I started my job as a writer and speaker in 2007. I began traveling around the country and telling people how much I hated HR and recruiting. It wasn’t a super sophisticated message, but I just wanted my fellow colleagues to know that they could do better.
Like, don’t you want more for yourself?
And, during the past ten years, there’s been a sea change in the way HR-related professionals talk about themselves and their dreams.
A lot of consultants take credit for helping HR see its potential, but I think my friend Gerry Crispin is one of the central figures who contributed to the rising self-esteem of HR and recruiting.
Gerry describes himself as a life-long student of recruiting. He gets excited about meaningful work, technology, and data. And he dreams of a world where employers and candidates have crucial conversations about fit and passion before anybody gets hired.
And, back in the day, I used to be all like — COME ON, GERRY, STOP LYING TO US. THAT DREAM SUCKS. GIVE ME A DIFFERENT DREAM.
For the first few years of our friendship, I’d basically roast him from the edge of the stage while he was addressing recruiters and HR professionals about the future of staffing and HR.
I was a fool because Gerry’s vision affords him a pretty killer lifestyle. His work takes him all over the world to meet fabulous people. He eats good food, drinks great wine, and he helps companies get better at hiring talented people.
Tens of thousands of recruiters and HR professionals have seen Gerry on stage and must’ve had the same thoughts I now have:
Damn, Gerry! It’s a pretty fabulous way to make a living.
Gerry is one of many impressive people I’ve come to know, love and respect during the past ten years. My job — of being a cynical naysayer — has given me the opportunity to meet all kinds of individuals with weird and random dreams who challenge the way I think and, more importantly, teach.
I used to roll my eyes at a lof of these HR topics — especially when I’d meet someone who described themselves as passionately sitting at the intersection of millennials and leadership. But, you know what? Thank goodness there is someone out there who wants to create a world a where ACA compliance is easier. And I’m grateful to know people who want HR generalists to think like marketing and sales professionals.
I can’t believe I’m writing this, but those HR dreams are worthwhile.
So, if you have an idea about HR or recruiting, don’t listen to the 2007-version of Laurie Ruettimanan who made fun of your dream. Well, okay, listen to me. I’m not wrong. Take my advice and try to frame your HR vision in a different way that’s not boring as hell. Get a speaker coach.
But if you think you could coach someone into peak performance — or if you feel like you have a new way of seeing an old staffing process — you need to get your act together and follow that dream right now.
And, for the record, don’t just dream your dream. Teach your dream. Because HR needs you now more than ever.