Online HR groups

Group members form virtual communities around subjects of common interest, on either public websites or through an organisation’s social networks. The most prolific site is LinkedIn, which hosts thousands of discussion groups on a massive range of topics, including a large number on human resources and related fields.

Some HR groups have an open entry policy while others require an application for approval by the group’s moderator. Most discussions are lightly moderated to ensure lawful content, prevent abuse and deter blatant advertising from commercial interests. Members share their knowledge, comment on articles and posts, and learn from each other’s experiences.

Among the largest groups is Linked:HR with nearly one million members and 14 sub-groups, including Linked:HR Europe–EMEA. Topics are varied: for example, pay and employee engagement, nicotine-free hiring policies, managing attendance issues and even HR as a calling.

The HR & Talent Management Executive, with nearly 400,000 members, is a global group of HR executives who exchange research and best practice in HR and talent management.

The HR Professionals Association, with 249,000 members, is restricted to practising HR professionals and claims to be the largest moderated LinkedIn group for this sector. The group provides a platform for HR professionals, across different areas, industries, HR functions and experience levels, to interact with each other.

As well as a members-managed LinkedIn group, the CIPD also hosts the CIPD Professional Communities forum on its own website (www.cipd.co.uk). It has more than 176,000 members contributing to some 32,000 different discussions on every HR topic under the sun. Registration is open to CIPD members and it allows members to be at the forefront of latest CIPD research; share knowledge and best practice thinking; to keep up to date with current HR issues; debate with specialists and experts; network with other HR professionals from many organisations; and add to a members’ professional development. Online HR groups are proving to be one of many valuable sources of information and expertise to HR professionals. In this spirit of information sharing, sections of this edition of the workpocket are available from the Randstad website (www.randstad.co.uk).