Key Influencer

Key Influencer

Posted on 01. May, 2009 by in Blog

By John Sumser

These days, I am trying to figure out who the influencers are in our industry, I’m trying to come up with a list of 100. Then, I’m interviewing the people on the list.

The whole question of who is influential is pretty interesting.

Some people go to a lot of conferences and exert their influence through pure networking. For these folks, influence and connection are inextricably linked. They are the prime movers of the status quo. Their influence depends on stability and a modest degree of change. They are well liked and see the world as a place where being liked is an important goal.

Another group of people spend a lot of time giving talks at conferences and publishing their work online. Many of these self-promoters exert an interesting influence on the industry. Often, they are a mile wide and an inch deep as the saying goes. The object of their involvement is, pure and simple, to build their consulting business or to increase sales for their company.

There’s a third group of people who, for some reason, have the industry at heart. They don’t really work for the money (though many of them do pretty well). They find real challenge in improving the way things get done, thought about and perceived.

The last group of influencers are a little harder to notice. They are customers and practitioners who make the whole thing go around. /content/view/11/26″>cialis soft tabs vs cialis The other three groups depend on validation, in one form or another from users and customers.

I’m looking /content/view/11/26″>cialis soft tabs vs cialis to figure out who the 100 most influential people are across all four groups.

When I say “industry”, I mean all of Recruiting, Staffing, HR, HCM and HRTech.

I’d be happy to get your suggestions if I haven’t already asked. If you have a moment, I’d love to see your list of the top 5 most influential people in the industry.

It’s amazing how different people’s perceptions are. As I have evaluated the terrain, I have had a number of conversations with people who wouldn’t recognize the names on your list. You wouldn’t recognize theirs. Our industry is vast.

So far, I’ve done about 15 of the interviews. Each of the people is at least somewhat charismatic, well informed and really fun to spend an hour with. I’m getting the hang of interviewing and enjoying the process.

The other day, I made a decision.

I’ve started to focus heavily on the women in the group. I really want to understand why the leadership of our industry is predominantly male while the trench level workers are predominantly female. Of all the places in the world, our business is the last place you’d expect to see that sort of inequity.

So, I’m ‘diggin into it.

Who do you think are the industry leaders?

If you enjoyed this conversation, consider joining our community. It’s even better inside.

Tags: , , ,

74 Responses to “Key Influencer”

  1. Sheila Wyatt

    06. May, 2009

    Peter Block: wrote the Empowered Manager, among other books.

    David Ulrich

  2. Twitted by johnsumser

    06. May, 2009

    [...] This post was Twitted by johnsumser – [...]

  3. laurie ruettimann

    06. May, 2009

    I can’t go anywhere without being reminded of Maren Hogan’s awesome influence in our community.

  4. Naomi Bloom

    06. May, 2009

    In software, I would add Eric Delafortrie of NorthgateArinso, Joel Summers who built Oracle EBS HCM into a competitive product, Row Henson long-time PeopleSoft product evangelist and now Oracle Fellow, Marc Sabbagh who is the head of R&D at Meta4, Jan Fretwell who has done more HR software implementations than nearly anyone else, Zena Brand who brought ADP’s GlobalView to market, more when I’m not totally exhausted by HRO World.

  5. Cade Krueger

    07. May, 2009

    Hey John,

    This is some pretty impressive stuff that you are doing. It seems like there is a lot of confusion in HR as far as who is a “big deal”. Also really interesting point about female/male difference in the industry. I never thought of that.

    Hey John look at:

    I don’t think they get what TalentSeekr is. Summit thinks it just broadcasts out to social networks like Facebook. Thoughts?

  6. Sarang

    09. May, 2009

    In Sourcing I would think of following as top guys…

    Shally Steckerl
    Maureen Sharib

    Also, Rithesh Nair, Tim O’connor, Jim Stroud (SC), Suzy Tonini, Michael Notaro, Jeremy Langhans…. There can be many more but these are the ones immediately strike me off…..

  7. [...] Research John Sumser recently posted a call for nominations for the Recruiting industry’s key influencers. He calls out a few specific [...]

