Networking is an integral part of any thriving industry, and it always has been. The ability and willingness to collectively share information, resources, data and learning is vital to the growth of not only individuals in their upward career trajectory, but for business success as a whole.
Where once upon a time, professionals in their own niches would gather once or twice a year at a conference, or local like-minded entrepreneurs would meet at a central location. This is still commonplace and will never be replaced completely, but we have become much more familiar (and some would argue, more willing to participate) in a different type of networking – online.
Globalisation and diversification of workplaces – no matter the field – has opened the door to opportunities to collaborate, support and mentor regardless of geographical barriers, time zones or funding constraints. Facebook has become the go-to online forum for groups because of the ease of use, widespread accessibility and high functionality. In 2018, it was estimated that more than *1.4 billion Facebook users (of over 2.2 billion global users) check groups every month – that is massive networking!
One such group that has had incredible success is Human Resource Management, set up in 2007 by Egyptian sales training and HR expert, Rami Youssef. Rami has 12 years’ experience as a HR and training manager in multinational organisations, and over 25 years of pharmaceutical experience in the Middle East in sales, training, and HR. He now specialises in mentoring, training and developing personnel in the HR arena.
Back in 2007, Rami noticed a real need in the industry to bring people together to better understand the role of HR and procedures that make for effective workplace management.
“First I aimed to serve employees and HR workers in my home country Egypt and started with a personal initiative to serve the local community,” he said.
“Then I discovered there is a global need to understand more about HR, and so the group expanded to become a global service centre that includes more than 40K individualS from all the world.”
At the time of writing, Rami’s group had close to 43,000 members and this is increasing monthly by an average of 1,000 members. Each month, his moderators wade through around 1,500 posts ranging in topics such as job postings, situational support and Q&A on HR-related topics.
Both HR and non-HR members are permitted to the group and it does not matter at what level each career is at. The aim is simply to share knowledge, support each member and offer peer mentoring opportunities on a widespread, diverse space.
Rami believes that personal interaction and learning from other people’s experience is ultimately more valuable than study alone. While you can read about various issues and solutions quite easily, hearing another professional’s experience in context and how they worked through the situation offers a multi-faceted, human-oriented perspective that often resonates much deeper.
“Sharing and dissemination of knowledge are more powerful than stagnant book knowledge, especially among the younger generation. We have an Egyptian proverb that says; ‘If you are seeking knowledge about the side effects of a drug, ask the patient and do not ask the doctor.’ So, I would say that if you want to know more about HR, seek a HR professional instead of reading your textbook,” Rami said.
Ultimately, Rami would like to see his group move beyond Facebook to a global organisation that focuses on mentoring and supporting HR personnel around the globe.
If you would like to join Human Resource Management on Facebook, simply search within the app and request to join. www.facebook.com/groups/HRM4leaders/