• Shopping Guy Style

    I am a guy so or course by default that means I really don’t like to shop.  I do make purchases, and a lot of them. It is pretty simple and goes like this. I look until I find what need, then I make a purchase. No regrets! I might have been able to find it cheaper, or have used a coupon of some other smart move that my wife would have made but nope- I bought it. It is a done deal – over.

     

    I was on my way home from SHRM Leadership and I was shopping – on line of course for some work needs – some promo stuff.   After surfing for a while, I ended up at one on-line marketer Quality Logo Products http://www.qualitylogoproducts.com to be exact and they seemed to fit the bill.   I was looking for some ice-scrappers as a promo and they seemed to have the goods.  By the way this is a great safety promo for us Mid-Westerners, if you want to take that tip.  So I will be placing an order on Monday upon my return to the office.  I did not have to go anywhere,  except to the internet!

    So even though I am, let’s call it lazy, as I don’t want to go out into the real world and shop, I do perform my own due diligence. I looked this outfit up on-line (of-course) and found that they are legit, or have created a very elaborate scheme to prove that they are. The Company is run by two guys that have been in business for 25 years – and they are in my home state of Illinois – cool – I can now pay sales tax on my purchase.    Hopefully though I will save on shipping what I pay in sales tax since they are right down the road in Aurora.

    With the Christmas season upon us, I am reasonably sure that most of my shopping is going to be done right here at this same screen I blog at.   Happy shopping!

     
  • TChat Live from SHRM Leadership

    I guess I understand why it was that Ernest Hemingway spent so many hours at Sloppy Joe’s in Key West trying to expand his mind to tell a better story.  Not that I consider myself in the same circles with Hemingway, I have been struggling with how to write this post.  All of my ideas were EPIC, and the subject just isn’t that monumental.

    Here is the deal;  this week I am headed off to Washington DC to attend the annual SHRM Leadership Conference.  I am an active SHRM Volunteer and support most of their efforts.

     

     

    At the Conference on Wednesday evening one of my partners in crime another SHRM volunteer  Donna Roger and myself will be helping set the stage for #Tchat.  If you have not participated in #TChat,  I encourage you to do so.  It begins on twitter at 7 Eastern 6 Central 5 Mountain and 4 Pacific.

    There are many, many chats on twitter, and while I participate is some other ones on an occasional basis #TChat is the one I enjoy the most.  This week’s  content of the chat is about Public Policy is shaping and changing the workplace.

    While the #Tchat cast of characters is from all over the world, we will be connecting this chat to what is happening in our Nation’s Capitol.  Please Join us! Hope to see you on line.

     
  • The Unconference Lives

    This post is targeted to all of the folks in the HR Echo Chamber.  (The line is we talk to ourselves and no one else really listens).  Last week I personally had a minor epiphany. It had to do with the unconference.  While this  group of Human Resource internet aficionados, here in the chamber,  did not invent or does not own the unconference, we certainly do advocate for its use and adoption, especially guys like Bill Boorman.

    Within the span of less than a week, I ran into the unconference on two different planes.  As a registered/certified USA Hockey Referee I must annually attend a clinic (this is suppose to facilitate my competency as an official).  For as long as I can remember, how they disseminate information is in the classic lecture style – with power point.

    Opening remarks at HREvolution 2012

    This year (drum roll please) the instructor said I am going to do something different.  He said I have a list of some things I would like to discuss, but I want your involvement and input. He said, further, I would like to talk about any concerns or issues that you guys might want to bring up. Holy Cow – sounds like an unconference to me.   So that’s what we did, he was a great facilitator which lead to a lot of information being shared. Kudos to USA Hockey.

    Six days later, my son who was in Chicago attended an event at Columbia College. It was called The Creative Unconference.  At this event people just talked there were no presentation or power point. That sound like an event where you might find his dad and his HR buddies. Wow!

    So in the span of less than a week, I was touched twice by the unconfernce.  Wow maybe we are helping to move the ball forward!  Viva la HREvolution – Vival la TruConferences.

     
  • Leveraging Generations for Organizational Change

    Today’s Post is a guest post from Ben Eubanks. Ben is a good friend of mine. I learn a lot from Ben. He is one year older than my oldest son. Translation Ben= Young Man <-> Dave = Old Guy!

    Note from Ben: I have come to appreciate Dave as a good friend since our first meeting at HRevolution Chicago in 2010. We often kid about the mismatch in our age and experience levels, but we both share common goals and hopes for our profession that bring us both together. I wrote this with him in mind.

