HR Heroes: The Top 51 Influencers in Human Resources | Atlas Certified

Apr 18, 2018

HR Heroes: The Top 51 Influencers in Human Resources | Atlas Certified


HR can be a very consuming career, and sometimes you just need to step back from putting out fires and filtering through applications to let yourself be inspired. Here at Atlas Certified, we like to lift our heads up from verifying employee certification every once in a while, to learn from the wide variety of amazing thought leaders and influencers in the Human Resources (HR) space.

So, for your inspiration, we’ve put together an exclusive list of the top 51 influencers in the field. These are people with thought-provoking insights into recruiting, talent management, HR tech, social media and more — and they all share their wisdom with us freely via their blogs and various other platforms.

Take a look to see which of our favorites have inspired you the most.

Lou Adler


1. Lou Adler

As the CEO of The Adler Group and author of Hire With Your Head, Lou is the expert on performance-based hiring, a process that helps recruiters pinpoint a candidate’s motivation and recruit passive talent.




2. Josh Bersin

Josh brings powerful insights on recruiting and talent management to his personal blog and to his work for Check out his recent thoughts on People Analytics and the elements of employee success.

Kathryn Minshew


3. Kathryn Minshew

As the CEO and co-founder of The Muse, Kathryn was instrumental in the development of the field of talent marketing, which focuses on helping people find careers they love. Her first book, The New Rules of Work, shows employers how to understand the rapidly changing world of business and HR.


4. Greg Savage

Australian recruiter Greg Savage heads all over the world to give master classes in recruiting because he’s simply the best; he’s been voted the most influential recruiter in Australia over the past 60 years. His blog, The Savage Truth, dispenses wisdom in 60-second video bursts designed to make you think — and learn.

Lars Schmidt


5. Lars Schmidt

As the founder of Amplify Talent and the knowledge-sharing community HROS, Lars appears on all sorts of lists of top influencers on Twitter. Check out his blog where he’s a powerful advocate for progressive HR.




6. Meghan M. Biro

Meghan is internationally recognized for her thoughts on talent management and HR tech, with her articles appearing everywhere from Forbes and SHRM to Entrepreneur and the Huffington Post. Head to TalentCulture, where she’s the CEO, to read some of her brilliant articles on recruitment and the future of work.


7. Laurie Ruettimann

When Laurie has something to say, it’s always worth reading. The founder of GlitchPath and LFR is a cutting-edge HR influencer whose blog takes on everything from work-life balance to leadership, and her Let’s Fix Work podcast is definitely worth the listen.


8. Matt Charney

Recruiting wiz Matt’s personal blog, Snark Attack, was picked by WordPress as one of its top 20 business blogs (no surprise there). He also blogs for SHRM on HR tech, social recruiting and other of-the-moment topics.

Stacy Donovan Zapar


9. Stacy Zapar

When it comes to sourcing outreach tips, Stacy is the guru we’ve all been waiting for. Check out her personal blog at, or head to Tenfold, the boutique recruiting consultancy, to soak up wisdom on talent recruitment.



10. Kris Dunn

As Chief HRO at Kinetix, Kris believes that maximizing employees’ motivation is the key to great results. As a provocative blogger at Fistful of Talent and the HR Capitalist, he gives us all a lot to think about recruiting.


11. Tim Sackett

While you’re checking out blog posts at Fistful of Talent, you may notice that Tim is the Chief Storyteller there. When he’s not busy with the Association of Talent Acquisition Professionals board, Tim is gaining popularity for being one of the funniest HR bloggers around.


12. Stephen O’Donnell

As the founder and MD at PC Evaluate in the United Kingdom, Stephen is a star of the recruitment world and a popular blogger in his own right. Visit his site, Ayeright, where his recruitment blogging is always worth reading.


13. Lazslo Bock

You’ve probably read Lazslo’s book Work Rules — and if you haven’t, put it on your list. As head of People Operations at Google, he spent over a decade focusing on how companies (should) treat people.


14. Jennifer McClure

Leadership, the future of work, creating a career you love — these are among Jennifer’s most popular topics as a keynote speaker. Check out her Unbridled Talent blog for insights and actionable content on HR, recruiting, talent acquisition and more.

Steve Boese


15. Steve Boese

Steve is keenly focused on HR tech and workplace trends, and as co-chair of the HR Technology Conference, he’s in a position to know what he’s talking about. Follow him at his blog, read his monthly column at Human Resource Executive Online, or listen to his podcast — all three are thought-provoking.


16. Lucy Adams

As a director at Firehouse and the founder of Disruptive HR, Lucy keeps shaking things up with practical, leadership-focused blog posts and podcasts on everything from HR’s credibility to books that will indeed disrupt the way you think about HR.

Marcus Buckingham


17. Marcus Buckingham

Between his Real World Talent Blog and his Love + Work research blog, Marcus keeps us all up to date on talent activation, leadership and more. You’ve probably read his articles in Harvard Business Review, and you’ll certainly want to see them arriving in your inbox each week.



