Best of the HR blogs December 2012: The HR bloggers’ choice!

Sarah Bernhardt by Manuel OraziA little “Betwixtmas” gift for you, dear reader!

For this latest monthly round-up of the best posts from the world of #hrblogs, I’ve called on some of the best HR bloggers out there to share their favourite posts from December 2012.

So please welcome my friends Paul Hebert, Sarah Miller, Doug Shaw, Janine Truitt and Jane Watson, each of whom has generously taken the time to come up with some great recommendations!

What have been your top HR blog posts this month? Please do get in touch and share your own favourites – either by leaving a comment (below), or via Twitter, Google+ or LinkedIn.

Please do check back here on Monday (aka 31 December 2012, aka New Year’s Eve), when I’ll be sharing my personal pick of the very best HR blog posts of 2012!

Best of the HR blogs December 2012: The HR bloggers’ choice!


Paul Hebert

PaulHebertNewFOT.jpgPaul Hebert is Managing Director of “influence consultancy” I2I, and blogs extensively at his Incentive Intelligence site and on Fistful of Talent. He is also the author of an excellent 2010 post from XpertHR’s If I Could Change One Thing About HR…  series.

  • Ann Bares (aka @annbares): Is Your Incentive Plan Strategy-Negative?

    Great post to remind us of how the tactical things we do to drive employee behavior sometimes go against the strategy set up for company success. Do incentives and  rewards truly reflect what you want as a company?

  • Steve Boese (aka @steveboese): Badges for Failure

    Almost all learning comes from failure. But often we send signals to our employees that failure isn’t an option.  When we do that we actually reduce the ability to innovate and create game-changing ideas. Steve gives some interesting ideas on how to increase failure to increase success.

  • Charles H. Green (aka @charleshgreen): Four Principles of Organizational Trust: How to Make Your Company Trustworthy

    The first step in any change initiative should begin with trust. But how to build trust and what exactly is it? Charles lays out four principles of trust that every HR person should understand.

Sarah Miller 

SarahMiller.jpgOn her original Twitter bio, Sarah described herself as “a Gen-Y HR professional writing about being a Gen-Y in HR. A South Aussie living in Singapore.” Sarah is the author of the wonderful Whipper Snapper HR blog. You can also follow Sarah on Twitter [Now with excellent new bio!] and connect with her via LinkedIn.

Here are Sarah’s choices:

I narrowed my top 3 down from 15 starred posts in my Google Reader – it was a tough slog. And I’ve ended up with:

1) @HR_Nasty: Resume Racism, how recruiters really read your resume 

I love, love, love this post – did I mention how much I love it?! Because it talks about, and addresses how to minimise, the challenge of job hunting as someone who is not in the culturally dominant group or mainstream thinking. Would you change your name just so your resume doesn’t get skimmed over? I don’t know if I could, but this post countered my initial feelings that it’s a cop out and loss of identity. What’s in a name if it’s stopping you from job opportunities? I just love the realism that this is how job hunting is, and yes it sucks, but here’s how you don’t have to lose out… Top stuff!

2) @HRManNZ (aka Richard Westney): Whoops Apocalypse  

Richard writes like someone who is in an HR role right now, living it and feeling the strain. And it is so good to read those words, in fact it’s a little like meeting a friend who just ‘gets you’. “Sometimes you simply can’t make a difference and life is too short to die trying.” Oh Richard, how did you know that’s what a weary HR soul needs to hear? But my favourite bit is Richard’s vision for 2013 as the year we “take HR out of the shadows and into the mainstream, make it sexy and interesting, reinvent ourselves and find a voice.” I’m thinking of HR as the next Ally McBeal… sex, arguments and designer suits. Too much, Richard?! Our people can talk later.