    Image By Morguefile

    A few years ago, I wrote a post about men in HR and the differences of being a young guy in this profession. One of my friends, a young lady, sent me a message talking about how her company used her unique skills and point of view to lead change initiatives. I thought that was a unique use of talent and wanted to explore that more fully.

    See, when we talk about leveraging generations at work, the conversation tends to drift toward using the senior workers to mentor younger ones. I get that, support it, and think it’s worth the effort.

    However, it’s not a one-way street. The younger staff have something unique to offer as well, even if it’s nothing more than unbridled passion for the work they are doing.

    This young lady’s comment opened my eyes to yet another valuable way that young professionals can be utilized in the workplace. When change is necessary, those young professionals have a few advantages.

    1. They live in a world of constant change and have since birth
    2. They have not been around the organization long enough to catch “We’ve Always Done It That Way” syndrome
    3. They are looking for opportunities to lead others, even in small ways

    Next time you’re looking at a major change initiative, scout out the young talent you might be able to utilize in the process. They will appreciate the opportunity, and it will give them a chance to take on the role of leadership in a controlled environment.

    ###

    Ben Eubanks is an HR pro, speaker, and writer. He works as a one-man HR team at Pinnacle Solutions during the day, and at night he writes at upstartHR-an HR blog with a little humor, humility, and how-to. Check it out to learn more about entry level HR jobs, talent management, and other “in the trenches” HR topics.

    Image by Morguefile
     
  • Good Candidate Bad Candidate Expereince

    I don’t really know when it started but there has been an on-going discussion of the “candidate experience” for more than a couple years.  As I understand it the  theory behind dialogue has been this.  We as the collective HR body have not been treating prospective candidates very well – for whatever reason, and because of this very soon we – the employers are going to have hell to pay because of it.    For the most part I concur with that theory.

    Well for any of those of you who read this stuff or know me, you will probably recall that I have a son who is a recent college graduate. He is looking for a job now – a candidate if you will.  And recently I got to witness one of the bad candidate experiences first hand.

    Kevin applied for a position and this was the email response in which he received…..

    Kevin,

    Thank you for the recent resume submittal for a role on careerbuilder.com that were currently seeking candidates.

    Here is a little background info on what my division specializes in at Morgan Hunter Corporate Search (MHCS).  My team’s area of specialty is in the placement of Advertising & Marketing agency professionals on a national level.  We work with agencies of all sizes and types from the boutiques to the global ones around the nation.

    98% of the positions we place are at all levels in account service, creative, media, public relations, account planning, consumer insights, research, production, traffic and etc for traditional and non-traditional advertising agencies, marketing, database marketing, creative agencies and etc.

    The other 2% of our opportunities are on the client side within internal marketing teams.  Predominantly our focus is with opportunities on the agency side but we do work from time to time with client side opportunities.  Generally, the client side opportunities are from agency relationships we’ve developed and those contacts move to the client side.

    Though we appreciate your interest into our company’s services; unfortunately the employers we work with typically do not utilize our services for placing recent graduates.

    We will keep your information on file in the event that we get a special search request for an entry level position.  However, please do keep us in mind as a future resource when you have gained at least 1.5 – 2 years of experience within the advertising and marketing field.

    If I am Kevin, when I get some experience, I think this would then be the last agency I would want to use.  In my opinion, no response would have been better than what he received. Now granted as his parent I am a little biased – no doubt, but I know the quality of work that he does.

    In fact I am going to use this post to roll out a piece of his work.  For my birthday, he put together a video – perhaps we might call it a branding video.  I was a willing and active participant in the video, but was not sure how it would turn out.

    So here is my video introduction entitled “Who is Dave Ryan”…. enjoy!

    Who is Dave Ryan? from Kevin Ryan on Vimeo.

     

     
  • Headed the Midwest Emmys in Kansas City

    This weekend I am headed off to Kansas City, Mo. to attend The Mid America Emmy Awards.  This is a proud moment for me as a parent as my son Kevin, is up for an award. He was the brain trust behind a segment which aired last year on Alt News 26:46 .  This is an off-beat news magazine show that is produced and aired weekly on WSIU inCarbondale,IL. This is not the only award the program has won. In fact I think this is the fourth year running that they have been nominated for an Emmy.

    Kevin put together a segment on the ubiquitous Horseshoe Sandwich fromSpringfield,IL.  You can see the segment about 20:00 into the program.

    alt.news 26:46, Episode #13.04 from alt.news 26:46 on Vimeo.

    If Kevin and his peers win an award there will no doubt be more on this matter. Here is a little more about the event.

