• Meet Chester and Amanda – I Did

    Me. Chester Elton and Amanda Hogue

    While it has been in the bag for more than a week, I am still referring back to the recently completed SHRM Leadership Conference to talk about things that went on at the event.  I was particularly looking forward to the last breakout session of the day.   I was attending a session put on by Chester Elton on Team Building.  I had just met Chester at lunch and found out he was the writing partner of another author I had seen speak a couple of years earlier. Chester and his partner Adrian are the Carrot Culture – Think Orange guys.  I highly recommend their books.

    In waiting to hear Chester get underway, I sat in obscurity along the wall (close to an outlet) so I could cabbage on to some electricity for

    John Jorgensen, Amanda Hogue and Steve Browne

    my gadgets.  A  young man and young lady walked into the room  and sat down in the row in front of me.  The young lady turned around and smiled at me and said hello, then turned forward.  In about 5 seconds she turned back around and said in a confirmatory fashion – “You’re the HR Czar?”  I smiled and said “Yes.”    She told me her name was Amanda Hougue  and that she was HRAmanda on Twitter.  Bingo, the twitter handle gave her away, and then I made the connection.

    She was so cute, funny and energetic, she was genuinely excited to meet me.  So to some degree, or at least in this instance I had reached the status of micro-celebrity stardom, for a day, or an hour, or a minute perhaps.  I look3d at her profile to see that she had not been on twitter too long and so I understood the way she was feeling.    I too have met folks in real life, that I had first met on line and I was truly jazzed to do so. It’ s fun!

    Now the rest of the session was just an enjoyable.  Chester killed it talking about Teams.  After the session, people were coming in from the next room and asked what went on in here, it sounds like you guys had a blast – we did.  Amanda and I tweeted each other from row to row.  We tweeted to the conference and the world that #ChesterElton was rocking the house at #SHRMLead.  When the session wrapped up Amanda and I were lucky enough to get a picture with Chester, before he had to run off and sign books.

    I ran into Amanda later and she got to meet a couple of my buddies and now her new friends John Jorgensen and Steve Browne. Us folks in Human Resources are a pretty cool bunch – don’t ya think?

  • Count Your Blessings and Help Someone

    The holiday season is official starting today – Thanksgiving.  As I enjoy the holiday with my family I can’t help but think how lucky I truly am.   There are so many things I could list that might demostrate my happiness, my fulfillment or sucess, but let’s think about feeling lucky and blessed in a different way.

    • Chances are if you are reading this you have a place to stay – to sleep that is safe, warm and dry.  
    • You probably are not worried about where your next meal is going to come from.
    • I would hope if you have aches and pains you get them checked by a medical professional.
    • You probably have family members, friends, co-workers who have got your back, and cover you – in whatever way you need

    Heading into this holiday season my fear is there are many folks who do not meet any of the criteria above.  Let’s not forget about these people this holiday season.  If we all did something to try and help out some one who is less forturnate than those of us who are doing ok, just maybe we could make the world a little more compassionate place.

    Best wishes for a happy holiday season!


  • #HFChat on Black Friday Hosted by Me

    Hire Friday is an event that has been around for a long time, at least in the twittersphere. If you have been out here in the HR space you would know this. The genesis of show is based in “good,” and is the brain child of HRMargo.

    I have been friends with Cyndy Trivella for quite some time. We interact on twitter frequently. Well recently, she asked me if I would Guest Host a chat session.  I was flattered, honored and flabbergasted all at the same time, but without question happily agreed to do so.

    So part of my responsibility as the host is to frame the discussion with a concept and five questions to drive the discussion.  The concept is gaining employment in a small to medium size organization, compare to large organizations.  So here are the set-ups and the questions.

    Just like gaining employment in a larger organization, finding a cultural fit with the organization is crucial.

    1.)  How do you learn about the culture of a small privately-held Company?


    Smaller organizations may be more difficult to get specific information about products or services, however if you have some mastery about the Companies offerings you will appear to have a leg up on other candidates.

    2.)  Where do you go to get good insight on a small Company’s product or service line?


    Smaller Companies often times do not have the resources (dollars) allocated for research, marketing or other project.  In an interview you might be asked to solve a $500,000 problem with a $5000 budget.  This often involves technology or equipment.

    3).Do you have a story of  cost effective problem-solving which might intrigue a small Company recruiter?


    While most of us HR veterans know that nepotism is not a good thing, you should be prepared to see it in a smaller Company.

    4.) Working in a small Company, how can you prepare yourself for dealing with management decisions involving nepotism?


    We have talked about many of the down sides of smaller employers.  There are also many opportunities that a smaller Company would afford an employee that a larger Company could offer.

    5.) What type of opportunities might you get in a smaller Company that you might not get in a Fortune 500 Company?