3) Doug Shaw: Discretionary Effort is Theft

This is something I’ve never really thought of before, but Doug hit it on the head for me. Our energy resources are finite per day. If management expects total engagement and commitment all day every day at work, what will the employee to have left for home? I don’t know, Doug, I just don’t know. But I do know I am now highly sceptical when it comes to the employee engagement buzz that doesn’t take this into account…

Doug Shaw 

DougShaw2012.jpegSurely Doug Shaw needs no introduction now? Just in case you’ve not yet had the pleasure, though, Doug is one of the most creative, upbeat and engaging bloggers/social media types out there in the world of #hrblogs. He’s always to be found on Twitter, is a committed proponent of “useful fun,” and is the author of the Stop Doing Dumb Things to Customers blog.  Follow Doug on Twitter. But enough of my yakkin’… here’s Doug!

Wow – so many to choose from eh?


This by Neil Usher stands out for me because it’s stripped down, angry and beautiful all at once: A Declaration of Independence.

This by Anthony Allinson stands out for me because It fuelled such an interesting debate: With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility.

This by Victorio Milian stands out for me because it is a great set of perspectives on the intriguing subject of HR and Home. I confess, I contributed to this so I may be biased, and I’m OK with that J: HR and Home – - The Carnival!

This by Steve Browne stands out for me because it’s a different take on the old chestnut of communication: Breaking Bottlenecks !! 


How’s that?

Janine Truitt 

JanineTruitt.jpgJanine hails from New York, is a self-described “HR strategist and HR visionary,” is a fellow Walking Dead fanatic (and if there’s more of you out there, do please let me know!), and is the author of HR’s most aristocratic blog, The Aristocracy of HR. Follow Janine on Twitter. Here are Janine’s choices:

  • Justin Harris (aka @UnlikelyHRGuy): Brown HR Liquor 

    Love this post because it encompasses two things I love – brown liquor and a good HR lesson. The salient point here is: to be successful in business you have to be about your business – which entails making sure that everything we do in HR adds value to the organization.

  • Sarah Miller (aka @whippasnappahr): Dear HR, Please Stop Giving Gifts at Christmas Time 

    I just discovered Sarah Miller a.k.a. @whippasnappaHR on Twitter and I like her style. She writes about HR from a Gen-Y perspective but has panache that transcends any generational labeling. Her theme in this post is to stop the transactional giving that happens at Christmas time and consider a giving spirit throughout the year. She even shares some tips of gift-giving ideas for those of us that require a dose of creativity. I have to say I agree with her.

  • Alli Polin (aka @AlliPolin): We Are Allowed To Be Human 

    Alli Polin has an important voice in the HR blogging space. Her messages are consistent and powerful regarding the both the practical and moral purpose of HR. In this piece, she highlights the tragedy of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that has tugged at the hearts of everyone globally. She eloquently ties this tragedy into a bigger conversation about how we ought to treat our employees when these catastrophic tragedies arise. This is a must read for every HR practitioner.

  • Buzz Rooney (aka @TheBuzzOnHR):HR and Home

    First things first, I simply adore Buzz and her writing. It is sassy, informative and so many other things. This post was a part of a larger series created by Victorio Milian called HR and Home-The Carnival! Buzz tells us how her city upbringing and suburban present have influenced her approach as an HR practitioner. It’s a genuine and clever post about how the mashup of her past and present have contributed to who she is today.

Jane Watson

JaneWatson.jpgToronto-based Jane Watson describes herself (in her Twitter bio) as an “HR geek into Training, HR Tech, Performance management & OD; HRPA Toronto & HRPA Ontario volunteer; blogger; mentor/protégé; [and] tea lover”. She is also the author of the excellent Talent Vanguard blog and “was supposed to be anthropologist“! Follow Jane on Twitter. The blog stage is all yours, Jane:

  • Neil Morrison: Summing Up  

    An authentic and sobering dose of reality amongst a flurry of reflective year-end posts. Mr Morrison‘s year sounds much like a year I struggled through not too long ago, and it certainly reflects the reality for many of my colleagues and friends. I agree that “When we are honest about how things are, then we can start to truly support one another.”

  • China Gorman: Skills Shortage or Inflated Job Requirements?

