Who Loves Ya Baby! #nextchat

  1. Do YOU love HR? I do.

Well…maybe it’s more that I “like” HR. Perhaps it’s that I “have a REALLY strong attraction” for HR? Something. I dunno.

But look…if I didn’t like lovehave a really strong attraction’ for human resources there’s no way I could have done this gig as long as I have. I would have hung it up by about year 3; which was, let’s be frank, quite a few years ago.

Now I’m as quick as anyone to call out the foolishness and foibles of misguided or ill-informed HR practitioners. My blood gets to boiling when I hear tales of HR dropping the ball. I despise the humorless bureaucrats who use an HR Policy Manual as a shield or like to regularly employ the phrase “legal makes us do it.”

But those sorts of HR practitioners are fading away; I truly believe that. We are, as a collective body, more informed, more creative, more inquisitive and extraordinarily plugged into our respective businesses.

Yet, a bitter after-taste still lingers; akin to rancid coffee on one’s tongue.  We continue to battle misconceptions, stereotypes and, well, jokes.

A long-serving assistant personnel manager shared an office with his boss for 20 years. He was always puzzled by the fact that every time the boss was about to sign a letter he would slide open the top drawer of his desk, peer in, and then slide it shut before picking up his pen and appending his signature.
Eventually his boss retired and he was elevated to personnel manager. His curiosity could be contained no longer.
He slid open the drawer and there, stuck to the bottom was a piece of paper, blank except for the line: “2 Ns and one L.”

(hat tip to Mary Faulkner for the joke)

Certainly some of us are misunderstood. Most assuredly some of us are working for a CEO or Owner who views HR as either fluff (parties! picnics! cheer camp!) or a necessary evil (terminations! lawsuits! benefit administration!).

Some of us are just plain doing it wrong.

So let’s talk about it.

Join me for today’s SHRM #nextchat (3 PM ET) for a twitter chat we’re calling HR, Be Human. Be Awesome. (click through on that link for the questions we’ll be discussing).

Let’s debunk some myths, chat about what misconceptions drives us crazy, and celebrate all there is to like love have a really strong attraction to in the human resources profession.

 

 

 

 

 

It’s OK. I’m With the Band (recruiting edition)

I live in south Louisiana and let me just say that one perception about our lifestyle here is pretty damn true: we have lots and lots and lots of live music. Most anywhere, and at most any time, one can find a band or a solo artist jamming out or singing on a street corner. There are musicians who cart their instruments around town as they head from gig to gig, while the piano players and vocalists often just “show up” at venues around town and sit in with the band. Everyone, seemingly, seems to know each other because, more than likely, they’ve played together before.

Since it’s so prevalent, I would say that at least 1 or 2 nights per week, Mr. S and I are listening to live music at either a festival, in a bar, or just by happenstance as we meander around town.

I love it.

Now, as it just so happens, this past Saturday evening we were out and about and decided to check out a hidden local venue (aka “a neighborhood bar”) we had never visited. Small’ish with about 12 barstools; crock pot of homemade tortilla soup on a side table (for all to enjoy) ; cheap drinks; 60 or so patrons. We, being strangers, were immediately assessed as we walked through the door but, as we were relatively harmless looking, were allowed to enter.

There was a band playing (blues, classic rock, cajun and zydeco classics) on the small stage and, as we settled in, multiple people came over to say “hi;” the owners (the husband and wife each made individual visits to our table), the bartender, and several bar flys, regulars, patrons all paid us a visit.

Now, as it just so happened, I was wearing a t-shirt from last year’s ERE Conference (2016 – held in New Orleans); logo on the back is a Mardi Gras mask and, emblazoned on the front is “ERE Media” and, more prominently “TALENT ADVISOR.” OK – we who work in HR and Recruiting understand this but, let’s be real, the average Joe has no concept what any of this “Talent Advisor” gibberish means.

At one point, as I was walking across the room, sipping my extraordinarily inexpensive drink (neighborhood bars rule!) and humming along to “My Toot Toot” , one of the gentlemen from the next table stopped me and said “Hey!, Which agency are you with? (my blank stare apparently signaled to him that I had zero idea what he was talking about).  “Your shirt,” he said by way of explanation. “Talent advisor. Are you a scout? Here to see the band?”

First time, I must admit, anyone has ever mistaken me for a music impresario or an A&R rep.

But…for those of us in Recruiting or HR, this experience at this off-the-beaten-track Baton Rouge neighborhood bar should serve as a reminder of how, even today with all the technology and bots and automated processes, finding talent can still be done by getting out of the office and:

  • Scouting for talent (in ways beyond merely digging through our ATS inbox)
  • Going where the talent hangs out (and not simply waiting for them to come to us)
  • Identifying ourselves (‘branding,’ if you will) in a personable and interactive manner

Right?

Anyway, as the night wore on and we chatted with our new friend, I mentioned to him that I was the head of HR for a local casino (“we’re hiring!”) and, I thought, convinced him I wasn’t there to sign the band to a record deal.

But then, at the break, the bass player came over to say “hello” and gave me his card……….

It’s OK. I’m with the band.

 

 

 

 

Julia and Me (and Chaz! And Michelle!) #WorkHuman

This is year 3 (three!!) of Globoforce’s #WorkHuman conference and I have been attending since the beginning.

I’ve also been the biggest fan of this event. It’s kind of tribal…like heading to get tattoos with all your girlfriends one weekend.  Or a super bonding camping trip where everyone has to use a communal port-a-potty.

Sounds weird for an HR conference but it’s really not.

I’ve never been a devotee of the sunrise yoga at 7 AM (have not attended one single session…#shocker), nor have I been particularly enamored with the flavored water served at “refreshment break” time when all I really desired was carbonation and/or a strong cup of java, yet…I still get all ramped up by every other element.

And the attendees? Smart people who are interested in what makes human beings tick. Talent professionals who are intrigued by how to make work better and how to create organizations that allow people to do their best work.

So yeah…I planned on attending in 2017 as soon as last year’s conference ended and then, BAM, the following ‘announcements’ are made (in this approximate order):

  1. Adam Grant back as a keynote (omg.. y’all…I loved him so much! And he wrote a new book with Sheryl Sandberg)
  2. Susan Cain announced as another keynote speaker; author of “Quiet Power”
  3. Globoforce extends an invitation to me and my co-presenter Bill Boorman to lead a session on “Hiring for a ‘Challenging’ Culture.” 
  4. OMG!  Julia Louis-Dreyfus is announced as a keynote speaker (Elaine moments galore float through the recesses of my brain).
  5. Sweet Fancy Moses – we now have Chaz Bono as a keynote
  6. Michelle Obama is unveiled as the closing keynote! Michelle Obama! 

When that Michelle Obama announcement was made I swear to you that I literally died and somehow resurrected my temporal not-quite-human spirit to come back to earth and assume bodily form in order to get myself to Phoenix at the end of May.

Truly.

So…do YOU wanna join me?  There are still some tickets left but you have to move fast; the conference is almost sold out! But, if you register HERE and use code WH17INF-RSC you can save $500 off the price of registration.

See you in Phoenix!