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Saturday, May 18th, was the much anticipated #truNewYork event at the Stack Exchange HQ in New York City.

I was amazed by the amount of thought leadership and learning that occurred at this unconference. I am thoroughly a fan of no powerpoint presentations in the place of topical conversations that flourish organically in an effort to leave every participant with some meaningful takeaway. The learning and plethora of new ideas that emerged as a result of real discussions around HR and business was platinum. That is to say, you cannot attend one of these events and walk away without something you can use in your work. It is like free consulting hours for your HR issues.

I was lucky enough to lead a conversation around HR’s usage of social media. The concept is called ‘Social HR Minimalism’.

For those of you familiar with the concept of ‘Minimalism’, you know that it is the smallest impression of art garnering the greatest impact. ‘Social HR Minimalism’ is the development, implementation, and maintenance of a social footprint using the least amount of time and resources resulting in the maximum amount of visibility and impact.

What does this mean for the busy HR professional?

It means that there are no more excuses to be made about not having time for social. The foundation of my concept is simple. You will spend 100 days observing, learning and engaging. These are the three areas that I have identified as being meaningful to the HR practitioner. Social has to be meaningful to the work of the HR practitioner. When you make social meaningful, you can begin to quantify those aspects that will assist them in doing their job better. Is this the beginning of social media ROI? Perhaps, but I won’t go that far. What I will say is by the end of those 100 days, most reasonable people will find that they were able to find something in social media that is useful to them.

How does one become an ‘Social HR Minimalist’?

By embarking on this social journey/experiment, know that it is not about instant gratification. This concept is about influence and community. When you become more influential and when you are a part of a larger community, you will find the answers to filling positions and/or those daily HR conundrums. It’s about challenging yourself to learn and share knowledge. It is also about observing what works and what doesn’t.

The construct of ‘Social HR Minimalism’, says you must consistently spend 20 minutes observing, 20 minutes, learning and 10 minutes engaging for the first 50 days on whatever social platforms you feel are most meaningful for your business and customer base. The last 50 days you do everything in reverse; which means 20 minutes, engaging, 20 minutes, learning and 10 minutes observing. Essentially, we are talking about less than an hour of your time daily to observe behaviors on social media, learn through a chat, a webinar, a podcast, reading a blog and lastly engage with other HR practitioners.

I have found that people that are “too busy”, have all the time in the world. If you are one of them, I implore you to chronicle your day to see how productive you really are. I will bet you that there is some unproductive time in your day that you never realized was unproductive. Why not utilize that unproductive time to do something that could catapult your career or brand to the next level? Moreover, when something has meaning for you, you will likely make time for it. This concept is designed to help you find your way in social media by discovering those aspects that are most meaningful to your work.

There were a number of notable social HR figures at my track that echoed the importance and value of social interaction both online and offline. All in all, no one discounted the power of social media and each attendee walked away with an arsenal of reasons why they should get started. In addition, they were all charged to get their peers involved too. As I mentioned, it is all about community. The strength of the social HR ecosystem is dependent on the constant influx of progressive, knowledgeable HR practitioners constantly joining and engaging.


Now that I have given away some of the goodies I shared at #truNewYork, what will you do with it? Will you share it with you anti-social media HR colleagues or boss or will you hoard this information for yourself? The time is now if you haven’t yet explored social media. It isn’t like it is going away anytime soon. Become a ‘Social HR Minimalist’ and let me know how it works out for you. I’m always here to support.

Many thanks to Bill Boorman for giving me the chance to explore this concept at #truNewYork. It was indeed a rare treat!

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