About a year ago, we started our experiment in the ranking of influencers in online HR. Since then, we’ve profiled the Top 25 in Recruiting, the Top 25 in Talent Management, the Top 25 in Leadership and the Top 25 in HR overall (2009).
The HRExaminer Influence Project has two components. The digital research uses algorithms to discover and validate the influence of people who are actively engaged in online discussions of HR. The analog component of the project involves an interview process. We’re talking to 450 people in hour long interviews in order to identify the 100 most influential folks in HR in the real world.
The theory is that the two lists will start to blur over the next couple of years. It really is getting harder and harder to function in the HR industry without a vibrant public presence in social media. Every single person on our digital lists has a blog and a facebook account. Most use Twitter, LinkedIn and some other form of social tool.
Today, on what is more or less the first anniversary of the digital project, we’re releasing the 2010 version of the Top 25 influencers in HR. The change is dramatic. Many of the people who were prominent in our analysis a year ago have reduced their output, shifted their focus or changed their jobs. They fell off of the list, replaced by new voices with the ability to sustain routine publishing.
It’s been a blustery year in HR.
With the winds shifting towards measurable results and away from the legacy emphasis on process control, many people left the field and or changed jobs. The longer that cloud (or SaaS) technology is around, the less likely it is that HR folks will work in the trenches of administrivia.
The profession is changing.
So is the way people use social media. Last year’s Top 25 Influencers in HR were often early adopters who developed their audiences because they had proficiency with the technology. They may not have had quite as much substance as the new group.
In some cases, folks from last year’s list discovered that their use of social media was a time sink with little in the way of quantifiable impact. Others discovered that the relentless publishing required to sustain a presence was impossible to deliver over the course of years. Still others were the victims of the economy.
In an interesting twist, somebody who calls themselves “Desert Beacon” made the list. In that case, the keyword “HR” was read to include “H.R.”, the designation for legislation in the American House of Representatives. We left that result for you to see so that the fact that this is an experiment making forward progress would be made explicit.
The process of sifting through content and the social graph to figure out whose message resonates where is both scientific and an exercise in progressive failure. Every step towards understanding comes from things we learn from the data. The analysis gets better each time we publish it.
It’s worth noting that this is the ultimate pipeline development tool for talent acquisition projects. By identifying the current crop of influencers on a given subject, it’s possible to seed an audience that can then become the robust source for live recommendations and interactions. Influencer research is exactly how you make serious shortcuts in sourcing.
We’re looking forward to your comments.
In order to compile the list, we begin with a series of keywords. Spiders then scavenge the web looking for pages that contain these words. The whole humongous pile is then sifted by bots that look for occurrences of peoples names. Those names are then ranked in three areas: reach (a measure of audience size), resonance (a measure of participation, mentions on discussions and inbound links and resonance (the degree to which the content matches the keywords).
The resulting list of influencers is a way to grasp who has the power to communicate ideas currently. The list is always a snapshot. Social media is the ultimate “What have you done for me lately?” environment.
Here are the keywords we used as the foundation of the analysis:
“human resources” “human capital”, “human resources” “performance management”, “human resources” development, “human resources” “talent acquisition”, “human resources” “talent management”, “human resources” “workforce planning”, “human resources” recruiting, “human resources” training, “human resources” compensation, “human resources” career, “human resources” “career development”, payroll “human resources”, hr training, hr “workforce planning”, hr “talent management”, hr “human capital”, hr career, hr “career development”, hr “performance management”, payroll hr, payroll benefits, payroll “human resources” staffing, payroll “employment law”, payroll EEOC, hr development, “human resources” “recruitment process outsourcing”, “human resources” “candidate relationship management”, “human resources” “background check”, “human resources” “job references”, hr “talent acquisition”, hr “recruitment process outsourcing”, hr “candidate relationship management”, hr “background check”, hr “job references”
As usual, the only change I made to these computer generated results was to remove my name which came in at number 6. It’s not credible to be included in the results stream even though the process is automated and beyond reproach.