Best of the #HRblogs January 2013: 19 great HR blog posts from January 2013

Black Hole Milkyway

No new year slump in the #HRblogs universe, I’m delighted to report!

But is there a black hole where HR should be?

Here is my pick of the very best HR blog posts from January 2013.

Authenticity, black holes and HR laggards are among the key topics spotlighted by HR bloggers this month! There are also a number of powerful and moving posts on issues around mental health in the workplace, arising from the HR for mental health (#hr4mh) movement.

What have been your favourite posts from the world of #HRblogs this month?

Please do get in touch and share your own favourites – either by leaving a comment (below), or via Twitter, Google+ or LinkedIn.

I would love to hear from you!

Here we go…



Best of the HR blogs January 2013: My favourite HR blog posts of January 2013



As always, my selection of HR blog posts here is entirely subjective, and presented in alphabetical order by author surname.

  • Anonymous: Courage, Another Anonymous Blogger: Born This Way, and Kate Griffiths-Lambeth: Speak Up

    If you don’t read any other posts highlighted in this month’s list, please at least find the time to read these three, think about them, and perhaps act on them (some links for next steps can be found here). Each deals, powerfully, with issues around mental health and the workplace. Please, please read them. The first two posts come from anonymous bloggers via guest posts on Alison Chisnell’s blog. The other is from leading UK HR blogger Kate Griffiths-Lambeth. Follow Kate on Twitter.

  • Sabrina Baker: The Plight of the Sole HR Practitioner

    How many of you out there are in this boat? “You must do it all. The HR stuff you love. The HR stuff you hate. The HR stuff no one in their right mind likes doing (open enrolment anyone:)). All of it. Alone.” I think this is an absolutely superb post, turning the spotlight on a cohort of the HR community that is all too often overlooked – the people that Sabrina describes as the “good majority of HR people [who] are considered sole practitioners.” Follow Sabrina on Twitter.

  • Ellison Bloomfield: The One Rule Of Writing 

    Is good writing all about what we might dub “the ‘A’ word”? Like Ellison says: “Authenticity leads to vulnerability and exposure and ultimately, connection.” This is a lovely companion piece to Ellison’s post on the love of words, which I included in my favourite HR blog posts of 2012. Follow Ellison on Twitter.

  • Andrew McAfee: Labor’s Lost Leverage

    A fascinating, hard-hitting piece of data analysis. McAfee presents a graph on US data “showing how corporate profits (as a percentage of GDP) and labor’s share of income (essentially the percentage of GDP paid out in wages) have been doing over the post-war era in America.” The conclusions are stark. McAfee says: “I am the farthest thing from a Marxist that you’ll ever meet, but I’m also not willing to pretend any more that things will be just fine for American workers once demand comes back and companies get healthy again. Judging by their profits, American companies have never been in better shape. The same cannot be said for workers.” Follow Andrew on Twitter.
  • Sarah Miller: The Desk Rejection Complex 

    We would all do well to adopt Sarah’s resolution for 2013 (as highlighted in XpertHR’s round-up of HR bloggers’ HR resolutions for this year). Follow Sarah on Twitter.
  • Sarah Miller: Write The HR You Want The Next Generation To See 

    It’s kind of a pity that Sarah’s surname comes before Neil Morrison’s in this alphabetical list, as this post makes an interesting companion piece to the next post in the list (and may or may not have been composed in response to it). Sarah calls for an end to HR’s introspective tendency: “Who cares what anyone says about us except ourselves?! So write the HR you want the next generation to see.” This is a powerful, provocative post, and sparked a fascinating debate in the comments field. Great work, Sarah! Follow Sarah on Twitter.
  • Neil Morrison: HR: A 10 Point Agenda For Change 

    It may be only January, but I would be very surprised if this doesn’t end up being among many people’s very favourite HR blog posts of 2013. This post is all about HR taking a stand, and was inspired by a Guardian piece entitled Is the world of HR really overtime and eggshells? (and more specifically by the related comments, in which Neil detects a depressingly familiar theme: “Everybody hates HR.”). Neil is not one to take this lying down, and in this storming post sets out his 10-point agenda for change in the HR profession in 2013. Please do take the time to read this one in full! Follow Neil on Twitter.
  • Gemma Reucroft: What Do You Stand For? 

