes in the right to protect myself and shoot a sexual predator in the face.

I vote Democratic because I like roads and schools, but it’s not like I’m all that impressed with the streets near my house or your kids who can’t do math. I’d like to pay less in taxes because most of my tax money is wasted on war and a federal food policy that kills animals and makes us sick.

But mostly I vote for Democratic candidates because I’m a first-person witness to how young girls and women are treated in my country. We don’t have equal rights despite what your drunk uncle tells you, we don’t fully control our bodies, we earn less than men, we are made to climb extraordinary hurdles if/when we ascend to positions of power, and we pay extra taxes on items like tampons and yeast infection treatments.

What’s worse is that we live in a society where we victimize women — physically, sexually, socially, emotionally — and then offer blame, shame, and maybe local resources that are supplemented by private donations and volunteer hours.

Not that you care, but I’m voting for Hillary because it’s not always great being a woman in America. And I think Donald Trump’s supporters will benefit from a Clinton presidency much like they’ve benefitted from an Obama administration while simultaneously saying racist and overtly stupid things.

So even though #imwithher, I can’t call Trump supporters “deplorables.”

Here’s why.

I firmly believe that behaviors (and not people) are deplorable. It’s an adjective to describe something that’s shockingly bad. It bugs me when smart people use “deplorables” as a collective noun.

If everything you disagree with is deplorable than nothing is deplorable. When you overuse the word, it loses its meaning. Look at the way people (like me) use the word “awesome.” If everything is awesome — getting my car washed, getting free Amazon Prime Shipping, scoring an upgrade on Delta — how do you describe the natural wonders of the world?

I’m not about calling people “deplorables” and I think you should stop saying it, too.

Sexually offensive language? Wretched. Building a wall? Stupid and short-sighted. Also, racist. Advocating sexual assault? Yes, this is deplorable.

But half of the country is supporting Trump, which means that your neighbors and colleagues are Trump voters. And if they’re deplorable today, they’ll be deplorable on November 9th after Trump loses the election. And then I don’t know how you get anything done — meetings, community programs, play dates — with people whom you don’t respect and trust.

Violent, sexist, racist language is never acceptable. Call it out on the spot, teach your children to do better, and then go vote. In fact, vote early and then go volunteer on election day to drive people to the polls.

But I think you’ll have a much better life — and better relationships with people in the short-term and long-term — if you lead by example and stop calling Trump voters “deplorables.”

It’s just unhealthy, and honestly, it stoops to Trump’s level of vague and invalid generalization without facts.

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twitter chatMy HR career is in failure mode.

It’s no surprise. The signs have been there for a while. I think it began in 2013 when I spoke at a conference with Kris Dunn and had a hotel room that overlooked a dumpster. It hasn’t picked up since.

Yes, I’ve travelled all over the world and had a ton of amazing experiences. I also just stood on three reams of paper in a co-working space and begged HR ladies to be a little more disruptive and innovative.

Good grief. What the hell has become of me?

The good news is that my little software play — which doesn’t have a website or a logo but has reached the point of MVP — will launch after Thanksgiving.

GlitchPath will help you predict and beat failure. Maybe. TBD. Fingers crossed.

And nothing says failure more than a Twitter chat, which is what I’m launching on October 17th at 1PM ET. Each week, we’ll tackle failure from a new perspective. Careers. Politics. Dating. Why Starbucks can’t have two lines — one for plain old coffee and one for speciality beverages.

I’ll post the topics & questions for the failure chats on Friday. We’ll chat on Monday.

Will this chat series fail? My software says it’s likely that people will lose interest in time, and it recommends that I do a podcast. But podcasts are a lot of work! I don’t have time for that shit.

I’ll be back, tomorrow, with the questions for Monday’s inaugural twitter chat. Hope you can join us.

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My HR consulting career is in a lull. It happens. No big deal. I wanted to create some friction in my life. I’m trying to work on my start-up and mostly ignoring my consultancy except when business falls into my lap.

(And here’s a lesson from Warren Buffet: that’s not how business happens.)

You can’t spend a billion hours a day working on a start-up — just like you can’t spend a billion hours being a rock star or working at Waffle House — so I decided to start volunteering.

I know that I can’t volunteer with animals. For one, I keep them. For twosies, animal people are weird and don’t like people. That’s why they are animal people and not “people people.”

So animals are out.

I’m passionate about women and children, so I signed up for an informational session at Interact of Wake County. It’s a domestic violence shelter and so much more. Nationally, more than 60% of women return to men who have abused them after a stay in a domestic violence shelter. Interact has been able to help 90% of women leave their abusers and never return.

Those numbers are very impressive. I thought — I’m a public speaker. I could be a public advocate for the organization.

I went to the first session on a weeknight. There were at least fifty chairs, and all of them were filled. Men and women from all over the area want to learn more. That’s reassuring.

