A Conversation: Top Influencers in HR And Recruiting

Screen Shot 2015-03-10 at 11.44.40 AMAnother Top 50 (Fill In The Blank) list came out a couple of weeks ago with a bunch of HR and recruiter “thought leaders” on it. And as usual there was some chatter on Twitter and Facebook about it. Some pro. Some con. Some rants too.

I have an opinion and I want to know what you think. But first a disclaimer: every now and again I squeak in on the bottom of one of these lists. I am not coming at this with “sour grapes.”

And I am not here to bash the folks on the lists.

I am writing this, and hoping you will comment below, to start a conversation.

I want to know what recruiters are doing. I want to know challenges they face. I want to know about their successes and failures.

My perspective is this: I am in Minneapolis recruiting internally for four startup and small tech companies. I know what it is like to grow a group from 5 to 30 … and starting this month with a group at 13 aiming for 60.

I am long ago tired of Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Zappos, Twitter, or any of the other often (and easily) cited examples on blog posts and in conference sessions. Those are easy to talk about.

What about the rest of us? What about you?

Where are the conversations (keeping with a Minnesota theme for a moment) about how to recruit for a manufacturing plant in Duluth, a cabinet maker in Mankato, or a new web shop in my North Loop neighborhood in Minneapolis?

I want to find, follow, and interact with people more like me. Those who:

  • are today recruiting a tech team of full stack Ruby developers and QA engineers. Or a team of contract web developers for a hospital website redesign. (You can swap your nurse, CNC, call center titles for mine)
  • are posting updates about their local/regional business climate
  • are speaking at their local college, university, tech schools, and job groups
  • are attending a user group, professional association, or networking event representing and recruiting for their company
  • are promoting the next tech, marketing, PR, manufacturing ideas, products, and events in their area

I am a BIG fan of Tim Sackett, Jennifer McClure, Susan Strayer LaMotte, and Glen Cathey. They are some of the folks on these lists who share content and speak about things that I can relate to.

Who are the regional and local folks? The ones like me who do not have “influence” at the (inter)national level but are making an impact in their own backyard?

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And how do we create, recognize, and applaud their achievements? How do we get them to come up for some air and share their experiences?

Do we need another list? Another group? Another conference? Probably not.

But I’m bored with the industry echo chamber … and I know many of you are too.

Let me be clear. I am not taking a shot at the thought leaders in our industry. I need help seeing the forest through the trees and I am thankful for their perspective.

I do wish we had a similar list of those making a hire today.

We can and should have both, right?

I’m going to hang up and listen now. Drop your comments and thoughts below.

Paul DeBettignies, better known online as Minnesota Headhunter, is a Minnesota Recruiter, Evangelist, and Advisor, who builds teams with startups and tech companies, and creates recruiting strategies for Fortune 500 clients. He’s also the author of Minnesota Headhunter, the longest running regional recruiter blog.

Paul is a frequent local and national speaker, trainer and subject matter expert on recruiter, HR, career, networking and social media topics. Activities include presentations at Twin Cities Startup Week, Google for Entrepreneurs, Michigan Recruiters Conference, MN HR Tech Expo, Social Media Breakfast, University of Minnesota, Target, CHS, MinneBar and ERE and interviews with NPR, WCCO AM (CBS) Radio & TV, KARE TV (NBC), MSP Business Journal, Minneapolis StarTribune and Dice.com

Paul is involved in the Minneapolis and St Paul technology, marketing, and social media communities as a sponsor, volunteer, and mentor and is the founder of Midwest Recruiting Bootcamp.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mnheadhunter



19 Comments on “A Conversation: Top Influencers in HR And Recruiting

  1. Of course mad props to you brother, you helped to create and nuture the smaller level conference, one that can bring local and regional folks together to talk about real tactics and ideas to impact their work today.You know Tim and I are simply immatators in MI ;-), but those smaller, less formal events you pioneered are just what the doctor ordered for our industry. See you Friday!

  2. Hey Jim thank you for the kind words and I am ready to see the folks in Michigan. In part that is why I wrote this. Who are the HR and Recruiter pros making an impact in Michigan? Or Chicago? Denver? I would like to see a list of those. There have to be a number who are sharing on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn what their day is like.

  3. Hey Paul, They are out there! They are busting their butts building relationships with candidates and extending offers!
    To name a few…
    Bree Maddox – @recruiterbree
    Amy Ala – @alarecruiter
    Kiersten Alea – @K_Alea
    Steven G. Davis – @Recruit4U
    Steve Levy – @LevyRecruits
    Mike Chuidian – @TheRadRecruiter
    Stacey Williamson – @RecruiterStacy
    Kristi Jones – @kjoneskc

    Me – @TiffanyKuehl 🙂

    I have no doubt there are many more…

    But I get what you’re saying.


  4. Paul – In the DC area I’d recommend Ian Jones, Matt Duren, Pete Radloff and Derek Zeller. All solid recruiters doing good work. I’d hire any of them in a minute. I’d also include Casey Kugler, although he’s in New Orleans on an engagement right now.

  5. Observation: so far it seems recruiting online generally consists of just posting jobs and recruiter and HR articles which I guess is great if you are recruiting recruiter and HR pros.

  6. Excellent post, Paul. I’ve admired your work from afar for some time, particularly your inspiring local focus. You are so well engaged with your community – it’s a lesson for all of us. For the DC market, Lars nailed it – I unfortunately don’t know Ian Jones, but I’ll take Lars’ word on that without question. Pete, Matt, Casey, and Derek are incredible – real recruiters doing real work and supporting the local recruiting community at every turn.

  7. Paul – Nice post. So much so that it caused me to discuss on my Social Media channels. 65+ comments later as you know, I am hoping that not only you are getting what you need but also we (the community) take these lists for what they are worth. Some are worthless and some are worthy of our attention because they add value. Unfortunately as we have found, the later is clearly the exception not the rule.

  8. Great post Paul! Let’s forget the lists and just focus on conversation, data, examples and case studies. That’s what it’s all about!

  9. There has been a “whoa” moment for me with this post, the comments here and on Facebook… and maybe just not enough of those lurking have posted names but a thought:

    Are there this few number of HR and Recruiters using online tools to recruit, engage with candidates? Not just posting (spamming jobs). Not only posting recruiter and HR articles.

    Engaging in the city or skill set in which they recruit?

    1. If you want a good example of a recruiter who engages with the skill set and community for which they recruit, check out Eve Adams (@hackerhuntress on Twitter). She’s completely immersed in the security community and you likely won’t find her posting about “recruiting-centric” content.

  10. Interesting. I think someone already mentioned it. How about forgetting about the lists and engage each other. I see ‘influencers’ on social media channels that don’t engage with their peer group. Not all, but some. Hell, I’d just start with the ones that comment on this article. 🙂

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