Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Connecting HR - The Tweet Smell of Success...

Aside from several lesions to my shoulder courtesy of lugging stands and promo materials halfway across London through rush-hour (thanks @garelaos!), there’s plenty that I took away from last night’s inaugural ‘Connecting HR’ event.

The Square Pig in Holborn played host to a noisy cacophony of HR and social media enthusiasts, all casting avatars aside and emerging in the flesh (they live!) to network and solidify relationships that until now, have been nurtured online. Hats certainly need to be doffed in the direction of Jon Ingham and Gareth Jones, organisers of the event, as well as sponsors Courtenay HR, who put on a terrific evening.

From various conversations, I’m sure that the Twitterverse and Blogosphere will both be saturated with talk from last night, all of which I look forward to reading immensely. But for meantime, here are a few of my thoughts on the event.

First off, I’m not an HR professional, which is somewhat ironic considering the theme of the event! Nevertheless, I attended in a social media / marketing capacity, which is how I support the Courtenay HR brand and wider Stopgap Group and earn my crust. Nevertheless, after three hours chewing the fat (and consuming various imported beers!), I came away from the event with a thousand fresh perspectives and ideas buzzing around in my head. Here are a few of my findings:

i) Social Media is NOTHING without people

Forgive me for stating the bleedin’ obvious, but ‘social’ media really is all about human beings. I am a huge technology geek and make no secret of my love for social media. However, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn – every one of these revolutionary platforms is absolutely nothing without people driving it. We love Twitter – which is why we ran ‘Connecting HR’ – but it’s easy to forget that the reason we love it, is because real people are behind it. Social Media is simply the channel – people are the content and the reason to keep engaging with the platforms.

ii) HR and Marketing are intrinsically linked

I started the night (rather foolishly) thinking that marketers and HR professionals are very different creatures, however as the night and various conversations progressed, I realised in a true moment of epiphany, that HR and marketing are natural bedfellows. Marketing is about connecting with people. HR is about connecting with people. Social Media can be employed by either industry to build credible and lasting relationships with people. As Forrest Gump would say, ‘that’s all I have to say about that’.

iii) Marketers and HR functions need to be FOUND

When in Rome, do as the Romans do, and although this sounds highly anachronistic, the Romans are all using social media. Employees are people too (yes, it’s true!) and the majority of people now use some form of social media in their daily lives. One of the most effective ways of reaching people is to connect in a way that’s familiar to them. People are comfortable operating within LinkedIn, using Facebook, talking on Twitter, so why take them out of this environment? The advent of social media has meant that we as marketers / HR practioners no longer find people, they find us. Social media is one of the ways you can ensure that your business can – and will – be found by the right people, at the right time.

So as I wrap up (from a personal perspective) last night’s inaugural Connecting HR event, these are simply three key points that really shone out for me. Feel free to agree – feel free to disagree! But if you’re all as talkative as you were last night, I hope you’ll leave some interesting and insightful comments, here, on Twitter, on LinkedIn – hopefully I practice what I preach and you’ll all be able to find me in the way that suits you best.


Connect with me on LinkedIn
The HR Professionals' Network
The Stopgap Group Blog


  1. I think your blog post sums it up very well and thanks for a great evening!

  2. Totally agree - meeting the people behind the blogs was excellent. a great event

  3. I didn't attend the event but would have been glad to, especially with this excellent piece ringing as endorsement.

    Callum, you've nailed the synergy between marketing and HR and hopefully events like these will encourage more HR and in-house functions onto social platforms.

    Nice work, Callum.

    Simon Lewis http://Twitter.com/onlymarketing

  4. Great post Callum. It was a good event and ideal opportunity to meet people in 'real life' rather than purely via Twitter. Well done to the organisers.


  5. Callum, great post. It's the energy and passion from individuals like you that will encourage Social Media virgins to join the fray. Good on you and good on Courtenay HR!

  6. Great post and reflections - all I can say is I agree

  7. I'm sooo disappointed I didn't get to go - it sounds like a fantastic event!

    Regardless; well summarised Cal! Three points well made, particularly the third which I think is very true. I -expect- to find companies and people on social media these days. It surprises me no end when they don't have a presence!


  8. For someone who loves Facebook and Linked in but is not yet tweeting it was a great event. I agree with the points Callum raised and believe that companies who are not embracing this are going to miss/have missed the boat. Todays world is all about connecting and relationships no matter how they get established. Thanks for mobilising us all to get together and do what people do naturally - talk. Sharon

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. It`s always good to see faces behind the mechanics


  11. Thank you for your interest in Radelicious stuff.Prices are different in different categories like shirts, shorts, shoes, etc...

    wholesale men’s clothing & wholesale snapback hats