As Tom Haverford from TV comedy Parks and Recreation once proclaimed; “Podcasts. There are a million of them, and they’re all amazing.”
Everyone’s new favourite obsession is now biting into a huge chunk of the daily media diet, with podcasts available on topics as wide-ranging as sport, finance, food…and HR? Are you tapped into the burgeoning ecosystem of HR podcasts?
Though they’re not topping the iTunes charts, there’s a thriving and engaged HR and business community offering the lonely commuter a fascinating glimpse into the lives of CEOs at the world’s best companies and thought leaders devoted to solving the most pressing problems for the world’s workforce.
In the US, podcast listening grew 23 per cent between 2015 and 2016. 21 per cent of Americans ages 12 and up have listened to a podcast in the past month – and monthly podcast listenership has increased 75 per cent since 2013.
Though Australia hasn’t quite reached such heights, the numbers are growing; 2.9 million Australians have listened to a podcast in the last 12 months.
And the rise in podcast consumption over the past two years correlates with an even larger shift in how podcasts are being consumed. In 2014, most podcasts were being listened to on a computer.
In 2016, 64 per cent of podcasts are being listened to on a smartphone or tablet.
We’re listening to podcasts on the go, opening up many more opportunities to consume our favourite shows in the car, at the gym, on our morning train commute, or on the bus home after a long day. Whether you’re already a devotee, or keen to see what all the fuss is about, here are eight podcasts any savvy HR professional should be subscribed to:
Express from the US, CNN’s Boss Files takes listeners behind the scenes – and beyond the headlines, speaking with some of the biggest names in global business. Host Poppy Harlow, a CNN weekend newscaster, tends to focus her attention on leaders with concerns that go beyond the bottom line. For example, recent episodes include an interview with YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki titled: ‘The Internet ‘could use a lot more women’’ and with Deloitte’s first female CEO, Cathy Engelbert.
From Harvard Business Review, a weekly podcast featuring leading thinkers in business and management. A recent episode entitled ‘Break Out of Your Managerial Bubble’, offers practical steps top managers can make to ask better questions, improve the flow of information, and more clearly see what matters within their organisation. With cream of the crop hosts, from CEOs to research leaders to authors – to internationally acclaimed cellist Yo-Yo Ma (talking about successful collaboration), this smart pod distills the most urgent conundrums of the modern workplace.
Hosted by New York Times bestselling author of Employee Engagement 2.0, this show speaks to the hottest leadership experts – five days a week. Each episode ends with the guest challenging listeners to get 1 percent better by trying out a specific idea from the show.
If you’re looking to hear from a straight shooter who eschews niceties for brutal honesty, this is the workplace podcast for you. HR and recruiting analyst Lars Olson asks his guests: “What’s the best part of your job?” The complex responses illuminate what people seek from work, what drives them and helps you understand what diverse people truly value about their job.
A treasure trove of great tips, and news about the HR industry, clocking in at 2-3 episodes per month. This is a good one for the inside scoop on the latest in workforce technology.
The CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development) is a European HR association with over 130,000 members. This monthly podcast on all things HR covers topics from trends in family-friendly workplaces, to mountains of original research on things like barriers to leadership. A distinctly British take on HR, with broadly applicable lessons.
A few honourable mentions:
While not specifically catered to HR, these have lessons for professionals nonetheless. We recommend Invisibilia, an NPR podcast that fuses the stories of real people with the latest psychological and scientific research to explore the invisible guiding forces that control basic human behaviour. For example, did you know you’re likely breathing at the same pace as your colleagues during a meeting? Startup gives a behind-the-scenes glimpse into starting a business, while The Broad Experience offers a forum for frank, difficult discussions on topics like showing emotion at the office and workplace diversity.
Looking to gain insight and inspiration in real life?
learn some transformative techniques at AHRI’s Inclusion and Diversity conferences in Canberra on 26 October and Melbourne on 2 November.