The volunteer coordinator stood at the front of the room and presented an overview of the shelter. She was great, but something was off. I felt super hot. I kept looking around and wondering — is anybody else hot in here? Are the lights in the room too bright? And, oh, man, I have a headache. Is it stuffy in here? Can you breathe? Also, why is the volunteer coordinator shouting at me?

It turns out, nobody was yelling. It wasn’t hot. I was having a mild panic attack.

In retrospect, a domestic violence shelter isn’t suitable for me. Women and children in my family were routinely subjected to violence. That’s a polite way of saying that I was freaking out about my past, which I assumed was in the past and is clearly just under the surface. Dammit.

Thankfully, the info session was short. The volunteer coordinator ended with some wise words. She said — if you’re interested in volunteering, we need you to fill out an application and you’ll be called for an interview. But we also rely on you to screen yourself for emotional suitability. This work isn’t for everybody. It’s better to figure this out sooner rather than later.

And I thought, oh my god, she’s talking to me.

I also thought, oh my god, thank you.

Giving someone permission to “opt out” is a gift, but it’s also important to recognize that you have the power to self-select out of anything: an interview, a job, marriage, a pending agreement with a client that doesn’t feel right. Nothing is final even when it feels final. Some jobs and relationships aren’t emotionally suitable for everyone, and this includes volunteer jobs.

If the paid or volunteer work you do is oppressive and stifling, this is your sign: opt out.

It’s better for everybody if you do.

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I have a mean aunt who lives on the west coast.

I’m not sure she would call herself mean, but she’s an elderly woman who is angry with me because I’m basically a worthless family member. And, you know, she’s right. When it comes to my family of origin, I don’t do much for the people who love me.

(Turns out that familial love is subjective, and, often, a one-way street.)

Anyway, about a decade ago, my aunt was infuriated with me. She sent me an email that said, “You’re nothing but a childless liberal.”

She meant — you’re selfish.

But my mind went elsewhere. I thought, wow, that liberal word is wrong because I’m actually very conservative when it comes to keeping government out of my private life. I understood that it wasn’t the moment to debate politics, so I let her call me a childless liberal and haven’t communicated with her since.

(Families, man! The only thing that manages drama is an email filter that bypasses your inbox and sends shit like that to the garbage!)

But, being a childless liberal, I’ve come to realize that she was right. For years, I lacked empathy for people who struggled with work-life balance issues. I helped my mother through several illnesses while working full-time in HR, but I always did it with a chip on my shoulder. And while I’m all about work-life balance for myself on a beach in Bermuda, I haven’t always been sensitive to individuals who have kids by choice.

“Of course it’s hard. What did you expect?”

(I’ve learned that you don’t say that kind of stuff to parents who seemed surprised when their kids are sick in the middle of the workweek. You just nod your head in sympathy and go wash your hands so you don’t catch norovirus.)

Now, in my 40s, I’m having my version of work-life balance issues. The husband and I both travel for work. I have an elderly cat. I don’t have any family in town, and I have to rely on housesitters and paid help to manage my life when I travel.

It almost always works, but when it doesn’t, things come to a halt. This week? I had to reconfigure my schedule because life wasn’t smooth. And you know what? Nobody died. It’s stressful and I’m missing out on a lot of fun, but I’m going to survive.

The people in my social circles are listening to me complain about this week’s work-life drama and saying, “Hey, aren’t you that childless liberal who doesn’t really pay attention to work-life issues?”

And I’m saying, “No, I’m the small government Democrat who thinks you shouldn’t have a bunch of kids and complain about the price of daycare. But I’m going to keep those opinions to myself because someone has to raise our future doctors and science geniuses. I’m glad it’s you.”

But it sucks when work-life balance issues get in the way of work. Or life. Or both.

Maybe the conversation isn’t about work-life balance or priorities. Maybe it’s about compassion and community. You help me out, I’ll help you out. No judging. No expectations. That kind of vibe. There are places in the world where that happens, right? Scandanavia? Small towns in Iowa?

We’d be happier human beings if more of us — childless liberals, exhausted parents, crabby aunties — dropped our emotional armor and asked for help. Which is why I decided to stay home a few days, this week, instead of trying to make HR Tech happen.

I miss you guys. I’m coming later in the week. And I hope to see you at my session on Thursday.

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dt2This week is the HR Technology & Conference Expo in Chicago. It goes without saying, but I write the best guides to having fun and learning about technology at HR Tech. There are other guides out there, but they could be better. It’s just a fact.

Nobody brings you HR Tech coverage like me. Nobody.

I’ve been reading blog posts from my friends in the HR blogging and analyst community — and they are tremendous friends — but I’m disappointed.

