• 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?

  • 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.

  • Networking Now and Then

    I will start this post by posing the question, have you ever heard of a piece of software called Sidekick from Borland? Well this was the first application that I used to keep track of contact information. It helped me to keep track of my network. I am not sure those people were even called a network at the time. I also know that I did not work at meeting new people and trying to maintain a real relationship with them. In my early days in business you did business with people in your community, people that you could summon to your place of business. The internet did not exist as we know it today. Networking has changed! Now we network with people around the world, without a second thought. We can communicate with others who do not speak our language through translation software and smart phones.

    Today I really work hard at growing my network, and very much enjoy doing it. Today my network  grows through face to face meetings, on line meetings, phone interactions and via referrals from those already in my network. Then after we meet, it is off to LinkedIn to see if they are out there. If yes, then off goes the connection request. Then there may be a look at twitter and facebook. If I do connect with someone via social media it seems to ramp up the connection faster. Back in the ’80’s I simply did not meet at the same rate that I do today. Life has accelerated.

    Now here is another and new angle on networking, If you are out here in the HR space you may have seen a post from my friend Jay Kuhns – Jay was looking for a key employee. so he wrote a post saying so, and then he found some damn good talent. So this networking can take many paths today. Now, I would like to copy from Jay’s post and do something similar via my network.

    My oldest son Danny’s girlfriend is graduating from Missouri University of Science & Technology with a degree in Business and Management Systems. She wants to move from Rolla, MO to Memphis, TN so that she can be near man Dan. So I thought this would be a new way to use networking, just like Jay had done. Rather than trying to find an employee for an organization, I would try to find an organization for a person. She has done internships and understand processes, logistics and information systems. If you know of something looking for a sharp young graduate in this area; let’s talk.

    I will let you know if I am as good as Jay, in using a blog post to network and create a new employee/employer relationship. Wish me luck,