I had a really good conversation with Crystal Miller last week about HR and how influence is tied into the industry. She told me that she believed HR has really missed the mark when it comes to influence and I tend to agree. We’re hyper focused on the status that influence might bring to us, but in many cases people are taking it too far, missing the real benefits. Some influencers use their status solely as a marketing gimmick. Don’t get me wrong, there is a place and time for influencers to use their network and community to market specific products and services that they believe in, but that shouldn’t be their only intention. An influencer, as discussed in my previous post, should be pushing the boundaries of their industry and work towards bringing change through real and actionable thought leadership pieces.
3 Ways HR Influencers Are Missing the Mark
Influencers are looking at current financial gain and not the future
Those who are driven solely by the money they can make off their status are quite frankly missing the mark. This doesn’t mean you cannot make a living off being an influencer (i.e. look at us!), but there should be some trade off in the process. Influencers should wield their status and use it as a way to mentor those who are looking to step up in the field and become the next generation of influencers. Look at the Naomi Blooms and Bill Kutiks of the world. These influencers, to me, were influencers of my current influencers. Without mentorship in the next ten years the influencers of my generation won’t have a chance in the game. Don’t use your status as an influencer for solely beneficial gain, but start mentoring the younger generation.
Relationships aren’t authentically built
To me, there are few influencers out there in the HR space who really understand the value of building authentic relationships. This doesn’t mean you say hi when you see someone at a conference it’s more of a trade off. If you aren’t asking questions like “How you can build off each other?” and “What can I do to help you?” then you’re missing the mark when it comes to sharing influence in the space. Influence shouldn’t be something that is harbored like a trade secret, but shared with new and old practitioners in the space to change how we look at the industry.
They use influence as a status and not an action
Another thing that Crystal and I talked about (and what I alluded to earlier in the post) was that influencers who use influence merely as a status and not an action is not an influencer in my opinion. Influencers whose sole purpose is to be an influence because of the status and authority it gives them should have their title stripped. Influence should be something that is taken as an honor and a precious commitment to influence generations younger and even older. As technology evolves and practitioners are slow to adopt it’s up to the influencers in the space to push the limits and boundries and really change the industry for the better.
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The company doesn’t make the influencer
Something I learned way back when I first started working with Jessica & Blogging4Jobs was that just because someone was the CHRO of a Fortune 500 company that didn’t necessarily mean they were a influencer. I also learned that just because you started a blog or have a resource doesn’t make you necessarily an influencer. Those who influence me are people who are willing to take the time to build an authentic relationship with me that isn’t motivated by greed or a desire to get whatever trade secrets I have when it comes to working with Blogging4Jobs.
Last week I posed the question “What Makes an HR Influencer?” and I got a lot of good feedback from the post because everyone who chimed in had a different response and viewpoint on what makes an influencer. Most said that you had to be a practitioner and some said you had to have X amount of years of experience, but looking back I don’t think that necessarily has to be true.
How are you using your influence in the space? Are you harboring it or using it to create a better industry?