Why HR Will Never Embrace Social Media


I took my first HR job when I was twenty years old. I worked at a candy factory on the north side of St. Louis. I organized time cards, filed the work comp claims, and managed the attendance process. I also learned how to recruit by hiring Bosnian immigrants to work on the Good & Plenty and Chuckles lines.

God, I hate Chuckles.

One day, I suggested to my boss that we buy a copy of Excel so I could use the computer to make labels for the time cards instead of using the typewriter. She laughed at me and said, “If we buy Excel, we probably don’t need you.”

Snap. That was 1995, and it was my first lesson in automation & obsolescence at a very local and personal level.

So when it comes to the present day implementation of social media and emerging technologies, I argue that HR is crazy — crazy like a fox. The day we embrace technology & demand that our managers leverage their communities to find talent is the day we work ourselves out of a job. It’s over. Technology disrupts our current careers in Human Resources.

And I’m okay with that.

I dream of an environment where HR and recruiting professionals solve a problem and then teach, lead, and get out of the way. Social media is a tool that can help us achieve our dreams for more efficient, leaner, smarter organizations. Remove the inefficient work, ask our managers to work differently, and start linking performance and product in a new and more thoughtful way.

On the other hand, Mark Stelzner thinks that social media is the most talked about and least adopted concept in Human Resources. He also thinks that it’s a competitive advantage for HR professionals who adopt and understand technology and tools.

Either way, better technology and a smarter workforce means fewer lawyers, risk managers, and HR professionals in this world. I just wonder — are you a brave enough to become obsolete? Is becoming obsolete a competitive advantage?

I’m already obsolete. Come and join me.

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