It started over beers.
Two years ago, consultant Lars
Schmidt and Ambrosia Vertesi, then an
HR leader at Hootsuite, were hanging
out at the South by Southwest festival,
a collection of film, interactive media
and music events in Austin, Texas. They
were talking about how networking with
top practitioners at industry events had
boosted their careers and how they could
extend that advantage to people who
couldn’t afford to go to big conferences.
They knew that the software industry
had innovated rapidly through open-source sharing—which is a techie way of
saying that workers informally swapped
information, ideas, resources and best
practices for free online so that they could
build on what others had learned. Why
couldn’t the HR community do the same?
“Our goal is to accelerate education
and innovation in the field of HR at
scale,” says Schmidt, founder of Tysons,
Va.-based Amplify Talent. Already, HR
Open Source ( hros.co), the group he
formed with Vertesi, now vice president
of people with the Canadian data protection company Duo Security based in Vancouver, British Columbia, has attracted
2,800 members. More than two dozen
case studies have been posted on the
site, many from such notable companies
as Cisco, GoDaddy, Dell and Oracle.
“We’re trying to build something that’s
globally relevant,” he explains.
So an idea that drove the evolution of
the I T industry at hyperspeed is now helping human resource leaders to solve problems quickly and creatively.
In the tech world, taking an open-source approach may mean that programmers share computer code so they can
spend their time improving on existing
work rather than starting from scratch.
Open-source HR could be the next
big thing in human resources.
By Tamara Lytle