The past years have been a wild ride for people ops and human resources leaders. The pandemic and The Great Resignation have caused a lot of shifts in company culture, as people rethink their priorities and many have moved on from their previous companies. But organizations have realized that they need to step up their game to attract talent, increase retention, drive innovation, and keep up with competitors. More than ever, HR influencers are speaking up, and companies can significantly benefit from listening to thought leaders who understand the importance of people and company cultures in 2022.
Exploring different perspectives may seem easy, since almost anyone can share their opinions with the world, but we face the opposite effect. There’s more content out there than we can consume, and the multitude of voices makes it harder to choose the ones you’ll follow attentively.
The good news is that we’ve got you covered in 2022 (and in the years to come). We’ve created a list of 22 people ops & HR influencers to follow in 2022 to help you expand your knowledge, stay current on industry trends, and navigate changes towards the (new) future of work.
Our list results from direct input from people ops & HR professionals and keeping track of the content produced by hundreds of professionals over the past several years. We wanted to ensure that all chosen influencers are somehow involved in the day-to-day reality of HR & people operations. They are practitioners, consultants, and topic authorities.
HR & people ops are our passions here at Leapsome. Curating content like HR influencers for our readers is a great pleasure — here on the blog, on our social channels, and via the People Over Perks newsletter, Slack community, and podcast.
You may find familiar HR influencers and a few more “niche” specialists on the list. All these experts are worth following, but of course, the choice is yours. We’ll tell you what you need to know before hitting the “follow” button.
Top 22 People Ops & HR influencers to follow in 2022
Here are the HR influencers we’ve curated, in alphabetical order:
Adam Karpiak spent eight years working his way from recruiter to VP of recruiting. He then opened his own company and now supports businesses as a full-service recruiting firm. Adam also helps job seekers stand out during the job search process and choose the right work environments for them.
Adam has amassed over 300,000 followers on LinkedIn with his thoughts of how to treat talent, retain employees, and approach culture topics like salary transparency. He has been featured on sites like Bloomberg News, HR Dive, Inc., and Business Insider.
Ben Eubanks is an HR analyst, author, and podcaster, working as Chief Research Officer at Lighthouse Research & Advisory — a human capital management analysis company.
Ben’s experience encompasses recruiting, benefits, training, employee relations, and executive coaching in various company models (including nonprofit and small organizations).
Ben is the co-founder of industry event HRevolution, runs a blog and podcast, and works in HR certification development with his program HR Summer School.
Claude Silver has had the very special role of Chief Heart Officer at VaynerMedia since 2014. Claude is a self-defined “emotional optimist, coach, manager, and mentor.”
The Chief Heart Officer believes that part of the role is to hold space for employees and help them find answers. Claude shares content on having courageous conversations at work, showing appreciation, empowering your team, and leading from the heart.
“My role is to infuse the agency with empathy. It’s my purpose. Culture is a texture. It’s a vibe. A feel. And culture is alive. It’s definitely not one or two-dimensional — I think culture is very three-dimensional. Culture is, in a nutshell, the heartbeat for me.”
Eventbrite’s Chief Human Resources Officer, David Hanrahan, has worked as an HR leader in companies like Zendesk, Twitter, Shell, and Electronic Arts for the past two decades.
His experience includes hypergrowth hiring, job architecture, rewards strategy and execution, engagement analysis and action, and attrition reduction.
David believes in fostering a collaborative team culture and “building strong HR teams and innovative talent practices in rapid environments.” On social media, the expert talks about mental health, leadership, benefits, and the future of work.
Learn more about David’s experience as Eventbrite’s CHRO on episode 8 of our podcast, People Over Perks.
Jackye is the VP of Talent Acquisition and DEI (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion) at Textio. She is a fierce DEI advocate and has several years of experience across various industries. Jackye knows all about finding outstanding talent and advocating for her people.
Jackye hosts the show “But First Coffee...”, where she and her guests discuss interesting HR trends over coffee.
A keynote speaker and best-selling author, Jacob Morgan is the founder of Future of Work University. He focuses on the areas of leadership, employee experience, and — you’ve guessed it right — the future of work.
Jacob is involved in thought leadership programs and works as an advisor and author. He’s very active on social media, sharing insights and curated content. Jacob also runs a newsletter, The Future of Work, and has written for Forbes and The Harvard Business Review.
Jeanne Meister has a background in corporate learning and describes herself as a “workplace visionary and activist.” Jeanne is a partner in an HR advisory and research firm and co-author of “The Future Workplace Experience: 10 Rules For Mastering Disruption in Recruiting and Engaging Employees.”
On social media, Jeanne shares thoughts and curated content on new work trends and the future of work. The specialist also founded the Future Workplace Network, promoting discussions among C-level executives and VPs of Fortune 500 organizations. Future Workplace Network also has an academy where HR leaders can take courses on topics like using AI in HR, people analytics, and employee experience.
