Homesteading the HR Way

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This is the Part III of the series ‘What’s next for HR in 2013‘, (Check out Part I & Part II here)! Your HR Buddy is honored to present insights from an awesome thought leader, speaker, blogger & interesting person to connect with – Robin Schooling!  The person who I admire a lot, and I am a big fan of hers! Read on! 

I’ve always been quite fascinated reading about the homesteading lifestyle; the way of living favored by people who aim for total (or near total) self-sufficiency where they do stuff like raise their own livestock, grow and preserve their food and make textiles, soap and candles. Some are hard-core survivalist types living on compounds (“the end of the world is coming!”) there’s a sub group of Christian homesteaders, and others are crunchy-granola types. No matter their varying reasons, most homesteaders appear to be devoted to creating a self-sustainable way of living with minimal, if any, reliance on the latest/greatest/shiniest new things. Back to the basics and a return to simpler times seem to be a common theme amongst those who are either homesteading out in the boondocks or in urban areas.

In my estimation, a lot of HR professionals will be turning into HR homesteaders in the year 2013. Oh sure – we’ll all continue to read about and be titillated by new and different ways of doing things. In much the same fashion that I envision homesteaders on the farm being captivated to some degree by fancy store bought soap they don’t need to make themselves, many of us in HR will continue to swoon with excitement and marvel at the cool things some of our peers are doing: recruiting on Pinterest! Building robust internal social channels! Using video for the interviewing of candidates that is instantly shared with hiring teams! It’s the stuff that’s faster, smarter and sexier and we’ll continue to love seeing the strides that our profession makes as a collective whole.

Yet at the same time many in HR will realize that it’s quite alright to take a step off the revolving Merry Go Round. Dare I say that some in human resources will desire to return to a simpler way of practicing HR – and that’s OK?

The last several years have seen an explosion in the HR field – new ideas, new technology, new approaches in social and new ways of putting all the pieces together. Never before have we had a greater convergence of so many things coming together at one time – and it’s been incredibly exciting. But in 2013 many of us will take the time to sit back, reflect on what we’ve learned and decide what we as individuals can really use, what works best for our workplaces, and what meets the needs for growth and sustainability in our organizations. We’ll take the best of what we’ve learned and seen over the last few years and apply the principles to our life.

HR professionals will realize that it can be rewarding to focus on the basics of workplace planning and staffing, the basics of compliance and risk-management as related to our acronym-laden world (EEOC, FLSA, NLRB, OFCCP, ad nauseum), and the basics of developing and maintaining effective compensation/benefits programs for our organizations.

Oh we won’t forget what we’ve learned out in the big city; we’ll still venture into Gotham for regular visits and we’ll receive mail and seed catalogs in our Rural Route mailbox at the farm so we can keep up with any new developments.

We’re just going to be hunkering down for a bit and enjoying our self-sufficiency.

Robin Schooling, SPHR, is an HR professional in Louisiana who blogs at HR Schoolhouse and also contributes to SHRM’s We Know Next and Women of HR.  She serves as Secretary/Treasurer for the Louisiana SHRM State Council and you can follow her on Twitter where she generally converses about HR, the New Orleans Saints and a smattering of other stuff.

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