Wednesday, 29 December 2010

HRbeginner looks back at 2010.

This morning I woke up with butchers preparing their meat for display looking at it longer than normally, cashier at Tesco’s replied to my “Good morning” with significant delay and guys in Costa made their first cappuccino today with heavy sigh. Life is definitely slower in the early mornings, but today was sooooo much lazier. My body is just as slow in the morning with my toothbrush feeling heavy enough to consider brushing the teeth the morning exercise. Yet with my first sip of coffee my mind takes off. It is this slow pace of almost everything and everyone that makes me to overtake most of them. Anyway snow is gone and so is the Christmas (don’t take me wrong I hope the Xmas spirit stays with you for as long as you wish).
Before I bow to year 2010 and welcome the 2011, little reflection will do me good and so will be sharing it with you.

2010 year HRbeginner was born and learned to walk. Year when HR beginner finished his 5 years long journey exploring academic depths of Human Resources Management. Year when the winter road conditions helped him to scrap his car and his car insurance became an official fund for next year. It was year he decided to treat himself and love of his life with holiday in Turkey with some bad luck of Goldtrail getting busted causing significant increase of the costs (That didn’t stop him from enjoying every moment of his holiday). Year when he decided to compensate the lack of HR interaction in his current profession using twitter, linkedin and blogging (as you can see) and so mix with the rest of the HR community. Year of some frustration but also satisfaction, little desperation but plenty more of the tranquillity, year when “change” was nothing to be scared of and year when looking up didn’t cause any pain in the neck.
So, Dear 2010, no regrets again, it worked out just fine, and You 2011 - Hold tight as I am about to take you for a craaaazy ride.
With love
Your HRbeginner

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Monday, 20 December 2010

HR Tweeps I Learn to Walk from.

Inspired by TheHRD I have too decided to produce a list of people who whether they know it or not made my blogging baby days and life of HRbeginner smoother. Thanks to these guys I am learning how to walk in the world of HR, Blogging, Twitter and generally developing my new me.

First of all it is Lis Wilson from HRconnexions UK 
giving me a good kick start in both blogging and job hunt. In my post Blog as a Job Hunt Tool I talk more about how my cooperation with Lis influenced my decision to make the blog, part of my “job hunt” strategy. Lis also seems to read my other posts and gives me feedbacks. Talking of feedbacks you should know that for blog toddler as I am there is never enough of praise if you only just learn to walk.

and his blog inspired by J.P. Sartre's existentialism using quote "Hell is other people" to express the views most of us keep in our heads. This guy pulls it with little worries about what other people think, thanks to his anonymity to which some people have objections. Message to those who do have a problem with Mr.Incognito's model: TheHRD plays an important role in our HR sphere expressing things most of us do not dare to voice. He needs to protect himself from the human nature which tends to implement numerous biases in interaction with other people without looking for deeper meaning. We too have to protect the anonymity of TheHRD and hope for more of his wisdom coming out. 

for although I am sorry for him being in position of a jobseeker his courage to bring it up on his blog made me feel that I am not alone. Mervyn I know you very little (as everybody else's on this list) but from what other people say about you, you will get a job before the snow melts down.

for their work in HR SoMe interaction and for setting up Also for organising ConnectingHR tweetup for which I am looking forward to.

and her blog PunckRockHR being first HR blog I came across with and have been big fun ever since. 

for some great HR news tweets.

for getting some smart people talking about what really matters. "Ideas worth spreading"

for he and his blog exists and gives me some idea what I would like to achieve with my blog. 

 for his kindness in each of his tweets. Michael is real gentleman and keeps HR online community warm and cuddly.

Darren Rowse
aka problogger for as he himself says: "I blog about twitter and tweet about blogging. Sometimes I blog about tweeting about blogging and tweet about blogging about twitter." Great inspiration from this guy. 

