My Favorite HR Specialty Bloggers

The "Pros from Dover" of the HR World

One of my all-time favorite movies is Robert Altman’s M*A*S*H. For those of you who were born after it was released, go rent it.  M*A*S*H is a black comedy about surgeons working in a mobile army surgical hospital on the frontlines in the “Korean conflict.”  In one particular scene, “chest-cutters” Trapper John McIntyre and Hawkeye Pierce show up in an urban hospital to patch up a general’s son.  When a bureaucrat tries to stop them (because they lack hospital privileges), they instruct him to get out of the way because they are the “pros from Dover.”

The phrase is never explained in the movie.  Nonetheless, it stuck in my mind over the decades to mean folks who are called on when you need very specialized expertise, i.e., “the pros from Dover.”  Last week, I published a list of my favorite HR pros who had become professional bloggers.*  This week, I want to introduce you to the “pros from Dover” of the HR world – those bloggers who focus on very specific topics that relate to HR.

My Favorite HR Specialty Bloggers

Ann Bares, Compensation Café  Ann specializes in simplifying today’s workplace compensation plans.   The complexities of modern pay management are not merely a “post-recessionary blip.”  They are, according to Ann, “the new normal.  And signs indicate that the new normal may be just getting warmed up.” I’m glad Ann’s around because, frankly, I don’t always get the numbers and I don’t think I’m alone.

Suzanne Benoit, Benoit Consulting Services  Suzanne is dedicated to helping management create and keep a healthy workplace culture.  Specializing in reforming offensive workplace behavior, Suzanne offers practical tips on spotting and reforming (or removing) the truly toxic employee before culture is permanently impacted.

Anita Bruzzese, 45 Things  Anita started as a reporter and developed a niche for reporting on workplace issues.  This makes her writing concise, direct and clear.  Also, she understands working to a deadline.  Her best advice centers on making the most of your work day, and how to avoid procrastination and enhance productivity.  (I am a [partially] reformed procrastinator thanks to Anita.)

Dan DeFoe, Psycholawgy Dan writes about organizational psychology both from one-on-one and business-wide perspectives.  His goal is to, help professionals “get connected with sound applied behavioral science” to better “find balance between work and personal life, do great work, and create and have greater places to work.”  His topics range from understanding how culture works to calculating the very high cost of social ostracism, to recalibrating workplace relationships upon conclusion of a sexual harassment investigation.

Brenda Kowske, HRevolution  Brenda’s blog appears in a larger blog called Bersin by Deloitte, so you have to dig a bit to find her.  She’s worth it.  She writes on employee engagement from a wonky, research analyst perspective.  Brenda takes all those statistics and explains what they mean, say, for attracting a millennial workforce or why you need high impact corporate training.

Lorene Schaefer, Win Win HR.  Lorene is a professional mediator.  One aspect of her blog is on how to resolve workplace conflict before it becomes a lawsuit.  I first read Lorene when I was advising a client on why they should hire an outside workplace investigator and, more importantly, how to select a good one.

Margaret Spence, CWC, Workers’ Comp Gazette.  Every HR professional needs to understand the workers’ compensation process and to stay abreast of the legislative developments in their state.  Margaret edits the Workers’ Comp Gazette with fresh comp news everyday.  Her personal column, Margaret Rants, featuring articles like, “I’ve Fallen & I Won’t Get Up: What’s Motivating Your Employees to Stay at Home after the Accident” or  “Workers Compensation is a Team Sport – Is the Treating Physician on Your Team?,” make it easy to read about what most consider a less than thrilling topic.

John Sumser, HR Examiner.  You’d think a man with such broad intellect would use more big words but John’s LinkedIn summary is typical of his economy of style:  “I follow HR, Recruiting and HR Tech. I advise companies and sit on boards. I give talks.”  Well, I guess you could describe it that way, but John’s ability to express his ideas on the transformative effect big data is having on HR and recruiting, helps me understand what is happening to HR today.  John may not use many words but, to quote Spencer Tracy, “what’s there is cherce.”

*Last week (as many of you pointed out in emails to me), I omitted two HR-pros-turned-bloggers that we all read all the time, Laurie Ruettimann, aka The Cynical Girl¸ and Janine Truitt, the Czarina of HR who blogs under The Aristocracy of HR.  D’oh!

Come back next week for the list of my favorite Employment Lawyers Who Talk HR.

Posted in

Mary Wright

Mary Wright is the Founding Editor of HR Gazette, an online magazine for HR professionals and employment lawyers. She is an employment lawyer with 25+ years' experience in helping employers reach workable business solutions to complex human resource problems. She is currently a Shareholder with Ogletree Deakins and the firm's former General Counsel. Connect with Mary.


Pin It on Pinterest