The Most Awkward Position on Your Board

My faithful readers know that I’ve been involved in my local SHRM chapter since about 2008 and that I’ve held a lot of different volunteer roles through those years (holy cow that’s ten years, which I think makes me a chapter historian by default). Side note, if you’re still a faithful reader of my inconsistent blogging, you deserve an award and all of my appreciation! Focus Kristina.

My favorite role was Legislative Director (or Governmental Affairs) and I did that one for a few years! I’ve also been on the Community Relations Committee that later evolved to the Community Relations and Education Committee (and yeah I was on that too). I was Chapter Administrator and a workshop magician with Michelle (good story, you should keep one or two of these in your chapter). I rolled out the chapters social media (that we are STILL working on-cmon HR pros use the social media powers for good already and stop fighting it)! I’ve supported Programs and Membership via subcommittees and helped anyone who ever had more than they could handle on their plate execute their volunteer commitment in a way that ensured our members wouldn’t miss a beat. I’ve helped coordinate membership events, vendor appreciation events, updated chapter info, suffered through HOURS LONG board meetings where we all had to share 1 large pizza (It’s worth mentioning here that I can literally eat an entire large pizza by myself), supported SHRM Foundation through calling companies begging for donations, marketed everywhere I could think of, changed our sponsor strategy, partnered with many a local initiative, raised money, recruited volunteers, balanced a budget or two, stressed over menu options and I actually wore a t-shirt that said “HR for hoo-hahs” in public to support an event that a board member signed our chapter up for. She thought “hoo-hahs” were your boobs… no one calls their boobs “hoo-hahs.” I’ve been president-elect, I’ve been president, I’ve been many a presidents “get stuff done” person, I’ve asked people to stop soliciting to members, I’ve been accused of not providing enough tech support to members who were trying to figure out their gmail (turns out it wasn’t me she was looking for, Ben helped her set up her gmail-how did she even confuse me with him?).  I’ve even endured an awkward conversation with a member that suggested I should be submitted to a psychiatric study, but by far the most awkward position I’ve ever held for our chapter has been immediate Past President.

That’s the actual title, immediate Past President. I get the purpose of this role and I’m thrilled to still be on the board (and back in a support role), but this one is weird! I sort of feel like I’m in the way and that maybe a good ol clean cut changing of the guard was in order. I love our members and I enjoy serving them, but I feel like I’m in the boards way now. I knew it was time to roll off the board and make way for new members and fresh ideas on the board, believe me I’m all for me getting out of the way. We have a board filled with excitement and great ideas for the chapter, but I find myself having an internal conversation of “be seen and not heard, they will let you know when they need you.” I get the idea of a Past President, its great to have the continuation and someone to pass along a bit of history for the newer board members, but sometimes I just feel like the person in the room getting in the way of creativity. Really all I need to do is pass on what I know doesn’t work (and why it didn’t work for us) and what I know works (and why) and then get out of the way.

This is a serious leadership learning opportunity for me because I’m sure I can find a way to add value and not be in the way, I just haven’t figured it out yet. Fading out would be the easy way to deal with this, but I had other members make it a point to ask me to my face if I was going to “disappear like all of the other past presidents” on multiple occasions so I came into this role with the drive to be present, be supportive, and be a set of hands when needed but sometimes its hard. I’ve been around long enough to see almost every other president disappear (one or two actually moved away and didn’t disappear in the sense of not showing up to our events anymore) and I always wondered how to get those past presidents involved again. In my efforts to get them re-engaged through the years I did find out that some just needed to feel included, some just needed a break, but now I know at least one of us needs a safe place to say “I’m sorry for being so freaking awkward.” If you’re reading this and you’re a super awesome leader and you didn’t have this problem, good for you! I am apparently still learning leadership lessons and figuring out how to best lead from where I am without getting in the way of the actual leadership.

