upstartHR - 2/114 - entry level HR, corporate culture, and human resources leadership

The Idea Driven Organization (Book Review)

The Idea Driven Organization by Alan Robinson and Dean Schroeder

I recently finished this new book, and it was an excellent read. I’ve been on the hunt for a good book on innovation and generating new ideas in the workplace, and this is exactly what I was looking for. Check out the video review below for my thoughts on the book.

Video notes

  • Management driven vs front line driven ideas
  • “Successful” managers vs effective managers
  • Resourcing for time: how to have time to innovate
  • Being problem-sensitive versus problem averse (also known as “that’s not my problem” syndrome in the corporate world)

Should you get it?

I’d recommend this for anyone looking to drive more innovation in the workplace. HR always talks about strategy and impacting the business, and this is a great way to make that happen by harnessing the power of your people. Click below to grab your copy!

How to Get Into Human Resources

I recently received a reader email asking how to get into human resources without experience. It made me pause, because I had just responded to an email asking virtually the same thing less than five minutes before. So I dug into my email and looked at how many times I’ve had a conversation with someone over the past five years about how to get into HR. The result? I’ve had over 250 conversations in just five years, and those don’t include the many interactions outside of email. Today I’m sharing my thoughts on the subject, some data from a recent survey I developed, and insights from other HR professionals on how to get into human resources without experience. This is going to be long, but it’s going to be good.

Table of Contents

  1. How to get into HR
  2. Relating real-world work to HR
  3. Improving your HR education (mostly for free)
  4. How to position yourself for success
  5. Things to remember for your first HR job
  6. Comments from the experts
  7. Additional resources

How to get into human resources

I think its hard to get that first HR job without any experience. What would you give as advice for the newbies to land the first job in hr? Alison
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HRevolution 2014

Since 2009, HRevolution has been creating unique opportunities for HR professionals, recruiters, consultants, and vendors to come together to discuss and debate the future of HR.

This year we are celebrating our fifth anniversary by taking the event back to its roots. We have crowdsourced the location preferences and are excited to announce the location of our event!

HRevolution 2014
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How to Get a Job Without HR Experience

Update: The post on how to get an HR job is live! Thanks to everyone who offered advice and support!

Hi! I am glad you’re here today, because I need a little help.

Well, actually, the HR profession needs a little help. You see, there’s a longstanding problem that I’m going to solve with your help. We are going to take on the age-old question: How can I get an HR job without having experience?

I’m currently writing a “how to” essay regarding how to get a job without HR experience. I am looking for some inputs from the HR community out there to help those students and early career professionals. The survey has fewer than 10 questions. The information will be used in an upcoming article, and you can choose to be anonymous or not within your response.

If you have five minutes to take this survey, you’ll be helping thousands (yes, really!) of entry level HR professionals answer the age old question about how to get a job without HR experience. Thank you in advance for your support!

Click here to take the short survey and make the future of HR just a little bit brighter

What HR Students Need to Know

Last week I sat down at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and spoke with some of the students about what they need to know as they prepare to leave school and enter the real world.

I talked about some of the career aspects: negotiating salary, establishing credibility, networking, etc. I also talked about some of the things I learned very quickly after I left school (namely, the degree isn’t as helpful as most schools would lead you to assume). Many of the topics I discussed are a part of the entry level HR course I developed last year. (Side note: I’ve had a few senior level HR pros sponsor that short course for their entry level HR interns/admins, because it focuses on some of the early career skills that many of us had to pick up in bits and pieces. I think that’s awesome that they help them by putting them through the course!)
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The Talent Mandate Book Review

The Talent Mandate: Why Smart Companies Put People First by Andrew Benett

I have learned that based on my own interests and daily work, I am eager to consume just about anything I can find related to talent management. When I got this review copy, I dove in and while it’s been a while coming, I finally had time to put together a review of this excellent resource.

Things I liked

  • Show, don’t just tell. the talent mandate andrew benetStop saying, “People are our greatest asset!” and actually demonstrate how it’s true. Actions speak louder than words.
  • Make culture a priority. “There is something strangely intangible about culture, something that can be felt but not always articulated.” In other words, culture is what happens when you are not looking. So how do you embed that into your organization? Codify what is important. Form a “Culture Corps” to define why people like working for the organization, what the organization and people aspire to be/achieve over time, and reinforce both.
  • Always be asking three critical questions: is the culture grounded in values, does the culture promote cohesion, does the CEO make culture a top priority? If the answer to any of those is “no,” then you’re going to face difficulties in maintaining the best culture for the organization.
  • Consider a “manager detox.” New managers at Rackspace are required to undergo a three day training to “un-learn” outside thinking to avoid polluting the new environment. We’ve all run into “that’s how we did it at my last job” situations, and many of those with questionable results. This process helps to overcome those potential conflicts.
  • “Be comfortable with what you don’t know.” The best ideas come from a team, not just from a single executive. Every employee wants to make an impact, so give them a chance!
  • Hiring for agility as a competency. This means looking for strong thinkers who can apply their knowledge to different types of business problems. Agile leaders focus first on big picture and then on how their piece will contribute to that. Dave Ulrich provides a model describing four types of agility: learning (curious, finds simplicity in complexity), people (self-aware, makes other succeed), change (likes to experiment), results (flexible in ideas, works well in teams). The bottom line: find someone with those traits and you’ll have an excellent example of an agile leader on your hands.

Final thoughts

If you’re also looking for ideas and tips on talent management, then I encourage you to check this book out. I think you’ll learn a few things, see some old concepts in a new light, and challenge yourself and your organization to be better at managing talent overall. The Talent Mandate is a great book. Click here if you would like your own copy.

HR Philosophy from the Trenches

I have 2 HR philosophies; “Keep It Simple” and “Deal With the Problem”. My that I mean that people always seem so scared of dealing with something going wrong because they see it as conflict and that they will upset the person involved. The way I approach it is, something has happened, and that is what we need to address. I’m not going to belittle them, or attack them, we just need to address the issue as soon as possible. ~Leeanne, a dedicated upstartHR reader

Recently I asked some questions of a few of my audience members as a way to learn how to provide content that is better targeted toward their needs. I received the comments above from Leeanne, and I got her permission to share them here. I absolutely love them and wanted to take some time to unpack the comments here for the benefit of the rest of you out there. As we say here in the Bible Belt, I’m going to step on some toes today, but it’s good for each of us to get that once in a while. Heck, half the advice I give here is to hold myself accountable for doing the right thing instead of the easy thing. Listen up, school’s in session…

Keep it simple
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