The Double Life We Lead at the Intersection of HR and Advertising

TSC-venn-diagram-lizzieThere is this semi-permanent fixation on the world of advertising. The rise of Mad Men didn’t help, but it didn’t start there. Advertising professionals are expected to be and known for being creative, witty, and irreverent. You can often choose from a deck of vices a couple of times and be spot on.

Ad folks have been typecast as Democrats with mild drinking problems and part-time smoking habits. Who knows if the personality chicken came before the media stereotype egg here … all I can say is, in my experience, it’s at least partially true.

But the most exaggerated version of ad people is unpleasant: Chain-smoking, arrogant, absent, and unprofessional.

I would never claim that my wild and crazy two years of experience directly working with HR pros gives me the ability to put everyone in a neat little compartmentalized package of personality.

And anyway, I wouldn’t classify the subgroup of social, blogging HR pros that I work with as the norm.

I see a common thread at events like HR Tech and SHRM National Conference, however. That thread is that HR pros get into hardcore party mode at the events.

Here at The Starr Conspiracy, we have theories on why:

  1. HR pros are supposed to be buttoned-up professional in the 9 to 5. They have to set examples. They don’t even really get to cut loose at the company’s holiday party every year. So when they get in a safe HR-only environment, they get half naked and take full advantage of open bars.
  2. HR pros have been conditioned like Derek Zoolander to cut loose when they hear “The Wobble.” It’s possible, guys. Don’t kill my dream.
  3. Our ad-life misbehavior rubs off on everyone at the events. You can blame us for the shit you don’t remember. We forgive you.

But really, the most extreme stereotype of HR people is that they cut loose on the conference circuit. It’s like HR people, librarians and school principals are kind of in the same category in that they don’t get a venue to be crazy until they’re all together.

So, if you’re familiar with The Starr Conspiracy at all, it should be obvious why we set up shop right in the intersection of the two.

And, without a rigorously documented culture of principles, every one of our agents seems to fit the mold in different ways: Professional, intellectually curious, and sharp mixed in a blender with irreverence, shot glasses and creativity.

Oh, and, we’re hiring.