Finding Your Passion

This weekend, I was given the opportunity to attend my first HR Conference, HRevolution. HRevolution allows members of the HR community to come together and discuss issues surrounding business today. Although I was a bit nervous, I was excited for this conference, as it was the first conference I attended that was closely aligned with what I do on a daily basis. I had no idea what lay ahead.

Prior to the conference, Chernee alluded to the fact that those attending this event were nothing short of brilliant. The more she talked and the more I researched, the more I became nervous and a bit intimidated by what I thought was in store. How could I ever measure up to these fabulous people who had already made a place for themselves as HR professionals?

HRevolution

Julie & Jen @ HRevolution Tweetup

As Julie and I immersed ourselves in the conference, meeting and chatting with our fellow conference attendees, I was pleasantly shocked at how welcoming everyone was. For one, there were quite a few attendees who were first timers themselves. Additionally, in meeting a few attendees, Julie and I kept hearing “If there’s anyone you want to meet, just let me know!” Even more, during the Tweet-up on Friday night, we were chatting with one attendee, who introduced us to another, who introduced us to another, who introduced us to another! I can’t even describe the excitement of meeting all of these wonderful people in such a short period of time!

The next day, amid a bit of exhaustion and excitement felt by all attendees, the Unconference began. Different than your typical conference, HRevolution boosts the opportunity for attendees to speak their minds and discuss the nitty gritty. Sessions such as “If HR is so bad, what are you DOING about it?” by Steve Browne and Jason Lauritsen, which dove into why those outside the industry don’t respect HR, and “The Great Performance Debate” by Mike Carden and William Tincup, which offered a debate over if performance reviews should be an annual occurrence or something to be done more frequently, offered new perspectives on areas of the HR field that I hadn’t touched on since college.

Through chat and debate, the passion for HR felt by attendees was evident in each and every moment of the conference. This enthusiasm was contagious. I’ve had an interest in HR for a while now, but their passion for HR got me thinking about what I’m passionate about. What really drives me? In a professional setting, I love the opportunity to help people advance their careers and their lives. And in a personal setting, sure I love to cook and have a yen for traveling, but neither really drives me. So I keep asking myself, what is it that drives me?

Over the last few days, I’ve been thinking about this more and more. The passion of my fellow attendees has really inspired me to figure out what this is. Should I be worried that I haven’t figured it out yet? I don’t think so. I’m only in my 20s. At the same time, I’m ready to find out what that is so I can throw myself into it!

Post written by Jennifer Pray, Recruiter at Whiting Consulting.

My HRevolution Adventure!

What’s in a job title…a lot!

Top ten 2011 jobs, top jobs, jobs 2011, job titles, top job titles, top positions

This week in my blog roll I came across a blog titled “Job Titles Matter” written by Laurie Ruettimann of Cynical Girl, a blog that I read everyday. It was right on point that job title’s do matter to candidates and are critical to the recruiting process.

Besides asking me the name of the company I am calling a candidate about, some of the very first questions I am asked from prospective candidates are about compensation, and “What is the job title?

Many assumptions are made in life based on the title a person has…. and outside of work I will fight you on the point that labels do not matter…. but when it comes to one’s job, it really does matter.

Even though companies are becoming less hierarchical, by human nature one’s job title does reflect a certain status.

When you are recruiting for a person to add to your organization, it is very important to carefully think about the title of the position and does the title reflect the position’s actual responsibilities.

In her blog, Laurie mentions that though fun titles sound great, they are impractical, and, in my opinion, such titles can slow down the recruiting process because they are confusing. You want a job title people can relate to and that can easily match the position’s roles and responsibilities.

A couple of years ago, I was recruiting for a “QA Engineer.” It was an awesome job where the person would be working on cutting edge technology and developing great code… but the client was really looking for a Software Developer for this role.

From a sociological perspective, it was very difficult to find candidates who were existing software developers and change their mindsets enough to look at this wonderful opportunity simply because of the position’s erroneous title. It took more time to recruit candidates and educate them that this would not be a step back in their career, but actually a step forward.

So when you putting together your next hiring plan, think about:

  • The words used in the position’s title… literally.
  • What the person will be doing for your organization and is that reflected in the title?
  • Is the title name a title that the outside world will understand enough to know what this person does?

In addition, when positions don’t a clear job titles, the potential exists to cause conflict for the person in their job down the line as they further try to grow or further define their job responsibilities. This can result in morale issues for the employee and for those working around them. It is human nature to make assumptions and perceptions. Try to be direct and clear and cut off any misunderstandings before they have the chance to happen.

I would love to hear your thoughts about job titles. Are you of the mindset that they do matter, or do you like more of the creative side?

My Interview with HR Bartender


Organizations today are going through a lot of changes within their structures with the state of the economy and realize they need to start adapting to change. This change occurs by focusing on creating a dynamic workforce of employees, and learning how and when to properly manage them by generating a sense of engagement between individuals. So, what are the best methods to manage employees in today’s workplace to help increase overall performance?

In the beginning of August, I had the pleasure to sit down and chat with Sharlyn Lauby, a HR professional known as “HR Bartender“, at the 2010 BlogHer conference. Sharlyn answered a few of my questions on the topic of Human Resources and how it is changing along with the marketplace. Here are her responses to the questions I had:

1. What do you think the biggest issues will be in HR within the next two years?

One of the trends that I’m watching is the ‘gig economy’ – the idea that companies will look for freelancers/contractors/consultants versus staff employees to help them with work projects.  If we continue to have a slow recovery, it could be a dynamic that lasts for a while.  And if it does, it has a lot of implications for businesses and individuals.

For companies, they need to have a clear understanding of when best to utilize contractors, how they will select a freelancer, and evaluate their overall performance.

For individuals, they have to decide if this is a desired way to earn a living.  And if so, how will they manage themselves and their lives successfully. Continue reading

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