Sunday, May 21, 2017

Prepping for the Upcoming HR topic

A year ago, the group met and we had the following things to say about HR:

Books. At least three books were mentioned during the meetup.  Bruce sited “The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains” and “The Glass Cage: Automation and Us”, both by Nicholas Carr.  Richard mentioned "Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers" by Alexander Osterwalder.

What is talent? Richard, a highly entertaining and intelligent man, is known for dropping wonderful, unique, newly-coined quotes and one from the meetup this month was, “Talent is like migrating birds.”

We discussed a variety of topics: “Humans and Machines”, “Is the resume dead?  Hiring for cultural fit.”, “Bad HR policies and practices”, “Social Networks and Personal Profiles”.  

Applications of CyrstalKnows, LinkedIn and other tech. We got into specifics about the recent acquisition of LinkedIn by Microsoft and also the potential applications, scope and scale of Crystal Knows (  Crystal puts people through a simple personality test (DiSC profile) and then provides services to help individuals best connect with and relate to others based upon their assessed types.  Richard also said that CK has algorithms to crawl users’ social medai profiles from Facebook and other sites to determine personality.
We talked about the technology of Human Resources Management and specifics about Learning Management Systems and applications like Enterprise Search.

Cultural differences between USA and India. Jehan led us in a discussion where he shared about differences he has noticed between India and USA.  He sees USA kids as “gullible” and the India kids as more street smart.  India has a bigger focus on STEM and he has seen India transform substantially (from “another planet” to what it is now) over the decades.  He sees India as “dog eat dog” and the USA is as “procured”.  Jehan said, “We [in America] live in a virtual world.”

Classifications of workers, millenials. Richard, always entertaining, talked to us about thinking of people as either A) talent or B) task worker.  Others made us think of the world split between products and services. According to Richard, two properties that he sees defining millennials are that they have A) anger issues and B) a plan.  Richard has millennial children.

1099 vs. W2 models. We talked about 1099 and W2 relationships between employers and workers and were blessed to be led by PJ and Mike Lazer, both experts in the industry.  Solid contributions came from Dominic as well.  Some of the reasons that go into picking one or the other are trade secrets, risk management/mitigation (blame and culpability), as well as changes in business models.

The Seattle market and talent pool. The question was asked if Seattle the hottest market in the USA and many agreed that it may be.  Seattle has “the cloud” here (Microsoft Azure and AWS).  We are the platform.  Compare this to the bay area, for example, that has / makes many of the apps that run on the cloud.  Seattle is infrastructure and the rest of the world is the apps / things.  Where will this place Seattle in 5-10 years?

This year we are going to follow the APQC model at least for starters. Here's the cheat sheet on this area. And their L1 topics are:
  1. Develop and manage HR planning, policies and strategies
  2. Recruit, source and select employees
  3. Develop and counsel employees
  4. Reward and retain employees
  5. Redeploy and retire employees
  6. Manage employee information
Two questions come to my mind that I would like to discuss:
  • What is the modern practice of recruiting?
  • What is the best and worst onboarding experience you have had?
  • What challenges does your company currently have with HR?  Retention?