HR, Influence and the Dollar Menu

Tim Sackett HR, Influence, Tim Sackett

So much discussion and passion around the recent “Best of” lists that have been floating around the HR Blogosphere.  HR Examiner’s John Sumser has definitely touched on a hot topic within the HR Space with his lists: Top 100 HR Influencers,Top 25 Most Influential Online Recruiters, etc. Also, check out 25 Best HR Experts, Blogs and Influencers to Track in 2010 (seems Steve Levy didn’t make this one either, must be a conspiracy…).  The FOT hosted the weekly HR Talk Show – The HR Happy Hour, this past week just to discuss this topic (check out the archive – here).  I tend to think of all of these lists as just that – lists.  You come up with something you want to measure – let’s say Jessica Lee’s Top 10 HR People She Wouldn’t Mind Never Seeing Again – then you pick the 10.  Should I feel overly excited or sad that I made JLee’s list – probably not – but then again, I’m not sure who might be reading the list and think of me differently because I’m on it.Influencers

I understand people’s passion around the lists – at the end of the day, we are like everyone else – we like recognition – and being on someone’s list (as long as it’s not like JLee’s Sh*t List) makes you feel appreciated.  It’s the slap on the back from your old-man when you mowed the lawn for the first time and didn’t scalp the grass – you feel good, you feel accomplished, you feel recognized21.  Am I right?  This phenomenon might be something for HR Pros to think about when it comes to recognition within your own organizations – know the Pros and Cons – but know it definitely will make those on it feel good – no doubt about it.  Really depends on the culture you’re driving in your organization.

But, I really don’t want to talk about lists – what I think got people more upset was not the list, but what we all considered to be Influence.  I’m a big, huge advocate of influence for HR Pros – I truly believe it is the only true skill that HR Pros have that differentiate them from the pack – and should be a primary competency in selecting and measuring performance of anyone in HR Management.  That being said, I wanted to share my list of the single top item that had the most influence on me – In HR – over the past 18 years:

  • 2010: Don’t know yet (but I hope it’s not Healthcare!)
  • 2009: Social Media
  • 2008: Economy/Layoffs – not easy to get this right – worst part of being an HR Pro
  • 2007: Mergers and Acquisitions – Sometimes very good companies get bought, and become not as good companies – M&A’s are hard to get right
  • 2006: Succession Planning
  • 2005: Leadership Development & Competency ModelsOld cell phone
  • 2004: Forced Ranking & Performance Management
  • 2003: Employment Branding & Smart Phones
  • 2002: HR as Business Partner & the Dollar Menu at Fast Food Restaurants – made office cafeteria’s expendable – could eat cheaper going out!
  • 2001: SHRM – SPHR
  • 2000: Employment Website – Newspapers aren’t working to find candidates
  • 1999: Applicant Tracking Systems (basically late 90’s was all about integrating technology to make the functional parts of HR easier and more efficient – the beginning of the end of “administrator’s in HR)
  • 1998: Why can’t corporate HR Departments recruit? (Still a struggle for most)
  • 1997: I’ve never sold anything to anyone, who I haven’t met in person
  • 1996: Online Job Boards and Resume Databases – Hello easy recruiting
  • 1995: E-What? Email changed my life forever
  • 1994: No matter how great your candidate is, the hiring manager still has to want to hire them
  • 1993: It is possible to make 100 calls per day in recruiting – but not if you work from 9 to 5.

Think about it for a minute, it’s harder than you think – what is the one thing that had the most impact on your HR career, HR philosophy, HR ideas, etc.?  Sometimes it’s an item, or a person, or just a simple idea that had influence over you. Whatever influences you, it’s important to take a look back and see what those have been; it usually shows you the trend of where you are probably headed.