Earlier I discussed the first key theme that emerged from this conference: accountability. Today I’m talking about the second theme to emerge: networking. Now before you say “same old, same old” I am not talking about the traditional method of networking, i.e. attend event, exchange business card (that method is still a great one), what I witnessed wasexposure to networking on a different level for many professionals: online through Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.
To kick off introducing HR to a new version of networking, Paul Debettignes introduced searching on LinkedIn and other forms of social media. He did a quick overview of many sites but spent some time in-depth on LinkedIn. I am by no means a LinkedIn pro so it was great to see how Paul utilizes the site.
Even more important than the LinkedIn walk through (IMHO), he also spent time explaining how and why to get started in social media. It is really as simple as starting with one site (that’s what I did with Twitter), if you don’t like that try something different.
Next up Monday’s key note speakers Talent Anarchy talked about social gravity. This was probably one of my favorites from the entire conference…Jason and Joe talked about the importance of building social capital. You see, when you have social capital, a company isn’t just hiring you they are hiring your posse.
Your posse doesn’t just appear one day…instead it’s something you have to work at. This means connecting with all kinds of people, not just the kind of people you think you need to connect with (i.e. ignoring a vendor phone call but picking up the phone whenever an HR contact reaches out.). Connect with everyone regardless what you “need” right now. This is key to any kind of networking but many people overlook this because of the time involved in networking.
Finally, I enjoyed the opportunity to connect IRL with many of the cool people whose blogs I read and follow on Twitter or Facebook. I’ve been building my network via social media for a long time (over a year) but it was much more powerful to build that in person. I really felt like I was taking it to the next level. Besides meeting Twitter friends I made some new connections with the awesome HR people in Minnesota and across the country.
A friend once told me that a good HR conference should be like a revival: you learn and you are revitalized. I’ve never been to a revival (I’m Catholic we are too serious for that) but this was an experience close to a revival. I learned a lot, challenged my thinking and came out of it re-energized and ready to take on the world again. Thanks #MNSHRM!