On Lists and Ranking in Human Resources


You can tell I worked in Human Resources because I want people to like me and I like a good party. That’s why I created a list of bloggers, twitter handles and writers over the past few years.

There’s more. Tons more.

Compiling an inclusive, sweeping list is a really great way to make friends. It’s also a thankless job unless you have an intern (which I did at The Starr Conspiracy). And while I found that my lists were helpful for a few people (and companies) who wanted to discover new bloggers, the traffic behind these list wasn’t worth it.

And here’s some gossip. When I worked for The Starr Conspiracy, our editorial team pushed hard and asked me to rank the HR blogging community. I pushed back HARDER because I know these people and an exclusive list would be the death of me. Psychodemographic data shows that HR professionals aren’t big fans of competitive sports (and competition itself). Segmenting and ranking a list of HR bloggers wouldn’t define the market. It would alienate the writers and bloggers who have come to know, love and trust our collective brands.

And the one time I created an exclusive list of 40 HR Bloggers Under 40, some people over 40 acted like nerds.

Not worth the hassle.

So when you see a list of top people to follow or read, remember that the list is probably not as inclusive as it should be. Some really good people are missing. And none of this matters. The data shows that inbound and outbound traffic from these lists dies off in 48 hours.

And if you are on the list, you should remember not to big-time your small-time accomplishment. The only thing people really remember is your reaction to being on (or off) the list.


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