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I’m delighted to see theHRDIRECTOR launch theHRBLOG, and equally delighted to be a guest blogger. In this launch month, it seems appropriate to look at the topic of blogs and how they can help HR and I want to start by looking at the pros and cons of blogs:

Pros – Anybody can write a blog about anything they like; the barriers to entry are low and you can start a blog for free in a matter of minutes; consequently, there is a huge variety of content out there.

Cons – See Pros.

As part of my ongoing learning, I read a lot. I read a lot of books, I read a number of magazines, and I read a number of blogs that I find to be really helpful. But, I’ve read a lot of unhelpful and irrelevant blogs on the way to finding the ones that are helpful. So, how do you find blogs that are going to be helpful to you? There are lots of blogs out there, so I suggest that you need to be intentional about which blogs you read and that you start by being clear about what you want from them. It might be that you want a bit of mutual support by reading about people who are struggling with the same challenges, or maybe you’re looking for an opposing perspective to yours, possibly some inspiring case studies, or maybe you want to learn more about a particular topic or keep up with developments or changes.

Once you’re clear about what you want, a quick search (and a look at what people are sharing on Linkedin and Twitter) will give you plenty of possible blogs to follow.

You’ll need to make your own mind up, but these are the things I’m looking for when I decide whether a blog is of interest to me:
– I want the author to know what they’re talking about.
– I don’t like to see difficult topics dumbed down to ‘The 5 secrets of..’ or ‘7 steps to…’ (even though this seems to be a popular trend at the moment!).
– I’m wary of a success story presented as a universal truth; case studies and best practices have a role to play, but not when presented as THE way!

In keeping with what I’ve said about universal truths, this is just what works for me. You need to make your own mind up which are the ones for you, but there is a whole world of interesting, inspiring, and helpful HR blogs out there. And if you can’t find anything interesting about a subject, you might even want to consider starting your own blog!

If you want some good blogs to read, I really like these two from experienced HR practitioners whom I respect:

hrgem by Gemma Reucroft
Change-effect by Neil Morrison

And of course, theHRBLOG!

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