Measuring Influence

Next week, as a part of the launch of the HRExaminer, we're going to release a ranked list of the Top 25 Online Influencers in HR. This list is completely generated by algorithm (think Google). The list ranks the Top 25 voices in HR based on their online footprint.

In the larger Top 100 project, we've been looking at the question of whether and how someone is influential in the HR Industry. As we've worked through the question of who is influential and who isn't, some interesting things came to light.

  • It's not really possible to remove all of the subjectivity from a human generated list. The Top 100 methodology requires that each influencer be referenced in by five other people in the interview pool. That winnows down the subjectivity but doesn't eradicate it.
  • People who are influential tend to work in industry jobs (vendors, consultants, trade shows, publications, online communities, associations).
  • People who do the real work of HR and Recruiting are generally too busy and focused to have broad industry impact (there are some who can transcend the limitation but they are exceptions)
  • People who have great influence online are rarely seen as influential offline.

So, we figured out how to measure the influence of people whose work is online.

The process involves spidering a huge segment of HR related content on the web and then sifting and sorting until it's clear whose material is most influential.

There are three elements of the ranking which are combined to make a final score.

  • Reach: This score (a percentile) is an estimate of the number of people who see the material. It's a measure of the eyeballs or audience size.
  • Resonance: This is a measure of the number of inbound links, mentions, blogroll listings, community participation
  • Relevance: This score describes the fit of the persons work with a cloud of keywords

The three scores are combined to make the final ranking.

We are going to do a similar analysis every other month. Here are the categories:

  • December: Top 25 Digital Influencers in HR
  • February: Top 25 Digital Influencers in Recruiting
  • April: Top 25 Digital Influencers in Talent MAnagement
  • June: Top 25 Digital Influencers In Learning and OD
  • August: Top 25 Digital Influencers in Comp and Benefits
  • October: Top 25 Digital Influencers in Third Party Recruiting

HRExaminer is in a partnership with a company that does this sort of analysis for a living. The tool is especially useful for identifying influential members of tightly defined communities (power engineers in Pittsburgh). Once you have the list, you can start to think about building community and communications around the people whose voice is most likely to be heard.

One thing is worth mentioning.

Social media is full of early adopters. The community of early adopters is really distinct from mainstream culture. As the rest of the world gets the hang of the new communications tools, the list will change rapidly. We're going to update each of the six segments once a year (and maybe a little more often).

The Top 25 Digital HR Influencers list will be released on Thursday the 17th at Noon Eastern.

Views: 79

Comment by Maureen Sharib on December 11, 2009 at 3:04pm
That sounds really interesting (and powerful).


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