     
  • BNHRC – Why I’m Attending

    While I am not a hugely prolific blogger, I do post regularly here and at the Illinois SHRM site.  I try keep my SHRM posts to business and HR related. However I do afford myself the luxury to rave out or discuss things that might not cut the HR mustard for a strictly HR related site here at the HR Official.

    Having said that today I wanted to talk about an upcoming meeting at the Bloomington Normal Human Resources Council (BNHRC) that I will be attending on Wednesday September 26.  I have written another post about this which ran recently on the ILSHRM site.  Today I wanted to talk about the how and the why of the conference (Social Media Strategies for HR).

    I believe I was invited, for a number of reasons, some of those are

      • I am good friends with one of the organizers
      • I am the Director of Social Media of the Illinois State Council of SHRM
      • I do know a few things about Social Media & HR
      • When I attend events I help promote them nicely on Twitter & Facebook
      • I have actually used Social Media in recuiting in a small 1-2 person HR Shop
      • I am a good networker and help people to connect
      • (Possible) I have a cool twitter avatar (thanks to my son)

    That the how, now for the why, why do I want to attend

    • I like to travel and it’s not too far
    • I get to hear Jennifer Mc Clure speak
    • I like to meet new people (call it networking if you like)
    • Bloomington is close enough I can recruit from the area
    • All of the people I have met from BNHRC are great
    • I want to support my friends from BNHRC
    • It is part of my gig as SM Director for ISC SHRM

    There is one last reason, why I, so much enjoy attending conferences/meetings/seminars. My reason is a stolen idea (just like we do at conferences). I once heard blogger and good friend, Mike Vandervort asked, “Why do you do all this?”  (The questioner was referring to Mike’s involvement in social media, SHRM, speaking, blogging, etc.)

    His succinct answer was this, “It keeps me learning?”

    I am trying. Are you?

     
  • Review of Social Gravity

    Recently on a trip to Florida I was afforded the opportunity to read Social Gravity. The book is an excellent read.   For the purposes of full disclosure, I must admit that I am friends with the authors. I have come to know them through their public speaking engagements, and my involvement with some of the organization that have paid them to speak at events.

    From my experience the authors,  Joe Gerstandt and Jason Lauritesen did it differently than most folks out on the speaking circuit. It seems that most authors write a book and then go out on the road to promote their book.  These two guys have worked their way up from the trenches and now are addressing audience of 1000+ people.  Now they have a book under their belt. The book is very representative of the way and the type of subjects that these guys speak about.

    The book Social Gravity speaks to the intersection of networking, social media applications and a changing workplace.  Throughout the book, they ask the reader to make lists, action plans or perform evaluations by listing items. It is somewhat reminiscent of a seminar (of one).

    In the book they push the reader to identify how they network, as well as how they feel about networking in general. And so after a little bit of introspection, then Jason and Joe unabashedly tell you how it really works.  Next they throw the subject of technology on top of networking.

    With your new found knowledge the authors then push you to use you this knowledge as they fully explain what the Six Laws of Social Gravity are and how to use them to your advantage.

    I enjoyed the book. I got a lot out of it. And these guys to me,  are like an old favorite band. Whenever they put out a new recording I would purchase it – no questions asked.  Whether in person or in print Joe and Jason have a track record of putting out great material.

    I think you should buy and read this book!

     
  • Understanding New Car Pricing

    I had something happen to me that just got me to thinking about our auto industry, and the price of cars.  Currently, I drive a 2001 S 10 Pickup Truck.  Not a prize in anyone’s mind but it’s paid for, it runs well and it kept me mobile as my wife and I put our two sons through college.  I know I need to help the economy out and buy something new, and in fact I have been contemplating doing so, but damn they are expensive.  In the meantime I been paying a little attention to my older vehicles needs.

    I had been missing the tuning knob for the  radio, so just the stem for the knob was sticking out. That didn’t bother me too much, because the radio still had the seek up and seek down button.   My old GM Delco radio also had the  6 pre-selected channels I listen to most of the time, so missing the knob was ok.   So a couple weeks about the on/off Volume knob went missing, and now I had the two stems sticking out.  Well it was becoming a little hard to operate, and looking a little ghetto now, so I figured I should drop by the dealership (because that’s the only place you can get them) and pick-up or order the knobs.

    Well I did so only to my horror to find out the two plastic knobs cost $33.38 plus tax.  Two little knobs for just about $40.   I am not sure what that means but if I the truck is worth $5000 that means the radio knob are approximately 1% of the value of the vehicle?   I am starting to understand why new vehicles cost $40,000.

