What is HR Talking About? An Analysis.

What is HR talking about?

It’s an interesting question, and one that is difficult to answer, and that you can approach from different perspectives.

You can answer it from the perspective of popularity, by viewing the topics that are most talked about in HR overall.
Popularity and whether a topic is trending
are two perspectives for determining the
hot topics in HR. It's best, however to
combine the two perspectives.

Here is a list of the most-popular topics; we compiled it using a feature within HRmarketer software that measures and analyzes HR’s online “conversations” (social media, blog posts and online articles):

Most-Popular Topics
Human resource
Big data
Health care
Employee engagement
Health insurance
Talent management
HR professional
Hiring manager
Cloud computing
Leadership development

What we see is that highly popular topics tend to be very broad. After all, “human resource” is No. 1. Topics don’t get any more broad.

But think about popularity. There is a factor it doesn’t consider: time. Applied to the above list, we can’t tell if the topics are more or less popular than they were earlier.

So, how can we consider time? By approaching what HR is talking about from the perspective of what’s trending. The most-trending topics are the ones whose popularity is rising the fastest. Here is our HRmarketer-generated list:

Most-Trending Topics
Talent acquisition and development
Disability engagement
Mobile talent 
Executive succession planning
Effective managers
Job pricing
Strategic talent acquisition
Harrison Assessment
Managing workplace stress
Flexible spending accounts

(A quick note about the most-trending-topics list: it changes daily based on what’s being published and shared on social day to day.)

The topics in this list are much more specific, and none of them are on the most-popular list. As it turns out, this is something we continually see. While some of these topics may be popular or may become popular, a topic doesn’t have to be popular to become highly trending (in fact, it probably isn’t that popular).

This makes sense when you think about it. To use a music example, let’s say we started the HRmarketer Band, and began tweeting about it, blogging about it, etc. Well, it would be much easier for it to become highly trending than it would be for, say, Britney Spears. It wouldn’t be hard for the HRmarketer Band’s popularity to increase by 10 times, but it sure would for Britney Spears’. And our band would be terrible and would never be highly popular (after all, we’re marketers, not musicians — even though our CEO, Mark Willaman, does occasionally strum a guitar in our office).

OK, so back to our question: what is HR talking about? What we’ve seen is that it’s useful to know the most-popular topics and it’s useful to know the most-trending topics, but each list has limitations. Now let’s combine the two perspectives. Here is a look at the top 10 trending topics among the 100 most-popular topics:

Top 10 Trending From 100 Most Popular
Effective managers
HR recruiting
Social media recruiting
Affordable Care Act
Human capital
LinkedIn recruiting
Talent acquisition
Social recruiting
Unemployment rate
Job growth

Interesting. A few points:

So, what do you do with this information? Well, it’s great to know what’s going on in the industry, but here are two concrete examples.

1. Write content about and/or mentioning these topics (especially if they relate to your business) and tweet and comment about them, for you’re going to get more visibility and engagement.

2. Discover which influencers are writing and discussing these topics (you can do this via HRmarketer software), and develop valuable relationships with them. While the popular topics are hot, the influencers who are effectively communicating about them will also be hot. By having them write content for you or contribute quotes to your content, participate in your webinars, or simply share your content with their extensive social networks, you’ll get more visibility.

To succeed at inbound and content marketing, it’s highly important to be able to know what HR is talking about. And to know that, you need to know what’s popular and what’s trending, and most importantly, what’s both popular and trending.


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Post written by HRmarketer / Fisher VISTA team member Eric Anderson.

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