HR Hour Logo

I’m getting lots of questions around what ‘The HR Hour’ is, including when it will be kicking off and what I hope to achieve with it, so here goes.

In 2015 when I started using Twitter for both professional and personal use, I stumbled across a fantastic community of HR, L&D and OD Professionals all of whom to this day I regularly converse with on a daily basis and many of whom I am pleased to say have become friends. I didn’t really use the term ‘network’ but I quickly discovered that this group of people referred to one another as members of their own #PLN which stands for ‘Personal Learning Network’. 18 months on from when I became a Social HR professional, I recognise how very fortunate I am to have discovered this group, and to keep discovering HR professionals and extending my PLN further, because these HR pros, without a shadow of a doubt, have given me the opportunity grow as an HR professional.

Twitter has now become my place of learning. Yes, that’s right, Twitter! Before becoming a Social HR Professional, if anyone had said that Twitter was one of the best places to learn I wouldn’t have taken them seriously, and now here i’m saying it, because it’s so true. Through using Twitter and connecting with other HR Professionals, i’ve discovered the HR blogging community, where interesting articles are posted every day on a range of HR and related topics. I’ve also discovered great HR pro’s with a range of different specialisms, and i’m yet to connect with anyone who won’t offer support or help with a query if you have a question either about a topic generally or about that professionals expertise. It’s also a great place to discover emerging HR trends and information, usually right at the point of breaking.

One of the things i’ve enjoyed most is some of the live Twitter Chats, in particular the awesome work of @LnDConnect. Every Friday at 8am GMT, a moderator on the LnDConnect Twitter account launches a question, and HR professionals (mainly L&D and OD) get involved in a fantastic discussion. People dip in and out depending on if they have the time and if they have the inclination, and the really great thing about it is, there’s no pressure to get involved or participate, with some users watching the discussion through following the hashtag #LDinsight, whilst others respond and get involved with the various different discussions that branch off from the initial question. It really is a great idea, run by a great group of people, with smart, often humorous and regularly thought-provoking discussion.

So why have I launched #HRHour – because i’ve been inspired to do so by @LnDConnect. As an HR Professional, i’d personally like to take part in the same type of discussion as #ldinsight but on HR topics unrelated to L&D, so we are giving this a go. If we get traction and great discussion then we’ll persevere, if we don’t then we tried, but what’s the harm in trying? I’m also hoping to continue with my quest to make HR a more Social-Media friendly profession that embraces sites such as Twitter and I hope some participants get the same privilege i’ve had and build great PLN’s of their own.

As for topics I hope to cover, it’s the full gambit of HR, including employment law, reward, talent management, employee relations, engagement, culture, data and everything in between.

So this is going to take place on Thursday evenings at 8pm GMT (chosen to try to capture worldwide participation) and for now I will be facilitating the discussion, but if it sticks and other HR professionals want to take over the account and share the duties – then by all means please get in touch with me and volunteer.

I’ve got 293 followers on the @HR_Hour account as this blog is being published – when we get to 300, we’ll launch. So please spread the word and I hope to see lots of you get involved in the discussion.


Split-Personality Insights

I started my day today by completing the IBM Personality Insights test which analyses your personality based on your last 200 tweets. Before I even completed this test I was skeptical, which is ironic for a reason you will find out shortly.

For context, I believe my online presence is a fair and largely honest representation of who I am personally. I have one Twitter account and one LinkedIn account. LinkedIn I keep strictly professional, but I fully embrace Twitter and those connected to me will know all about me, mainly my profession and related thoughts, my family life and my hobbies and my love of Boxing and Swansea City FC. But I am also aware that in this modern world its sensible to ensure a positive reflection of oneself is portrayed online as my career is important to me, so I hold off on the bad language, I never ‘drunk-tweet’ and I do choose to keep things to myself that should be private.

So here is what the report said about me;-


Here’s what I agree with;-

  • I’m skeptical (I prefer discerning, but i’ll take skeptical)
  • I am reasonably authority-challenging
  • I am philosophical, I am open to and intrigued by new ideas and I do love to explore them.
  • I care more about making my own path than following what others have done.

Here’s what I disagree with;-

  • I am not inconsiderate (this is contrary to every other personality test i’ve ever completed)
  • I am not tranquil (but boy, I wish I was!)
  • I am not generally serious and I do my fair share of joking around.
  • I am not really bothered about prestige.
  • I am very concerned with helping others – this is so hugely important to me.
  • Perhaps most controversially, I absolutely love Country Music (my favourite band is The Band, I love Merle Haggard, The Carter Family, The Byrds and don’t get me started on the Flying Burrito Brothers!)

