I started blogging about HR and workplace technology in about 2007 or so, and in the ensuing years I have written something like 1,500 blog posts. For each one I’ve written, I probably read 5 or 10 more–either for research for my own posts–trying to keep track of industry trends, or just because I enjoyed the content or writing style of a particular blogger. So a ballpark estimate would be that I have read around 20,000 HR blog posts in the last several years.
But regardless of the actual, precise number, I feel like I can make this completely unprovable claim confidently–I have read more HR-related blog posts than you have… heck, I possibly have read more HR blog posts than anyone.
And over time, with the combination of bloggers tending to repeat themselves (and mimic others), the existence of many universal or enduring workplace truisms, and the blogging trap of “I like to write about subject X, therefore I will keep writing about subject X no matter what,” I have determined that the main idea or premise of every HR blog post you’ve ever read, (and will read in the future), can be classified into one of the following summary statements or lessons:
(Presented in no particular order of importance)
1. Employee engagement is important.
2. Most employees are not very engaged, and this is bad.
3. Here is a way you can get
employees more engaged (insert change to vacation policies, flexible work policies, get rid of “bad” managers, etc.)
4. You should have a LinkedIn profile.
5. But you still need a resume. If you are applying for a job, your resume should be tailored specifically for each job you are applying for, and include the right keywords that fit the job ad.
6. Recruiters will spend, on average, less than 30 seconds reviewing your resume.
7. You need a cover letter along with your resume.
8. No one reads cover letters.
9. Sometimes recruiters read cover letters.
10. Send a follow-up email thanking the company for interviewing you.
11. A handwritten thank you note is also a nice touch.
12. A handwritten thank you note is creepy.
13. Robots are coming to take your job.
14. A robot could never really do your job.
15. Employees are responsible for their own career management/development.
16. The best companies/managers make it a priority to help and guide employee career development.
17. You can learn important things about HR and talent management from the latest major sporting contest, piece of celebrity gossip, significant cultural trend, or major news event. In fact, just about every interaction/activity has “implications” for HR. No one knows what these are, however.
18. HR needs to be more “strategic.”
19. HR also needs to ensure all administrative and compliance related HR processes are executed flawlessly.
20. You should never say the words “Seat at the table.” Even if you are actually talking about a real, physical table.
21. SHRM is too big, too out of touch, too focused on the stuff in Item 19.
22. “I’m going to SHRM Annual! See you there?”
23. ‘This post is sponsored by… .” I am not sure what the rest of these actually say. I always stop reading at that point.
24. Google, Facebook, Zappos, (insert your favorite) do absolutely the best job of recruiting, managing, talent development, and creating amazing workplaces.
25. You can’t possibly attempt to copy Google, Facebook, or Zappos.
26. Job boards are dead.
27. The death of job boards is simply untrue.
28. Technology is critically important for modern HR and Talent Management today. Here is some information about some technologies of which you have never heard of before.
29. HR isn’t about technology, it’s about PEOPLE.
30. “Culture eats strategy.” Note: There is no way to prove this, but it sounds like the right thing to say. And there are always lots of people on Twitter repeating this mantra, so I guess it might be true.
31. “5 Ways to spice up your LinkedIn profile.”
32. Companies should really disband their HR departments.
33. HR is the last, best hope for organizations today.
I think that’s it. Every HR blog post falls, more or less, into one of these buckets.
Did I miss anything?
Drop your favorite “lessons from HR blog
posts” in the comments.
Steve Boese is fondly known to many as the HR Technology blogger. By day, he is the Co-Chair of Human Resource Executive’s HR Technology Conference. He is also a former Director of Talent Management Strategy at Oracle and an HR Technology instructor. Steve can also be found hosting the HR Happy Hour Show and Podcast … you know, where a bunch of HR pros get together and call in to talk about HR stuff. Sounds like an SNL skit, we know. But when you have Dave Ulrich, the grandfather of HR as show guests, well, I guess you’re doing something right. Talk to Steve via email, LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook.