Our new home #hrtctalk

Hi Community!

We’ve been living across at www.thehrtc.com for several months now, and it’s only just come to our attention we never let followers here know!

Let’s continue the conversation there and also shape the future of work together on

Linked In
Twitter #hrtctalk
Email:  ibelong@thehrtc.com


Vanessa Wiltshire – Founder & Chief Inspiration Officer
Scott Brown – Leader
Juhi King – HR Technology
Natasha Brewster – Strategy & Diversity
Phoebe Vertigan – Communications 
Emily Slaney – Events
Pauline Tarrant – Social Media for Collaboration 


let’s co-create the future

A prequel to the future of work

CommunityBack in late 2011 there was a mid-career HR Advisor who was very ambitious, but had made a series of uninformed, if not poor career choices over the course of 8 years.

She had a strong passion for social justice, and apart from one stint in a large operations maintenance company had chosen to pursue a HR career in the not for profit sector. Well, for her, it was the second biggest mistake she could have made. As when she wanted to return to the commercial sector to move in to “strategic HR” no one would look at her. No one. This person had contracted and freelanced, mostly because she was never settled in her choice of career. Alot of the time, she hated it. One recruiter even went so far as to say she had ruined her career because she had “moved around so much”.

Now Linked In has 87% adoption in the Australian business community today, but back then, it had attained nowhere near that level of critical mass. This person hated formal networking, so she decided to start an informal, relaxed community where people could connect over drinks, and possibly match themselves to opportunities in the hidden job market. At the time, she didn’t know a whole lot about social media and had never heard the terms crowdsourcing or collaboration. But that was all about to change.

What she did, over a period of 12 months, was gather groups of people together who wanted to network informally. She did this, using Linked In as the driving tool. In time she realized there was a formula to building a community brand online, so she applied it to Twitter and Facebook. Before long word, of mouth was starting to draw more people in, and she pulled in inspiring, if not inspiring speakers to discuss the future of business and how it is predicted to impact the People function.

In March 2014, the dots were connected, and she realized that the online community had welcomed over 3,000 people from countries as diverse as Sweden, Mexico, Colombia, The USA, New Zealand, Canada, Cyprus, the UK and of course, Australia. And more importantly, the “in person” community, which is where “the real magic happens, had hosted over 500 people in two Australian cities. In less than a year. What this person realized, that in some form or another, everyone in the network was collaborating and designing together, what future leadership and business practices need to look like to support broader sociological and technological change.

This is recognition of collective wisdom in its rawest form and the journey is very much evolving because the community is still just 16 months old.

I would like to add that the person in the story is me. And the organisation is called the HR Talent Community. But in time, I hope that The HRTC will become a case study as to how organisations can use use social technology to collaborate, connect, and unlock the latent wisdom of crowds.

Vanessa Wiltshire
Founder & Head of People, Passion & Purpose
e: ibelong@thehrtc.com


It was always going to be inevitable


We have a new website. But before you head there, have you made The Switch? It’s the fastest way to stay on top of HR Talent Community events and inside happenings, before you hear it from someone else.


Now come and visit us at www.thehrtc.comYou’re welcome to stay with us as you like.

*The HRTC will NEVER share or sell your details. And, we will only email you when we have something cool to say. You’re also welcome to unsubscribe at any time. It will be sad and we wonder why you’d want to, but it’s very easy to do.

Inpsired Leadership

InspireWhat does it mean to you to be inspired?

What kinds of things inspire you? Your partner? Your kids? A hobby? Does your work inspire you? What are some words that come to mind when you feel inspired? Excited? Passionate? Driven? Motivated? Committed? How about happy?

How far are you prepared to go for a cause bigger than yourself when you feel inspired? (Can you see the links I’m drawing between leadership and workforce engagement)?

Let me tell you what being inspired means to me.

The HR Talent Community inspires me. Back in March 2012, when I started hosting informal and infrequent lunches and drinks gatherings for HR professionals in Melbourne, we attracted six people to our first meet up. Although people weren’t directly souring any “opportunities” (this has now changed) they seemed to be having a good time. So I kept on going, even though some reputable people in the sector told me it would “fizzle out”.