As a reward for your faithfulness and sticking it out to the end of this post, here’s the t-shirt proof. I tore my closet apart looking for the shirt so I could just take a picture of it for you all, but I couldn’t find it so I dug through Facebook to find the actual proof that I wore this in public… to support my fellow board member of course. Being immediate Past President is more awkward than showing you all the proof that I wore this shirt… in public.

hooha shirt
It was a breast cancer awareness 5k (I feel compelled to tell you that neither of the ladies I’m pictured with here had anything to do with this shirt). 
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Annie from Detroit

make hr cry
My story is sad, hire me.

I recently gave a short presentation to our local SHRM chapter about all the fun I had at #SHRMleg this year and the amazing job that SHRM did with the speakers and concurrent sessions. I seriously learned some great stuff at the conference and I was pretty impressed with the speakers for the general sessions. As timing would have it, right before we left for the conference SHRM shared an announcement that the USDOL Secretary would do our closing general session. This announcement was not far behind President Obama’s announcement of making a point to change the exempt/non-exempt standards, so of course HR was hopeful that we would get some insight from DOL Secretary Perez on this issue, (because that was kind of the spin SHRM put on the announcement).  So at the end of the presentation for our NASHRM group when I took questions a handful of them were actually directed at Secretary Perez’s remarks and my previous blog post on Annie from Detroit. My opinion was made somewhat obvious in that blog post that I can’t bleed for every story that comes my way in HR. I can do my best to take care of my people and I can do my best to find the best talent for my organization, but I cannot hire based on someones sad story of long-term unemployment. This is not my opinion it’s actually a real lesson I learned early on in my staffing days-everyone has a story and we are not hiring “a story.” All that to say that I found out today who Annie from Detroit is. I obviously don’t know her life, but she sure doesn’t seem like she’s been unemployed anytime since, well-since I’ve been alive. Here (video below) Perez mentions Andra Rush and I only recognize that Andra is “Annie from Detroit” because he mentions some of the same key points, she manufactures a console for a truck and she’s the sole supplier for that particular part. She didn’t seem like a poor soul in this story like she did the first time I heard him mention her.

http://video.foxbusiness.com/v/3560208794001/us-labor-secretary-im-bullish-on-detroit/#sp=show-clips&v=3560208794001

To be clear I’m not saying shame on Annie from Detroit for anything. I think it’s great that she has a business in (and has had since 1984) and she wants to employ people and all the other things she wants. I’m saying shame on you Thomas Perez for misrepresenting her story. I’m saying shame on you Thomas Perez for telling less than half of her story and acting like her long-term unemployment struggle was recent. Shame on you for twisting facts to make an impact on people to sway them to think the way you want. Oh wait, just kidding…this is politics. politicians lie

I know, I know-To be fair we all tell a story or two and leave out a detail or embellish in a way to get our point across. The point isn’t to shame Perez, even though he should be ashamed. The point is to challenge you to be involved. Get involved with HR advocacy. Get face to face with the truth and be a part of the solutions for your industry. If you don’t get involved with HR advocacy someone else is going to tell HR’s story for you, and they may not get it right and who is to blame then?

 

 

Pick up the phone

You remember that awesome recruiting workshop I just talked about a couple of days ago? yeah… I’m going to talk about it for the next 6 months probably. I get excited when respectable, experienced pros start talking about social media and its role in todays work place.

The most obvious thing Tim talked about that made me go durhhhhh was the Facebook page for Facebook recruiting. Facebook is a little scary to personally recruit with because there are a bazillion creepers out there. At a previous job I made a page just for my office hello is it leads your looking for(to avoid creepers), but why didn’t I think of just having my own page and having each of my recruiters have their own page? Hindsight. This totally just reminded me of another thing that I had been introduced to for Facebook recruiting: the monster.com BeKnown app. Two problems with it: 1) Monster is not my favorite and 2) Just reading that it keeps your personal and professional life separate exhausts me.