    I guess I should just go by the new vehicle and not worry about it. I wonder what replace knobs cost for a 2012 Silverado?

     
  • HR Florida The Keynotes

    It was toward the end of August and I headed down to Florida to attend HR Florida 2012.   At the time of my departure Issac was rolling around south of Florida and no one really could say for sure where it was going to go.  So after a couple conversation with Mike Vandervort I became ok with the hurricane thing and the fact that it was only a “Cat 1″ (that’s how the Floridians talk).

    Now as it was suggested to me it probably won’t hit here and it’s only small.  As best I could tell the hurricane threat only kept one person from attending.  That was Mitch Joel. He was scheduled to be the opening keynote speaker. He did not attend.  I tweeted about this, and then he responded to me on twitter.  While he wanted folks to think it was out of his control, HR Florida folks told me  that he had already been paid and chose not to attend.  My opinion is that, he exhibited exceptionally bad form by not attending – and then engaging the tweet stream, during his keynote slot.

    Nonetheless, it turned out to be just fine, in fact the opening keynote was awesome. Jim Knight who is from the Orlando area, is an aspiring young speaker. He stepped in and really did a great job. Jim had been a trainer with Hard Rock Cafe for many years. He drew on many of his experiences with HRC.  The ironic thing about this is, is this. I would bet that this presentation at HR Florida will be a great thing for Jim.  This may lead him to other SHRM engagements. I wish him well. He stepped in and stepped up.

    Regarding the breakouts, I will speak to them in another post.  I would like to move on to day2, and the second keynote.  Personally I was very much looking forward to hearing Soledad O’Brien.  Well not too long after the session

    Carol McDaniel on the big screen

    opened our emcee Carol McDaniel started likening today (Tuesday) to Monday, and then I thought oh S#!t, she ain’t coming either.  At this point I felt really bad for the HR Florida board. They,  like those of us in Illinois work hard all year to pull off  these events, and then the circumstances of the day/week tear apart your best laid plans.

    Well the HR Florida team went right to work when they got the bad news. They needed to find another speaker.  I don’t know how they did what they did, or decided how to pick the speaker that they did, but Chris Gardner stepped in for them and he too just killed it.  Chris is the person behind the book and the movie The Pursuit of Happyness. If you saw the movie or read the book, you know what a compelling story this is.  Well the guy who lived this, is even more compelling.  Chris’ presentation was phenomenal.  He was so good he didn’t even use power point and got a standing ovation.

    Now unfortunately I had to go home on the afternoon of day two and I did not get to hang around to hear the day 3 keynote John Foley. He was the only keynote orginally booked who made it to speak. If the tweet stream is any indication of how his presentation went, I would give him an “A+”.

    As I said, I had to head home on Tuesday. Funny thing so did Chris Gardner.

    The HR Czar & Chris Gardner talking social media at MCO.

    But even more curious was the fact that I saw Chris in the airport.  I wondered up to him, introduced myself and chatted with him.   I told how well his presentation was received.  I asked, “did ya see the twitter stream?”   Chris told me he wasn’t on twitter.  I sat down with him and showed him what the twitter chatter looked like during his presentation.   He remarked, “All this was going on while I was there?”

    He was please to see all of the kind remarks, and hinted that as a speaker he probably needed to delve more into Twitter and Facebook.  I agreed with him. Soon, he had to head off to his plane.  I agreed to follow up with him and see if I could engage him on twitter. I also told him I hoped to cross paths again with him.

    Now wrapping up my post on the HR Florida keynotes, I have to really give it to HR Florida (in a good way).  They got handed lemons and they made lemonade – nice recovery gang!

     

     

     
  • Living with Hurricanes

    I have come to HR Florida despite some trepidation about coming to Florida. Why?  Well in case you had not heard there has been a tropical storm Issac, bouncing around in the Caribbean and then turning into the Gulf of Mexico.  Fortunately the storm has not moved in the direction of the west coast of Florida. Before heading out I contacted some of friends here in Florida, and they were pretty much unconcerned about the hurricane.

    So here is what I have learned about living in Florida and hurricanes. I liken it to being around someone with a gun.  That is something to be concerned about.  You watch them see what signals they are sending out and so on.  Now when the armed person points the gun at you, you get distressed.  That would be the equivalent of the hurricane warning. You are paying attention and should be ready to take action.  Lastly the armed person pulls the hammer back on the pistol with it still pointed at you.  This would be the hurricane hitting land where you live – and you can still get out of the situation at this point. You should have made some plans for the event.

