June 6, 2014 in Events (live blogging), CIPD NAP 2014

#CIPDNAP14 – Gemma Reucroft – Social Media and the HR Professional

Gemma Reucroft delivered the opening keynote of #CIPDNAP14, the CIPD Northern Area Partnership (York, June 2014)

Gemma is introduced a a prolific tweeter and takes to the stage, opening with the socialnomics video and admitting that she is wearing her Twitter necklace emblazoned with @HR_Gem – Gemma encourages us not to put our phones away, but to get them out and tweet. A quick show of hands shows that quite a few members of the audience are active on Twitter (about a third, I think).


We’re looking at the scale of social media, including the fact that Facebook has 1.1 billion users and 500 million tweets sent ever day (which Gemma claims she only makes a small contribution to, but I’m not so sure!). Only Linkedin seems to be accessed from desktops and most other social networks are predominantly accessed from mobile devices.


Gemma describes social media as being a key part of the future of work, citing Linda Gratton (The Shift) in changes to demography (the 100-year life will become common), Five generations , Globalisation, The hole in the middle (where we end up with a hole in the middle of the labour market between highly-paid jobs and low-paid jobs), and Technology. Gemma reinforces the pace of technological change by asking how many of us learned to type on a typewriter and how many remember carbon copy paper, now a ‘blast from the past’. The world in which we live and work has changed and HR needs to change the way we work. If we really want to embrace social media, we need to get more comfortable with taking risks. There are lots of myths about social media, but companies cannot control social media and we need to accept that people will make mistakes. Gemma says that social media is the biggest shift since the Industrial Revolution and can be used to recruit, for learning, for engagement, to build relationships, collaborate and innovate. Social media and technology can change everything; changing communication lines, flattening organisational structures, opening up innovation.


Gemma looks at the ‘adoption curve’, reminding us that we will always have a range from early adopters to laggards. We have a quick game of social media bingo (to looks at how many social networks we use) before talking about #NZLEAD as a brilliant example of how to learn and engage through social media. Gemma now talking about the work of Lev Vygotsky about how we learn, and talks about the power of Twitter as a learning tool. Gemma describes Twitter as her ‘more knowledgeable other’.


Gemma shared her personal social media journey, joining Twitter about 2.5 years ago and setting up a blog after reading other people’s blogs. Gemma describes how she wanted to meet people IRL (in real life) and then came along to #ConnectinghrMCR (Connecting HR Manchester) and met some fabulous people. ¬†Gemma talks about the power of blogging, saying that she wouldn’t necessarily advise everybody to go out and set up a blog but that she has benefited massively from writing on her own blog).


Gemma shares some suggestions of people to follow on Twitter:


And some blogs to follow:


Gemma talked about how much she has gained from social media, and used our crowdsourced book, Humane Resourced, as a great example of how social media changes everything and enables a crowdourced book to be published for a total investment of USD 16. Humane Resourced available is available to buy on Kindle.


Gemma’s rules: Be you, Dive in, Share stuff.



(This blog post was live-blogged during the session. I’ve sone my best to capture, in an unbiased way, some of the key points made by the speaker.)

In true social style, Gemma has written a blog post about her keynote and Helen Amery has curated a Storify from the session:



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