How to Become an HR Authority

Are you interested in becoming a known authority figure in the Human Resources field? There are many career tracks in human resources, from entry level positions to recruiters to transitioning into HR Management. Regardless of whether a person is getting started as an HR Assistant or running the entire department as an HR Director, you can take steps to begin establishing a presence as an authority figure in the field.

Branding is an especially important quality for Human Resources professionals. The brand that an HR specialist creates will affect everything from recruiting to employee retention. This makes it especially beneficial for HR professionals to become experts in their fields. Building expertise can help to improve your job performance, enhance career promotion and create a positive reputation for the company.

Embrace Social Media
No matter what a company’s social media policy is, Human Resource professionals should be using social media to help establish their own names within the field. The Human Resources industry has a very strong social presence already, so it is important to become a part of the discussion. Connect with everyone in the field, from the already established authorities to the beginners trying to break into a career in Human Resources. One relevant group in social media that you may want to explore is the HR Group at LinkedIn. Having a large network of HR connections will help with each step towards becoming an authority in the industry.

Having a lot of followers is not enough. Interaction is the key to maximizing social media efforts. Tweet out relevant material and retweet the helpful work of others. Ask and answer questions and become active in Human Resources conversations. Not only will this help establish authority, but there is also a lot to learn from interacting with peers.

Share Expertise through Writing
Writing is a vital step in becoming an expert. Begin with starting a blog to build an audience. Use the blog to share knowledge and continue to form a strong brand. Offering actionable advice that helps others is an effective way to showcase expertise. There are many Human Resources blogs that have become staples within the HR community.

Once the blog is a success, work towards leveraging that power into writing a book. Whether it is through a publishing house or independently done in an e-book, becoming an author of a Human Resources book can help secure the authority of a personal brand. Once the book is out, use social media to further promote it.

Network with Peers
Even HR professionals with a huge social media presence need to practice effective networking skills. There are so many opportunities for Human Resources professionals to participate in conferences, events and training. Joining and becoming active in professional associations like the Society for Human Resource Management will help to pinpoint useful events and promote professional development. These activities will offer the chance to connect with other HR specialists. Meeting in person can help create a closer connection and allow for follow-ups through social media when the conference is over.

“Attending conferences is a smart first step,” says Philip Kenney, the Vice President of Human Resource for Bisk Education and adjunct professor for Villanova University’s MS in HR Development. “However, it is important to be an active participant. Take advantage of every seminar, volunteer to help with events and promote your efforts through social media. The more that you participate, the more authority you will build as a result.”

As an HR person transitions into an expert in the field, conferences become more than just networking opportunities. Use these events to find potential speaking engagements. Apply to be a panelist or give a presentation. Presenting at a high-profile event can help to establish a person as an authority figure.

Run an Event
After establishing a social media presence and participating in conferences, use the knowledge to host an event. Create a webinar or a workshop to help other HR specialists. Sharing tips and answering questions helps an HR professional to build a larger audience, promote the blog or book and increase authority. Teaching others is an essential step in branding oneself as an HR expert.

Don’t forget to promote any webinars or workshops through social media. Record the webinar or workshop so people that cannot attend the event can still benefit from it. Helping with the human resource development of other professionals can help to build personal authority while increasing a network.

Becoming an expert in Human Resources will not happen overnight, but it is well-worth the effort. Building authority within the industry can help you improve your career progression while you stay abreast of all of the latest trends in the industry. Having an HR authority figure within a company can help to improve company culture and recruit top talent. Being established as an expert can make a Human Resources career even more rewarding.

Source:, Susan M Heatfield, September 29, 2012

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