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Today marks our first time hosting the Carnival of HR, and we're excited to bring you a diverse roundup of blogs from talent management experts around the world. For our Carnival theme, we wanted to expand upon a question asked by CEO Adam Miller at our annual conference this year: "How can you reach your full potential—and help others reach theirs?"

As those in the industry know, human resources is more than filling open requisitions and managing bennies. The profession can and should be about creating an impactful and meaningful experience for your company's most valuable asset—the employees. And the secret to providing such an experience lies in empowering (and pushing) people to become their best selves.

The blog posts below touch on how to empower the workforce through a myriad of ways—from fostering passion on the job to providing radical flexibility to optimizing your recruiting efforts. Thanks to all of the bloggers who participated!

Does Meaning Really Matter at Work?

Julie Winkle Giulioni, author of Help Them Grow or Watch Them Go, shared a post exploring the value of purpose at work. Since most of us aren't finding the cure to cancer, inventing new technologies or creating world peace, "meaning" may seem abstract and unattainable. But as Julie highlights, there is meaning in every kind of work—you just need to seek it out. She offers seven strategies to root out the significance and importance of your 9-5 existence, and encourages leaders to create a culture of meaning.

Follow Julie on Twitter @Julie_WG.

David Richter, marketing manager at Octopus HR, also advocated for finding purpose at work in his piece on four ways to empower the workforce. While technology has enabled us to work more effectively, he notes that machines alone won't bring out the best in your company or employees—it's also important to define your values, recruit the right people, share knowledge and facilitate flexibility.

Follow David on Twitter @DavidERichter.

The New 9-to-5 is No 9-to-5

On the topic of flexibility at work, it's crucial to think about the potential of contractors and freelancers in addition to full-time employees. The "gig economy" continues to grow, and companies need to adapt their workforce strategies accordingly. Ryan Bullard, Client Executive at freelancer platform Work Market, submitted a post on how to effectively build an on-demand workforce. He covers how independent workers can fill your skills gaps, and also how your company can train and support contractors with the right learning programs and technology.

Follow Ryan on Twitter @RyanWBullard.

Top Talent Requires Fine-Tuned Recruiting

How do you find the right people—whether they're freelancers or full-time? The team at Greenhouse shared a post on how to optimize your recruiting process to source top talent better and faster. The best place to start is by focusing on quality over quantity—instead of measuring which channel sources the most candidates, look at which channel send the most hires or rejections. It's also important to continually seek ways to improve the candidate experience.

Follow Greenhouse on Twitter @Greenhouse.

As the Meshworking team points out, part of ensuring a great candidate experience is optimizing for mobile. Their blog post explores Googles' recent algorithm change, which rewards mobile-friendly sites with higher rankings, and the importance of responsive web design in recruitment marketing.

Follow Meshworking on Twitter @Meshworking.

Provide Opportunities for Growth

Even the best recruiting strategies have some hiccups—but whether you hire a good or bad employee, it's equally important to invest in their growth. How do you retain top talent and help sub-par hires succeed? Suzanne Lucas, founding blogger at Evil HR Lady, shared her post on how to empower every employee to progress in their careers and their lives.

Follow Suzanne on Twitter @RealEvilHRLady

Balancing Employee and Company Needs

In his submission, HR pro Ian Clive focuses on the question of how to balance employee and company needs when it comes to power. Is it possible to help employees reach their full potential without compromising the organization's goals? Yes, but only with true commitment to employee potential and trust as a key value.

Follow Ian on Twitter @IanClive.

The Power of an Open API

Last but not least, technology offers a huge opportunity for empowerment—but right now, access to new vendors and technologies for HR departments is often locked behind a (significant) paywall. Sarah Brennan, founder of Accelir, submitted a post on the potential for an open API, like the newly launched Cornerstone Edge, to change this industry standard. Not to toot our own horn, but we're equally excited about the potential for this product as the stepping stone for a truly open, competitive marketplace that nourishes new and innovative HR technologies. 

Follow Sarah on Twitter @ImSoSarah.

Photo: Creative Commons