Mojito-Beverage-with-LimeBlogging4Jobs is the little engine that could.

When Jessica Miller-Merrell showed up on the scene, people didn’t know what to make of a regular HR blog that covered everything from social media to technology while showcasing Jessica’s prominent personality. You know what? The blog is still here, Jessica is still writing, and the website continues to grow.

I read Jessica’s work for her honesty and authenticity. I recommend her site to HR newbies and executives who want to expand their horizons and learn a little more about digital, technology and even compliance-related trends.

But I love Jessica’s writing because her character shines through. There’s plenty of stodgy, uptight content on the market. Jessica tries to be entertaining while staying true to her passion: making HR better.

While I’m on hiatus, check out her blog. She’s a superstar and an entrepreneur, and she’s making a living doing what she loves. You could learn a thing or two about that, too.



When someone asks me to show them innovative thinking in HR blogging, I send them to Performance I Create. It’s a multi-contributor blog that covers human performance improvement, training/learning and development, process improvement, instructional design, human resources, communication, social media, leadership, and productivity.

The writers are bold, experienced and compassionate individuals who just want to make HR and recruiting better. And they’re always looking for guest writers.

The contributors are Barb Buckner, Broc Edwards, Chris Fields, Chis Ponder, Christopher Demers, Dave Ryan, Heather Kinzie, Janine Truitt, Justin Harris, Keirsten Greggs, Melissa Fairman, Sarah Williams, Tiffany Kuehl, and Tim Gardner.

This team is full of bright personalities with positive, smart things to say about the world of work.

While I’m on hiatus, you should check them out!


Taxi driver and passenger in Havana, Cuba

Two of the nicest, most authentic HR people I know are Sabrina Baker and Charlie Judy. I met them both through IL SHRM.

Sabrina Baker runs Acacia HR Solutions, which is a real business. I love a woman who’s a business owner and a human resources expert. I have no idea how she finds time to blog, too. By the way, HR bloggers tend to beat a dead horse. Some bloggers write about incentives, others try to lay claim to the “trench HR” beat, and still others want to write about leadership. Sabrina Baker writes a blog that is varied and interesting. She writes about careers, the professional development of HR, the economy, veterans, and HR professionals who work with small business leaders. I read her blog daily, and I barely read anything daily.

Charlie Judy is a boss in all ways possible. Have you heard the term trench HR? Charlie Judy didn’t invent it, but he made it his own on his blog. Charlie is a former CHRO turned entrepreneur. He has a perspective of how things work in the field, so to speak, and his blog reflects an honest passion for making HR less complicated. Charlie is also one helluva mentor to many HR professionals out there. He always picks up his phone, and he’s the first to ask if you need something. His heart is huge.

While I’m on hiatus, you should check them out.



There is no HR blogging community without Sharlyn Lauby and Sarah White Brennan.

I’ve admired Sharlyn Lauby’s work from the moment I started reading her blog. Sharlyn is a friend to SHRM, HRCI and every organization that’s trying to make HR better. She’s also an interesting figure because she attends HR conferences and hangs in the same circle of social media friends, and yet she manages to avoid being lumped into a “dippy blogger” category. I’m jealous of her! She’s very credible! Sharlyn represents the role of a thought leader, and I admire her very much.

Sarah White Brennan used to be Sarah White, but she married a guy named Jake. (I was there, and it was a lovely ceremony.) But enough about that because Sarah is more than my friend. She’s a smart, savvy marketing professional and industry analyst who runs a firm called Accelir. Whenever I have a question about an issue or a trend in recruiting or human resources, I can ask Sarah. She won’t judge me. I love Sarah for caring about HR technology, the candidate experience, and all things “process.” If you want to talk to someone about the business of HR, talk to Sarah. She’ll probably send you brownies after the call.

While I’m on hiatus, please check out those sites!


Fidel-Castro-and-Che-Guevara-000010006907_LargeYou might not realize you know Kris Dunn and John Hollon, but you do. They have influenced every  HR and recruiting blogger out there, even if that blogger doesn’t know it.

Kris Dunn writes for a website called The HR Capitalist. This blog should be #1 on everybody’s list because Kris is the architect of the contemporary HR community. He has been telling HR stories on his blog longer than most of you have known about Facebook. If you want a primer on good blogging and relevant HR content, check out his website. If you ever want to try your hand at blogging, he accepts guest posts at Fistful of Talent.

John Hollon is the VP of Editorial at a company called ERE Media. John is the father of snark in our industry, but you wouldn’t know that because he’s such a solid writer that it doesn’t seem like snark. His content is always right on the money. And, for what it’s worth, John also accepts guest posts from aspiring writers and bloggers who have something unique to say about human resources. TLNT has launched quite a few writing careers. Check it out.

