The intersection between HR strategy and HR technology

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The New Order of HR Existentialism

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Thanks to Bill Tincup for bringing us the marvelous series of “what’s next by some of HR’s greatest thought leaders.  I’m embarrassed to admit it, but I love Sumser and am proud to call him a friend and mentor.  His entry into “What’s Next” actually did make me laugh out loud, on an airplane of all places.  Here’s a repeat of his thoughts, but many others on Bill’s site that are worth reading:

  • Job Boards Refuse To Sign Do Not Resuscitate Orders. The habits of job hunters outweigh the push towards social media. Job Boards find new lives.
  • Multiple Kafka Moments. People who wake in the new normal will write in their diaries, “On morning, as I woke from an anxious dream, I noticed I had been turned into an enormous bug.” The realities of an economy reset to 75% of the good old days will not sit well. Big mid-term victories for non-democrats.
  • Shrill Voices Proclaiming The Worthlessness of HR Grow Louder. The fundamental problem is that no one has figured out how to use social media effectively. The evangelistas blame the institution and call for revolution in the streets. The institutions yawn and demand variable pay packages.  ((Sumser, John, December 18, 2009.  “What’s Next by…John Sumser.”))

I’ll admit that it has been quite a few years since I have read Kafka (hey, at least I’ve read him),  but this is absolutely brilliant.  I remember after “2001” it took HR until 2004 to get their budgets and spending habits back.  HR technology and many other areas of the HR function not only lost momentum as the economy shifted south, but they also lost great ground.  I predicted that this downturn was going to be short enough and mild enough that organization leadership would continue to see HR’s core strategies as valuable and maintain investments.  Boy was I wrong.  The problem is that not only did we see budgets plummet, but I agree with Sumser that we’ve seen some of the good old days come back.  Those of us who were planning in 2008 see ourselves replanning in 2010 because our old plans no longer fit the new organizational realities and models going forward.  We have new mandates and have to execute them with 25% less budget.

I hope that proclamations of HR worthlessness don’t get louder.  But it is true that we just can’t figure out social medias.  Part of the problem is that as we exit the days of ERP and inhouse IT kingdoms, CIO’s seem to be grappling with figuring out how to keep pieces of that kingdom.  We are in constant battles with IT and other groups with who social media technologies should be owned by, and we don’t always know how to play nice from a collaborative standpoint when the owner of such topics and technologies is largely undefined.  Marketing can do their own thing with customer social media technologies, but we really have to control our own destiny in regards to employee, candidate and alumni experiences.

One last thing, Sharepoint is a good start, but please, nobody tell me that it’s the be-all-end-all of social medias again!!

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