HR generalist from California for giving me very extensive feedback for my blog some time a go leading to some major changes. Thank you Raina and good luck with your study.

who's tweets taught me that my tweets needs to be from this world. Caroline is a HR Academic from whom I learned that there is more than just HR to tweet about. (among other things, as I was proudly lectured by Caroline at University).

There are indeed more and more influencers coming into my network as well as loads more work needs to be done for me to be able to walk, talk, run and being listened to. My last words have to go to whole HR community living in shadow of a business case. We do make a difference in people’s life’s and any manager thinking otherwise is a twat.  

For me to carry on growing I need you all around me.
Watch me and let me watch You. 

Thank you and subscribe/follow/comment.

Happy Christmas to you all

Friday, 17 December 2010

Blog as a Job Hunt Tool

Recently I was approached by Lis Wilson from an online recruitment company with rather innovative approach to what they know best. Apart of very flexible and tailored package for companies with various hiring needs whether "on demand" or "on going", hrconnexions also play a role in supporting job seekers. Among many useful advices there is also a blog where i was featured in an interview about blogging and its potential of it being a job hunting tool. In the post "Blogging your way to get a Job - An Interview" I have answered some questions about why did I set up my blog and what are my intentions with it. I have also reflected on my blogging experience so far and gave some humble advice for people looking to start their own blog. There are indeed many experts out there who can point out my strengths and weaknesses if it comes to my blogging skills (if you are one of them please comment) but I am not saying that I am an expert. This interview was truly helpful for me in the way I could reflect on my blog as a space which could attract potential recruiters looking for my kind. Hence for the time being you might will see more side bars and other content related to my persona with an effort to show off. 

Dear Lis, Thank you for inspiring me to the idea of blogging and job hunting simultaneously. You play an important role in making online recruitment more than just someone's job and raising awareness as well as educating is without the doubt an important element of what "hrconnexions" team do.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Where HR Beginner Sticks his Nose.

Time to share some of my most frequently used tools used in my continual professional development.
There are many more sources I have tried and keep trying and so should you.

I will indeed elaborate on all of the sources below in later posts, but firstly let's put them into nice list.

RSS feeds

Generally speaking the most frequently used tool to keep me up to date with all News, Websites and Blog posts updates as well as all job vacancies out there coming from online recruiters. If you haven't tried it yet put it on top of your list to make your development more efficient. I use Google Reader.I will share all my sources of feeds sometimes soon in the post about RSS feeds. Stay tuned and subscribe to my blog if you want to safe time researching it yourself.

The Economist,

I use audio edition, in my car while driving. Every Friday new weekly updates on current issues around the world. Excellently written by some excellent journalists.


CIPD Communities, HR Space etc. Reading it gives me a good idea what are the most current concerns and problems of HR professionals. Participating in discussions I practice my HR terminus technicus while getting some feedbacks on my critical HR thinking. An excellent way of developing the writing and thinking as a HR professional.


Blogs, Twitter, Linkedin are the must to keep me in touch with most influential people out there. When I have started to use twitter I was amazed by the amount of people willing to help and cooperate.

Academic Journals

Excellent for research. While Wikipedia is great to get a quick look on something quote it very sparingly. Academic journals hold some empirically supported materials where there is less guessing and more facts available. Try your local University library. There are some online libraries offering great selection of HR journals but the subscriptions are very expensive.

Final word

Don’t punish yourself for not being able to stick your nose in all of them at once. Make your own routine and make sure you stick your nose in each of the sources every now and then (ideally once a week). This will keep you moving and growing as a HR professional.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

When "Snowed in" is the best thing could happen to you.

How many of us think about snow and wish there is more of it? How many of us wake up in the morning and think just how much they could use the benefits of calling in "sorry can’t make it today, it’s out of my hands". My concern is that more than taking snow off the roads it is about taking care of people who feel like there is “snow inside them.” It is sad coincidence that "snowballing" is also used to express non stoppable power of building up problems making everything else look small and irrelevant. Hence sooner or later you can end up calling in “it’s out of my hands” but this time it will have nothing to do with snow on the roads. In this post I wish to share some examples of “snowed in” people as well as message to HR practitioners as well as any managers who make difference how people feel at work.

