423664_3300093979011_1701033883_nI haven’t been to London for about eight months, which is too long.

That’s why I’m headed back for TruLondon15. If you don’t know anything about Tru, it’s an entertaining event where recruiting and HR nerds sit around and talk to themselves about themselves. They discuss how important they are to the entire history of mankind.

I’m not joking, and I include myself with those nerds.

HR is not strategic.

One year, I challenged the group and said that HR and recruiting aren’t strategic functions of the organization. It’s not that human resources leaders don’t think strategically and participate in activities to achieve organizational success; it’s just that they don’t control the “people agenda” of an organization. For this reason, my colleagues in HR and recruiting are merely executing the strategy set forth by board members, officers and functional executives within a corporation.

Whew. People lost it.

I caught a lot of shit about this session, but I was right. Recruiting, staffing and all things HR are an outgrowth of a broader revenue and profit-focused strategy that starts with product and services and then includes labor — and all the nonsense therein — as part of a secondary discussion.

I heard a lot of this:

“Bollocks. If that were the case, Laurie, then why am I so important?”

I don’t know. Are you important? Why are we sitting in a hotel on Brick Lane discussing HR strategy? I have no idea. Doesn’t feel very important to me. Let’s get a curry — the real reason why I’m here — and discuss this a little more.

But the whole exercise was fun, and I saw a ton of personal and professional development in the room. For the first time in maybe a long time, they had to defend themselves — not to the CEO — but to a friendly face.

They did okay, sorta.

But I’m returning to #TruLondon to see if they can do better.

(I’m such an insufferable twat, I know.)

My friend Neil Morrison likes “takeaways” from his conferences. This time, Neil and I will guide the attendees through an exercise to lock down the specific ways HR and recruitment are strategic. We want something that can be published and used to help HR and recruitment professionals articulate the ways in which they add value to an organization.

If we can outline the specific ways to think strategically without waiting for an invitation, we might finally get somewhere. And I would have something to show for my global efforts to break stereotypes and change the face of HR!

See you in London.


  1. Cool – I look forward to more insufferable twattishness soon. I know loads of people leading tracks this time around – I see this event as a huge heckle fest for me! So – don’t forget, I need to give you cash for your Hancock stair climb, and you need to fill me in on the PuppyBowl, m’kay. Safe travels.

  2. Only HR sits around worrying about strategic. I have worked with finance, IT, sales, marketing, product, operations & etc.

    They are just as myopic as HR. Instead of worrying, they just plow ahead with what they are doing.

  3. HR’s chronic inability to differentiate between “strategy” and “tactics” makes me very very sad!

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