What’s a brother have to do to get you to sign up?

SHRM’s an organization that HR bloggers love to talk about. It’s the de facto voice of the profession and as such, draws a lot of attention. Most posts I’ve seen speak to the fact that it can do a lot more for it’s membership and I agree, as well. Check out these posts (here, here, and here) for some of the diverse opinions on the subject.

For it’s part, SHRM has acknowledged some of the issues brought to it’s attention, especially on the social media front. China Gorman, the current Chief Operating Officer (COO) has been a strong advocate of HR using (as opposed to policing) social media to add value to one’s organization. They’ve also set-up a social networking site for it’s members. It’s called SHRM Connect and it was introduced shortly after this year’s national conference. Facebook it’s not, but that’s not its intent. It’s a mash-up of different platforms, such as Linkedin and Ning, and it allows members to connect, form groups, and share content. Each member of the national organization automatically has an account, so it has the potential to be a huge driver of value creation, both for SHRM and for the HR profession as a whole.

Speaking of forming groups on SHRM Connect, Sharlyn Lauby, the HR Bartender, did just that. Naturally, I joined at once! One of the first things I asked to do was create a ‘HR Twitter List.’

Why? Well, because it felt right. For one, I haven’t seen a comprehensive listing of who and how many HR practitioners are using social media. In addition, a list would make it easier for newcomers to accept social media if they saw their friends and colleagues were using it. A person could also use this as a more effective method for networking with like-minded professionals. Think of it like a buddy list-it would help them to make less mistakes and avoid some of the pitfalls people new to Twitter, Facebook, etc., can make. I know I would have appreciated it if something like this was available when first starting out. Then I wouldn’t have wasted my time in following/unfollowing people who weren’t going to complement the network I was creating. In short, a list could help the HR community using social media to grow in quantity and quality.

So I pitched the idea. People seemed to love it and asked to be included. I was excited! It grew fairly quickly and then…nothing. Interest died fast and as of today there’s only a little over a dozen people on the list.

THAT’S PATHETIC.

Part of the issue is that SHRM Connect is flawed. For one, you have to be a member of the national organization to access the site. Ben Eubanks, as he’s only a member of his local chapter, didn’t know about the list until we spoke about it. Further, he can’t utilize it himself, which limits its usefulness to him. The other piece of it is that I didn’t add anyone that didn’t request it. I don’t want to take the liberty of adding anyone who may not want to be a part of it. Regardless of the reasons it’s still surprising to see such a low turn-out to support a good idea.

So now I’m reaching out through this blog to all my HR pros out there. Let’s walk the walk when it comes to social media. We love it, use it, and work to convince others of it’s worth. Let me know if you want your information added to the list. If you’re on SHRM Connect just send me a message. If not, e-mail me at [email protected] Lastly, let others know it exists and spread the word!


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