Separating your personal and professional life is another topic that we touched on. I’ve been asked before “Why do you use your twitter for personal and professional? Why don’t you just have two separate accounts?” I use the same account for everything because it’s exhausting to have multiple accounts on the same social media outlet. For the most part I am completely myself on my social media accounts and the fun thing about that is, I’m not such a terrible person that I need constant censorship AND I am a recruiter 24/7 so it is part of my personal life.  The one thing that I’m not as careful with, though, is making sure I’m sharing relevant information for my targeted audience. It’s okay to share stuff you like, but if it’s not relevant to the people you are trying to attract to connect with you don’t be surprised when you are not making those connections, ya dig? The biggest thing you can do to be successful in this arena is make sure you are giving your audience more than you are taking from your audience. I’m the worst about sharing things irrelevant to my targeted audience these days because I will share something that I think is funny in a heartbeat, or an HR article in half a millisecond without thinking about those EEs or CEs that don’t care about that stuff. This is where my social media recruiting needs improvement, lots of it. (See, its okay to not be perfect with your #SoMe efforts from day one. Don’t let that scare you).

By all means, avoid just sharing job posts. Always give more than you take. And reply to people!
By all means, avoid just sharing job posts. Always give more than you take. And reply to people!

The main thing you need to know about using social media for your recruiting efforts is that it does not replace the telephone. Those of us who push social media recruiting push it because it helps you, not because it replaces anything. It’s a form of marketing to attract the talent you need. It works for you when you’re not working. Much like HR technology it is just a device to make your recruiting work faster. It is another tool in your tool belt! It is not the end all be all. It is not a replacement for the telephone. Just in case you are confused, NO it does not replace the telephone 🙂 . Pick up that phone and call people! Social media does not take the social function out of recruiting, you still have to develop relationships with people and have voice to voice conversations.

I love social media and I love it when other HR folks love social media. If you have been thinking about taking that social media step, but you have questions or you are worried, email me (hutto.ipad@gmail.com)! If I don’t know the answer I bet I know someone who does! If you have a great tip, please feel free to leave it in the comments below, I’d love to hear what you’ve found works for you.

Recruiting Revival

If there is one thing that my little soul needed it was a recruiting revival and praise sweet bearded Jesus he sent me Tim Sackett and Kris Dunn! We (NASHRM) had a full day of this recruiting duo and I promise I felt Huntsville turn on its side while these two were laying some truth down.

What did we cover? The important stuff- social recruiting, turning corporate recruiting to an in-house agency model, making your managers career agents and thinking like a sales person. You can get some heaping doses of their take on these things at their sites (tagged earlier in this post).

Why am I excited?  It is super refreshing to connect with people who know their shit stuff. It’s nice to know someone is going to challenge your excuses and it’s great to hear successful people say things like “you don’t have to go to all the meetings, tell them you’re busy recruiting”.  By the way, if you say that you should in fact spend that time recruiting.

Perfect timing? I think so. I’ve struggled immensely in my transition to the corporate world. You can watch for that post later this month when I hit my yeariversary. Corporate is full of things like policies, procedures and checklists. Not that they are not necessary, they just tend to take priority over the actual actions. I’m familiar with the things we can and cannot do legally, I know the alphabet soup we need to fear, but what I’m most interested in is getting to the right talent and connecting that talent to the right opportunity. I almost forgot it was possible to do that.recruitingworkshop

More to come over the next week or so on the breakdown of what I thought were key points, but today just a huge THANK YOU to these two guys for spending a day with us in Huntsville and reviving my little recruiting heart!

And then there is that small side bonus that it was 7 recert credits to start my next recert application!
And then there is that small side bonus that it was 7 recert credits to start my next recert application!

 

Giving back to your profession

One of my favorite things about working in Human Resources is my network! My network is full of funny and knowledgeable professionals that I call on regularly for their point of view, expertise, snarky comment or a good laugh. I would argue with anyone that I have one of the best networks ever!!! How did I end up connected to these amaze-balls peeps? One word folks, volunteering. I fell into HR by chance and the second I learned about our local SHRM affiliate chapter I was signing up and when a volunteer opportunity came my way I didn’t think twice about saying yes. I had no expectations of my volunteer role and what it would do for me, I was genuinely interested in finding a way to show my appreciation for our chapter (NASHRM) and the wealth of information they provided to newbies like myself.