I don’t know, but it seems to me we’re losing out there. Where’s the fun? Where’s the creativity? It’s like we don’t know how to win at HR Tech anymore.

Maybe there’s a great new guide out there. People tell me there are some great blog posts out there. I don’t know, I haven’t seen any, but I’d like to see it.

So in the absence of terrific blog posts about the HR Technology Conference & Expo, here’s my list of three things you need to know.

And this is going to be a post, I think, like no other. I’m not controlled by the vendor community. I’m not controlled by anybody.

1. HR makes HR great again.

I know human resources. Nobody knows HR better than me. And in these HR offices, it looks like a third-world country. You visit your regional offices, and they’re still using fax machines. The ceilings are crumbling. The phones don’t work.

Let’s be honest. HR products are purchased for three reasons: the product solves a problem for HR, the product solves a problem for finance, or the product solves a problem for the operations team.

So let’s take big data, which has been a total disaster. Instead of being smart, HR vendors have been dumb. They’ve been trying to sell HR buyers on big data for years, and they’re losing. Who needs big data? Nobody. Nobody needs big data. Companies need magic that happens behind the scenes — don’t give them too many details — so people can do their jobs better and go see their kids play soccer after work.

With my direction — and I’ve had tremendous success with this — my little consulting company has taught vendors to de-emphasize big data and change their sales and marketing language to be more human.

The technology companies that win at HR Tech? They just want to help HR make HR great again. And they know the secret: it’s not the feature that sells. It’s the experience of winning, powered by magic, that sells.

That’s what makes HR great again.

2. Artificial intelligence is everywhere.

Something is wrong, my friends. Look at all these great American companies. They’re losing, and they’re losing big. Manufacturing is going to China and Mexico. Companies are making bad deals. And nobody is focused on jobs.

HR Tech is full of AI, and it’s impacting all the jobs. AI is recommending candidates based on the context of the job and your company’s culture, not keywords. It’s making selection decisions based on multiple sources of information. And it’s deciding winners and losers in a whole host of areas from performance to diversity to compensation.

And there’s a lot at stake.

Someone behind the scenes — an engineer or developer who probably stole the job from an American, you tell me — is writing code and making implicit decisions for HR and recruiters. And you’re either okay with AI being the boss of you, or you’re not.

So even if nobody mentions AI at this year’s HR Technology Conference & Exposition — although they will — you should know about it. And you should ask yourself, and I think this is a huge question, “Will AI take my job?”

Because, and other people tell me this is true, HR people might lose their jobs to algorithms and robots.

I’m not all doom and gloom. I went to Wharton, and I did very well for myself, and I know that we have the cards. WE HAVE THE CARDS. Don’t you forget it. DON’T YOU FORGET IT. AI and robots can’t take our HR jobs if we stay one step ahead and add value in ways that are different than the robots.

3. “Thought-leaders” aren’t always thought-leaders.

I know HR better than anyone who has ever been at HR Tech. I am the only one who can tell you that thought-leaders aren’t thought-leaders. They are crooked entrepreneurs and innovators trying to sell the audience a product or service.

That’s right. Crooked. Not all of them. There are a few good thought-leaders and they’ve endorsed this blog post. But some of them are crooks. The system is rigged, people. Believe me, I know.

But the people in the audience? You people are really smart. You can’t be bought with swag, and you can’t be fooled by someone on stage with a fancy suit or a good blow-out.

There will be a massive turnout for some sessions, but anyone who tries to push too hard and call themselves a thought-leader is suspect. Remember, if they don’t name the sources that consider them thought-leaders, the sources don’t exist.

So those are my three things to know about HR Tech.

For the few people knocking me for writing this post, at least you know I’m awake and writing something original. Every on-line poll has me winning the coverage for HR Tech. That’s just a fact. Who’s better? Tim Sackett? Wrong. Kris Dunn? Wrong.

I do this hard work because you’re amazing. I’ve had tremendous success at building the blog readership, and I’ve sacrificed a lot to be successful. There is such great love in my audience. Such love, my friends, and nobody can deny it.

Listen, I know HR can be great again. That’s why I still write about the HR Technology & Conference Expo. And, most importantly, I hope you’ll attend my session about employee-centric HR on Thursday at 4PM.

See you soon!

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During a week when Time Magazine wondered why the internet is so full of rage, and Leslie Jones’s personal website was hacked, I learned that some of Kobe Bryant’s fans want to rape me.

Not all of his fans. Just a few on Twitter.

I tweeted about a past rape allegation against Kobe Bryant on “Kobe Bryant Day.” And that’s when the floodgates opened. Yes, I received rape threats. More importantly, I learned that Kobe once dropped 81 points so he gets one rape. Some of his fans told me that I’m racist for bringing up past rape accusations when so many white dudes are rapists. And a few thought I should kill myself. I also found out that I’m an autist. Only a salty bitch with a big nose would bring up the past like that.

