Last November, when I became editor of TLNT’s sister site, ERE.net, I greeted readers, “Hi, I’m Vadim. And I Don’t Hate You.” I wanted to let ERE’s readership of talent acquisition professionals know that I was there to support them. Much of what I said then, I will say now as I step into the role of TLNT’s editor. So…
Hi, everyone. I’m Vadim. And I don’t hate you, either. I say this because you and I both know that not all employees share our love for HR. But that’s OK because —
Actually, it’s not OK. I think we need to ask ourselves why many workers have — let’s call them — ”complicated” views of HR?
In an article I wrote yesterday about the problem with SHRM, I said “it’s because they feel that their HR departments — from the CHRO all the way down to Linda in her favorite belted cardigan and neckerchief — do a poor job (if any at all) of advocating for their interests.”
But I know that doesn’t describe you. I know this because you wouldn’t be reading this right now if it did. That you are spending part of your busy day here on TLNT tells me that you care about your role and your profession — which inherently means you care about the companies and workers you serve.
I know something else about you: Ever since you were a kid, you dreamed of performance management, employee relations, and payroll software.
No? That wasn’t you?
Whether you stumbled into your role, were voluntold into it, or intentionally sought a career in HR, you probably weren’t telling your friends in grade school about your desire to manage open enrollment one day.
Yet here you are. You’re engaging employees, making work better, and helping your company succeed. This may not be the dream you had originally, but I hope it’s the dream you’re having now.
As for me, it feels crazy that my role enables me to work with practitioners, writers, and all sorts of HR Famous people whom I admired and followed for a long time. I never imagined that an interest in HR that started with editing a magazine column by my fairy HR godmother Laurie Ruettimann would lead me to carve out my own place in the HR community, let alone here at TLNT.
For many years, I’d said editing TLNT would be a dream job for me. And, well, here I am. So of course I don’t hate HR. I love HR. “I wouldn’t be the new editor of TLNT if I did not,” I said in that SHRM article. “I have so much admiration and respect for good HR professionals and feel incredibly proud and fortunate to call many of them colleagues and friends.”
You are my peeps, is what I’m really saying. And I hope to be one of yours.
Liberace, HR, and That Time in the Restroom
Now, I could tell you about how writing and editing hundreds of articles about the workplace, interviewing myriad business leaders, working in talent management at Prudential, speaking about HR issues, consulting with numerous HR tech companies, and a college degree in fashion design brought me to this role. But LinkedIn can bore you with that.
I’d much rather tell you why they call me the Liberace of HR. And by “they,” I mean not a single person but me.
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Like Liberace, I don’t do well with the status quo. (Again, check out “The Problem With SHRM: Why HR Professionals Feel Disappointed, Disillusioned, and Deserted.”) Being a change agent is essential to being a modern HR professional. I know it can be hard sometimes, or often, to enact new programs at your organization, but I hope you’re able to tap into creative solutions to help advance your workplace.
Like Liberace, I believe that life is better when you combine talent, fun, and joy. Shouldn’t your work as an HR pro blend all of that, as well? Just as importantly, I hope you are able to spread that happiness to those around you in a haze of glitter.
Like Liberace, I don’t take myself too seriously. While I can talk about talent strategy with you for hours, I wonder if my legacy will nonetheless be “That Time I Urinated on Myself at an HR Conference.” (Oh, it happened!)
And finally, like Liberace, I play piano and love a good sequin. Did you see my photo above? Exactly.
But Most Importantly…
Similar to what I said when I started at ERE.net (where I will also continue on as editor), what excites me most about being a part of TLNT is the ability — which I view as my primary responsibility — to advance the HR community. Let’s all support, learn from, challenge, and cheerlead each other.
You may reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions, comments, tips, concerns, or some great unhinged hate mail. Plus, I’m always looking for great contributors, so reach out to me if you want to explore writing for this site (but please read this first). I also encourage you to follow TLNT on Twitter or Facebook, join our LinkedIn group to discuss HR and workplace issues, and subscribe to our daily newsletter.
I also want to thank my predecessor, Lance Haun, for all he’s done to elevate TLNT. I’ll try my best not to ruin his legacy (though this post may have already done just that!).
You are now part of my dream. I hope to make yours better.