PIC POV: HR Isn’t a Joke!

*Part of our micro blogging series where we share our point of view on certain topics. Today Sarah Williams and Chris Ponder II tackle anonymous accounts, HR, bashtagging and indecent behavior on SM*

Sarah Williams-

When I started writing my blog 2 years ago, I chose to write under a pen name because my employer was uncomfortable with it. As I started engaging and befriending people, I felt guilty that many of them didn’t know my real identity. So as soon as it was safe for me to retire the pen name, I did – because my goal was to sincerely engage with others.

I get that not everyone shares this goal. Some people use the anonymity of social media as an excuse to be a jerkface and say negative, hateful, rude, ignorant, inflammatory things they would never have the balls courage to say to a person’s face. I can’t stop that and I wouldn’t waste my time trying.

But when it happens among so-called professionals, it bothers me just a little bit more.

First of all, who has time for that? I can barely maintain all the accounts I have now, yet alone create additional accounts just to say mean things without real consequence. I would rather invest my time in something more positive and meaningful … More importantly, our profession takes enough hits and heat without us bashing and bucking at ourselves. Our value is questioned, our function is criticized and our impact marginalized. Constant snarky commentary about our profession and the people in it only causes division and confusion.

I enjoy jokes and sarcasm as much as the next person. However, when clean fun turns dirty and hurtful then it’s time to stop. It’s time to do a new thing. And I’m proud to be associated and aligned with a team that’s committed to knowing better, doing better and being better for the HR Profession.

Chris Ponder II-

Through this PIC POV series, you now have had three viewpoints of anonymous Twitter handles, in particular the infamous Johnny Jobs (@HR_Said_What), and the impact it can play not only on the human resources profession, but people in general.

I will tell you I agree with all three of my fellow PICers in what they have brought forth:

  • The behavior is disruptive, disrespectful, and inappropriate
  • Enabling the behavior is not acceptable
  • We are working to integrate SM into our profession, but we “knowingly” steer people away through disrespectful messages
  • Taking hits at our fellow HR professionals is not COOL


I was in attendance at HR Florida and saw the impact Johnny Jobs had on the conference – both internally (SM team/presenters) and externally (attendees). It was great to see conference attendees who were on Twitter start defending back. People were not going to put up with the rude comments.

Most people might say the less attention you provide this person, the better because this is what they want and they will eventually go away. I, on the other hand, relate that same statement to instances where someone in an organization blatantly makes racist remarks or acts out inappropriate behaviors. Would we simply ignore this behavior in an organization and hope it goes away? One could say the person was doing it just to get attention, right?

I know the defense perhaps with the situation above is that it is two totally different situations. In my world, it is not. I could care less if since the statements Johnny Jobs put out there are on SM, it is less controllable, and we cannot shut it down. To that, I may not be able to shut it down, but I can sure try. And if I cannot shut it down (not as of yet), I believe it is greatly important to let people in the HR profession or people as a whole know we do not feel this is tolerable and does not demonstrate the powerful, positive impact SM can play.

Wrapping up this PIC POV series (well, you might get a few more people who add their thoughts in individually), I want to throw this out to all HR pros and people in general who are exploring the world of SM:

Poor behavior, inappropriate statements, and complete lapse of decency to people in general does not get thrown out simply because you are on SM or even better, trying to make a funny. We are here to learn, lift and build each other up, and support/build a profession which still needs guidance. Please do know instances such as Johnny Jobs are the one offs, but as you see from myself, my fellow PICers, and my friend Bill Boorman, we are not putting up with it!

Let’s continue to grow the HR profession and if you want some real friends on SM, check out all the great contributors here on Performance I Create or if you want to discuss some more great players, give us a shout and we can connect you! 


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