It’s amazing how the internet knows me so well.

The Response

Surprisingly, Twitter was super-responsive. They locked accounts and made the scariest tweets go away. And I’m grateful that it wasn’t worse.

But mostly I’m heartbroken. I’m walking the typical “victim walk of shame” where I’m blaming myself for what happened. I’m also mad at a fucked up system that allows online harassment and bullying to occur in the first place. How did that happen?

Oh, right, any platform used for speech will cover both ends of the spectrum: from the sanctimonious to the vulgar.

The Solution

Blame is boring and pointless, although there’s a lot of blame to go around. I’m pretty upset and confused about what happened, but it’s not really Twitter’s fault that I was threatened with rape. You don’t hit a pothole on the highway and blame the inventor of asphalt. You blame the local department of transportation for the current conditions of the highway, or maybe you blame yourself for driving like a moron.

Twitter is a fast-moving highway, and in that way, we’re all responsible for its care and maintenance. When someone is bullied or harassed, it’s our collective fault. There is no hate speech if we check ourselves. There is no harassment and bullying if we, as an online community, pay attention and call out the abusers.

But that’s never going to happen.

So until there’s a software-driven solution that instantly enforces community guidelines while not infringing upon protected speech, I’m left to solve this problem the old fashioned way by limiting my time on Twitter. I’m not going to delete my account and get back into the kitchen as some of Kobe Bryant’s fans suggested, but I am going to spend my time elsewhere.

Big deal, right? Nobody cares what I think about Kobe Bryant, anyway. And it’s clear that some Kobe Bryant fans just want a chance to threaten a woman from behind a pay-as-you-go data plan.

No thanks. I don’t want that for my life.

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A couple of months ago, I attended an event where a bunch of HR ladies discussed talent-related topics and drank champagne and rosé.

(It’s too bad. I didn’t know that bubbles had jumped the shark.)

I jumped the shark a long time ago, and I never say no to free champagne. So I joined the ladies in a bunch of meaningless chit chat about the future of HR. My verdict? It’s all very boring. Let’s talk about something else.

That’s when one of them decided to tell me what she thinks of me.

“You know what’s dangerous about your blog? You write like you have no equal.”

Only in HR would someone call my blog dangerous. And only in HR would someone who has never met me offer unsolicited feedback while simultaneously considering herself to be a good leader.

But, okay, I’ll play along.

I said that maybe my blog seems dangerous because I’m a woman with a strong point-of-view. And I have no equals. My greatest competition is Joel Cheesman who blogs like it’s 2009 and job boards are hot. (Oh, wait!)

She told me, “No, that’s not it.”

I was informed that my blog is dangerous because of its “absolutism” about HR. My worldview is myopic, and I don’t see that other points of view might be relevant.

It’s not a particularly insightful or original critique of my blog, but it’s not entirely unfair. I don’t have any equals. My HR blogging excellence is unparalleled, mostly because it’s HR blogging and the standards are low.

The bubble-fueled HR lady wasn’t done assessing my blog, by the way. She also said, “You know, Laurie, here’s the thing. I don’t always agree with what you say. But I can’t lie. I love the way you say it.”

Here’s the thing — is that a compliment?

I have always felt like it’s an unfriendly way of showing superiority — as if my blog is cute, even if it’s not correct. And it’s hard not to be defensive. I am a classically trained HR generalist who’s been doing this for over twenty years. I’m not new at offering insights or commentary on the failing role of HR in corporate America. When someone shows up and shows me that HR isn’t full of ineffective and whiny leaders who need constant validation, I’ll pack up this blog and do something different.

Won’t be this bitch and her bubbles who shut me up, though.

I’m not an egomaniacal monster, and I truly don’t believe my own hype. Mostly because there is no hype. And I want more for this HR lady than to lob passive-aggressive compliments at a blogger. I wanted to tell her — if you think you have something to say that’s significant and noteworthy about HR and recruiting, the world is your oyster. Buy a domain, set up a blog, or just write on Medium or even LinkedIn.

There’s no shortage of ways to contribute — positively or negatively — to the ongoing discussion about the ways in which HR fails to make an impact. When you’re ready to share an idea, a small but engaged audience is waiting.

But what you shouldn’t ever do is think that you can read a blog or see a keynote speaker and do better than the person who’s trying her hardest to make a change in this world. Don’t let the bubbles fool you. You probably can’t do better. That’s why you still work in HR and yell insults from the peanut gallery.

So if you’re like this HR lady and flummoxed by people who don’t deserve the limelight, be brave and join the fray. Have an opinion, speak your mind, and try to unseat someone who doesn’t deserve her place on the stage.

Just don’t think you can read my blog, sip champagne with me, and consider yourself an equal. You’re not even close.

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