There would be no Punk Rock HR or The Cynical Girl without those two guys. That’s the truth. They push me and hold me accountable, which is why I love them dearly.

While I’m on hiatus, you should check out their stuff.


Cuba libre cocktail in a tall glass

Hi, everybody.

Just a quick note to let you know that I’ll be on hiatus for the next few weeks. I’m getting organized, closing down some projects and heading off to Havana.

I’m not going dark, though. I’ll have new content up and ready for you. I’ll be writing about outstanding and impressive HR bloggers. People who make me think. People who challenge me. People who deserve recognition.

My audience is a mix of HR professionals and regular joes who want to learn the inside scoop on human resources. So if you work in HR, take a fresh look at some of the bloggers who will appear on my site. If you’re a worker, it’s always smart to connect with HR professionals and recruiters who are social.

I’ll be back with an update on my Cuba trip before you know it. Then I’ll get back to writing about work, life and cats.

Laurie Ruettimann



You guys, I’m ready for my November hiatus.

Last year, I ran a marathon. Then I spent the month of November in Australia and Rome. This year, November is just as glorious. I went to the ear doctor, Walmart, and Petsmart.

But life is about to get a little exciting. I’m off to Havana, next week, for an unusual cultural exchange. I am meeting with hoteliers, business leaders, government leaders, lawyers, artists, musicians and a ton of other constituencies. My group is doing plenty of sightseeing tours, too, and my friend Gerry Crispin promised me lots of mojitos.

Sounds great, right?

The official paperwork for my delegation informed me that I should bring gifts for the Cuban people. Some suggestions are Band-Aids, pens, suppositories and anti-diarrhea medication.

So I went over to Walmart to stock up on cheap Halloween candy and put about $100 worth of suppositories in my cart. While standing in an epic Walmart line, I decided to google “gifts to the Cuban people” to see if there was any additional guidance on what I should give. Do they really want suppositories? Does anybody want suppositories?

Turns out, children are running through the streets of Havana with bars of soap and packets of gauze. What the Cuban people want is money.

One comment on Trip Advisor said, “Tip generously and be kind.”

When I eventually got up to the checkout lady at Walmart, I told her that I only wanted to buy discount Halloween candy.

“Kit Kats, please. No Preparation-H.”

She looked at me in horror because somebody had to restock all of those small boxes of suppositories and it sure as hell wasn’t going to be her.

I made a sorry-not-sorry face and went into a five-minute speech about my upcoming trip to Havana, how I’m meeting with diplomats, how Gerry Crispin is buying me mojitos, blah blah blah.

I was holding up the line, and the checkout lady was growing very impatient. Apparently she’s never heard of Gerry Crispin. And the look on her face had me feeling anxious, which caused me to talk a little more like Chatty Cathy.

Then I started to sweat.

I finally got out of the store — with my bagged candy and no suppositories — and happened to look down. That’s when I realized that two of the buttons on my shirt were undone. I was showing off a big chunk of my cleavage.

I was the strange person at Walmart.

I told you that I’m ready for my hiatus. Dear sweet Jesus, I hope Cuba will take me.


Thief Businessman Lee Hecht Harrison
I’m taking the day off. If you need something to read, check out Nick Corcodilos’s piece on Lee Hecht Harrison.

(They are an outplacement company that misappropriated some of Nick’s materials over at Ask the Headhunter®.)

Crooks, liars or fools? You pick.


ruettimann back pain

You probably have back pain.

I don’t know math, but it feels like 100% of the people who work in HR have back pain. What’s up with you people? (Yes, you people.) If you work in HR or recruiting, your back hurts.

Fine, okay, my back also hurts. Shut up. Here is what I’m thinking.

Theory #1: We are sitting too much.

If your back hurts, maybe you should get up and move around. I was given a FitBit, and I take about 5,000 steps each day. It’s not enough. I know that my back doesn’t hurt when I step away from my dodgy, ergonomically flawed desk and move. If I sit for more than 30 minutes straight, I’m doomed.

Theory #2: Our food babies weigh us down.

I won’t lie — my stomach is bigger than my hips because I like it when people mistake me for being pregnant. My food baby makes me sexy. Unfortunately, my protruding tummy strains my core. So before you freak out, know this: I feel your pain, and nobody is telling you that you’re too fat. Strengthening your core is never a bad idea, though. You don’t need to be one of those fools who uses an exercise ball for an office chair, but a few exercises might save your back. I like this pocket guide to stretches, which I keep near my desk. It’s good. Trust me!

Theory #3: Your real baby weighs you down.

How many of you lift your kids on a regular basis? Lifting my poonchy cat, Emma, is a struggle. She’s only 11 pounds but feels heavier. If your kids are killing your back, be mindful and do some exercises to alleviate that pain. Or stop lifting your children. Those monsters can walk.

