Information Overload and HR

by The Red Recruiter on April 2, 2009

For the past few months, I have been intensely listening and learning about new trends and technologies. There is no doubt in my mind that technology has advanced rapidly in the last few years. It will only take a few minutes of your time on Facebook or Twitter to see the vast amount of information exchange that’s taking place. Of course, it’s next to impossible

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to monitor everything… but, in a way, we really don’t have a choice.

As a recruiting professional by trade, I’m constantly learning about new ways to connect with my audience. What I have found out in the past few months is that a great divide is rapidly developing in between the people who are aware and those who are not. Aware of the change, of the advancements, of the new social reach that we all have.

So, what does this mean for a Human Resources professional who is looking to develop in their career and keep on progressing?

Technology Boot Camp for HR

No one knows all of the answers… that’s for sure! However, as an HR professional, you have to stay on top of the important concepts and changes that are occurring with the community. While SHRM valiantly makes an effort to keep the Human Resources community informed, it would be next to impossible for them to collect all of the changes and give them to the community in real time. For this, we are reliant on industry leaders who have taken to the various social media platforms.

I could list a number of endorsements here, but ultimately, it’s a matter of choice and trust. You must follow those who you believe provide value and insightful knowledge. A quick search on Google (select the “More” button up top and then the “Blogs” option) will reveal a multitude of options. Are you reading what the respected HR bloggers have to say? Should you consider this as a part of your professional development? I believe so.

Staying Current at the Speed of Light

With everything changing so quickly, it’s nearly impossible to study and consume everything. So, my suggestion is this:

  1. Start with a strategy Decide what you need to stay on top of. This could be anything from Compensation to Benefits to HRIS. Define a few areas that you are going to commit to staying current with.
  2. Define who you will listen to Performing the search that I listed above within Google will reveal authors/bloggers on almost any relevant topic within HR. For some searches, you may have to dig a bit before you find the right match for your learning style, but you should still work to narrow down your listening efforts. Pick one or two SMEs on each topic so that you can either bookmark their pages or add their RSS feeds into an aggregrator (Google Reader works for this).
  3. Set a schedule There is no doubt in my mind that the internet can kill productivity for those of us that work outside of the internet. As a result, it’s important that you schedule dedicated time to staying current. Whether you take an hour a week at work and review what your identified bloggers have to say, or you take some time on the weekend – just make sure that you are protecting time for your learning.
  4. Knowledge to action So, you’re learning some great stuff… now what? You can do this a number of different ways, but I would recommend that you either keep an ongoing computer document with key lessons or that you start a notebook. Writings things down tends to help with retention – at least for me it does.

Equipped with your updated and current knowledge, start sharing with your team. Having worked with a wide variety of talent within HR, I can absolutely attest that the most sought after candidates are often times the most current. Whether you are looking to protect your current position or increase your employment marketability in the future, having a solid learning plan for yourself is only going to help.

So, why did I use this video to describe the topic? Information is moving fast! The video itself does a great job at making you step back and say “Wow!” It’s an exciting time for the world. We are going to be exploring technologies and advancements beyond what we can currently conceive of within a matter of years.

How do you stay current? Who do you follow within HR for new information and direction?

Special thanks to Alicia Arenas at for sending over the video! It’s great!

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