Top 100 Most Influential People In HR – Recruiting.

These days, I’m spending a lot of time on the Top 100 Influencers Project. Twice a week (Tuesdays and Fridays), I publish an additional  piece of the work. So far, I’ve profiled a dozen people and written about influence from a number of perspectives.

It’s an interesting experiment. For much of my adult life (at least 15 years), I’ve been writing about the world of Recruiting and HR and their related markets. More or less daily, I’ve tried to chronicle the development of the industry while nudging it in some specific directions. I’ve always published my stuff on my own web properties; first at interbiznet and now here, at

For this project, however, I am publishing each of the installments on (RBC). It’s a new experience for me. I haven’t had editorial assistance like this since I edited and published the Whole Earth Review many, many years ago. My goal is to help build the credibility and audience of the interesting community at RBC.

An old friend got me thinking about the question. About seven years ago, I profiled a number of players in the industry (see the interbiznet archives for October, 2002). My friend enjoyed the series and kept asking why I didn’t do another round. As I thought about the question, I began to realize how much things have changed.

Our industry is fragmented into a variety of small niches. the HR people don’t consider recruiters to be a part of their world. The RPO and HRO citizens get little respect at SHRM. The traditional HR functions (transactional but critical) are shepherded to a corner while the Learning and Development crowd basks n their own aura. Vendors scratch their heads and try to find a market. The enterprise HR practitioner operates in a world that is only remotely related to her colleagues in Small to Medium sized business.

It’s amazing. Everyone I talk to is certain that they stand at the center of the world. That other place over there is always dark and unexplored. When you go visit that other place, it turns out to be vibrant. I’ve talked to so many vendors trying to make sense of the marketplace that it simply seemed easier to try to document it.

So, the purpose of the Top 100 Inflencers in HR project is to deliver a map of the industry. My goal is to interview 400 people over the course of a year (about 2 day) as a way of building a clear picture of how the industry works and what makes it tick. I’ll publish routinely and hope to paint a picture that lets the industry see itself as it really is.

Influence is the ability to move people towards action (where power is the ability to directly cause action). Our industry rides on waves of influence from a variety of corners. I’m trying to figure out who has influence by asking people who they think is influential. I add weight to the ‘voting’ by evaluating the financial and industrial consequences of someone’s influence. There are a host of figures who have caused change by virtue of their position, teachings, editorial selection or promotional skills. There are some (but fewer) practitioners who set extraordinary examples. Influence happens by word of mouth, web traffic, software architecture, external impact and a number of other methods.

Most of the time, when I choose a person for the list, I spend a good deal of time in the article explaining another facet of the story. Currently, each entrant gets the story on RBC and a detailed interview which is awaiting publication elsewhere.

The more I learn, the more this project changes my mind. Here are the pieces so far:

About Influence and the Project
Key Influencers (an introduction to the project)
Keys to Influence (How Influence works)
Recruiting and HR (about the industry, a little context)
Influence Happens in a Context (Why Context is Important)
A Progress Report (The project at 10% completion)

Key Consultants
Naomi Bloom (The Software Architect)
Kevin Wheeler (The Futurist)
Elaine Orler (Recruiting Strategist)

Third Party Recruiters
Bill Vick (The Innovator)

The Connectors
William Tincup (The Frenetic Connector)
Jeanne Achille (The Gentle Connector)
Kevin Grossman (The Clarifier)

The Financiers
Robin Ferracone (The Boardroom Player)

The Practitioners
Rob McIntosh (The Game Changer)

The Cutomer Facing Influencers
David Perry (The Guerrilla)

The Hosts
David Manaster (The Community Builder)
Bill Kutik (The Technology Czar)

The Academics
– Coming Soon

I continue to look for suggestions of people. Send me a note or comment on this post. Who do you think the most influential people in HR – Recruiting are?

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