Theory #4: Our backs have bothered us for years, and it’s just the way things are going to be.

I know many people who’ve suffered through back pain for decades. They are resigned to a life of pain. I get it, but sometimes a new perspective might be helpful. If you work in HR, you have access to experts who specialize in back pain. Be selfish, and ask those experts to come in for a “lunch and learn” to talk about back pain and whatnot. Pretend like you care about your employees and ask a million questions about your condition. A fresh pair of eyes never hurts.

Theory #5: Maybe it’s a little bit of everything.

All of my theories might be true. If you work in human resources, you’re most likely a parent, and you sit for too long. You might carry a little extra weight in your stomach, and your back may have bothered you for years. While pain in unavoidable in life, sometimes HR and recruiting professionals think about everybody else’s health and wellness but themselves.

So if you were waiting for a sign to deal with your aching back, this is it. Take good care of yourself, and this is how you’ll take good care of your workforce.


56037830_thumbnailThe team of writers over at The Hiring Site will spend the month of November looking at the concept of recognition. If you treat your best workers well, through a whole host of logical practices, you might retain exceptional people who do good work. And if you keep your marvelous employees happy, you might make things easier on recruiters who have to conduct a fire drill whenever someone remarkable leaves.

(Stop the fire drills!)

So that’s the concept for the month, which led me to think about recognition in my own little community. Steve Browne, Jennifer McClure, Neil Morrison, Tim Sackett and Matt Stollak are wonderful contributing writers. My clients at CareerBuilder are the best in the business, too.

Do I thank everybody enough? Probably not. While I am gifty and like to send things in the mail, I’m not incredibly demonstrative when it comes to praise. I was born in the Midwest. If I’m not disappointed in you, I’m content.

(Either way, you have to guess.)

I also leveraged my expansive network and asked my friends to write great articles, too. I want to make sure that I recognize their hard work. An email only goes so far, which is why I want to share their fabulous stories.

  1. Gerry Crispin  – The Candidate Experience: What You Really Need to Know
  2. Naomi Bloom – Why Aren’t There More Women and Minority Leaders in HR?
  3. Maren Hogan (Red Branch Media) – 4 Bad Leadership Behaviors to Blast in 2015
  4. Sarah White Brennan (Accelir) – Here is the Most Important HR Trend for 2015
  5. Charlie Judy – Where are the Women and Minority Leaders of HR?
  6. Dawn Burke (Daxko) – I’m a VP of HR: Tech is a Game-Changer for Culture
  7. Chris Powell (BlackbookHR) – 5 Ways to Use HR Data to Drive Business Decisions
  8. Mary Faulkner (Denver Water) – What Does Effective Talent Management Really Look Like?
  9. Laurie Zaucha (Paychex) – Generational Diversity and The 2020 Workforce
  10. Paul Hebert – It Shouldn’t Be This Hard to Say Thank You at Work
  11. Heather Bussing (Deloitte) – Where are the Women and Minority Leaders of HR?
  12. Dave Culter (mLevel) – Gamification is Over: Now, It’s All About Casual Learning
  13. Joe Gerstandt – 5 Different Ways to Think About Diversity at Work
  14. William Tincup (Key Interval) – 5 Things that Will Keep HR Up at Night in 2015
  15. Matt Jones (Harmer) – Work-Life Balance: What’s That? My Life as a New Parent
  16. Sabrina Baker (Acadia HR) – How Small Businesses Can Use HR Tech 
  17. Carmen Hudson (Recruiting Toolbox) – Why I’m Not a Diversity Officer 
  18. Ben Martinez (HireVue) – Up Your Onboarding Game with Technology
  19. Don MacPherson (Modern Survey) – Don’t Be the Last to Know: Four Key Principles for Predicting Retention
  20. Doug Shaw – Is Employee Engagement Even a Thing?
  21. Robin Schooling – 3 Moves Successful Talent Advisors Will Make in 2015
  22. Patrick Rooney (QueSocial) – 5 Steps to Better Employer Branding in 2015
  23. Chris Bailey (CML Offshore Recruitment) – Millennials Are Over. It’s Time for Generation Z 
  24. Rob Jones (CrossRail) – Global Talent Advisor Profile: Rob Jones
  25. Bill Boorman – Job Seekers are from Mars, Recruiters from Venus
  26. Janine Truitt – Talent Advisor Profile: 3 Questions for Janine Truitt

(Sorry if I missed anyone! I did this by memory, which is faulty from all of the champagne.)

My friends are impressive and they write good stuff. Check out their articles and share what’s good. You won’t be sorry, and unlike me, I’m sure those writers will say thank you!

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