I work in a weird space. It’s weird for a lot of reasons, but lately, the buzz about the community is related to influence, or more specifically, “influencers.”
See, in the HR technology space, there are about a zillion vendors, all vying for a larger share of the market. Supporting their efforts are two groups: influencers and analysts. Back when I first started, this was more like press and analysts, but over the years the lines blurred and blogs became more respected forms of media. This is where a lot of influencers were born. As a result, there’s a handful of very hard working people who have gained a sizable following. For some, this translates into business via thought leadership, speaking engagements and consulting work. For others, this means some level of respect and notoriety. They’re just here to talk and elevate their own brand. The issue is, it’s become increasingly difficult to distinguish between the two.
Me, I’m just talking. I work in the background, creating content and doing PR, end of story. My personal opinions, while valid and based on first-hand experience, are not intended to be influential. Regardless of this, I’m offering up my two cents because existing in an echo chamber is detrimental to those looking for counsel from “influencers.”
Go back to basics. You’ve already made it this far so think long and hard before you engage. Ask why you need their help and what you expect to gain. Influencers are not miracle workers and cannot work miracles overnight. Like most things in life, you need to do your homework and come up with a strategy before making the spend.
Look beyond the everyday. Yes, it’s easy to pull up who’s who in HR tech and recruiting. A quick Google will yield a bunch of lists with some of the same names listed over and over again. This is not to say these people aren’t wonderful. But hearing from the same voices repeatedly will not carry the conversation forward.
Consider people who may not have a following. There are tons of blogs and newsletters dedicated to work, written by people with real-life experience in HR, flying under the radar. Find people having similar conversations in other spaces and get their opinion. They may not be as down in the weeds but can still help you see from a different perspective.
And don’t forget to talk to your team. They know your current state better than anyone. To get to that next level, dig deep. You can’t buy success—and no one knows that better than influencers.
Image via David Travis on Unsplash.