Monday, July 13, 2009

The Punk Rock HR interview | Post #750 on HRH

Profiling Laurie Ruettimann of Punk Rock HR!

You HR punks needs to learn about blogging!

HR Florida will be holding their 31st state-wide conference at the Rosen Shingle Resort in Orlando from August 16-19, 2009.

You probably already realize that it is nearly impossible to have a conversation these days where the topic of using social media in business doesn't come up.

More and more, being familiar with the social web is becoming a desirable skill to employers.

Blogging is one area that people are at least basically familiar with. But what exactly is blogging? And how can it help you or your employer? If you are an HR professional, HR Florida is offering you an extraordinary opportunity to find out.

The 2009 HR Florida Conference & Exposition is offering a once in a lifetime session with a panel of top human resources bloggers from around the nation who will discuss blogging and its impact on organizations and the HR profession.

The panel line-up will include Sharlyn Lauby, Kris Dunn, Jessica Lee, Laurie Ruettimann and myself.

One of the most controversial panel members is Laurie Ruettimann, who runs an HR consulting business and blog called Punk Rock HR. Laurie is a delightful mix of brains, top-notch HR skills, and a slightly overly healthy dose of cynicism about the HR profession. She also lives with a celebrity - Mr. Scrubby, the blogging business cat!

Laurie was kind of enough to agree to answer some questions for me, and I am using them as part of my 750th post heree on Human Race Horses. Pretty good for being in business for just two years!

"Team building is for suckers." - Laurie Ruettimann

Can you describe your blog for us and tell us how you came up with the idea for its theme?

Punk Rock HR is an anti-establishment site that offers career advice and musings on Corporate America. I am a former HR professional. I worked at many levels within many organizations. I've hired everyone from cooks to pilots to chemical engineers. I've counseled factory workers who make candy and CIOs who run large IT organizations. I've seen the best of Corporate America, and I've seen the worst. I hope my website, which is very cynical, offers interesting stories and empowers readers to take ownership of their careers. No one has your back out there except for you.

What are your three biggest axes to grind with employers and the way they deal with workers today?

• I think companies act like they're doing you a favor when they hire you. In truth, you're doing them a favor by dedicating yourself to their causes. They should thank you by paying you a fair wage and ensuring that you work in an organization free from hostility and discrimination.
• I also take objection when companies want you to dedicate yourself to their mission, vision, and values and then make you feel like dirt when you expect more than a 3% raise. Labor makes companies better, not worse. Labor improves profitability.
• Finally, I object to the concept of profit sharing and retirement planning as it exists today. You're not being offered a fair plan and you aren't being given your fair share of your company's profits.

Where do you see the HR profession going in the next two years?

I think HR will continue to flounder. No one speaks for HR as a profession and no one is "cool enough" or "successful enough" in Human Resources to emulate.

HR, as a function, is a mess. Some Chief HR Officers think it's our job to identify and find the best talent out there. Others think that HR needs to play a critical role in marketing the corporate brand. Others feel HR needs to be more involved in compliance, cost reduction, and the prevention of employee litigation. We can't be all things to all people. Until we define our role as a function, we'll continue to operate in a bifurcated and confusing way.

If you could pick another topic to write about, what would it be?

I am a political junkie. I would write about America's foreign policy. I would examine the ways we can prevent and fight terrorism at home and abroad.

Finally, how influential is Mr. Scrubby at Punk Rock HR LLC?

Mr. Scrubby, my scrubilicious kitty, is a three-year-old orange tabby cat. He makes all executive decisions and operates as my senior editor. He is also my brand ambassador. Unfortunately, he spends nearly 95% of my earnings!

For more info: E-mail: Twitter: lruettimann

Thanks, Laurie - as usual, you rock!

Enhanced by Zemanta


  1. Very often, your cover letter will be the first thing that a recruiter looks at when he sits down to do that all-important first sift. It is your first opportunity to leave a lasting and favorable impression and as such it should work every bit as hard as your resume, if not more so, to convince him that you are the best match for the job. Remember, the employer is looking for a really outstanding candidate and if your cover letter is in any way sub-standard or does nothing to tempt him into reading your resume, then he will not waste any further time on your application.

  2. Thanks, Mike. So fun to be interviewed by the liberal elite mainstream press. :-)

  3. @Laurie,

    More like the gray haired old fart HR professionals w/ slim media ties. but yeah, it was fun....thanks for the chance to interview the fastest growing rock star in our field!

  4. @ICT

    Thanks for totally irrelevant comment on cover letters!


We appreciate your thoughts on the blog. Please add your comments. It helps keep the place interesting!

Everything you post will be read, and responded too!
-- Michael VanDervort