    Here is my point, you can’t stop your life because something bad might happen (although it probably miss you where ever you are). You can not put your life on hold because of a hurricane.

    I am glad that I decided to go ahead and come to HR Florida and didn’t wimp out based on the unlikely event that Issac was going to hit the area.  Life goes on – man up and deal with, the Floridians deal with this for about half of the year.

    More from HR Florida later….

     
  • Hacking with Talent Anarchy

    Joe giving a hacking group some input.

     

    Attending HR Florida has given me another opportunity to catch the Talent Anarchy  duo again.  For  the purposes of full disclosure I will say I like Joe and Jason, and come down squarely in their corner as a supporter.   Understand that when you read this post.

    Today I attended a three hour session on what they called Hacking. Now if you are like me you might think that the session had would be related to cracking computer security, but it was not.  Actually the session involved solving problems and breaking them down into their smallest, most understandable/manageable unit.

    After understanding the problem, then the two guided the attendees into how to create repeatable solutions.  In performing the exercise in the session, we had groups of 5-6 people that were reorganizeId three different times.  In an interesting twist, they had the group create a scenario, then we reorganized groups and then re-addressed the matter, and then repeated the re-grouping to complete the tasks.

    This was a hands-on session.  It was well orchestrated.  Joe and Jason were acting more as facilitators today rather than presenters.  They performed equally well in this role.  These guys are going to be around for a long time and have a lot to say.

    And for the record they have a new book which has been published recently.   The book is called Social Gravity, and I will be writing a review of it after wrapping up at HR Florida.  More later from HR Florida…

     
  • Off to HR Florida

    I am excited!  In the morning I leaving to attend HR Florida.  This is the annual SHRM State Conference put on by Florida SHRM. It is big deal.  I don’t know if it is the longest running SHRM State Conference, but I would bet that it is.

    The conference in past years has drawn 1500 or so attendees.  This tells me that they do a lot of things right.  Rumors in the SHRM circles are that they have this gigantic conference machine that just runs.  No one know where they hide it off season.

    HR Florida has lead the way in wrapping social media into the fabric of a SHRM State conference.  This is one of the things I want to see up close and personal so that I can try and figure out what it is that makes it work so well.  I have had a chance to talk shop with many of the folks from HR Florida. They are most willing to share, advise and help.  For that I am grateful.

    Florida was the first State Council to name a Director of Social Media. That would be Stephen Geraghty-Harrison.  Stephen has had the support of state council and the position since I first came on to the social media scene in 2009.  I am going to get to meet Steve as we say IRL, for the first time.

    Florida also has a phenomenal number of folks who are active leaders/participants in social media. Two in particular come to mind: Mike Vandervort and Sharlyn Lauby.  Somehow I sense that these two folks had a hand in making social media part of HR Florida as well.

    There are thee other ladies from HR Florida who selflessly help keep the HR Florida process moving forward.   I have had the pleasure to meet them at several different events, and I look forward to seeing them again…Heather Vogel, Joyce Chastain and Carol McDaniel (see ya all tomorrow).

    And without a doubt, there is a small army of dedicated rank and file HR Florida members who make this event come to fruition. I will get some numbers on that too.

    As I wrap up this post I looked back and thought, wow,  I really haven’t even mentioned conference content, hmm.  I suspect that it one of the things that probably makes this machine work. It will be awesome.

    So look for a few posts on how HR Florida makes this thing work,  the history of social media and SHRM state conferences, pics of me meeting up with a number of old friends and  a lot of new ones.  And don’t forget to check the #HRFL12 tweet stream – I am sure it will be smoking come Sunday.

     

     

     
  • Meet Gilmore at Friday’s in MSP

    Recently I was headed home from a trip and found myself in the Minneapolis  St. Paul airport. My wife and I had about 3 hours to kill, and we were hungry.  So we thought we would take our time and find the best restaurant in the airport. After a little work, it appeared that Friday’s would probably the best bet, since we wanted to sit down, have a drink and eat a leisurely meal.  We still had a little trepidation about our selection.

    As we got close to the front of Friday’s, there was this young man who was out front of the restaurant, nearly acting as a carnival barker (not quite that obnoxious, but he was trying to draw folks into the store).  He greeted us, welcomed us and made sure we were seated quickly and had a waitress taking care of us.  So, Gilmore (pictured here), did good by me.  We were actually seated outside the restaurant, in what would be sidewalk seating in any other venue. This afforded me the ability to people watch in the airport and to watch Gilmore do his thing.