I VOLUNTEER

I started out on a committee, the Community Relations & Education committee to be exact. I  immediately met two people who became friends of mine, in fact one of them was my study partner when I took the PHR exam and the other I serve on our board with to this day! It made attending large monthly luncheons less intimidating when I knew at least two people in the room. This committee is how I ended up as a board member, over the years one of the leaders on the board saw me as a good fit for a role and the rest is history. I’ve held a few different positions, but Director of Government (legislative) affairs is my favorite. This specific volunteer role has afforded me the opportunity to go on multiple hill visits to DC and this year I’m going to the legislative conference! Volunteering has connected me to potential clients, friends, experts in my field and mentors. I would not have the knowledge I have today without all of these people, programs and opportunities.

I’ve learned through my many years of volunteering that there is a spot for everyone. If you are a behind the scenes kind of volunteer maybe you can coordinate the newsletter? Only want to volunteer at one meeting, don’t be afraid to ask, even if you know you’re only available to help once you won’t be turned away. If you’re thing is event coordinating you could be involved in programs. If sales is more your thing, getting sponsors is a volunteer need. Super fantastic with online tools and gadgets and social media, there’s a spot for that. Many chapters have subcommittees to help board members fulfill their defined goals and I think that is a great place to start if you’re looking for ways to volunteer. Take a minute to find out what volunteer opportunities are available in your local chapter, because while you’re doing a wonderful thing giving back to your profession (that movie title thing again) you’re doing amazing things for your professional development as well!

NASHRMs SHRM Foundation online Fundraiser!

 

 

 

Welcome to NASHRM’s SHRM Foundation Online Shopping Event Fundraiser!! – Parties will be open until October 30th!

For those of you that may not know, the SHRM Foundation is a nonprofit affiliate of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). The SHRM Foundation supports academic research, scholarships, educational materials and practitioner resources to advance the HR profession.

Christmas is coming and we have the perfect opportunity for you to get some early shopping done, or buy something special for yourself and help support the SHRM Foundation at the same time!

With NASHRM’s Online Shopping Event, you can place orders with Avon, The Pampered Chef, Tastefully Simple, Mary Kay, Thirty-One, Scentsy and Origami Owl, and a percentage of the proceeds will be donated to the SHRM Foundation. Details on how to place orders with each company are below. The parties will be open from October 1st to October 30th. For general questions about the event, contact Kirsten Stutts at nashrm.foundation@gmail.com. For questions about a specific company or party, you can contact the consultant directly.

Mary Kay (click on Mary Kay to view flyer)

Tracy L. Swayne, Mary Kay ADVANCED Color Consultant
tlswayne@marykay.com
713-824-9086
Website: www.marykay.com/tlswayne
Special Instructions: Enter “-SHRM” after your name when placing orders.

Pampered Chef (click on Pampered Chef to view flyer)
Ember Lewis, Pampered Chef Consultant
emberlewis@me.com
256-694-5976
Website: www.pamperedchef.biz/emberstips
Special Instructions: You will be prompted to enter the host/organization first name: SHRM and last name: Foundation
Outlet items cannot be applied to the party

 

October Customer Special is attached.

Tastefully Simple
Jonni Smotherman
jcsmotherman@bellsouth.net
256-509-7301
Website: www.tsbyjonni.com
Special Instructions: Be sure to include Host first name: NASHRM and Host last name: FUNDRAISER

Avon
Pamela Sanford, Avon Independent Sales Representative
Pssan4d@yahoo.com
256-970-9096
Website: www.youravon.com/pamelasanford
Special Instructions: Enter code AFNASHRM before you check out

Thirty-One Gifts
Kirsten Stutts, Thirty-One Independent Consultant
Kstutts31@gmail.com
321-438-5386
Website: www.mythirtyone.com/kstutts
Special Instructions: Choose the NASHRM Fundraiser party

Thirty-One

 

October Customer Special is attached.

 
Scentsy
Laura Allen
scentsforyall@gmail.com
256-640-0522
Website: https://lauraallen.scentsy.us
Special Instructions: Party name is NASHRM

Origami Owl (click on Origami Owl to view flyer)
Christen Cantrell
Locketup4ever@gmail.com
256-572-1336
Website: www.locketup4ever.origamiowl.com
Special Instructions: Select NASHRM Foundation on the checkout page under the Party drop down box.