  8. Kelly Dingee

    13. May, 2009

    Am flattered to see my name made the comments here – but am going to put forth my own nominations:

    Susan Kang Nam – Power Networker if there ever was one. And gracious too. Her ability to make everyone her friend is a unique gift.

    Women with Influence? Two Ladies top my list here. Laura Stoker – Sourcing Guru and Expert Recruiting Trainer. Jessica Lee – Forward thinking Senior HR Manager and Editor of FistfulofTalent. I have watched her growth over the last year and it has been incredible. Her “tell it like it is” attitude is refreshing and her ability to generate enough content for two blogs is inspiring. I also look for Karen Mattonen’s commentary, she doesn’t tow the party line and offers expert HR and recruiting insight as well as sharing information on a regular basis.

    Heart of the Industry? Mark Stelzner – Job Angels – enough said.

    HR Pro & Blogger I like to read and who is on Twitter every a.m. with me? Lisa Rosendahl.

    Kris Dunn is certainly on everyone’s list and he strikes a balance between HR & Recruiting expertise. He works in key industries and runs 3 blogs as well as additional publishing responsibilities. Someone you should be reading if not sitting in on all his upcoming speaking engagements.

    ERE has my interest once again – I really like their new community format. Solid and gives all recruiters a voice with their new blog set-up.

    We can put tons and tons of names on here, but monthly I meet amazing recruiters who are in the trenches and don’t have time to access all these guru’s. Getting the time to sit down with them and see what they do to keep the job fresh and stay ahead of the competition is always interesting.

  9. Ben Gotkin

    14. May, 2009

    A bit late with this, but a few from the corporate recruiting world, in no particular order:

    - Gary Cluff (MITRE)
    - Rob McIntosh (Aventure)
    - Michael McNeal (Intuit)
    - Marvin Smith (Microsoft)
    - Thomas Becker (Comsys)

  10. [...] Key Influencer [...]

  11. Traci Wicks

    18. May, 2009

    thanks for the plug Sean!
    Here’s mine ( short but extremely impactful group of folks)

    Michael McNeal- Imagining the impossible and making it happen ( The Innovator)

    Carol Mahoney- Believing in her people to make it happen ( The Grower)

    Rob Lake- Military Leader in the operations Art Of War
    ( The Executor)

  12. Joshua Letourneau

    20. May, 2009

    Influence is truly a relative term. Ironically, searching “define:influence” with Google shows the first definition as, “a power to affect persons or events especially power based on prestige etc.” Ah, “power and prestige” . . . so this begs the question: Just how does someone become ‘powerful’ and ‘prestigious’ in the Recruitosphere?

    What time must one take from other things extremely important to us to become more powerful or prestigious? The last time I missed a dinner with my Fiance because I was tweeting with my Crackberry, it didn’t go over well. And you know what? She was right and I get it – it was a moment of once again realizing what is truly important in life.

    So what is the true opportunity cost? . . . and more importantly, how do you convert the assumed power and prestige of ‘influence’ to cash if you’re a real recruiter, meaning one of us who actually do the job (internal or external) that so many of the ‘Influencers’ simply speculate and opine about?

    For example, many of the Special Forces operators on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan won’t be attending military balls and officer galas today – nope, they’re camouflaging up, knocking down doors, and doing the job that top brass likes to think they actually understand. And in that sense, are the operators actually doing the job at the ground level any less influential than those dictating policy from the air-conditioned, highly secure, Command-and-Control center? Of course they are – in fact, they’re more ‘influential’ because they’re actually moving, shaking, and doing the job.

    I’ve noticed that the more we attempt to influence the outside world (or market) through tweeting, blogging, chatting, etc., the less we influence our own. For example, I have pulled back from the Recruitosphere and seen my billings double, despite the recessionary economy. The time I spent blogging and tweeting is now spent volunteering for associations within my niche and/or on the phone with decision makers. And I’d be remiss not to mention that many of the most fanatical social media-centric recruiters are now hunting for new contracts again (ironically, using social media as their primary resource, thereby perpetuating the cacophonous beating of the marketing drums).

    So does pulling back and reinvesting in our current job, role, or vertical market make me, or any one of us, ‘less influential’? Perhaps the answer is “yes” when viewed through the Recruitosphere lens, but what about through the eyes of our Clients and Candidates? In their eyes, many of us have become more influential.

