If I Were Running A Company…The HR Echo Chamber

I was introduce to the concept of the HR echo chamber by Mark Stelzner a few years ago at Jason Seiden’s book signing. I remember that conversation because HR, at that time, was still adapting to social media and your heard about how social media will change HR. Back to the present day, social media has changed HR, for better or worse (depending on your point of view), but one thing is for certain: I keep hearing the same thing about HR’s issues:

  • “Seat at the table”
  • How to be strategic
  • Vendor relations
  • Social Media
  • Getting other department’s attention and respect

I understand there will be HR issues, which varies state to state or company to company, but we’re repeating ourselves to death. To me, the issue isn’t HR as a function. The issue is HR as part of the industry.

People have no problem discussing the function because it’s their job, but you rarely here HR people discussing the industry their in. Could it be because people change jobs almost every 2-3 years and don’t stick around in that industry that long? Is HR interchangeable? I can’t give you a good answer, but this could be why people in other departments are down in HR because they don’t care enough about industry.

There are tons of HR chats out there like #hrchat, #nextchat, #tchat, and others. What I want to see is more industry-specific chats like #sportsPRchat, #nptech, and tons of various journalism chats around. We should have more discussion for nonprofit HR (there is a nonprofit HR conference, but the price is jacked to near SHRM Conference registration rates, which are very expensive.), government HR to reduce bureaucracy, PR HR, Startup HR, Health HR (not benefits, but hospitals and healthcare organizations) and others.

This has been my issue since starting this blog series is we’re promoting HR as a two-dimensional department since we love talking up to our profession a lot. To be a three-dimensional department, we need to step outside the HR bubble and discuss how our department can improve our industry. This was the problem in 2005 when no one showed up at the industry roundtables at the annual SHRM Conference, and it is still an issue today.

By the way, if your excuse is competition, isn’t that hypocritical since people (including you and I) change jobs frequently now?

This is why I don’t do a lot of HR chats because I think we have covered most of HR’s issues and HR has gotten respect in organizations because the department has become more strategic lately. What HR needs to be is industry experts to solidify HR standing. Is that really hard to talk about the industry you’re in?

Leave a Comment

/* ]]> */