Jeanne has written thought leadership articles for Financial Times, Fast Company, Forbes, Harvard Business Review, HR Executive, SHRM, and more.
Jennifer Kim is a startup advisor, leadership coach, and diversity and inclusion strategist. The influencer also runs the Inclusion At Work resource for diversity and inclusion on Twitter and a course for talent acquisition in startups.
The self-described “dot connector” helps startups embrace people ops as a critical part of their business. If you follow Jennifer, expect to see content on recruiting and hiring, people ops, startups, career development, and inclusion at work.
An experienced speaker and panelist, Jessica Zwaan is the Chief Operating Officer at Whereby and a firm believer in a humane and robust company culture as a competitive advantage.
The COO believes in placing DEI (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion) at the core of organizations, and not only as an “add-on.” We enjoyed connecting with Jessica on our podcast People Over Perks, where we discussed her time as a VP of People and how she approaches people ops as a product.
On her LinkedIn page, Jessica shares her own experiences in people ops and leadership, curated content, and events.
Jodi-Ann Burey is an acclaimed speaker and writer who talks about authenticity, intersectionality, and company culture to her 38,000+ LinkedIn followers and is all about disrupting business as usual.
Her TEDx Talk “The Myth of Bringing Your Full, Authentic Self to Work” has garnered 1.4 million views and inspired employers and employees to rethink how they build a company culture.
Jodi-Ann’s work has been featured on sites like The Muse and HBR. She has also been a guest on Brené Brown’s podcast “Dare To Lead.” When she isn’t discussing work, she also talks about dealing with cancer on her podcast “Black Cancer.”
Joey V. Price
Joey V. Price is the founder and CEO of Jumpstart:HR. The company offers HR outsourcing and consulting for startups and small businesses. Joey also hosts the “Business, Life, and Coffee” podcast and recently launched a new podcast, “While We Were Working,” with co-host Sommer Ketron. “While We Were Working” is a show for HR and people leaders that focuses on topics relevant in human resources today.
A seasoned HR professional with hands-on experience in multiple organizations, Joey advocates for businesses to “translate their goal into high ROI through happily engaged staff members.” He also worked as an adjunct professor at New York’s Stony Brook University.
Johnny C. Taylor, Jr.
Johnny C. Taylor, Jr. is the President and CEO of SHRM — the Society for Human Resource Management. Before joining SHRM in 2017, he held high-level roles in leadership and HR: Senior Vice President of Human Resources (2005-2007) and Group CEO (2007-2009) at IAC, and President & CEO at Thurgood Marshall College (2010-2017).
A member of several advisory boards, Johnny has testified before the US Congress on critical workforce issues like sexual harassment and paid leave. He’s also chair of the US President’s Advisory Board on HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities).
Johnny is also a lawyer and author of the weekly “Ask HR” column on USA Today. He recently authored a book titled “RESET: A Leader’s Guide to Work in an Age of Upheaval.” The expert is “an active volunteer for education, employment, and other social causes.” His social channels include insights into HR and leadership topics.
Kathleen Hogan is Microsoft’s Chief People Officer & EVP of Human Resources. She joined the company in 2003 as COO of Worldwide Sales; Kathleen moved to the role of CVP of Worldwide Services in 2009 and became Chief People Officer in 2015.
Her mission is to empower the company’s 217,000+ employees worldwide to achieve goals within “a culture that attracts and inspires the world’s most passionate talent.” The CPO loves working towards “a more diverse, inclusive environment where everyone can learn and thrive.”
Kathleen is a member of the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) board. As a breast cancer survivor, she also offers her perspective to the board of directors for the Puget Sound affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
On LinkedIn, Kathleen shares content that inspires her, reflections, and insights into the future of work and leadership. The CPO also shares episodes of the People Talk series, in which she talks to other HR and people ops leaders.
Kathryn Minshew is the CEO and Founder of The Muse, a job search, professional advancement, and career advice platform. The Muse serves over 75 million people yearly and also supports employers:
“For companies, we help them tell a more authentic, data-driven employer story, and showcase the unique employee experiences and values that make them special. Ultimately, the goal is to help both sides find the right fit.”
The CEO is passionate about career development and helps companies attract and retain talent. Kathryn is also a big supporter of strong company cultures. For example, The Muse’s employees can take their children to work, and the company created a group for diversity and inclusion initiatives.
Her book “The New Rules of Work” was a Wall Street Journal bestseller. Kathryn is also a podcast host and shares curated and original content on many workplace topics. Over 280,000 individuals follow her updates on LinkedIn.
Katie Burke has been HubSpot’s Chief People Officer since 2017. She is “passionate about all things diversity and inclusion, culture, and of course, Beyoncé.” The CPO believes in combining culture, innovation, leadership, and inclusivity to create a remarkable workplace experience.