18. Cathy Brown

At the Engage for Success blog, organization director Cathy Brown spells out practical, evidence-based advice to boost employee engagement. All of her content is driven by her passionate commitment to building happy, healthy workplaces.


19. Jason Buss

As the founder of the Recruiters Network and VP at MongoDB, Jacob has a lot of wisdom to bring to the topic of talent acquisition and recruiting. He offers real-world experience via his posts at Talent HQ and has been published everywhere from The Huffington Post to Bloomberg.


20. Alexander Kjerulf

We all want a happy workplace — and Alex is the person to help us achieve it. As the Chief Happiness Officer of Woohoo, Inc., Alex is well-known for his books, Happy Hour Is From 9 to 5 and Leading With Happiness, as well as his workshops around the world, his TED talks, and his blog.


21. Matt Alder

Matt focuses on recruitment and the way tech is changing it (hint: for the better, if you use it right). Check out his thoughts on social recruitment, content marketing and the digital revolution in HR at his blog at Metashift, or tune in to one of his podcasts during your daily commute.

Ryan O'Donnell


22. Ryan O’Donnell

As the founder and CEO of the EmployUS app, Ryan wants to harness the power of referrals in the hiring process, connecting those seeking jobs with employers through trusted referrals rather than recruiters. Keep up with this disruptive notion through Ryan’s articles at LinkedIn, where he blogs about trends in recruiting.


23. Marc Coleman

As the CEO of UNLEASH, formerly HR Tech World, Marc shares fascinating insights into the future of work. He has dispensed tons of wisdom about trends in HR and motivational inspiration on HRN’s blog and continues to do so with UNLEASH.


24. Marc Effron

As president of the Talent Strategy Group, Marc has a laser focus on talent development. This is something he concentrates on when writing for his company blog, as well as for Conference Board, Page Up and other HR outlets. Look for Mark’s insights in Talent Strategy Magazine, which he founded, and in his book, One Page Talent Management.


25. Jeanne Meister

Jeanne’s column for Forbes Magazine, 2020 Workplace: Preparing for the Future, is a must-read for anyone interested in the future of work, as is her most recent book, The Future Workplace Experience. Jeanne is also the founding partner of her HR advisory and research firm, Future Workplace.


26. Craig Fisher

As an employer branding strategist who has one foot in the HR world and one in the marketing world, Craig Fisher is among the top go-to guys on the future of work, HR tech and recruiting. You’ll find him as a keynote speaker at HR and social media conferences, and you can follow his insights on his blog, Fishdogs.

Jim Chou


27. Jim Chou

Yes, Jim comes out of the tech world — but that’s his superpower when it comes to HR. As CTO for WorkMarket, Jim is leveraging the latest in technology to address the needs of the liquid workforce in the new world of flexible work. In his hands, the pairing of the labor cloud with smart automation is poised to make a big difference for enterprise clients.


28. Jesse Lipson

Tech wiz Jesse Lipson has already upended the world of document sharing with ShareFile, and now he’s launching into the world of professional relationships with his SaaS start-up Real Magic. Keep an eye out for Levitate, a revolutionary tool designed to build and manage the professional relationships necessary for small and medium-sized business to thrive.

Sarah Brennan


29. Sara Brennan

Sarah stands right at the intersection of technology and work. Her research and industry insights fuel her work with clients all over the world, and you may have seen her in action on network news. Check out her thoughts at the HR Tech Blog and the Women of HR Blog (she was a founder of both — no surprise), as well as at LinkedIn.


30. Carmen Hudson

Take Carmen’s radio blog with you on your phone when you’re on the go so you can pick up her valuable insights on recruiting. Based on her long experience recruiting for Amazon, Yahoo and Starbucks, Carmen focuses on how to implement recruiting strategies in competitive environments and on limited budgets.


31. Kevin Grossman

Whether you’re listening to World of Work clips on the radio, via podcast, or reading the World of Work blog at TalentCulture, you’re tapping in to Kevin’s insights. Workplace culture, talent management and leadership are at the heart of Kevin’s work in talent acquisition and human capital strategy.


32. Bob Corlett

Bob started his career as a systems engineer, but he now turns all of his focus and organization skills from that former life to re-engineering the way recruiting is done. Read his practical advice at the Staffing Advisors blog.


33. Robert Hogan

If the ins and outs of personality fascinate you, head to Robert’s blog at Hogan Assessments to ponder how personality interacts with leadership, employee engagement and teamwork. As a trained psychologist, Robert brings his research and expertise into his books, including Personality and the Fate of Organizations.


34. Bill Boorman

Sure, Bill blogs, but he calls it an “unblog” — which just makes sense, since he’s the founder of The Recruiting Unconference. He also writes about his work with social recruiting and product consulting at Work 4 Labs and Bullhorn Reach.


