To the Social Media Whiz Kids at #SHRM12

dinner with friends at SHRM12

Loved having a quiet dinner with friends to unwind at SHRM. From left: John Nykolaiszyn, Jason Lauritsen, and me

I started to put “bloggers” in the title, but there are so many people from the conference who started using Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn for the first time, and I wanted to include those as well. These are my thoughts on where we’ve come, where we’re going, and what everyone needs to do now. Hope you’re inspired!

The SHRM 2012 annual conference is now in the books. As usual, this event consists of few days of frenzied running to sessions, meeting with old friends, making new ones, and generally having an amazing time.

Why I go to any conference

I attend these events on two levels: first and foremost, I’m attending as an HR practitioner. I’m looking for ways I can help our operations team and company be better through smarter people practices. In that role I’m attending sessions, taking notes, and trying to meet people who might have insights in our industry.

On another level, I’m attending as a blogger. I’m trying to gather content, I’m trying to make connections, and I’m trying to find out what my audience is looking for in the way of great content (hint: sessions that are filled/overflowing would be good topics to explore in blog posts).

My hope for the social media community

Whether you’re writing a blog, participating in the fantastic HR-related chats on Twitter, or building a Facebook community, I hope that you take the connections you’ve built to another level. I’m already talking with a few people from the conference about working on some partner projects (Heather at A Leading Solution, for instance).

Why?

Because I want to learn from them. Because I want to be energized by them. Because I want to help both of our audiences be exposed to another person who is on fire for this HR thing. And maybe, just maybe, we’ll make this profession better one person at a time.

We are just like you, only we talk louder

Those of us in the blogging community aren’t any smarter than your average HR professional. We don’t even talk more than the average HR pro. We just do it louder. We channel it through the social tools to help us reach a larger audience.

When people come up to me in awe because they recognize me from my photo or blog, I just smile. I’m just a guy who likes to write and share what he’s doing right (and wrong) so people can learn a little bit. I’m no different from you, and I hope you can tell that when you’re standing there waiting for some brilliant statement to come out of my mouth, and I have nothing to say. :-)

Small victories are still victories

If you looked at the Twitterstream flowing from #SHRM12, you might have seen quite a few tweets about HR professionals visiting SHRM’s Hive area for social media advice/help. SHRM (and Curtis Midkiff, especially) did a great job of pulling in those of us passionate about using social tools in HR and leveraged our strengths and knowledge to be ambassadors for those without social media experience.

We helped set up Twitter accounts, discussed LinkedIn for recruiting purposes, and talked about using HR blogs for professional development. Each person helped was a small victory. Did we reach all 13,000 attendees? No way. But if we reached even 500 people (which isn’t an outrageous number based on the traffic we had each day), then that’s a win in my book.

Keep up the momentum

I had several conversations during the event about how people “like us” have been using social media extensively for the past 3+ years. At times, it seems like the topic is old and stale, because surely “everyone” knows how to use it by now. But then I run into an HR professional at a local SHRM meeting who wants to know what Twitter is or if they should have a corporate LinkedIn page, and I realize yet again that the number of HR professionals using social tools is still relatively small compared to the size of the group overall.

Closing thoughts

On Monday I start back to work. I get back into my routine. And it would be incredibly easy to just keep going like I have been going for the past year. Or I can take the time and make the effort to keep up with the connections I made at SHRM. I can keep the promise I made to keep educating HR professionals and recruiters on the value of social tools. I can work to incorporate the things I learned at the event into what I do at work.

Only time will tell which direction I take, but what I do matters much less than what you do. Well, what’s it going to be? I’m waiting…

#SHRM12-Twitter Doesn’t Make Managers Better

Yesterday, Jose Berrios of SHRM spent some time talking about diversity, and he mentioned using a Twitter-like tool to let managers give employee feedback in short, 140-character snippets. Many of the audience members agreed that it was a good idea, but I was quick to point out that it isn’t really that easy. My alternative solution:

In response to my comment, someone else came back with a (poor) excuse for why my idea wouldn’t work:

I can’t help but laugh. HR pros need to be forcing managers to manage well, not giving them a free pass to be poor communicators. If they are not talking with their employees, that’s not going to change by offering to let them talk to their employees with a software program in snippets too small to give real, useful feedback.