    A thought-provoking post asserting that in at least some cases, the much-touted skills shortage is self-inflicted. I think this is a really important issue for HR professionals to consider, and this post captures the issue perfectly: the blanket requirement for degrees may be eliminating good candidates, and you might be covered over in talent that you just can’t see! Follow China on Twitter

  • Bonni Titgemeyer: Toronto-Style HR

    I’ll confess to a limited amount of bias in selecting this great post, as it trumpets the virtues of HR in my home city. Bonni hones in on the approach to Toronto’s incredible diversity as a unique part of practicing HR here. Her post made me feel proud to be a fellow Torontonian HR professional.

    Kris Dunn: People Economics: Regression to the Mean 

    Mr Dunn makes the case that managers and employees have a shelf life in their role within our organizations, and that the same concept applies to organizations “regressing to the mean.” A great post with both a micro and macro perspective.

Michael Carty

MJCarty2.jpgI hope you won’t find this too awfully cheeky, but I thought I’d sneak in with my pick of some outstanding posts from this month. Follow me on Twitter.

  • @BettyBBrave: The Spirit of Friendship 

    In the run-up to Christmas, Alison Chisnell ran her second annual ‘advent calendar’ series of guest posts (one a day from 1 December to 24 December). I’m not sure that I can even do justice to how wonderful this post from @BettyBBrave is…so please head over to Alison’s blog and enjoy it for yourself. “Only put your energy into things that deserve it.” Follow BettyBBrave on Twitter.

  • China Gorman: If They Want Cake…  

    An inspired argument against taking a short-termist approach when it comes to benefits provision. As China rightly argues here: “Employers are not Marie Antoinette. ‘Let them eat cake’ cannot be an appropriate response when surveys show that cake would be a more popular benefit than, say, fruit or broccoli.” I love China’s suggestion that employers should bring principles of “good conscience” into play when formulating their benefits offerings. Follow China on Twitter.

  • Elizabeth LalliReese: Not My Job, Man

    Great snappy title, great snappy post. Do job descriptions foster “the ‘Not my job, not my problem’ mentality”? What’s your take on this question? Follow Elizabeth on Twitter.

  • Trish McFarlane: Acoustic HR

    Now this is a fascinating question, as raised by Trish McFarlane: Can and should HR differentiate itself in these days of rapid techological evolution and self-service HR by getting back to basics and focusing on the human part of human resources? “Or, as Trish so simply puts it: Is it time for “acoustic HR”? Please do read Trish’s post in full, and do share your views on this theory – either by leaving a comment here or or on Trish’s great Ringleader Logic blog. Follow Trish on Twitter.

  • Michael Scutt: Consultation: What’s in a name? What’s the Point? 

    A witty and comprehensive demolition of the Coalition Government’s breakneck consultation process on the controversial ‘employee-shareholder’ status (previously referred to as “employee-owner” status, when it was first announced by George Osborne in the not so very distant mists of time of October 2012). Michael says: “What struck me (and many others) about the Response to the Consultation is that the Government hasn’t actually consulted at all. Not if the word “consult” means more than “ok, we hear you”.” Well, quite. Follow Michael on Twitter.

  • Robin Schooling: When It Comes To Data, Bigger Isn’t Always Better 

    A brilliant reminder from Robin Schooling that even in this age of big data, many HR professionals continue to deal with small data. And there is nothing whatsoever wrong with that. Robin says: “While an organization with 60 employees may be using a CRM platform to track data around sales and customer analytics, chances are pretty good their HR Director is still managing the employee data using Excel spreadsheets and file folders. While that’s neither fun nor a great use of her time, it also means that she probably doesn’t have access to any flashy snazzy HR Capital analytics tools or the expertise of a statistician on contract.  So she’s sitting there with lots of small data.  And that’s OK.” Follow Robin on Twitter.

  • Ian Welsh: My Best HR Achievement – Ma Meilleure RH Realisation!

    I love this post. Ian tells the story of his proudest achievement in his HR career to date. He makes the crucial point that these moments of personal achievement might not necessarily be recognised as such by your superiors – indeed, the opposite might be the case! But that doesn’t make them any less speical for you. Lovely, lovely post. What’s your own proudest achievement in your work? Follow Ian on Twitter.

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