Category Archives: Tru Events

Is HR Mad for Social?

What a week!

Monday and Tuesday in the U.K. at TruLondon; Wednesday in Dublin at the Kelly OCG Talent Strategy Summit; and Thursday and Friday in Amsterdam at the HR Tech Europe Conference. Hanging with HR Professionals from Europe, the Middle East, Asia and North America. Focused on the challenge of increasing the productivity and efficiency of organizations by managing talent better. A global challenge, surely.

The talk at TruLondon was focused on making talent acquisition smarter, more social (because that’s how talent operates today), and more effective. (You can read my take on the conference here.)

The conversation in Dublin was more general, but the use of social technologies was a central thread.

And social was front and center throughout HR Tech Europe – whether it was in keynotes by thought leaders like Thomas Otter, Naomi Bloom, Peter Hinssen  or Josh Bersin, the iHR competition where 6 emerging tech based HR solutions companies vied for the coveted “best new HR tech company,” or as many as 10 (out of 52) breakout sessions that had “social” in their titles.

It made me wonder: is HR mad for social? Every conversation I had in London, Dublin and Amsterdam touched on social – either in discussing conference content or in casual, more personal conversations.  A sample of things overheard:

  • “What a stitch: I just got endorsed for my BBQ skills on LinkedIn.” (not me)
  • “The Twitter stream was rocking during Josh Bersin‘s presentation.”
  • Naomi Bloom said “building/sustaining/deploying social networks to achieve business outcomes, and the business networks of workforce members, are foundational.”
  • Thomas Otter said “mobile devices and social networks are changing the way we work.”
  • “The nexus of Big Data and HR and social will take us to a whole new level of strategic impact.”
  • “Talent Acquisition and Learning and Development are outliers in the world of HR when it comes to early adoption – especially in the social and mobile arenas.”

Frankly, I knew for sure that HR is mad for social at HR Tech Europe when a session leader, a senior HR leader from a French firm, used an image of a kitten with the following caption: “please adopt me.” (HR + kittens = done deal.)

I don’t think that focusing on social technologies to help support HR in making bigger impacts in talent management challenges is a bad thing. We just have to ensure that we are being data-based and  strategic and not just focusing on the next new shiny object. We must ensure that any new solution we introduce into our organizations does 3 things:

  • Strengthens the relationships between employees and their managers, employees and customers, and employees and senior leadership
  • Is based on, collects and produces actionable data
  • Links with the talent strategy – which is rooted in the business strategy

Unless the myriad of solutions coming to the HR/Talent marketplace with social features can do those three things, they may well be just shiny objects mewling like kittens to be adopted.

Unless the myriad of solutions coming to the HR/Talent marketplace with social features can do those three things, they’ll do nothing to increase HR’s ability to lead the necessary strategic  workforce and talent planning actions.

Unless the myriad of solutions coming to the HR/Talent marketplace with social features can do those three things, HR won’t be able to fund them, much less implement them.

The discussions in London, Dublin and Amsterdam were engaging – whether in casual conversation or from behind the podium – and will lead the way for increasing HR’s impact on business performance and growth. And that’s just where HR needs to play:  improving business performance through the greater productivity of talent.  If that isn’t the focus, then social becomes a distraction and a waste of time, energy and money.

Then we won’t be mad for social – we’ll be mad at social. And rightfully so.

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Filed under China Gorman, Conferences, Connecting Dots, HR, HR Conferences, HR Technology Conference, Kelly OCG, Social Technology, Talent Management, Technology, Tru Events

#Tru Innovation

Bill Boorman photo by Heather Bussing

Two years ago I wrote about my first TruLondon unconference experience.  Read it here.  I called it The King of All Social Recruiting. It was less about the event and more about Bill Boorman, the conference  “disorganizer.”  I’ve just attended and led a track at TruLondon6 and I have to say it was another Bill Boorman Tour de Force.  This guy just doesn’t stop innovating.

Bill innovates like you and I breathe.  I don’t know how else to describe him.  For instance, at this unconference he enticed a major new sponsor to underwrite the first ever conference-based live streaming Google+ hangouts.  The first.  Ever.  The good folks from Kelly OCG’s EMEA team underwrote the filming and live streaming of “hangouts” – discussions, really – live streamed on Google+.  Kelly OCG had thousands of viewers to this unscripted, captivating content – challenging and fun conversations with thought leaders from around the world on topics that ranged from “should leaders manage the different generations differently?” to a

Kelly OCG Google+ Live Streaming Hangout photo by Heather Bussing

presentation and discussion led by the CEO of Stack Overflow, Joel Spolsky.  Some of the hangouts were social media focused, some were recruiting focused, some were just cool conversations by really smart people with expertise and opinions about the state of talent acquisition and development.  These were happening simultaneously with the three tracks of group discussions (not filmed or streamed live) in each time block.

China Gorman and Mervyn Dinnen at TruLondon6 photo by Heather Bussing

At the same time, Mervyn Dinnen from JobSite recorded and live streamed interviews with many of the notables in attendance.  John Sumser and I had a fun conversation about whether or not there really is a talent or skills shortage.  Check out the JobSite channel to see the recorded interviews.

True to the Tru brand, stars in the talent firmament  like Johnny Campbell, Paul Maxin, Henry Stewart, Andy Headworth,

Photo by Heather Bussing

John Sumser, Gerry Crispin, Crystal Miller and Heather Bussing led fascinating group discussions and challenged the attendees to share, learn and think differently.  As a track leader, I learned as much from the colleagues in my discussion as I hope they learned from me.

I have to say it was entertaining, fun – and I really learned a lot.  Just what I want from a conference – or unconference – experience.

If you get the chance to attend one of Bill’s Tru events – and they’re all over the world now with stops coming up in Amsterdam, Zurich, Cape Town, Hong Kong, Singapore, New Orleans, Seattle and lots more – you really need to do it.  Leave your “normal” conference experience expectations outside, though.  This will be a conference like no other you’ve ever attended.  And you’ll be smarter for it – and your network will have grown exponentially with innovators like Bill Boorman.

Well, not really like Bill Boorman — there’s only one of him.

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Filed under Bill Boorman, China Gorman, Conferences, Connecting Dots, HR Conferences, Talent Acquisition, Tru Events, Unconference