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100 most social HR experts on Twitter

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So a list of “the 100 most social HR experts on Twitter” this list has been doing the rounds today, courtesy of this Huffington Post article.  I call BS.

First up though, I want to be clear – I know many of the people on that list personally and hold them all in the highest regard. This is not about them – it’s about influence, context, relevance, accuracy, criteria and a load of other niggles which are less worthy of attention.

Let’s start with the title. The “HR Expert” bit.  That makes me think I’ll be finding HR professionals. I’m not seeing that – in fact, over half the people on the list are bloggers, marketeers, consultants, analysts and so on – anything BUT full time HR professionals.  

I don’t doubt the depth of knowledge these people possess (I refer you to the second sentence of this post)… however, if you promise me a list of HR experts, I’d like to see it delivered.

Let’s take a deeper look at the criteria the author has listed. The phrase “actively engaged” catches my eye.  It takes me to a talk William Tincup (number 5 on the list) gave a few short weeks ago over at iRecruit.

William talked extensively about his own approach to social media – and particularly Twitter.  He was more than happy to admit that he doesn’t really engage that much on Twitter – it’s more of a broadcast engine, tweeting a significant volume of ongoing content in order to raise his profile.

If I recall correctly:

“They’re auto-feeds of bloggers I trust (click, I just tweeted again)… and I let the content run constantly and monitor it occasionally (click, I just tweeted again)”

That feels an awful long was from “actively engaged” to me. No criticism of William at all, I LOVE the guy! He has a defined strategy with a desired outcome. He sticks to it and iterates when needed and I’d love to see more companies actually DOING that.  But number 5 on a list where the criteria includes “actively engaged”? ON WHOSE PLANET????

My best guess?  The author ran a quick search on Kred, Klout, PeerIndex or similar. Had a quick look over. Published a list. Fair enough.  No problem with that – but seriously, if that’s all you’re gonna do, be honest about it and say “I just pulled a list of the noisy people from Twitter who mention HR” and leave it at that. Claims of criteria being applied and “research being done”…?  Not buying it.

I’ll wrap on a final point – which is to say congrats to those who made the list.  You’re clearly making noise on Twitter and the HR industry as a whole needs that. It needs to open up, to be more transparent, to recognise the opportunity social technology offers. HR is too slow to do that, so to these noisy people, I say thank you.

To those who trust the list without further thought, I say go grab another coffee first.


James Mayes has worked in technology and talent acquisition for more than fifteen years – agency recruiter, inhouse recruiter, builder of tools, product consultant and marketer.  He now moves between Talent, technology and product management, mixing both offline consulting and public events. He’s best found on Twitter as @james_mayes -  or visit his site at



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