Blog of the week: Corn on the job

Corn on the job

This is another American blog, but that shouldn’t be a problem – the author’s enthusiasm for benefits knows no international boundaries! Blogger Rich DeMatteo is an HR professional, full of enthusiasm and, as he says himself, opinion.

Don’t be scared away by the photos of him wearing a baseball cap back to front – he’s smarter than he looks. And being relatively new to HR means he is au fait with the social media tools more established practitioners so often sneer at. He has an active readership – his peer group, for whom publishing responses to blogs is second nature. So there’s a real ‘community’ feel to the blog.

Perhaps the clearest indication that DeMatteo is from Generation Y comes in the topics he covers. He writes about subjects that wouldn’t have occurred to most HR professionals until relatively recently – for instance, when did you last read a piece on the pros and cons of dressing smartly when working from home? Yet topics are relevant, and important to the ambitious HR professional keen to do more than dish out advice on employment law.

Rather than just assuming he knows what his readers want to hear about, DeMatteo asks them to suggest topics – so it’s a two-way flow of interest, enthusiasm and information. ‘Chapters’ include ‘personal branding’, ‘interview tips’ and ‘networking’. Content is practical in tone – I particularly liked ‘5 networking tips for shy people’ and ‘the importance of networking to interns’.

DeMatteo’s style is conversational, which makes for an engaging, accessible blog, and he makes good use of a variety of media. His ‘Weekend YouTube update’, although infrequently updated (no pun intended) uses video clips to highlight HR and recruitment points. See ‘Ben Stiller, Ryan Seacrest, Twitter and you’.

Social media and technology are well covered, too. Topics include ‘The 5 iPhone apps every job seeker needs’ and ‘explaining Twitter on your resume’.

DeMatteo writes with a very light touch and a welcome, although never forced, sense of humour. Here’s a man who loves his work and isn’t ashamed to say so. That can only be a good thing for his readers.


Employee factor

Quirky Canadian tweeter Judy McLeish claims to be ‘passionate about building an engaged workforce’. As ’employee factor’, her tweets are cheery and thought-provoking. And they’re not the ‘I had porridge’ for breakfast variety, either, but a solid source of recommended reading and viewing.

McLeish’s interests are obviously broad, if her tweets are anything to go by. On the day of reviewing, topics covered included employee engagement case studies, a ‘thought for the day’-type quote from Starbucks chief executive Howard Schultz, and suggestions on how to write a manager’s manifesto. Well worth following.

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