    Ok, so there is the discussion for Black Friday ##HFchat. I hope to see you on the tweet stream.  – Dave “theHRCzar” Ryan

  • HR Challenges X 3

    As so often happens with our project social cross postings they start out as a concept between Laura and myself.  Somehow we have really come to enjoy one and others’ company. I think it’s the blogging/writing which is at the core of our relationship. Laura and I have come to respect each other for the knowledge that we hold on certain matters.  So Laura and I come up with a concept and then we email poor Lyn and ask, “Hey do you want write a post about …”  More often than not good natured Lyn is game.

    Our topic on this post came largely from Laura. It was supoosed to be on biggest challenges facing HR,  Wel I took it a little broader and made it about the thre biggest challenges in business today.  Partner two Lyn Hoyt has another look at the subject too at the HR Bacon Hut.

    Laura lives in the big business world as she works for a  multi-national company. While I work for privately held company, that is regional to the mid-west.  Lyn often times is speaking on behalf of herself as a consultant; drawing on some past HR experiences.   I tell you all of this because our post today is on the three biggest things facing HR/business today.  This will no doubt be three really unique prospectives.

    As I said I come from a relatively small operations so my view are tempered by this.  I don’t see the world so strategically as do some folks.  I tend to be more of  get the product out the door kind of guy, as opposed to contemplating our Companies employment need in 2013.  I wish I wasn’t so much that way, but it is reality for me and many other folks in the 100 to 500 employee range.   By now you have probably got the idea that my three biggest challenges are going to be a little less lofty than those of my blogging com padres.

    Additionally bear in mind that my challenges are not native to the old HR world but too business in general.  The three most important challenges we are facing today are PRICE, PRICE, PRICE and quality – in that order!  So actually that would make quality the fourth most important thing.  I am in the food business, where we process food products for the wholesale and grocery markets.  Thanks to folks like Wal-Mart, Target and Home Depot, they have nearly driven the profit margin out of all things manufactured domestically.  That would be why so much of what is sold in those stores comes from off-shore due to  pricing considerations.

    In the food business most goods move by truck. Trucks run on diesel fuel.  You have seen how gas prices have been over the last couple of years.  Diesel fuel prices are even more volital, making it nearly impossible to plan for or anticipate changes in cost.  Most of our main ingredients are agricultural based commodities.  These markets too rise and fall quickly, so you had better not get caught long or short on either end.  Employees (myself included) want annual raises, retirement and to not go backwards on health insurance benefits.  And then our customers are looking for things like rebates, promotional allowances, and growth incentive programs.

    Yeah it is tough.  So anyone who dares to manufacture in this country is operating on razor-thin margins, hoping the staff doesn’t mess anything up, for if they do they can take the entire margin out of ones days worth of production, and in-fact turn it into a loss.

    Oh and I didn’t mention the other wolves at the door, or waiting just outside: OSHA, FDA, US DOT, EPA, IRS just to name a few.  Yeah if you don’t play by their rules they are ready to pounce on you too.

    So let’s review the three most important issues facing my organization in business are price, price, price and quality.  Stay tuned in  a future post where I will discuss how manufacturers are forced to participate in reverse auctions to sell thier goods.

    Thanks UCEDE for the photo.

  • Talent Net Live Chicago

    My kids used to call it creeping.  I don’t know if that is still the case.  But in the social media realm there are those who are lurkers.  This, is in-fact is a bona-fide type of social media user as defined by Klout. I would surmise that often times, these are the folks who are relatively new to the medium, and are just as much content to watch rather than to participate.  You know who you are.

    If you are in that realm then this post is directed at you. There is an opportunity for you to bust out of your shell, to come out from behind that avatar and meet a bunch of people; hopefully about 300 to be exact.  I am talking about YOU attending the upcoming TalentNetLive Chicago event that is coming up next month on December 5th in the Chicago area. 

    Here is a little background on me.  In March of 2010 I was still dabbling in social media, unsure of its use and potential.  There was an event being held in Chicago in May.  It was called HREvolution and was billed as an “unconference.”   I struggled with this; should I go, or not. I could tell there were going to be a lot of folks I had seen on twitter, on LinkedIn and to some degree on Facebook. They were either attending or speaking at the event.   I thought to myself this might be a very cool event.  I would get to meet some of these folk I admired without having met face to face.  And if memory serves me correct, the event itself only cost $100.   Hell, I would be out more money for a hotel room than the conference.  I did it. I attended. The people were all really nice and friendly – even the FAMOUS ones.  No doubt that was the best $100 I ever spent on myself.

    You – the social media lurkers/newbies of 2011 are now being afforded a similar opportunity and I think you should jump on this, sign up now. You will have to spend $5 more than I did for HREvolution 2010 – call it inflation.

    Ok so you want to know what is the TalentNetLive – where did it come from – what do they do?  TalentNetLive.com is a web site operated by Craig Fisher.  I wanted to know more too, so I talked with Craig about this and kind of got the back story on how this all came to be.