As more people came, I became hooked on the idea of the power of community to achieve outcomes that couldn’t be attained alone. It was a rocky start, convincing people that Melbourne needed yet another networking group, especially for HR practitioners. But the concept took root when we started exploring concepts no one else seemed to be. As one person said “you’re discussing the things I want to hear, but aren’t searchable on Google. ”And when the brand differentiated itself through values like authenticity, innovation and fun, things just took off.

Fast forward to February 2014. I absolutely LOVE what The HRTC has done for hundreds of people in this city. It’s connected them in ways social media platforms can’t. It’s created real relationships, that have enabled people to share, to learn and grow. And to have fun. That is very important in business.

Inspiring your people is THE ONLY path to sustainable engagement as it connects the heart and mind. Free gym memberships, more money, volunteer days and recognition programs, yes, all play a part. But nothing creates a powerful and united workforce more than inspiring people around a powerful, common goal. You might like to watch this to get an idea.

The HR Talent Community inspires its people by harnessing the power of social media to build a face to face community, where people of all career stages can belong, share and grow together. It may sound namby pamby, but let me tell you, it’s resonating with over two thousand people in Australia, New Zealand, North America and the UK. And we’re growing. Very fast.

You see, I believe the HR Talent Community represents the next generation of leadership – inspire-ship. Not supervising, managing, co-ordinating, or even leading people, but inspiring them. This is what drives engagement – getting people to go “above and beyond” for a cause quite frankly, they believe in and feel a part of. It’s amazing what people will do, even voluntarily, when they feel connected and understood. And, as they say, it’s not rocket science. So why aren’t more of us doing it?

Vanessa Wiltshire
Founder & Head of People, Passion and Purpose
The HR Talent Community

February event (Melbourne)


The HR Talent Community – Tue 18 February

Register here

Relationships are the name of the game
Speed Networking

If you’re new to networking, or simply mixing with people you don’t know, this is a fabulous opportunity to come and meet some of Melbourne’s most talented HR professionals and people leaders. Although our core focus is on HR, we are open to business professionals and people leaders at all levels. One of our strategic aims over the next 12-24 months is to drive further integration of HR within the business, and it makes sense to invite anyone who is interested in getting the best out of people and teams along. Plus, more people equals more fun! And the more people you meet, the wider your network becomes. So when it’s time to look for your next opportunity the hidden jobs market is easier to access and the number of opportunities available to you multiplies……..

What is speed networking?

You’ve all heard of speed dating, and the concept is no different, except you’ll be meeting potential business contacts, not potential dates. Networking is not something that comes naturally to most people and holding a highly structured event where you have the chance to escape a conversation without having to make a polite run for the bathroom can be very appealing.

At this event, you will have an opportunity to meet up to 40 like-minded HR practitioners and people leaders in a fun and authentic session. You don’t have to put on a face; you just have to come along be interested in having up to 20 x 7 minute conversations. The rest of the evening will be left for free-style mingling when you’re more relaxed and want to revisit conversations and people of interest. Win!

We are an Australian business community


Australia 2

Our point of difference is that we harness the power of social media to build engaged and sustained business relationships – in the flesh. In this day and age, who would have thought it was possible 😉 We also have a bit of fun at the same time.

Our Linked In community groups boast a combined total of over 900 high caliber HR professionals and people leaders. Yet Twitter is our fastest growing segment, which plays host to an international audience of almost 500 @hrtalentgroup and continues to grow, daily. Further, we’ve hosted over 400 guests at our monthly Melbourne events since April 2013.

We figure we’ve attracted and engaged over 1,500 energized leaders from Melbourne and across the world in just 12 months. And that is just the beginning.

The HRTC holds monthly face to face events in Melbourne, Australia and soon, Perth and Sydney. There’s even a special “surprise” community coming in 2014. And yes, our website is almost ready.


December 18 2013
The era of HR 4.0

HR 4
Last night
 The HR Talent Community had its first Christmas party. Nothing exceptional about that, except the community has experienced over 1500% growth in its first year and is leading the conversation, globally, around the changes that are happening in business and how that affects the HR model. All of this was done by harnessing the power of social media to build face to face relationships. In 2013 who would have thought this would have succeeded?  [insert sarcasm].

