The Best of the #HRTech Backchannel

Walking onto a trade show floor is like walking into a Moroccan bazaar, a myriad of vendors promoting every ware imaginable, from the esoteric to the mundane, to passersby running the gamut from deep-pocketed pashas (your Fortune 500 buyer) to penny-begging thieves (think: start-up sales guys).

Industry expos today basically follow a business model that’s rooted in antiquity.  Which is kind of weird, considering that in our industry, they’re essentially tent revivals focused on spreading the gospel of technology, evangelizing software as a solution, and preaching fiery sermons in which the war for talent is akin to the battle of Armageddon.

So what gives?  Why, in this age of global connectivity, with the compendium of global knowledge perpetually at our fingertips and hi-definition video practically ubiquitous, do we still have to crowd together in the Casbah?

Could be because while you can build systems to support and facilitate human interaction, you can never really replace the real thing.  Or that while you can do all required due diligence online, you don’t really believe it until you see it with your own eyes.

This blend of high tech and high touch will be on display in this year’s 2012 HR Technology Conference in Chicago.  Which is appropriate, considering the fact that the software, systems, and solutions on display are all basically designed to do the same thing: a paradoxical, yet peaceful, coexistence of personalization and automation.

There’s a reason the annual HR Tech Conference has a reputation as one of the essential events on an extremely crowded industry calendar, and that’s because, well, that’s where the buyers are.  And inevitably, the competition – and in this cutthroat, yet lucrative, market there’s a lot of it.

Breaking through the buzzwords, branding, and BS can be a challenge.   That’s why most interested attendees bypass the marketing collateral and go straight for a demo – almost all of which will, in some fashion, feature social tools and technologies.

To really see the power of social in action, however, all you’ve really got to do is turn to Twitter.  But with the #HRTechConf stream spilling over with shameless self promotion, gimmicky giveaways, and corporate co-opting, it’s easier to get lost in than your average ATS.

Talemetry Top 12: Twitter Accounts to Follow at @HRTech

That’s why we’ve put together this list of the Top 12 Twitter accounts to follow at this year’s #HRTechConf.  This list (in no particular order, by the way) is by no means exhaustive, but rather, representative of the distinct voices, outlooks, and agendas that define the HR Technology Conference conversation.

Ultimately, however, all provide the kinds of insights, information, and observations that demonstrate that the real power of social media isn’t about market competition, but about meaningful collaboration.

@thecandes: This year’s HR Technology Conference will feature the second annual Candidate Experience Awards, recognizing the organizations who are making a difference in changing the way our industry thinks of candidates, and hopefully, the way candidates think about our industry.  The “Candies” promise some sweet tweets about one of the most important issues facing talent today.

@BillKutik: Bill Kutik is the “Father” of the HR Technology Conference, and as brains behind the operation, his tweets are required reading for attendees, vendors and anyone interested in the evolution of the technologies powering the new world of work today – and tomorrow.

@WilliamTincup: William Tincup constantly tops the list of most influential voices in HR, and proves his status as reigning industry doyen by eschewing the rampant, often sententious industry dialogue by always telling it like it is.  And most of the time, he’s right.

@ImSoSarah: The eponymous founder of consulting firm Sarah White & Associates has built a career – and reputation – as one of the most forward thinking and innovative analysts working in the HR Technology space.  Her intimate knowledge of the products and players shaping our industry is first-rate – as is her devotion to extending and informing the candidate experience conversation. 

@JasonAverbook: As the CEO and co-founder of consulting firm Knowledge Infusion, Jason Averbook’s voice helps steer the human capital conversation – and his tweets provide a real time look at what’s next for our industry, 140 characters at a time.

@Kris_Dunn:One of the most prolific writers covering the HR and recruiting space, Kris Dunn’s punditry (and nearly ubiquitous byline) is often caustic, sometimes snarky, and always dead on.  Of course, Dunn’s day job as VP, HR at Kinetix gives his commentary credence (and content) as a business leader and practitioner.

@ElaineOrler: Elaine Orler has been helping large organizations implement and maximize recruitment software for nearly two decades.  As the CEO of Talent Function, Orler knows the technology from the front lines; as one of the co-founders of this year’s Candidate Experience Awards, she also understands the real reason the technology’s important.

@HRTechConf: The ‘official’ Twitter account of the HR Technology Conference is a must-follow, deftly blending curated content from vendors, speakers and attendees alike while providing real time event news and views straight from the source.

@Stelzner: As a principal at HR analyst firm Inflexion Advisors, it’s Mark Stelzner’s job to stay on top of the trends and tools shaping the world of work through HR technology – and his Twitter stream deftly blends this expertise with a welcome dose of wit. 

@InFullBloomUS: One of the industry’s leading strategy consultants, analyst Naomi Bloom has been paying attention to the HR technology scene as it’s evolved – and underscores her reputation and insightful punditry with every tweet.

@SteveBoese: His role as Director of Talent Management Strategy for Oracle would be enough to help make Steve Boese one of the most influential players in talent technology, but it’s his countless side gigs (including HREvolution co-founder, HR Happy Hour host, the brains behind a brilliant blog, etc.) that have the biggest impact – and influence – on the HR Technology conversation.

@MattCharney: Because if you like snark, it’s what I do best.  And I have to keep myself entertained – after all, we ARE talking about HR Technology (snooze alert).

Following our list is as easy as clicking here.  Now, if only enterprise software were so simple.

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