    And actually watching him was amazing. He brought people into the store that probably were not going to come in and eat.  He greeted many airline employees, by name (so they all knew him).  Gilmore handled a few special requests.  Even those that chose not to stop got a kind word from him.  After watching this, I told my wife, I bet this guy is increasing business by 20%.  Unsure of my number I decided to find out. I summoned the manager to my table to talk about Gilmore.  Actually the truth be known, when Gilmore was on point out front of Friday’s business usually increases by 15%, and the manager told me, EVERYONE in the restaurant is more upbeat and happy.

    From an HR prospective he is a rock star. What make’s him so good?  It is not all of his employer’s doings.  There is this fire inside Gilmore and people like him, who have the need to excel, to compete, to do well and to be happy.   That fire is not necessarily transferable to other employees, but he does affect them – in  a positive way. We need more people like Gilmore Harris, in this world, and when I see them it renews my faith in people and makes me smile inside.

    So if you happen to pass through MSP check out Friday’s on the “C” concourse and see if my man Gilmore is working.  If he is you will be dining there – no doubt!

    **************************

    Update…09/16/2012 Thanks to Lori for another Picture of Gilmore.  (A guy that loves his job and is good at what he does!)

     

    Gimore… Killing it every day at MSP!

     

     

     

     

     

     

     
  • August SHRMChat Talking Communication

    Joan Ginsberg has done such a fine job getting #SHRMChat up and running AND growing, that we have given her an evening off. Actually, the ironic thing is that she can not attend because she will be attending a dinner with SHRM staff. So I offered to fill in for her and keep the chat going. So here is what we are going to talk about this month…

    We don’t get paid, we don’t have any money and we have to maintain an organization. Those are two things driving you as a SHRM volunteer. While I may have overstated the case on ANY and don’t get, the bottom line is we are all operating on a shoe-string budget, accordingly we look for solutions that are free or minimally priced.

    To run a chapter or a State Council, involves a lot of communication. This includes scheduling meetings, sending notifications, sending calendar reminders, following up with surveys, monitoring feedback and chatter from you members. Fortunately, the internet helps us immensely to do this. There are many tools that are out there that are free or cost very little to use.

    So our next #SHRMchat is going to be about communicating with your membership. What tools do you use? What medium is the most effective a particular type of message or conversations? We would like to hear from each of you on some of the following subjects.

    Q1.) What tools do you use to notify and register members for meetings?

    Q2.) Do you use a method for members to have closed end chat, such as Facebook, Wiggio, Yammer?

    Q3.) Do you use video and if so, how and what for? If you do not use video what is keeping your organization from doing so?

    Q4.) Does your chapter or council use SMS (text) messaging, or surveys? If you do please share what you do, if not what is keeping your organization from using these?

    Q5.) Have you encountered a application or piece of software that you thing would help state councils or chapter easily improve their communication efforts.

    Per usual, our chat will take place at 8PM EDT, 7 PM CDT, 6 PM MDT and 5 PM PDT on the second Tuesday of the month (August 14, 2012).

     
  • Networking Did I do it Right

    I consider myself to be one of the lucky ones. SHRM’s director of Social Engagement, Curtis Midkiff included me in his blog squad of over 70 people. Additionally, Sabrina Baker and Susan Avello, a couple of my peers from Illinois were also in this group. Said another way, we were Curtis’ guests. We were also hosted by the folks from Dice.com in the bloggers lounge, and they turned out to be a great partner for all of the bloggers and SHRM as well.

    As part of the deal it was expected that we would attend and help promote the event through social media outlets, that we would attend certain events and that we write and tweet about it.  Heck that’s one thing we all enjoy doing, so who wouldn’t want to go to the big show and do what you enjoy doing.

    When you get on site along with the rest of the folks (the numbers vary but let’s say 15,000) the opportunity to network is phenomenal.  This was not a stated objective of the blog squad, but it is also very conference like.   The first stop was meeting all of my fellow bloggers that I already knew and exchanging hugs and handshakes.  Next I wanted to meet some of the folks that I had not met  in real life.  Most of these folks could be found either at The Hive or The Blogger’s  Lounge.  After hooking up with blogger friends it was time to meet some people and make some new friends.

    On Sunday evening I was at one of the tweet-ups where I was conversing with my fellow Illinoisans; Susan and Sabrina whereupon we were roundly castigated by a Mr. Steve Browne, networker extraordinaire.  Steve told the three of us,“Hey you folks from Illinois, break it up, go meet some new people, you can talk to each other when you get back home.”   While Steve’s comment was somewhat tongue in cheek, knowing Steve I suspect he was about 2/3 serious.