To set the record straight, I’m against the label “HR” but it’s attracting our target demographic quite nicely – mid career HR professionals, mostly Gen X – who are aspiring to become tomorrow’s C-Leaders. It’s also attracting CEO’s and general people leaders which I feel very excited about. All of these people are are passionate, ambitious and care deeply about the Human Factor in business. They also have an underlying, often unconscious, belief that the current HRBP framework is not working and is preventing us from claiming the seat at the table we so rightfully deserve.

Getting back to last night. After a glass of wine, I felt relaxed enough to get up to share my thoughts on the era of HR 4.0. Now as far as I know, and I did Google it, this is a new concept (?) as most people believe, we’re still in the age of HR 2.0. Was I drunk or did I skip something?

No because this is how I see it.

The early days of HR, meaning from the early days of embryonic commerce to the 1980’s, HR wasn’t even about personnel – it was payroll. Then in the 80′s, the personnel model was born, and this is where HR really got its name. They started offering core services such as contracts, policies, recruitment, training, and the big one – assisting managers to manage their people problems. This was the era of HR 2.0, and lasted well in to the 00′s. After this, the  HR business partnering model made its debut. This was HR’s first attempt at strategically partnering with the business. And there were mixed results. I cannot tell you how many conversations I’ve had with HR practitioners over the past 12 months, both in Australia and across the world that sound something like this:

the business just doesn’t get HR

we can do so much for the business but they don’t want to listen

“We deserve a seat at the table!” [frustration, head beating, brick walls]

 We have to mop up the problems THEY create”

“I’m always fighting fires” 

Notice the external blame and martyrdom factor? Well, it’s time to STOP IT. NOW.

If the business doesn’t see HR’s value then HR is not providing value. Bottom line. It doesn’t matter if we think we are or know that our strategic “value add” could improve productivity and performance, if only managers just let us!

The problem is the business doesn’t agree and they’re not buying in. And, as sales and marketing 101 would teach you – if you’re not delivering what the market is asking for, you don’t have a customer. Therefore HR is either not listening or not speaking the language of business. Or both. I understand all of this sounds pretty harsh as we have all built very  successful careers within the current paradigm. Further, it’s what our identity and self esteem is tied up in, so I understand this feels challenging, even offensive. But the sooner we step back and accept the business partnering model is flawed, the sooner we can move forward and become even BETTER!

Welcome to the HR 4.0 era – complete integration in to the business, with a total focus on capability. Nothing else. Things like compliance and employee relations should never have become our responsibility in the first place because it muddies the water and ultimately damages relationships. Nothing sours a great business relationship faster than helping a manager increase the productivity and engagement of his or her workforce, only to make that person redundant the next day. Or help his or her manager performance manage him or her out of the business. Yeah, ouch. Ever wonder where my Twitter handle @TwofacedHRlady came from?

So let’s look at some facts:

1. Today businesses are operating in a digitally enabled, disruptive and uncertain economy that is influenced heavily by mobile and social.

2. Companies are struggling to manage their people within these unfamiliar parameters. And they need help! As people specialists, it’s our job to step up to the plate and provide solutions. We need to help our businesses build the right kind capability in their people, so they can retain their competitive advantage. This era is so highly disruptive, that we may not even see the disruption until it’s too late.

HR 4.0 means integrating within (not partnering with) organisations to help them become more socially enabled inside and out, more entrepreneurial, nimble and agile, to respond to changing market forces before the start-up operating from a rented garage kills your market share. It also means guiding leaders to manage the challenges of harnessing multi-generational, multi skilled and virtual work forces that are no longer defined by 9-5.

No matter how good we feel the HR value proposition is right now, by and large, HR is not recognized as a strategic partner. This is because we are not truly listening, and too busy focusing on compliance.In short, we’re too busy pushing our own agenda, whatever that may be. We need to understand what is happening “out there” so we can help our leaders build capability “in here”.

So instead of blaming managers for not recognizing our “true value”, it’s time to redefine the concept of HR, dismantle ourselves and  fully integrate ourselves in to the business as capability leaders. Sounds scary, right? As I’m talking about remodeling an entire profession. It’s time to leave managers get on with the task of managing their people, supported by a “managers mentoring team” – i.e. employee  relations, so we can get on with ours. And claim our seat at the table.

