[Picture credit: Tolga Musato]

Last week I was at the third connectingHR unconference. One the sessions featured a group of unemployed graduates talking to attendees about their failed attempts at job hunting. You can listen to an interview I did with Maria Hernandez.

The theme of the unconference was the future of work and this panel was a reminder of some of the challenges young (and highly educated) people face getting into the workplace.

The panel debate was facilitated by Darius Norell who runs the Spring Project venue for the conference as well as the Spring Project to help get grads into work.

Attendees found the session very engaging and just wanted to help out the grads.

The session made me think of the fantastic #tru grad initiative that Bill Boorman developed at his trulondon recruitment unconference. At that event recruiters decided they wanted to help out grads and so set up the #trugrad mentoring scheme to help them find jobs. Bill says that nine grads have now been placed as a part of that scheme.

What keeps flying around in my head is this: there are lots of places that UK HR and recruitment people hang out online (and face to face) and some of the places are actually talking about and trying to do similar things (the grads stuff above, for example).

So why don’t these networks or groupings overlap more?

I guess people in some communities just see themselves being miles apart from others (HR versus recruitment?).

I presume some communities serve different purposes ie affiliations to institutes, and provide members with different experiences and value, but they seem to be populated by people in similar roles who all face similar professional challenges. So there is common ground.

I maybe being super naive here but surely there would be some value in these different groupings, networks or whatever you want to call them talking to each other? And especially when it comes to pooling talents to help the unemployed get into work.

The tools are all there to do this – and relatively simply – but I guess the barriers we put up are what get in the way.

Since the ConnectingHR uncoference Mervyn Dinnen has posted on an HR initiative in Toronto in which he calls for UK HR people to ‘reach out’ to their Canadian cousins:

Her [Bonni Titgemeyer] experiment follows hot on the heels of last week’s 3rd ConnectingHR Unconference and provides the perfect opportunity for the growing UK HR community to reach out to our Canadian cousins and help them to see the benefits of what we have been experiencing for the last 18 months.

And following a track at ConnectingHR a group – called AltruisticHR – has been set up to help organisations (in the not for profit sector) that do not have the benefit of a full HR department. Again, this is a great idea that could really benefit from being seen, shared and supported in some of the big online groupings of UK HR professionals.

This feels like a bit of a rambling post. My conclusion is that there is a lot of benefit in people looking outside of their (professional/business) communities and connecting with others who share a common cause or purpose.