    While at the big show I continued to attend the litany of events, traveling to them with new friends, and friends from out of town – ones that I rarely get to see. I was networking.

    Now that’s the set-up; word got back to me via several folks that I was snubbing the Illinois SHRM delegation, because I didn’t go hang with them.  Really?  I thought I was doing the right thing.  Well see where Big Steve comes down on this one. The jury is out.

     
  • SHRM 12 in the Rear View Mirror

    The Big  Show for 2012  is over. It is on from Atlanta to Chicago for 2013.  This year SHRM stepped up their social media game. With the addition of The Hive, and the return of an expanded Bloggers Lounge, all of the social media devotees felt that SHRM had moved forward on the SM front. I could not agree more.

    It is my sincere hope that these efforts will result in increased membership, a more engaged membership and a greater and more effective utilization of social mediaas a strategic business tool.  This would provide the SHRM Leadership with the tools that they need to accurately measure the return on their social media on investment. It would also let them clearly see that this is the wave of the future.

    In an effort to make a lot of noise in the HR space Curtis Midkiff assembled a team of 70+  bloggers to assist in covering the event.  I think we did a good job, but could have done a lot better.  SHRM put The Buzz Site together at the suggestion of previous year’s Blog Squads.  Curtis had asked us to please post there first, wanting to drive our collective traffic to the site. It was a good plan that should have been executed better.  The bloggers collectively did not execute this as well as we might have.

    Dice provided us (paid for) an excellent space for us.  The bloggers (myself included) did not always use the “suggested” hashtag when or as often as we should have.  We owe Dice our continuing gratitude and support for their willing support in what probably be called an experiment.  In addition to providing us space, they also had working staff in the room at all times.   Also we owe a big thanks to Sarah Warner White for all of her behind the scenes work on the bloggers lounge.

    There was another aspect of the bloggers lounge I wanted to address. The live video feeds from the floor were spectacular. It allowed folks to blog, tweet, Facebook and Google + while they were multitask or using a plugged-in full size laptop. There were many other aspects of that, that also made covering the sessions easier, but I feel like we lost the “feel” of the conference floor.  Whether it was watching people grimace when the speaker commented, or simply seeing people walking out of sessions in droves.  From the bloggers lounge, we lost that prospective and I am not sure that was a good thing.

    There was a great deal of communication between the bloggers and the vendors (wanting us to schedule time to talk with their CEOs) about their product or service .  I don’t know if I missed some emails or what, but that whole effort seem to leave all parties involved bewildered, frustrated or just plain mad. Hopefully that will go better in Chicago

    Curtis Midkiff working The Hive

    The Hive was a fantastic  effort to engage the general membership in social media by engaging members and answering questions one on one right after a session, while the fires were still burning hot.  There were also a number of group discussion that went on from time to time in The Hive. From my prospective this was hugely successful.  While I only worked 3 hours there, the interactions I had were superb.  At ILSHRM12 we hope to mimic The Hive in a scaled down or modified version. Fortunately Curtis will be there to help us.

    In terms of sessions I only actually attended five. I have stacked up enough HRCI credits to push me through 2013 so I was not really in need of them.  It made attending the conference with no agenda most enjoyable.  I was afforded the opportunity to wonder around, stop and visit or just listen in on a session.  And on a personal level I got to meet and hang with some of the best and the brightest in the space. Just being around them and watching them work, the way the interact with others was enlightening and informative.

    It will be remembered as the SHRM 12 the year the Social Media Experiment went full tilt.

     
  • Looking for me – Better Catch a Buzz

    I apologize, I have not posted in a while here at home.

    Why?  Largely because I am part of a team of 70+ social media enthusiasts who will be helping to cause a BUZZ at the SHRM Annual Conference in Atlanta begining June 24 and running through Wednesday June 27.

    As part of the team, I have been asked to put most of my posts up at the conference site www.buzz.annual.shrm.org.  So if you are into the HR stuff, that I mostly talk about here at the HR Official, you should probably be watching this site for the next 5 days.

    On twitter the most common hashtag for the event is going to be #SHRM12.

    There will no doubt be a ton of content on Google Plus and on Facebook.  If you would like to see my facebook stuff you can find me there at www.facebook.com/davethehrczar .  Send me a note, mention the blog and I’ll friend you.

    Thanks to all of you who look at this occasionally, I really do appreciate you giving what I have to say a look.

