Social Media and HR


Social media is in HR. We live in a connected world and with the click of a button or stroke of a key, social media allows us as HR Professionals to connect with others both in and out of HR.

When I talk with others about social media, the responses range from blank stares to reluctance to energy. As a group, HR professionals are reluctant to embrace what technology offers and as Jennifer McClure discusses in her interview, I can understand the hesitation. I am (was) one of the HR professional she references. You know, the nose to the grindstone type who focuses one the tasks at hand and can't imagine having the time to do anything else.

I couldn't imagine having the time, but I made it. I made the time to start using social media for my professional development. Why? Kimberly Moritz, Superintendent of Schools, says it so well in her post Blogging as Professional Growth:

Here’s the amazing thing about blogging for me. When I go home to my family or talk to friends, no one really wants to talk about education, or my ideas, or drop out prevention, or student achievement. My standard response to “how was your day?” is “great” and that’s about it. But I still have my students, school and it’s challenges swirling around in my head a substantial percentage of the time. So now I find blogging and it’s an instant connection to others who are interested in the same thing.

My primary responsibility at work is to solve problems. Some small, some big. And I don’t have all of the answers. Some days I wonder if I have any of the answers. But I now have a place to post the questions and amazingly, answers come back to me. Thoughtful, helpful answers. How great is that?

While it is not always easy, it is always worth it.  Like Kim, the people my network inspire my thinking, provide me with new ideas and are often my source of news and happenings. You will meet HR professionals in different sectors, business, and time zones. You will meet HR students, HR people just out of school, well established in their careers and anywhere in between. You'll have opportunities to connect with members and presidents of state and local SHRM chapters as well as leaders in SHRM itself.

I am using social media to network outside of the workplace. I've had this blog for 3 years and have been on LinkedIn about as long. Twitter and Facebook have been part of my network for just about a year and most recently, I entered into a joint venture (blog) with my daughter a few months ago.

It's been a progression over time for me and at times, it does feel overwhelming. And I know that I am not alone. If you are hesitant, know that you are not alone.

Many are feeling overwhelmed by what's happening, the pace of change, and the fears about transparency. In most cases you don't need to be and shouldn't be everywhere. And, you may even decide to be nowhere, but make sure that's a conscious decision and not just resistance to inevitable change.                                Susan Burns on

Social media is here to stay. Jump in and join the conversation. It's time.

So here's the deal. I am going to paraphrase this post for my HRP-MN Fall Conference panel introduction. If you read this before you hear me speak - let me know how I did!