There are one or two other comments that I neither agree nor disagree with but the above is the general overview.

I must admit that I was taken aback by the thought I could be perceived as inconsiderate and unconcerned with helping others and I felt almost offended by the results. In fact, what I should have done, is read the small print…

I believe (although I can’t validate this as I can’t find the supporting material) that it reviewed my previous 200 tweets, so this probably covers a period of around 3 weeks, during this time I watched my beloved Swansea City lose, a boxing match that genuinely disappointed and angered me, and a government budget that didn’t sit comfortably with me, so this was probably a ‘heightened’ period for me which was reflected in my tweets.

So I have a range of questions from this so far.

  • Is your SoMe profile a fair reflection on which to take a personality test?
  • Is 200 tweets enough to gain a proportionate view of your personality?
  • How does the tool consider your own tweets versus the re-tweets and quotes you make of other tweets?
  • How does the test detect humour and sarcasm?

Fundamentally, this brought me on to this question.

Am I looking for ways to disprove the accuracy of the test because I don’t like what the test said?

And as a follow-up…

If the test has this perception of me based solely on my SoMe presence, do other users have this perception of me too, and does this mean my presence needs TLC?

This second question is more worrying largely because I don’t want anyone thinking I’m not helpful or considerate, and I certainly don’t want anyone thinking I dislike Country Music!

I believe human users can look beyond these personality insights and form insights based on sense, emotional intelligence and existing knowledge whereas a test such as this IBM Watson test, is essentially ‘Garbage In, Garbage Out’. Yet, this test has still left me uneasy, and somewhat paranoid.

What this test has taught me, is whilst I have a fairly newly adopted SoMe open-book policy, if users share this perception of me or run similar tests on me in the future, then its very possible that I need to be more careful, and need to be proactive on this front too. I’m not saying I need to change my personality, but need to understand how tests such as this work so that the results are a more accurate reflection of the real me.

I suggest you complete your own test, and let me have your opinion on your own test results. The link is here -> http://gwen-systemu.mybluemix.net

This post is a to be continued… this needs more thought.

Please come dancing, all day and all of the night, back in Neath once more Mr Davies


A letter to Ray Davies of The Kinks from a resident of Neath.

Dear Ray,

I write to you on behalf of the good folk of my home town, Neath, South Wales.

You know Neath, a lovely place 8 miles from Swansea, 40 miles from Cardiff, 3 miles from the sea and 30 miles from the Brecon Beacons, known for a historically well respected Rugby team (the Welsh Rugby Union was formed in Neath), birthplace of music stars Bonnie Tyler and Katherine Jenkins as well as sports legends Paul James (Wales & Ospreys Rugby) Mark Bowen (assistant manager Stoke, formerly Wales, Spurs and Norwich) and Ben Davies (current left back for Spurs and Wales).

But unfortunately I understand you know all about Neath, for the wrong reasons.

It was recently brought to my attention by children’s author and fellow local, Mr Gavin Puckett, that during a discussion at the Hay Festival in 2014 you explained to the room that you were involved in an “altercation” in the changing rooms of a venue in Neath that you were playing in with The Kinks in the early days. Following this altercation, the story goes that you were told you were ‘finished’ in Neath and as a result you never returned.

This is both tragic and unacceptable so let’s put that right. You are far from finished in Neath and we can’t let that experience finalise your view of the place.

On behalf of your thousands of fans from this great town, I would like to extend an open invitation for you to return any time you like. Your ban has been rescinded. From the Dedicated Followers Of Fashion, to the 20th Century Men we will all make you welcome, for there are no Dead End Streets here anymore. There are Better Things here now and we are Tired Of Waiting. We will entertain you or you can entertain us on a Sunny Afternoon, even on the Village Green. Let our residents live A Rock n Roll Fantasy and we promise we wont Forget To Dance.

If you are reading this This Time Tomorrow, your fans here would like an opportunity to enjoy your music and take some snaps for their Picture Book. Strangers and Lola want to share a Waterloo Sunset with you and will sing along until The End Of The Day.

Please return…. we’ll even pay for the bridge!

I await your response in anticipation

Let’s not leave it like this!


Mark Hendy

A Well Respected Man (hopefully…) and husband to Victoria.

(Photo courtesy of Darren Prosser)