Let’s fix the problem with managers who don’t take the time to talk with their people. Then we can discuss software tools that help to supplement the feedback process with more frequent, informal pieces here and there. It’s not an either/or answer–both can (and should) be used effectively.

How to Sell Social Media

How to Sell Social Media

How to Sell Social Media

In a previous post, I talked about using social media as a competitive advantage. Today, I’d like to take a look at why people like me attempt to push  or sell social media on those who are not yet participating.

  • Is it because I feel a bit awkward and want others to join me?
  • Is it because I have benefited from its use and want others to do the same?
  • Is it because I\’ve been suckered into a fad and don\’t know any better? Continue reading

Guest Post Blitz #3

I try not to let things catch me by surprise. But it happens anyway. Oh, well! I am on the move much of the time, and I try to save my best writing times for this site. However, I occasionally slip in an article somewhere else, and I try not to let them go by without at least a passing mention. With that in mind, feel free to explore these little seeds that I’ve scattered to the four corners of the online world. Continue reading

What the heck is KickTailTues?

Sometimes you just have to force yourself to be in a good mood. I don’t know how it all works, but I spend a lot of time being very peppy. As in people-wonder-if-it-is-chemically-related happy. I see it as my job to help others be positive and excited about the day ahead. But sometimes it doesn’t always work. After starting out so well on Tuesday, I spent much of my day in a funk. Why? It’s a lot of things, but none of them were very important. When you’re generally feeling blue, lots of tiny things seem huge at the time. But with a little help, I was able to pull out of the slump and have a pretty good day (a sincere thanks to April and Stephen!). It really did turn into a Tuesday where I kicked some tail.

Enter #KickTailTues

I’m on Twitter (follow me, if you dare). I mentioned something Tuesday morning about kicking tail during the day, and Stephen quickly threw out the #KickTailTues hashtag. A hashtag is just a word/phrase that people can use to search for things on Twitter. Here is the search page for the #KickTailTues hashtag to see when it’s been used.

This Tuesday, plan on doing something great. And remember, “great” is objective, so it all depends on you. But whatever you do, tell us about it. We’d love to see how you are making things happen in your daily life. And if you need some pepping up or an idea to get you rolling? Hit me up. I’ll be back on track, kicking tail as always.

Photo by scottfeldstein.

Top 10 Reasons I\’m NOT Attending SHRM 2009

This morning, Tara Berger (@TaraAtBeyond) posted her Top 10 Reasons to Attend SHRM09 on Twitter.  In was in that spirit that this post was born…

I’ve been crying myself to sleep every night for the past few weeks, because SHRM09 is coming, and it’s coming on fast. I’m not the only one not able to attend the party, but I am the only one who will be posting a list of excuses for not attending.

  1. The judge said I can\’t cross state lines.
  2. My boss won\’t let me.
  3. I haven\’t paid that much money for a car, much less a trip.
  4. They didn’t invite me to speak. Like I’m not up to Jack Welch-level or something. Whatever.
  5. Networking? Pfft. Who needs it?
  6. I am quite confident that I know everything already.
  7. Going to NOLA and having time off work? Where\’s the fun in that?
  8. I\’m terrified of the scary people who will be there.
  9. It\’s SO much more fun to Twitter than actually DO anything.
  10. I have more time to look forward to SHRM 2010. (Woohoo! Anticipation, baby!)

In all seriousness, I hope everyone stays safe, learns a lot, drops great tweets (with the #SHRM09 hashtag), and remembers all of us “left behind” on the battlefield.  Have fun!

The Prestige of HR

A fellow Twitter user, @hroncall, is stirring up a debate today. The basic question postulated is this:

Does a SHRM certification make HR less prestigious?

He believes that in order to get a SPHR certification, candidates must complete a process like that of a pilot or an eagle scout, requiring not only a test, but also a demonstration of accumulated knowledge, skills, and abilities.

The tweet heard round the world

The tweet heard round the world

With more than 10 people (at the time of this post) firing back at the original poster, it\’s clearly a hot debate.  What do you think?  I may have been less inclined to respond six months ago, but now that I have my PHR certification, I think this topic deserves to be discussed!  The certification process is pretty difficult, but that isn’t good enough for some people that think just anyone can get a certification.