21 Stone Cold Truths For Moving Your HR Career Forward…Starting Today!

By Alan Collins

Below are some stone cold truths I’ve captured as I’ve traveled through tons of SHRM conferences, read numerous HR blogs and had countless coffee chats and debates over the last year.

These ideas are NOT politically correct.

They do NOT sugarcoat the truth.

They do NOT conceal the realities of what it takes to really succeed in HR.

These are the real deal…the STONE COLD TRUTHS, if you will…about what it takes to really succeed in HR.

I tried to keep the list to 21, but I couldn’t. 

So I added a few more bonus truths at the end. 

And finally, as you’ll see, I’m big fan of Dave Ulrich.




“A newly graduated student excitedly called me and said she had HR job offers at Google and Amazon and wanted my counsel.

I quickly said, “Take one! Get a job and move on!”

She laughed, then asked, “Which one?”

My counsel was to look at her personal strengths and passions and to take the job that best fits her personal identity.

Amazon’s success comes from rigorous discipline and getting products delivered on time.

Google’s success is from innovation and tolerance of ambiguity.

After a day of thinking, she took the Amazon job because she felt the structured environment would work better for her.

The stone cold truth:  When faced with a choice of jobs, pick the one that best matches your HR skills and passions.  

–Dave Ulrich, from his article 5 Career Tips For HR Students



“If you’re a candidate for your dream HR job and the hiring manager spends 45 minutes talking about himself, the company or his Harley — let him.  He’s going to come out of the interview saying you’re a great candidate.”

–Kris Dunn, CHRO at Kinetix, who blogs at HRCapitalist.com
and author of the HR best seller,  The 9 Faces of HR.



“To get ahead in HR, you must continually make yourself relevant.  

“Don’t get trapped only learning what only applies to your organization.  Stay ahead of the curve by getting outside of your company and comfort zone regularly…to learn new ideas, meet new people working on interesting, leading edge projects and to build relationships.

Go to training sessions on topics like finance, business development and marketing that make you uncomfortable — especially if you’re the only HR person there!  All of this will help you become a better business partner and prepare you for a future of uncertainty in HR.”

–Theo Killion, Retired CEO, Zale and former SVP Human Resources at Macy’s, Lane Bryant and Tommy Hilfiger — spoken at a Future HR Leaders Seminar in Chicago


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HR Phone Interviews – Successfully Turn Them into Second Interviews with this Quick & Handy Cheat Sheet!

by Alan Collins

Got an HR phone interview coming up?

Congratulations!  Nothing beats the feeling of getting an interview invitation, except perhaps getting a job offer.

However, you want to make sure you’re ready to crush it.  And that means scheduling the call at your convenience so you can be prepared.

Below is a great tool that covers some of the key strategies that will help you turn phone interviews into second interviews…while avoiding the mistakes many HR job seekers make.  These are essential tips you definitely don’t want to overlook.

To have them ready when you need them, DOWNLOAD the “one page cheat sheet” below. 

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Three Words That Can Drive Your Success in HR This Year…

By Alan Collins

I want to tell you about one of the most empowering actions you can take this year to advance your career in HR.

I personally take this action every year in January.  But it can be done anytime.

And without exception, when I do it, a huge personal and career transformation occurs for me as a result.

It can happen for YOU as well.

What it involves is this…

Creating an empowering THEME
for yourself.  

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Got An HR Interview Coming Up? Here Are 7 Things Your Next Employer Is Looking For…

by Alan Collins

Question: Alan, I’ve got an HR interview coming up next week. While I’ve interviewed lots of candidates as an HR Director, I haven’t interviewed myself for an HR job in five years.

I’m excited, but I’m nervous and apprehensive as hell now that I’m on the other side of the table.

What’s your take on what employers are really looking for these days?
–Sarah A.   


Answer:  Hi Sarah, before I answer your question, let’s first talk about your apprehension.

Everyone gets nervous before interviews.

It doesn’t matter if you have twenty-years of experience in HR and have interviewed hundreds of job candidates yourself as a recruiter…when you flip over to that other side of the table as an interviewee, it can be stressful.

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7 HR Career Regrets You Must Bury Before This Year Ends….

By Alan Collins

Everyone has regrets.

Especially when it comes to our careers in HR.

We all make mistakes we wish we could take back.

We all have things we wish we could do over.

We all have things we wish we could we could have done differently.

However, as this year comes to a close, it’s time to do a reset for next year.

And to do that here are seven career regrets you absolutely need to bury and let go of right now in 2019 — before the new year starts. 

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Your HR Resume — 10 Quick Tips For Making It Stand Out From Your Competition

by Alan Collins

Want to get a quick jump start on landing your next HR position in 2020?

Here’s how…

Start NOW getting your HR resume
updated, polished up and ready to go.

Here’s why.

Most people take November and December off.

They think: “Hey, it’s the holidays. I’ve got parties, family gatherings, turkey to consume and lots of shopping to do.”

“I don’t need to deal with my HR resume right now… and besides, hiring won’t happen until January anyway.”

Don’t fall into this trap.

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The Sudden Departure of McDonald’s CHRO:  4 Brutally Tough Lessons for HR Leaders…

by Alan Collins

This article is NOT pleasant.

It is brutally candid.

And absolutely critical for you to read if you currently are (or aspire to be) a top HR leader…whether you agree with it or not!

With that said, let’s get started.

As everyone on the planet knows by now, McDonald’s recently fired its CEO.  And shortly thereafter, they announced the sudden departure of the CHRO that reported to him. 


Very few people outside of McDonald’s saw these two moves coming.

Before getting into the HR leadership lessons we can all learn from this episode, here’s how the Wall Street Journal reported this story:

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