One of the best things I ever did was to quit my six figure  ”HR 3.0″ career and take some time out to consider what it was I really wanted from life. In that time I worked with all manner of companies as a start-up and social media specialist. I might add none of these companies had a HR department. It was through this experience I came to understand what the business is truly seeking from its people specialists. 1. To help them create cohesive, trust rich teams so people feel good about coming to work. 2. To help them build better relationships. 3. To help them coach their people to build on their strengths (and manage weaknesses). 4. And to help them deal with change. Successfully. 5. To help them compete in the digital and social economy. It’s a frightening world, even if you’re rock solid with a great brand. Because you never know when the next nineteen year old will tear up your industry.

Just about every HR practitioner I know says they’re commercially minded. But I’m not sure they can be until they fully experience what it’s like not to work in HR. It’s only 12 months post my HR 3.0 career that I understand why everyone hates performance reviews, why remuneration reviews are mostly useless or why so many L&D programs don’t have sustained benefit. Or indeed, why everyone hates HR. Inspiring people to perform (note, you cannot motivate, lead or manage them) is the foundation of sustainable business. Oh, and a good finance department. Nothing feels better than being an instrument to facilitate great things to happen.

Close your eyes and imagine it. Don’t you want to become that trusted strategic advisor that I know you are?

To discover more about the HR 4.0 era and how you can be a part of it, I invite you to The HR Talent Community’s monthly events in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth. If you’re located elsewhere, or to simply satiate your appetite between times, we invite you to join our Google+ Community (coming) where the debate and inspiration continues. It’s here you’ll truly feel part of something larger and it’s where the positive transformation occurs. 

The smartest approach to HR we’ve ever seen

THIS LITERALLY made us say “wow” out loud in the office.

“People are everything in my business but we don’t have a HR department. Instead, we have three departments – the talent agency, the culture club and G Force which is our training and knowledge base for the company.” Bruce Poon Tip, Owner G Adventures

As interviewed by The Collective (current edition p.21) This is the most intelligent thing thing I’ve read in the last decade. Go out & snap up a copy of The Collective today.
Let’s start the transformation. together The future is here already. #hrtalentcommunity 

Tweet with us @hrtalentgroup
Facebook us www.facebook.com/hrtalentcommunity 
Connect with us here and here
Email us thehrtc@gmail.com
Come to one of our monthly events here in Melbourne or Perth

Survival of the Fittest

By Vanessa Wiltshire, Founder & Director HR Talent Community
Tweet: @twofacedHRlady #OzHR

YESTERDAY in a meeting, I heard an interesting new phrase. “Adaptive career” was thrown across the table, almost without emphasis by Chris Stevens, CEO of workforce and career strategy start-up Talent Flow.  Because to him this way of work is already second nature. You get that with futurists.

But to me it was new and that’s when the light bulb went off.

Yes, an adaptive career, that’s what I have! No longer am I a brave (stupid) risk-taker trying to create a way of work to suit myself and the needs of my clients, partners and associates, it actually has a name. Furthermore the adaptive career is emerging trend with the new era of collaborative consumption and digital transformation. I felt excited.

The difference between the traditional entrepreneur and the emerging adaptive careerist is that the latter have MULTIPLE JOBS in different types of careers AT ONCE. These people have a diverse set of skills, honed over a number of years, often gained through an even larger number of roles. What luck that I chose to contract for the majority of my 20′s and early 30′s. Instead of people frowning at my so called “instability” they’re now congratulating me because I had the initiative to “move around.” From grass roots to medium sized and large, international not for profits, top tier consulting firms, engineering multinationals, educational institutions, iconic sporting associations, State government and recruitment agencies, I’ve seen quite a bit. And I might add, I’ve noticed that people management practices are mostly the same wherever you go – in need of a lot of work.

