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May 17, 2012

Destination HR: Twitter Discoveries and Atlanta in June

Filed under: General HR Buzz,HRN News — Tags: , 8:19 am

Who has two thumbs, loves HR, and is going to be in Atlanta at the end of June?  I’ll give you a subtle hint: It’s me!  Along with 20,000 of my closest friends, I have the privilege of attending what has been called the “Mecca for HR pros” (more on that in a minute) and I won’t even try to hide my excitement.  I’ve never been before, so how did I get so excited?

A couple of months ago, I decided I needed to finally figure out Twitter.  I’ve had a Facebook account since 2008, but never really embraced Twitter.  I didn’t think I needed another distraction.  I relented, and it turns out it was a smart decision.  Starting out slowly, I “followed” bloggers whose topics included HR, leadership, employee development, and in the interest of full disclosure – a few celebrities, too.

The real-time updates on my feed can get overwhelming at times, so I figured out the list feature, which allows users to separate their feed into manageable categories.  I created one for the HR-related topics, and then set out to find more thought leaders to follow.  That mission led me to this blog, which promised to tell me the top 20 HR mentors I should follow on Twitter.  There were a few people that were already on my “followed” list: Evil HR Lady (@RealEvilHRLady), SHRM (@shrm) and TLNT (@TLNT_com).

I diligently followed the suggestions, and added each one.  That endeavor brought Drive Thru HR (@drivethruhr) into my feed.  The guys at Drive Thru HR – Bryan Wempen and William Tincup – host a daily 30-minute radio show that focuses on HR.  Yesterday, I caught the second in their series of special episodes leading up to the SHRM conference.

Mark Schmit, SHRM’s Vice President of Research, and Alex Alonso, SHRM’s Director of HR Thought Leadership Initiatives, promised to give listeners a preview of some exciting things to come at the conference.  They did not disappoint at least one listener (me).  And, if the Twitter chat going on during the broadcast is any indication, I’m not the only one who’s in complete HR geek overload.

Here’s the hot topic: HR competencies.  In response to membership feedback, SHRM Research Foundation set out to define what it takes to be a successful HR professional.  HR competencies span nine theme areas: competency domains that are indicative of true HR success across the board, according to Schmit and Alonso.  Technical competence is measured by an individual’s knowledge and expertise.  For example, an entry-level HR professional might have demonstrated knowledge by attaining the PHR certification, while a mid-level or executive HR professional attained the SPHR certification.

This approach goes beyond the technical knowledge to define behavioral competencies such as managing relationships, developing and demonstrating business acumen, critical thinking, and demonstrating an individual’s value to the organization.  (I know, I’m excited too, but it gets even better.)

The new HR competency model accounts for the breakneck pace of today’s workplace with an element of fluidity and ability to grow.  Each competency dimension incorporates a focus on providing aspirational elements: understanding the company’s products works for entry level, but would expand and grow from mid- to executive-level positions.  SHRM is also continuing their research on the competency model to ensure it is updated regularly.

William Tincup (@williamtincup) asked Schmit and Alonso to give some advice to first-time attendees.  William gets full credit for calling the SHRM annual conference the “Mecca for HR pros,” by the way. (Genius!)

  • Come with a plan!  Mark said, “If you come without a plan, you’ll be overwhelmed.”  He also suggested letting the plan have some flexibility, to allow for interesting things that pop up along your path.
  • Visit the exhibit hall.  Alex recommends building in time to walk the exhibit hall, including the SHRM booth.  He also teased a competency self-assessment they’re building.

When you’re visiting the exhibit hall, come see us at HRN!  We’ll be at booth # 1345.  Follow us on Twitter (@HRNPerformance) to be the first to know about what we can do for you.

(You can find me on Twitter, too: @JustSayLiv)

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