Unappreciated people. 

You keep going the extra mile and all you get is a smile of your superior (if you are lucky). What is worse everybody else seems to go the extra mile too, hence you have no option but keep going and make sure you are on the lead. In addition as you go these extra mileS you have to carry loads of weight with you too. Badly executed and misunderstood concept of performance management + long hour working culture in Britain (longest in Europe) all lead to this snowball effect commonly known as Stress. Long term consequences on individuals and their lives are unquestionable; it is the nasty “everybody is replaceable” attitude of some organisations which worries me most.

Underdeveloped people.
You come to work and whatever you do the other people seems to be better in doing it. You want to improve but there is no guidance from superiors or no will from colleagues. Reasons behind underdeveloped workforce vary from one organisation to the other, but the bottom line is that none of them consider people as an asset worth developing. Days, weeks, months and years go by and you are where you were before. It is drowning and frustrating. You might not know it but you bring this frustration home with you and your day doesn’t get any better. You have a bit of “snowballing” there.

Other stressed out people. 

Generally speaking, people have different reasons for being “snowed inside”. The problem is that no one pays attention to their problem and they don’t know who to ask or what to ask at the first place. Most of the time “snowballing” takes place with various consequences when people and their lives end up badly damaged.

Last but not least there are a job hunters. 

For unemployed it doesn't matter much as long as snow doesn't affect other elements of their everyday life. Job hunters currently employed are on top of my list as there must be a genuine reason for wanting a new job and if the snow buys them an extra day off, more applications can be filled and more CV's posted. It is only obvious that your chances to find a new job increase with every application you post. And why they became a job hunters at the first place? Well in the most simplistic way they look for place to work where “snowballing” isn't  an everyday practice.
Lesson for HR.

Talk to your people regularly. You do make a difference in their life already by employing them and letting them spend almost half of their day in your business. So make sure you make a positive not negative contribution in their lives. Performance appraisals with mix of positive and negative feedbacks are the best way of showing people that you watch them and care for them. Develop them towards achieving their personal goals, not only company training needs. In that way they will see that working for you they grow as persons as well as professionals.

Culture of involvement and participation. Give your employees voice. Let them talk about everything, listen to them and make everything clear and understandable. Let them design their own procedures and you will see the difference in how people respond to the rules made by themselves. The most common misconception of empowering people is that managers think they will loose the power to decide. No you will not. In constructive discussion with employees you are the one who is responsible for all processes to fit in with business strategy. They will understand, as long as you make it clear to them. Participation lies in sharing knowledge and views before decision takes place. Build up knowledge sharing culture. Sharing is caring. Learn from most successful and influential online companies. Facebook, Google, Twitter etc. None of them charge for their services (with exception of premium and business tools) and all information they have share with people for free. Yes knowledge is a power and has to be used wisely but if you make your people to see bigger picture and positive effect of “everyone knowing” results will lead to the tremendous competitive advantage and happy workforce. Reward your people. There are many ways of rewarding your workers and it doesn’t have to cost fortune. Check some of the principles of “Total Reward” and find some inspiration for your reward strategy. Looking at Talent management can help you with retention of some most valuable staff that is probably looking for new job while you read this article.

Finally remember that it is all about business and therefore make sure that any HR intervention links tightly with business strategy. In addition in the process of doing any changes use quick fixes along with slowly implemented long term solutions. That way you maintain steady progress with even better future in the mind.

I have highlighted some important elements of the best practice in HR and indeed none of them can be explained in single blog post. I will continue to spread the right word about any of the concepts eventually, but should anyone have questions feel free to ask. I will be also delighted with any response on this post and discuss any thoughts in depth.