Rachel Botsman, social innovator, author and speaker is a global pioneer in the concept ofcollaborative consumption and the sharing economy which is a catalyst for my consideration of the “adaptive career”. Rachel writes:

A new economic model has arrived. Collaborative consumption describes the shift in consumer values from ownership to access. Together, entire communities and cities around the world are using network technologies to do more with less by renting, lending, swapping, bartering, gifting and sharing products on a scale never before possible. Collaborative consumption is transforming business, consumerism and the way we live for a more fulfilling and sustainable quality of life.” www.collaborativeconsumption.com

If as Rachel argues, and many influential thinkers, writers and leaders now believe, we are witnessing a seismic shift from George W Bush’s “ownership society” to one of integration, sharing and community. The boundaries between silo-ed organisations, governments and borders are blurring. The digital and knowledge economies demand hyper speed agility and adaptability, not just from organisations, but from people. Therefore it makes sense that the concept of working for multiple parties in different capacities, at the same time, will become a mainstream trend.

Imagine company restructures that don’t involve mass job losses, but the shifting of talent from one function to another. Imagine companies that invest their dollars re-skilling their people rather than shelling out for hundreds, if not thousands of severance packages and outplacement programs. Not to mention the dollars saved in talent acquisition getting the “right” people in.  Can I also add as a side note, the majority of these people will eventually leave the organisation or become redundant in time – so the ridiculous cycle is continued. Imagine the shift in employee morale, productivity, performance and engagement if we invested in our people to contribute to the organisation in multiple ways, not just through one defined “job.”

Imagine then, the highly engaged, competitive and sustainable organisation of the future.

The number one skills workers will require, regardless of their chosen career or level within it in the next decade is AGILITY. And by this, I mean a portfolio of skills to meet requirements of not just one organisation but multiple, not just one job but many.

It’s now important to reflect on how we are preparing the next generation for work. I read an article recently that Generation Z can expect to have over five different careers and over 25 different jobs over their lifetimes. Hmm. I’ve had three careers already and way more than 25 jobs if you count temping and contracting. I’m only 35 – and I’m not alone.

There is no such thing as a permanent job anymore; you’re only ever one redundancy away from benefits, one automation from career extinction. So, instead of preparing our children for five separate careers in succession, should we not teach them the importance of being able to juggle five different careers AT ONCE? I’m not talking about distinct unrelated careers but inter-related ones that can be switched between with relative ease and provide value to the other. And hey, if your child wants to be a vet, fashion designer and entrepreneur at the same time, why not?

At last count, I had six careers. Whilst it’s a juggling act with multiple stressors, I’ve never felt so free, grounded and focused. Many people comment on how relaxed I seem, which is surprising. But I feel very happy, so it must show. I’ve simply learnt to adapt and apply myself to the varying needs of my clients, partners and associates. That would be talent community builder, Director, HR leader, social media specialist and business development consultant.

Oh, can I add writer to the mix? That’s seven.

Make “The Switch” and talk about what really matters.

download (16)

Much has been said about the state of HR in Australia, and indeed the world.

The profession is changing. Some say it must change. So it’s time to join the discussion. It’s time to understand the HOWs and WHYs so can we continue  (or indeed start) to deliver people solutions that truly (matter) add value.

Sounds a little controversial, right? Welcome to the HRTC.

Yesterday our inaugural newsletter “The Switch” was delivered to a hungry fan base of HR specialists and people leaders across Melbourne.

In time, we hope these monthly updates will become an anticipated staple in your inbox – something that gets opened and shared every time.


Because we are talking about the things that really matter, we push, prod and provoke. We are talking about the skills you need in today’s workplace that will make you very successful indeed.

In our digital society, disruption and change are the only constants. And we’re only going to see more of this. It is our goal for “The Switch” to represent this change, this “brave new world” of HR. We want to keep you up to date on the latest conversations and innovations, not just in Australia, but around the world.

To read our first copy of The Switch click here.

Thank you for your support. 🙂

Change is coming

1. The HR Talent Community website is coming in late 2013.

2. So are our digital updates. If you’d like to feel part of the HRTC crowd, email hrtalentcommunity <at> gmail <dot> com

3. Oh, and so are our exciting skills & ideas based development programs. This is our “big offering” for 2014. They’ll be further reaching than Melbourne, so if you’re not a local HR practitioner or people manager don’t feel you’re missing out……..

4. Stay tuned……..

Speaking opportunities, development programs & general inquiries to Vanessa at the email above. All communications (inc PR & media) queries to Stephanie at the same.