35. George LaRocque

Over the years George LaRocque, Founder of #HRWins, has planted himself firmly in the world of HR tech. Whether you’re interested in SaaS, human capital management, or tech innovations, you’ll find fascinating reading at #HRWins.

Jerome Ternynck


36. Jerome Ternynck

Jerome has a goal. By helping people find work they love, he wants to give businesses what they need to succeed and remove friction from the labor market. That’s what he does as founder and CEO of Smart Recruiters, and that’s what he writes about in the articles he posts on LinkedIn.



37. Bret Starr

At The Starr Conspiracy, Bret keeps everyone up-to-date on the latest comings and goings, acquisitions, and funding all over the biz. From his position as partner at Texas HR marketing firm Starr-Tincup, he’s a big advocate of rewards and recognition as driving forces in the HR world.


38. Preethi Krishnaswamy

As the Director of Operations at Checkr, Preethi helps HR departments handle all those necessary background checks smoothly. Whether it’s drug screening, employment verification, or criminal records, her work is paving the way for companies that provide on-demand services to feel secure about their workers.


39. Jason Averbook

As an expert in HR tech, Jason wants to make it clear that tech isn’t what matters in HR — people are what matter. His latest blogging thoughts dive deep into the future of work to speculate on all things digital.


40. Trish McFarlane

HR Ringleader is where to go to glean insights from Trish McFarlene, who brings more than 15 years of experience in leadership development, performance management, and talent acquisition to her posts. As the co-founder of HRevolution and the Women of HR blog, she touches on timely HR issues. You can also hear her co-hosting the podcast The HR Happy Hour.

Hisayuki Idekoba


41. Hisayuki Idekoba is the world’s top job site — and as CEO, Deko is indirectly responsible for hundreds of millions of people all around the world finding employment. Deko shares Indeed’s passion for helping employers and job-seekers find the right fit and inspires his team with his talks on the human side of hiring.


42. Hung Lee

As the brainpower behind Workshape, Hung Lee knows more than a little about recruiting. He pulls no punches at his blog, Recruiting Brainfood, where he doesn’t shy away from controversy when discussing diversity in hiring.


43. Whitney Johnson

Through her Disrupt Yourself podcast and her blogging for Harvard Business Review, Whitney taps in to the importance of disruption in the path to success. If you’re interested in learning more about her thoughts on disruptive innovation check out her book, Disrupt Yourself.


44. Chris Bakke

Chris Bakke brings a wealth of experience to his role at, the largest job site in the world. His insights from his time as founder of and his previous executive gigs in the real estate world inform the articles he writes at LinkedIn about the future of work.


45. Bryan Chaney

As the director of Employer Branding at, Bryan blogs all sorts of good stuff about, well, employer branding — as well as corporate recruitment and social engagement. Check out his Twitter feed for more branding wisdom.

Clare Hart


46. Clare Hart

Clare has long been known as an innovator in the field of business information services, and she brings all her expertise to her role as CEO at Sterling Talent Solutions. At Sterling, she leads the implementation of putting SaaS to work in the field of background checks, all to make the workplace safer and more productive.


47. Paul Wolfe

As the head of HR at, the top job website in the world, Paul is an HR extraordinaire with deep experience in leadership development and organizational effectiveness. Paul has a long history of helping businesses thrive and compete through strategic talent acquisition. Read his insights on everything from productivity and inclusion to paid leave and attracting millennial hires at his incisive blog at SHRM.


48. Sjoerd Gehring

From his spot as Global VP for Talent Acquisition and People Experience at Johnson & Johnson, Sjoerd shares his thoughts on fascinating HR topics over at LinkedIn. Check out his insights into failure, frustration, and the balance between education and experience in recruiting.


49. Jody Ordioni

Jody also blogs at ERE, as well as at Brandemix, where she’s President and Chief Brand Officer. Follow her for insights into social recruiting, employer brands and talent acquisition.

Todd Owens


50. Todd Owens

Todd blends his background in talent search with his expertise in custom business automation in his new role as CEO at Azuqua. Look to him for insights on how to automate the flow of information in an SaaS world.




51. John Sumser

As the founder and editor-in-chief of the online magazine HR Examiner, it’s not surprising that John brings a lot of insight to topics as varied as workplace culture, the use of AI in HR, and how to build a brand. His work is so prolific that he’s even been called the Godfather of HR blogging. Look for his posts to pop up at Glassdoor, People Matters, and RecruitingBlogs.

David Lindsay Johnson


Before ending this list, we’d like to give a little shout-out to David Johnson, the CEO of Atlas Certified.

He regularly publishes articles on our blog, Atlas Insights, so be sure to check in and see what news and information he’s sharing on the future of work and the evolution of tech.



We hope you’ve seen some familiar names on this list, and if not, that’s even better! This group of insightful thought-leaders is the perfect place to start building up a reading list, finding podcasts to check out, and social media accounts to follow. These influencers are putting out all the tips, tricks, and information you need to boost your HR practices.

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