Is the HR blogosphere on a collision course with HR practice?
Paul Carter, June 23, 2017
Paul, Strange post fella. Whether it's the regulating of people 'thinking out loud' or the fact that you underestimate the good people in our industry to act in the best interests of their ...
Read More Barry Flack
June 23, 2017 16:36
HR bloggers are competing with mainstream HR experts in the endless search for answers to workplace challenges
Technology has enabled something of a self-publishing boom, giving an alternative perspective to the findings, commentary and forecasts of consultancies, think tanks, academics and HR media.
But if this knowledge bank dispenses too much unqualified information, and takes too many risks to speculate on HR practice and the profession’s future, the lack of quality control may result in a best practice crisis with bad decisions being made in the workplace.
The debt of gratitude for ‘expert advice’ will turn into regret as people realise they should not have invested so much confidence in the citizen journalism of the HR community. Or maybe HR professionals will prove they know what they are talking about. We will have to wait and see.
What we do know is the HR blogosphere cannot be controlled, with anyone being able to hit ‘publish’ and share their views, ideas and strategies for success.
To avoid substandard advice finding its way into decision-making and people management, the HR community should promote the importance of bloggers knowing their subject before attempting to influence others. This can be achieved through social media filtering. Peer reviews, likes, shares and clicks will filter out problematic or uninformed articles and push quality contributions into the HR space.
As reputations, talent and achievements count, aspiring HR bloggers may have to compete against the meritocracy in the HR blogosphere to find an audience. While this competitiveness may dampen the enthusiasm of HR bloggers on the sidelines of the community, it is the 'survival of the fittest' philosophy that will maintain standards and support this form of peer-to-peer learning as a method of continuous improvement in HR practice.
Quality assurance in the HR blogosphere depends on the professionalism and expertise of authors and readers, with the former citing research reports and theories to support their contributions to the HR conversation; and the latter knowing how to dissect and apply this information to addressing their unique challenges.
It’s having that ability to see the big picture which elevates HR’s role in organisational and people programmes, demonstrating the benefits that experts in recruitment, employee relations, people analytics, learning and development, reward and organisational design can bring to the table.
The CIPD’s study of the HR profession states: “People need to be able to rely on professional expertise and trust professionals to make the right decisions, since they themselves do not have the unique knowledge to check the quality of guidance given by professionals.”
But organisations can assess the quality of guidance from HR, as it affects the connection between people, productivity and business results. Therefore, HR professionals have to understand their subject and customers to keep that connection strong in these volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous times.
Paul Carter is an HR management advisor at The Insolvency Service and HR writer