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Human Resource Blogs (Why we do it)

One of the blogs I read each week is that of Ben Eubank’s Upstart HR.
In his post for the week he posed the question shown in the title
above. For your consideration here is the text of his latest blog. After
the text of Ben’s post we will add some after thoughts of our own on
the topic.

So maybe you read half a dozen human
resources blogs, or maybe this is the only one you follow. Why do people
write human resources blogs? What’s the point?

Well, I
can’t speak for everyone, but I can give you some insight into why I
write (and read) blogs about human resources every week.

Human resources blogs and my career

Why in the heck would someone start an HR blog?

Good question.

I
started writing this blog four years ago as a way to help others just
getting into HR. I wanted to share what I was learning, offer advice to
common problems, and get some accountability for myself beyond the four
walls of my employer.

And boy have those come true.

The
blog has helped me immensely. It was a factor in getting my current job
to some degree. It wasn’t a golden ticket or anything, but it also
wasn’t completely ignored in the hiring process. I can still remember
the president of the company sitting there at his desk and scrolling
through my blog while I was being interviewed.

It has
opened up doors to partner with great companies and people in so many
ways. It has broken down barriers that would have prevented me from
connecting and networking with peers around the world. It helped to
launch one of the first HR unconference events. It’s just been amazing,
frankly.

But that only covers the past four years. What does the future hold? I have no idea, but I’m incredibly excited.

The purpose of human resources blogs

I
think the people who take the time and effort to write HR blogs are
doing a great service to the profession. For too long “personnel” was
seen as a barrier to getting things done. HR pros taking the time to
share unique and interesting ideas are helping to shape the future of
our profession. Here are two key ways that’s happening:

Transparency-HR
as a profession has long been sequestered from the rest of the
organization. In those circumstances, it’s no surprise that business
leaders, line management, and staff workers don’t have much faith in HR.
They don’t know what HR does! Sure, they know we help to recruit people
and help with terminating the bad ones. But the gap between hiring and
firing, the employee lifecycle, is where HR can truly shine. The blogs
out there that are sharing what HR truly does on a daily basis are the
ones that are the most popular. No surprise there.

Insights-A
corollary to the previous point is the insight that we can provide. We
talk about what we are doing, because we’ve been influenced by others
doing the same thing. If you stop for a second, you can probably think
of an HR person somewhere (maybe a friend or just an acquaintance) who
is doing something that you’d like to be doing. They have an innovative
program. They have a unique process. They have something that you’d like
to learn how to do. Or maybe you just want to make existing processes
better–there’s no shame in that. But we share what we share because we
want others to benefit from our success. We are also a little selfish in
that we want to get the same thing out of it. We want to find new,
unique ideas that help us with our own jobs. And that’s okay, too. I’ve yet to meet the person who has it all figured out and needs no help, insight, or encouragement from others.

Those two points can’t possibly encapsulate the entire spectrum of HR blogs, but it’s a good place to start.

Human resources blogs and you

So now you know a little more of the “why” behind human resources blogs. So how can you use them?

This post I wrote a year ago about human resource challenges
is a great example of how you can take what you’re reading and put it
into effect in your own life and career. I also included a similar
challenge in the entry level HR
course for those new to the profession. I wanted them to understand
that HR blogs are not just for entertainment–they’re also for learning
new concepts and forcing our brains to think differently about the
problems we’re faced with.

I talk with readers via email
every single week. They are trying to implement ideas they learned about
on this blog, and I’m all too happy to converse with them about how to
customize the topics to their unique situations. They are the ones who
are truly benefiting from the HR blogs out there.

I know that 99+% of you are not interested in starting an HR blog. And that’s just fine. I talked about why HR people don’t blog previously, and I still believe those reasons are true today.

So those are a few of my thoughts on human resources blogs. What are yours? How have they helped you?

In
April of 2006, we entered the blog community with the intent of
providing a resource for HR professionals to gain some insight into what
we do everyday. Over the past six years, numerous people have remarked that, they have gained a little piece of knowledge that they have not found anywhere else. Our true intention is to
provide you with a different viewpoint on issues that face you everyday.
Many of these viewpoints are addressing issues that due to the demands
of the marketplace, you have overlooked either willingly or just did not
realize that they were there. In a field where many have made the
decision to stop writing blogs, we re committed to continuing to be a
voice in the wilderness regarding a better way to look at the role you play in the management of our human capital assets.

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