m6gudfk“What the F is this?”

That’s what I normally say when I log onto my personal Facebook account. It’s a mix of baby photos, overexposed memes and ridiculous chaos.

(So dumb and yet I can’t quit it. Your babies are cute. When cute kids converge with memes, I die.)

Last week, I was notified by Facebook that I am on a list of the 100 most influential people in HR and recruiting. Unless I’m wrong, which rarely happens, there aren’t 100 people in HR who are influencers.

(And unless I’m number one on a list, I don’t care.)

Wait, hold up, even when I’m number one, I still don’t give a rip. I don’t want to be involved in a private company’s marketing strategy that leverages my brand — whatever the hell that means — to sell more of their products and services.

Do I sound bitter? I am bitter because those lists are insidious. When they are published, I am put into a weird position of congratulating my colleagues who believe these lists mean something.

(And marketers know it, dammit.)

It’s a Catch-22. I have a lot of awesome friends who do great work in human resources and recruiting. Those efforts are rarely recognized. And I believe in future leaders who do HR and recruiting a little differently. But these influencer lists — the ones that pretend to celebrate the remarkable leaders in HR — are clickbait.

So please do me a favor and help me walk the tightrope of relationships and reality. Please continue doing what you do as savvy consumers of content: be skeptical and be informed. Know when someone is selling you a big pile of shit.

But please be kind — and remind me to be kind — to those who enjoy being on a list of key influencers in the HR space.

If it means something to them, I want to try to respect those feelings.