    “What do you stand for? What do you stand for, really?” Now this is thought-provoking stuff…just how would you answer these questions? I think this post makes for an interesting companion piece of sorts to Neil Morrison’s post (above), as it comes at the topic of HR professionals “taking a stand” from a completely different perspective. I would love to see more HR bloggers following Gemma’s lead here and setting out exactly what they stand for (and perhaps also doing as Gemma does here, in providing a bonus breakdown of “what I don’t think HR should stand for IMHO.”).  Follow Gemma on Twitter.
  • Laurie Ruettimann: The Best HR Blogs Are Like Obscenities

    Is it too “meta” for me to blog about a post about what makes for the best in HR blogs in a blog post that aims to highlight the best in HR blogs? Well, I’m going to, all the same! Laurie absolutely nails everything that I look for each month when compiling these round-ups. She identifies four key qualities that set the very best HR blog posts, HR blogs and HR bloggers apart: “Authenticity. Ubiquity. Expertise. Entertainment.” (The critical importance of the last of these is brilliantly illustrated by Laurie’s observation that “I don’t care how much you love Human Resources; this stuff can get pretty boring.”). What qualities do you look out for in the best #HRBlogs? And if you’re a blogger, what qualities do you aim to convey in what you write? Follow Laurie on Twittter.
  • Robin Schooling: Being A Workplace Archaeologist

    When was the last time you saw one of “those little squeezy bottles to moisten postage stamps”? If the answer is “Just now, when I looked at my desk,” then Robin’s post may be particularly relevant to you! This is a beautifully written piece, taking an affectionate and humorous look at the prevalence (or otherwise) of mobile devices in your average HR office. Please do let me know if your own office boasts any of the “relics” highlighted by Robin…or if there are any office relics still in use where you work that you’d like to see added to the list! Follow Robin on Twitter.

  • Richard Sherman: Life In Transit – In Which There Be Leaping 

    A sad farewell both to one of the warmest, most engaging bloggers/storytellers in the world of #hrblogs, and also to what has arguably become HR’s most beloved bus route (which Richard affectionately named “the ole 54″). But onwards and upwards! HR’s loss is recruitment’s gain. Let’s all wish Richard the very best of luck in his new venture, and hope that it gives rise to new blogging ventures! Follow Richard on Twitter.

  • William Tincup: HR Laggard Quiz & Melissa Fairman: In Defense Of Laggard HR Pros

    “There is no excuse for not having mobile and social on your radar. To be honest with you, that is where I’m at.It’s on my radar. I’m an advocate within my company and I hope to change some hearts and minds this year.” This is from Melissa Fairman’s superb response to William Tincup’s equally superb (and rather provocative) quiz to identify the “laggards” in the world of HR. Plesae do give William’s quiz a go, and let me know your views on it! Follow William on Twitter.

  • Janine Truitt: Global Is The New Local 

    I want to make 2013 the year of global HR. There is no reason why the HR community shouldn’t be a truly global one. Top US HR blogger states the case in a brilliantly simple way in this tweet: “Global is the new local.” Amen. Follow Janine on Twitter.

  • Bonnie Ungaro: Sorry HR Can’t Help You! 

    “Be accessible, BE A.C.C.E.S.S.I.B.L.E! You heard me!! Nothing is worse than the BIG BLACK HOLE of HR. I work for a medium-sized company and I cannot tell you the number of times applicants have said to me ‘Wow, I can’t believe I’m talking to a real person in HR! Usually, I apply to positions and never hear a word back!’ All I think is ‘Wow, how sad is that! Way to take the human out of Human Resources!’” Apologies for the extended quotation there, but I just love the way Bonnie’s writing flows, and also the point being made here. It chimes with some of the themes I explored in my recent post on HR outsourcing and the human part of HR. Follow Bonnie on Twitter.

  • Jane Watson: Will the Rise of the Contingent Workforce Make us Dumber?

    The composition of the workforce is changing, with part-time job creation overtaking full-time jobs both in the UK and overseas. In this thought-provoking post, Canadian HR blogger Jane Watson highlights some possible consequences of this trend, including “traditional” employees becoming “an endangered species” and organisations becoming “dumber.” Follow Jane on Twiter.
  • Richard Westney: Do I Look Like a F@%king People Person?

    Dare I suggest that this is the single best title for an HR blog post that I’ve ever seen? Pleasingly, the post ain’t half bad, either. Richard puts forward a very interesting argument here: “Being good with people would struggle to make my top ten” when it comes to the qualities you need to succeed in HR. How highly would you place it in such a list? Follow Richard on Twitter.

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