A new year, time to make some goals on how to become competitive, advance your career and add value to your profession!
I started my career as an HR generalist, just like many regular HR professionals, interviewing candidates, doing onboarding, managing end to end employee life cycle, employee engagement and corporate social responsibilities. Working in the daily trenches of HR, handling employee relations was little hard in the beginning, especially when you handle sensitive employee relations issues. Yet, it brought me closer to people and helped me know why they do what they do. But I knew, people skill is not enough, you have to know the business and the trends to make wise decisions that impact your organization!
Here are a few things I did and I recommend every HR should do and invest in themselves, to stay competitive and to add value to your profession.
7 Things Every HR must try in 2014
I often hear this, “I have a twitter account, but I don’t get it”, “Facebook is personal to me”, “Social media is for millennials”. Well, embracing social media can open up a whole new world, to connect with like minded people across the world and build a relationship that you wouldn’t be possible otherwise. Business have adopted Social as a key platform to build their brand, to promote their services and to connect with the customers. People are using Social to build their personal brand and find their voice. Moreover it is a great platform to access thoughtful content, start a conversation, crowdsource your ideas and engage with people. I see it as a great platform to collaborate and do great projects as well. Start now, take small steps, one at a time. Once you are comfortable with one tool, try the next one and then explore the rest.
Read and Write blogs
Find time to read the latest trends and great practices that are happening in your industry. Bookmark a list of HR blogs and news outlets. If you are good at writing down your thoughts start a blog. Becoming an avid blogger will help you to stay current on the latest trends happening in your profession and you can add your own perspective to it. Sharing your ideas and thoughts through blogs, Facebook notes, LinkedIn discussions, Google Plus community or even through a 140 character tweet can spark conversation with other HR professionals and corporate leaders and thereby help them see the value in you.
Network with business leaders
Most of the time HR professionals hang out with other HR professionals. But also try to hangout with business leaders whenever you can. Go to the networking event of business leaders at your Chamber of Commerce. Have an appointment with business leaders inside and outside your organization to learn more about how things get done when it comes to managing business.
Work in functions outside of HR
Doing special assignments with other departments can help you learn on how to collaborate better and how you need to work as a team to contribute to the organizational goal. This will also help you learn some great practices that they implement and incorporate that into your job. For example, learning marketing techniques and collaborating with them can help you do better recruitment marketing by promoting your brand, getting the word out about your job openings easily and optimizing social/mobile tools.
Get your certification
Attaining your PHR/SPHR/GPHR shows how serious you are about your profession and it adds credibility. Taking continued education, courses and certifications can help you add value to your career and stand out from the competition. And more over the organization you work with will notice that you are interested in your career advancement too.
Attend HR conferences
Attending HR conferences locally and nationally can help you soak up tons of knowledge from their sessions and even apply it at your organization. HR conferences can be a great places to network, see so many faces, in real life, of people who you already follow on social media. Plan your time effectively, make appointments with the one who you want to spend one on one time with. I understand, not every organization sponsors their employees for attending HR conferences. But guess what, every conference has a hashtag on twitter where you can access their updates and some of them even broadcast the key notes and upload it on their youtube channel.
Listen to Podcasts, attend Webinars & Live social chats
I am a great fan of podcasts and Live twitter chats. Not because I co-host DriveThruHR, #1 daily radio show for HR professionals and host India HR LIVE, a online channel for HR pros. But listening to various talk shows for HR professionals help you hear from subject matter experts, share ideas with them and learn from them. Watch out for the webinars/HOA from top HR/Recruiting sites like Ere.net, Sourcecon, Blogging4jobs, Talentculture etc. Be sure to try out 2-3 twitter chats and continue with the one you like.