Under Katie’s leadership, HubSpot became well-known for its unique workplace culture. Katie started the company’s diversity and inclusion activities, including an annual release of diversity data and initiatives to increase diversity in leadership. On LinkedIn and Twitter, she talks about the future of work, shares tips with candidates, offers leadership advice, and discusses diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts (and more).
Katie has also been busy contributing to Inc., where she discusses topics like work burnout, being a successful people leader, and performance management.
Lars Schmidt is working towards ”building a bridge to the next generation of HR.” He shares ideas about the future of work — which, as he reminds his audience, is happening now — on his social media accounts and as a podcast host, speaker, and author.
Lars wrote the bestseller “Redefining HR: Transforming People Teams to Drive Business Performance” and is a regular Fast Company contributor.
With over 20 years of industry experience, he’s the founder of Amplify, which helps companies and HR leaders navigate the new world of work with courses, a podcast, a book, and more. Lars has been included in lists of top influencers by HR Examiner, HuffPost, and LinkedIn.
Laurie Ruettimann is an author, speaker, and consultant with experience in HR and career management. Laurie is well-known for her podcast “Punk Rock HR,” with over 180 episodes on changing the way we approach human resources.
Laurie’s book “Betting on You: How to Put Yourself First and (Finally) Take Control of Your Career” helps employees advocate for themselves and build the careers they want. The book has been well-regarded as an essential read for “anyone seeking to improve their professional selves and attain that elusive ‘work-life balance.’”
You can also find Laurie leading courses that motivate people managers to improve employee engagement and company culture, manage conflicts as an employee, and master self-leadership.
Lily Zheng helps organizations approach DEI as an outcome that goes beyond one-time training.
Lily is a consultant, speaker, and author. Their LinkedIn posts go above and beyond to start a conversation about essential workplace topics, provide resources, and help reframe DEI at work.
Lily’s work as a DEI advocate has been featured on Forbes, CNBC, The New York Times, and Entrepreneur. Lily also wrote the book “Gender Ambiguity in the Workplace: Transgender and Gender-Diverse Discrimination” and will soon publish “DEI Deconstructed: Your No-Nonsense Guide to Doing the Work and Doing it Right.”
Madison Butler brings a much-needed perspective to HR & people ops. She’s the VP of Talent, People & Culture at Sourced Craft Cocktails, and advocates for HR and people ops professionals to challenge the status quo and genuinely address topics like race and gender.
The influencer is passionate about culture, talent development, employee retention, and radical inclusion. In her candid posts, she advocates for “mental health, removing the stigma around trauma, DEI, and the ability to be ‘human at work.’”
Madison facilitates conversations that, for many, are still hard to have. She has a podcast, “Bye Bye Binary,” and a career hub for the queer community. Madison’s latest project is the Black Speakers Collection, a group of 1,700+ Black speakers in 70+ disciplines. This collection has already garnered press from sites like Forbes and is making a real impact on diversifying speaking engagements across several industries, including HR.
Mark Stelzner is a seasoned HR professional who, in his own words, “spent his career fostering relationships through attention to detail, natural curiosity, and a self-deprecating sense of humor.”
Mark has been in the industry for 25+ years; for the past 16, he has led IA, an HR management consulting company advising senior executives. The expert has shared his thoughts on CNN, Forbes, NPB, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and other media outlets.
On LinkedIn and Twitter, Mark advises leaders and industry professionals on HR transformation, employee well-being, benefits, best practices, and more.
Mary Jantsch is the Head of Talent & Partner Success at Elpha, a startup devoted to helping women navigate careers in technology. Through her role at Elpha, Mary helps connect companies to source, hire, and keep more women at work.
The expert strongly believes in investing in culture, people, and processes from an organization’s very start. You’ll find candid insights and actionable advice on all things HR and people ops on her social channels.
Meghan M. Biro
Meghan M. Biro is the founder and CEO of Talent Culture, which offers HR and content consulting services. She is the host of “#WorkTrends,” a podcast and Twitter chat with HR industry news and discussions.
Meghan describes herself as a talent management and HR tech “brand strategist, analyst, digital catalyst, author, and speaker.” She regularly creates content on HR technology, entrepreneurship, and the future of work for Forbes, HuffPost, and other outlets.
Take a cue from these HR influencers!
Today we shared 22 HR influencers that will liven up your feed and give you food for thought throughout 2022. Whether you’re a HR/people ops practitioner or an HR tech advisor or enthusiast, these 22 HR influencers are worth the space on your feed.
👉 Follow us on LinkedIn and let us know if you have additional recommendations for this list.
We’d also love to have you over at People Over Perks, the Slack community for HR and people ops professionals from all over the world, where exciting conversations about the world of work are taking place every day.
🎙 And we also have a podcast where we interview people and culture leaders — some of them featured on this list.