    The only thing I’d ask about this worthwhile endeavor is to use a discerning eye when it comes to the politics of what you’re doing. We don’t need another Mayoral election in our space – they accomplish nothing except give some of us another ‘badge of recognition’ to add to our blogs or email signatures.

    By the way, is it ok if I send the electoral committee a gift of $25 or less? ;) (P.S. I don’t beat marketing drums, but play a trumpet instead, so as I understand our market, I’m ineligible for such a powerful and prestigious distinction.) :) Of course, I’m just kidding, and I do wish you the best of luck with this promotion.

  13. Sung Kim

    02. Jun, 2009

    Hi John,

    You know better than to ask a loaded question like this. (just kidding). You really will get a thousand (or more) different answers when asking this. I do want to say that personally I detest the “self-promoters”. These are the people who think way to highly of themselves because they’ve “successfully” run their own desk years ago and now feel they can train and teach us.

    I’ve sat in on countless webinars of these people and besides the fact that they are neither charismatic nor enlightened, they also seem to not truly be connected with how recruiting is today (not in the 90′s or seven or eight years ago but right now). They are what I call “Ivory Tower Dwellers”.

    But going back to your article, as always I enjoyed your work and look forward to seeing more. It seems that in our industry, there are no more heroes. Only self-promoters who find it more important to see how many times their names have been Googled than to actually connect with their colleagues in the industry. That’s kind of sad actually but I’m not worried about them. I keep my eye on another prize.

    Thanks much,

    Sung N. Kim
    Managing Partner
    Servane Cross, Inc.

  14. Michael Homula

    23. Jun, 2009

    Rob – thank you for mentioning my name in this thread. I am humbled and honored that you added me to your list.

    As for me – my top 5:

    John Sumser
    Jason Davis
    David Manaster
    Jeff Hunter
    Gerry Crispin

    Kris Dunn – newer voice but his work at FOT is huge
    Susan Burns
    Dan Hilbert
    John Sullivan
    Kevin Wheeler
    Danny Cahill
    Peter Leffkowitz
    Bill Radin
    Shally Steckerl

  15. Dave Opton

    30. Jun, 2009


    Knowing me I might well have missed it along the way, but if no one has yet put forth Pete Weddle’s name, I would add it to your list.


  16. Polly Pearson

    07. Jul, 2009

    Not sure if the list is baked yet — people who make an impression on my thoughts in this space include:

    - Laurie Ruettimann, PunkRockHR
    - Dan Schawbel, Personal Branding Author
    - Lindsey Pollak, Career Advice Author; Gen Y & Workplace

    Polly Pearson

  17. [...] Influence and the Project – Key Influencers (an introduction to the project) – Keys to Influence (How Influence works) – Recruiting and HR [...]

  18. John Lenotte

    14. Jul, 2009

    There are some great names mentioned already. I want to include some additional talent from New England: Glen Gutmacher, Dave Gentes, Bob Hale and Bryan Oglesby. Dave and Bryan are local Staffing Managers who do the work day in and day out. And are well respected.

  19. Michael Goldberg

    20. Jul, 2009

    Several Key influencers in my life have helped me grow as a Recruiting/Sourcing/Leader person. They are

    Michael Homula
    Susan Burns
    Kevin Wheeler
    Steve Fogarty
    Chris Hoyt
    Craig Fisher
    Jenny DeVaughn
    Albert Chew (my Chief People Officer)

    I look forward to growing this list as a community of influencers is very important as we all look to continue our own development through the new recruiting world. Great list John!

  20. [...] | Konstantinos Kasekas – 2K I was just reading John Sumser’s posting regarding “Key Influencers”. John has taken it upon himself to try and identify the Top 100 most influential recruiters in the [...]

  21. [...] Key Influencer [...]

  22. [...] Key Influencer [...]

  23. [...] you’re following along and have questions or suggestions, I am all ears. I am calling everyone who gets suggested and attempting to figure out the depths of their influence. More suggestions are a good thing. The [...]

  24. [...] Influence and the Project – Key Influencers (an introduction to the project) – Keys to Influence (How Influence works) – Recruiting and HR [...]