#NZLEAD PREVIEW: HR in Social Media

Over a year ago I read a blog about why recruiters don’t blog. There were a couple of interesting points that this blog raised for me. The main point is that recruiters don’t blog because it is not necessarily a social activity, and I quote from this blog: “to write a blog post you need to sit and think and write”. Since then though there has definitely been an uptake of recruiters in the social media space, particularly involvement in social media channels such as LinkedIn and Twitter where there is a high element of ‘social’ and even an increase in blogging. You’ve just got to look around, Social Media Club Auckland is a good example, recruiters are right in there with social media.
What I don’t understand is, if blogging is about thinking and writing, and social media is about interacting with people why aren’t more HR people (incuding Generalist, OD and L&D) involved? Well, Brad Power in the Harvard Business Review suggests that HR people are not necessarily innovators in business (which you might argue otherwise – and I hope you do!), which I infer means they might not be up with the play with something like social media. However, there are a number of HR blogs out there, most of which are written by actual HR people. So HR people do blog.
However, there are still not that many HR people, particularly in New Zealand that are out there writing a blog and engaging in social media channels like Twitter and LinkedIn. Social media means engaging with people and getting involved in further discussions, it also means opening up to comments you might find challenging. All expressed in a very public forum. This is invaluable for learning and networking, but is potentially quite disconcerting for those people more comfortable with traditional learning and networking channels.
Lets explore this topic further:
Q1) What are the benefits of HR engagement with social media? What have you experienced?
Q2) How do we get more HR people involved in social media?
Q3) How do we measure and prove the benefits of HR being involved with social media?
 Q4) What are the best HR related blogs you have read lately? Why?

#NZLEAD RECAP: Adding value to the HR profession

This week’s tweet chat was based on a controversial discussion started by Richard Westney (@hrmannz). You can read Richard’s blog and comments here. Richard’s blog was followed up by a piece in HRM online and then summarised quite eloquently by Michael Carty (@MJCartyhere. We’re not going to rehash things in this #nzlead summary, but hope to provide constructive insight.

What those of us on twitter find valuable is having access to different minds, participating in thought provoking discussions and engaging in self-directed learning. Yes, we are only a small proportion of the NZ HR profession but our group is growing. We appreciate the potential value that being part of HRINZ can offer, particularly for younger HR professionals, but there was an awkward silence in the tweet chat when the question “what does NZ’s professional body do really well?” was asked. That doesn’t mean that HRINZ doesn’t do good stuff, but where is that thing that is really going to drive the profession foward and how is it being communicated?

Mark Sumner (@MarkSumner73) shared this image of what his team had been working on that day.

Mark Sumner (@MarkSumner73) shared this image of what his team had been working on that day.

The million dollar question of the night was “what would you like to see more of from NZ’s professional body?” We really appreciated the positive suggestions that came through. Both Tash and I are quite passionate about seeing the profession continuously develop, so we’d like to offer HRINZ the following ideas summarised from the #nzlead tweet chat:

Our first three suggestions revolve around social media.

  • Start with greater use of social media channels to engage with those of us who respond well to instant and reciprocated communication. This would be a great way for HRINZ to communicate what is going on within the institute and then we can help spread the word. This is not just about broadcasting.
  • Use social media as a tool for networking and learning. Twitter is a great resource for sharing information and building connections with people – you don’t know it till you’ve tried it. Promote this with HRINZ members and integrate it into SIGs.
  • Showcase social media at the conference. There could be a pre-session on demystifying twitter and showing people how to use it, and then have a dedicated group (even if it’s small) live tweeting and blogging from the conference. This will help keep those conference conversations going. Tash & I are happy to volunteer for duty if conference fees are provided for 😉 and can rustle up some examples of where this has worked well.

And other stuff.

  • Tidy up the HRINZ website. There are great resources on there, but navigation is a struggle.
  • Reflect on the stuff that CIPD are doing like Next Generation HR. What can HRINZ pick up and adapt to NZ? Can we get some people to volunteer to review this stuff and make recommendations?
  • Be open to challenge, and prepared to take a different approach. We’re on the front lines of the profession. We can tell you stuff that might help you, but it’s only going to work if there is a willingness to listen.

Perry Timms (@PerryTimms) provided some further suggestions and pretty much summed up the spirit of the chat (even though it was written before hand) here.

We hope these suggestions are taken in the spirit by which they are intended, to help us all move foward with strength.

#NZLEAD RECAP: Mentoring

Mentoring is such a fundamental part of developing leadership. Good leadership development is about setting clear expectations and empowering people to perform. Mentoring is based on honesty, transparency, integrity and trust. A great mentor is someone who empowers personal accountability and builds self-awareness.

This quote shared by Mark Sumner summed up nicely the philosophy around mentoring:

“I am not a Teacher, but an Awakener”, 

Robert Frost

This is all nice and everything, but is really nothing new.

The emphasis on coaching, and the philosophy behind mentoring relationships, will not change in the next 5-10 years. However, leadership should be less hierarchical and more collaborative. Social communities are all about the collaborative. The rise of social media creates greater opportunities to connect with suitable mentors. It can be easier to meet people, and keep the connections going.

Social media is not everyone’s cup of tea. So the potential of establishing and maintaining mentoring relationships within the social embrace is limited to those of us who are connected.

Those of us who regularly participate in #nzlead are already experiencing greater connectivity to like-minded, thought-provoking and inspiring people. Proof in point that mentoring is no longer reliant on a one-to-one relationship established through structured processes. Crowd-sourced, social mentoring: the way of the future?