New Perspectives: Cool Websites and Blogs

As we enter the dog days of summer here in the United States and Europe, I thought it might be a good time to reflect on some of the blogs and websites that I find valuable. As an avid bog reader, I know how hard it is to sift through the hundreds that are available and narrow it down to just a few.

I have chosen four blogs/websites that I think are useful to recruiters and add new knowledge and perspectives. Each blogger that I have chosen is also an author of a book or two and is a researcher in his/her area. They all are looked upon as experts by their peers.

This list could be much longer, of course, and I know I have missed some other equally good blogs.  If you have a favorite, please send me a link and let me enjoy it too. I will do a new column from time to time and add more to the list.

Value Networks is a site that adds depth to the discussions we have about social networks. Verna Allee, the principal behind this site and discussion group, is known all over the world for her work in mapping networks – in other words, graphically showing us how people interact and with whom in a value chain. She has written several books on knowledge management and on social networking and has been a regular faculty member at my Future of Talent Retreat. Her website discusses and provides tools for value network analysis, which is a methodology for understanding, using, visualizing, optimizing internal and external value networks, and complex economic ecosystems.

While this may sound overwhelming, the site contains rich information about social networks and how to understand the interactions and interrelationships between the members of a network. The methodology is being used by many organizations to better understand how their customers interact with them and each other, how suppliers interact with customers, and how employees network both within and outside the organization.

There are many applications of this technology that could be applied to such things as mapping candidate interaction or tracking who networks with whom on your social networking site. There is also a Google group associated with this organization that might be of interest.

Jay Cross, the guru of e-learning and informal learning, has a fabulously interesting and entertaining blog discussing a wide range of topics generally around learning. If you are in a talent management role or have extended interests in learning, this is a good blog to make a regular read. Jay has written a few books on learning, coined the term e-learning many years ago, and is a regular on the speaking circuits. He is very knowledgeable about talent issues in general and often has posts that relate to the generations, demographics, and other areas of interest to recruiters and HR professionals.

His book on Informal Learning states that most organizations invest their training budget where it will have the least impact. He shows how most of us learn by doing, experimenting, or by getting someone to coach us.  You more than likely learned to be recruiter by jumping in a doing it with a little help from a more senior recruiter along the way.

Bob Sutton is a professor at Stanford and the author of a number of books that most recruiters and HR folks would enjoy. One of my favorites is his book entitled, Weird Ideas that Work: 111/2 Practices for Promoting, Managing, and Sustaining Performance.

This book is really a series of short articles or essays on topics highly relevant to recruiting. For example, weird idea number-one is, “Hire ‘Slow Learners’ and weird idea two is, “Hire People Who Make You Uncomfortable.”

His latest book is called the No Asshole Rule, in which he talks about the need for successful organizations to eliminate ruthlessly any managers who are assholes.  A fun and very relevant read for most of us!

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His website and blog bring almost daily facts and commentary on management, human resources, recruiting, and related issues. It is a great source of information and ideas as well as a wealth of good material for discussion with your hiring managers.

His blog continues the discussions and is full of humor and current interest topics.

Many of you may have heard of Richard Florida, a professor at the University of Toronto and the writer of two bestselling books, The Rise of the Creative Class and The Flight of the Creative Class. He focuses on issues such as immigration and demographics.

His latest book, called the Who’s Your City?: How the Creative Economy Is Making Where to Live the Most Important Decision of Your Life, explains that globally more than one-third of all workers are employed in the creative sector.

Some cities are more attractive to this class of worker and they are the growth cities which act as talent magnets. His work is almost required reading for any recruiter and his theories explain many of the unemployment and talent scarcity issues recruiters face.

Have you tried to attract a stockbroker to Fairbanks, Alaska? How about a ballet dancer to Omaha? Where should you live if you want to prosper over the next decade? What cities will attract the best candidates and why? His blog keeps you up-to-date on the latest trends and research.

Hope you enjoy these and have a great summer.

Kevin Wheeler is a globally known speaker, author, futurist, and consultant in talent management, human capital acquisition and learning & development. He has founded a number of organizations including the Future of Talent Institute, Global Learning Resources, Inc. and the Australasian Talent Conference, Ltd. He hosts Future of Talent Retreats in the U.S., Europe, and Australia. He writes frequently on LinkedIn, is a columnist for, keynotes, and speaks at conferences and events globally, and advises firms on talent strategy. He has authored two books and hundreds of articles and white papers. He has a new book on recruiting that will be out in late summer of 2016. Prior to his current work, he had a 20+year corporate career in several San Francisco area tech and financial service firms. He has also been on the faculty of San Francisco State University and the University of San Francisco. He can be reached at


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