    Back in December of 2008 Craig along with some recruiter friends of his, started up a twitter chat which used the hashtag #TNL.  The chat took place once a month. It grew in popularity with more and more participants.  It grew to the point that people wanted to get together and talk about some of the matters they were tweeting about.  Craig says there was so much interest that Pepsico wanted to sponsor a live event.  An event was conceived and planned. The attendees would consist of a number of regional recruiters (TX & OK mostly).  A live event was held in August of 2009 and it sold out with 185 attendees.

    Next year, the folks at Pepsico wanted to do it again. With over 200 attendees the 2010 event was an even bigger success.  The event was back in 2011 for another round.

    This in-turn begat a couple more conferences, which are  now called TNL Live Events.  Silk Road worked with Craig and his gang to sponsor another TNL Live event in Austin, TX the day before the opening of South by Southwest in March of 2011.   The folks at RackSpace took notice of this event and sponsored a TNLLive event in San Antonio in July of 2011.

    So you see this stuff is for real.  TNL Live is bringing together leaders in recruiting , human resources,  social media, branding and technology and creating a forum for dialogue, interaction and learning.

    If you were paying particular attention you may have noticed that the last item in that list was technology. And yes TalentNetLive is going to be rife with technology.  The event itself is being held at a conference partner headquarters.  Job Search Television Network (JSTN) in Aurora is where the event actually takes place.  JSTN is partnering in the event.  While on site you will be able to see the JSTN facilities, see how they work, what they do, and even pursue their services if you are interested.

    So to recap, don’t be a lurker, get out of your shell, register for TNLLive Chicago.  There will be a bunch of your friends from Illinois SHRM in attendance, so you will at least know a few of us, while meeting new friends face to face.

    I am already registered – I hope to see you there!


  • It’s Getting Crowded Out Here

    Last weekend I saw an interesting tweet that had to do with a podcast for the gang over at Fistful of Talent.  Of course I was drawn in and had give it a listen.   While it took me about two hours to listen to the 38 minute broadcast,  when I finally got through it I was most impressed by the efforts put forth by Kris Dunn, Tim Sackett and Dawn Hrdlica Burke.  I have met Tim and Dawn and have an idea what they are like so I have a connection with them.  I feel like I know Kris from his writing, and when he speaks he is pretty much the same guy that writes. He is witty, cynical, somewhat sarcastic and very entertaining.  Given all of the talented people they have at FOT there is not doubt that this will broadcast effort will be a sucess.

    This did get mye to thinking about what all is going on on here in the HR space of social media.  I consider myself active in social media, but not consumed.  On  a weekly basis I like to tweet daily.  I like to participate in the on-line weekly twitter chat called #TChat, which take place Wednesday at 6 pm Central.  Within the last couple of months #TChat, with the help of Focus,  has started to do a monthly live broadcast, while weaving in the so called channel of twitter into the show.  I also like to listen to Steve Boese and his weekly blog-talk radio show #HRHappyHour.  This takes place from 7 pm to 8 pm on Thursday evenings.  The show is live and consists of live callers, guest and a lively tweet stream,

    Oh and we should not forget the daily half hour blog-talk radio show of Bryan Wempen and William Tincup – Drive Thru HR. While I also enjoy listening to this, I often find myself listening to the podcast of this, as the events of the day often take presidence over the  show.

    I also enjoy reading blogs (there is a whole list of them on the right).  Some of them I check out routinely regardless of whether the posts end up in the tweet stream.  Then I am drawn into some posts by the tweet about the post.  It’s like the shiny object I can’t stop looking at.  Oh and I also try and post myself once or twice a week here and once a week over at ilshrmblog.org.

    I look at facebook about 6 to 7 times a week to see what is going on on this platform.  I get push emails and such from Linked In, and head over there when I get something, someone wants something from me, or I am trying to find someone on th LI platform.

    I don’t think my level or participation in Social Media is that different that many of the folks who are active in this realm.  But I am starting to feel it is getting crowded out here.   I think there will only be more and more things going on.  I see more on line events morphing into live evens.  A case in point is this.  Craig Fisher is taking his TNL Live network show on the road now.  He is bringing a TNL Event to the Chicago area on December 5th.   I see more of these on-line event tuning into periodic face to face events.

    This is where I meet up with my imaginary friends

    So how do we deal with all of this?  I spend a lot of time in the basement at my house.  Pictured to the left  is  my space.  My wife says I am going downstairs to spend time with my imaginary friends.  (This would be my on-line friends.)  Don’t mistake this,  my wife is very supportive and finds interesting what I do – she just likes to tease.  I don’t know where this is all going.  I do know that the space is getting crowded and more demands are going to made on a smaller and smaller amounts of free time. I guess the choices will just get harder to make.  No doubt more video will continue to creep into the social media realm.  I see more television style shows coming to us via the internet.

    I am sure there  will be new tools emerging that will help us keep up in the future.  We will need these tools because from my vantage point, the HR Social Media space is getting really crowded!