The Best HR Blogs Are Like Obscenities

Deli Scene Meg Ryan

As many of you know, I think that most HR bloggers are sketchy and irresponsible. The same men and women who claim to be experts and tell me to be authentic during the interview process are the ones who hit the internet and judge me on an unreliable Facebook photo.

So I call bullshit on most of the poseurs and nerds who claim to be experts in recruiting, talent management and strategic HR leadership.

But there are a few HR blogs out there that catch my eye. Here are some thoughts on what makes for a great HR blog:

Authenticity

Does the blogger speak with a voice that seems true and real? Do you find yourself agreeing with the general tone and content on the site?

Whenever I find a good Human Resources blog, I channel my inner Meg Ryan and scream YES YES YES at my computer monitor.

Ubiquity

I think the wisdom of a crowd is overstated; however, it is always important to observe patterns and trends. Do other people comment, forward and retweet blog posts? Do your friends and colleagues generally like and recommend a blog? Do you see the blogger everywhere?

When a blogger has an established presence, he is “HR famous” for a reason. Pay attention to that.

Expertise

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p style=”padding-left: 30px;”>I don't believe you need to work in HR to have knowledge, skills and expertise related to our industry. In fact, some of the best thinkers and writers out there are SMEs like China Gorman and Sue Meisinger — women who have diverse expertise gained from a variety of industries and companies.

There are excellent HR practitioners who blog and tweet, but I like to check the blogger's background out on LinkedIn and make the call for myself. Does the CV match the hype?

Entertainment

I don't care how much you love Human Resources; this stuff can get pretty boring. A good HR blogger offers his readers something more than the drone of data, metrics and analysis. I like blogs that entertain me with a unique and refreshing perspective on the world. I want to peek behind the curtain and see aspects of a blogger's personal life. What makes him tick? What's interesting? What is on this blogger's iPod?

Don't just lecture me on integrated HCM solutions. Tell me what you think about life, love and the world around you.

I really adore my blogging brethren, but it can be tough to find a good HR blog that captures my attention for more than a week. In my humble opinion, a good HR blog is like an obscenity: I can't define it outright, but I'll know it when I see it.

How do you define a good HR blog?

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FOT Background Check

Laurie Ruettimann
Laurie Ruettimann is a former HR leader and an influential speaker, writer and social media expert in the Human Capital Management industry. She is also a career advisor and her work has appeared in many mainstream print publications and major news media outlets. Laurie blogs at The Cynical Girl and you can find her on twitter at @Lruettimann.

19 Comments

  1. Tim Collins says:

    Nothing to add other than, I couldn’t agree more. Well said.

  2. Dotty says:

    I was thinking this the other day. It seems many go ahead and just post something HR/Recruitment related, without vetting the argument one way or another. Merely an opinion not a statement of expertise. So I thought, hey, I should do this, I have years experience, things to say and at least I can speak/write fairly well :) Thanks for the article.

  3. Tim Sackett says:

    You like me! You really like me!

  4. We wrote and well said. If you’ve ever been hired or hired someone you have an HR opinion. I could get on a roll with some recruiting opinions on if today are we really hiring smarter or are we just hiring differently!

  5. Doug Shaw says:

    Hi Laurie – thanks for the blogging barometer, I find it helpful. I think the key point you raise here is the notion of presumed expertise. It’s up to you and me to decide who is and is not expert. I am instinctively wary of anyone who claims to be expert or, even worse….a guru *shudder*.

    Happy New Year

    Love – Doug

  6. Meg Steele says:

    Yep, you make a great point about self-proclaimed experts and gurus. We all have so much to learn, I’m pretty suspecting of anyone who thinks, especially during their prime working years, they’ve achieved expert status. On the other hand, I don’t know if people agreeing with the content is a good measure of legitimacy, either. Tone? Perhaps. But I love a blogger who gets me thinking about something in a different way, inspires me to comment with a dissenting opinion, and doesn’t get defensive when I do. You’ve done it with this article – nice job! I always appreciate when a blogger states a firm opinion, welcomes other opinions, and engages in healthy discussion of all sides of an issue. Now there’s a guru, IMHO! Stay on the edge in 2013, Laurie!

    • Laurie says:

      I think some measure of agreement is an appropriate measurement. I’m not sure of another effective way to test validity. Do you have another idea?

  7. The only HR folks I know whose blogs are worth reading are no longer in HR — they bailed out of the bullshit bucket. Suzanne Lucas is one of the best examples – her EvilHRLady blog is fine stuff with an edge and is not beholden to The Profession. Working in HR is like that old joke about the devil. You die, wake up in a locked room. The devil comes in and you’re shocked to learn you’re in hell. The good news is, the devil asks you what you’d like your eternal punishment to be. So you visit a room where inmates are lying on beds of nails while junior devils pound them with mallets. In another room, everyone is chained to the wall while hellfires burn around them. In the last room offered, a bunch of people are drinking tea, standing knee-deep in shit. You figure what the hey, at least I get to drink tea, and it beats the other options. You assume your position, and a few minutes later a junior devil appears, delivers your tea, and leaves. Five minutes later, the junior devil returns: “Okay, you guys. Tea break is over. Back on your heads.” What kind of blog would you write?

  8. Michelle Rea says:

    Hi Laurie, As usual, another great post that made me laugh! What are your favorites?

  9. the29percent says:

    I am always impressed with Fistful of Talent. I enjoy the care free relationship each writer has with words and the fact that ADULTS are reading this. good job…if only someone could write a blog to kick my ass firmly so I will continue writing mine…

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