     
  • The Buzz Site, SHRM12 and Social Media

    A Happy conference attendee getting her book autographed by Marcus Buckingham - SHRM-2010

    If you follow much at all of what is going on in this space, you certainly know that the SHRM Annual Conference is coming up in Atlanta.  It is at the end of June, start of July – just about the same time every year.  Volumes have been written about the conference, the attendees and so on, so suffice it to say it is a big deal. If you work, live or feed off of the HR space, it is something you should attend routinely; even if you have to pay your own way.

    Again, this year I have been lucky enough to find myself in the ranks of those attending. I am attending as part of a cast of social media bloggers.   In 2010 in San Diego SHRM has an official blog squad of 5. This year it is 75.  Amazing, Simply Amazing.

    Given the count it is obvious that top power players at SHRM have dedicated a lot of resources to social media this year. However, like any other business entity, even the Not for Profits, they are looking for their return on investment.    I am not sure specifically how that will be measured.  In my opinion, while aspects of social media can be monitored and measured – I am unclear on how you accurately measure the true impact?

    I have noticed on a number of television shows now, such as Dancing with the Stars, American’s got Talent and Deadliest Catch the producers are now marrying the tweet stream with the show. I also see Delta Airlines, and their #DeltaAssist program growing. Again I am not sure how what this is generating or how it is being measured, but it is continuing to grow.

    I think this is reflective of the business intrigue surrounding Social Media.  There is so much going with SM it is mind boggling. We have new sites, new tools, court cases, new users, IPOs going on, and just when you think you have a handle on it everything changes.

    Now back to the conference, let’s discuss this year.   I think that SHRM is to be applauded for their efforts and the amount of resources they are dedicating to this year’s event.

    My worst fear is that it has become a case of go big, or go home, with the analogy being this.  If we (SHRM) don’t see some tangible results from this event we will contemplate a “push back” from social media.  I hope my fears are unfounded.  To help ally my fears I implore all of you to share in the conference via social media – even if you aren’t there. Watch the tweet stream, check out the video uploads, watch the Facebook posts, read some of the thousands of blog posts that will be coming out – and lastly share it with a friend or acquaintance who is not yet immersed in Social Media.  In order to get the needed ROI we must continue to grow the base.

    One final note, a specail and unique web site has been launched just for and about the conference. The site is called The Buzz and you can find it here.

     
  • GPA How Important is It

    Many of you who look at my posts or tweets know that I have attended a couple of college graduations recently.  Today’s post is closely related to graduation.

    When you graduate from college on of the things that you take with you,  that stays with you forever, along with your diploma is your GPA.  As a parent I stressed to my two children how important GPA was, both in high school as well as in college.  I think most parents do.  I think most of the kids who head off from high school to college get the GPA thing, although for some students it is really too late to do much about it by the time they realize that it may affect where they go to college, and if they will be eligible for any scholarships or grants.

    Meanwhile with the college students, they often see that the students with the highest GPA get first go at a number of things.  It might be opportunities to present to the class, lead the class project or some other event with perceived prestige.   At the institution where my oldest son attend one MAJOR employer was there to recruit for their Company, but were only interested in speaking with the students in the top 10% (as measured by GPA) of the class.

    Now where I am going with all of this is on to Human Resources and hiring college graduates.  As an employer do you want to see the students GPA?  What do you do with this information?  What does it indicate or not indicate to you. Do you exclude candidates because of a low GPA?  I am no longer sure it means too much.

    You see, I know another recent graduate whose GPA was under three,  2.8 to be exact.  That in and of itself is not too impressive, I agree.  She did not make very good grades.  So, what does this tell us or indicate? She is not very smart or didn’t apply herself at school, maybe or maybe not.

    Here are a couple of other facts about this young lady.  She worked the whole time she was going to college, as she paid for her own education.  She took out student loans as well.  During the time she attended college, she also took care of her mother who is and remains nearly bedridden.  She also spent a lot of time looking after her younger brother, who was still in high school, because her father lived and worked out of the state.  She was also involved with a number of campus activities, many of which were volunteer and community based activities.  Lastly, she was involved with a boyfriend and had a long-distance relationship. A busy girl to say the least.

    So it would appear that even though her GPA was not stellar she is capable of managing multiple priorities, a hugely important skill in business today.  Given her endeavors she seems to have a pretty good  “moral compass”. Now I know that most of the good HR folks can sift through the crap and find out what really is going on in someone’s life, but if your Company has a  GPA exclusion, you will never get to talk to them. Then because of this exclusion,  you and your Company may be missing out on some Rock Star Talent. Capiche?