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09 Trendbook: Introduction: Transcending Tough Trends
Vol. 53   No. 12

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Obviously, economic trends these days are skewed toward downswings instead of upticks—not the direction we’d prefer to be writing about. But tough times have a way of focusing attention, sharpening skills and inspiring the best in people. This is no less true of human resource professionals.

HR executives are rising to the occasion, helping managers and workers do their best in challenging times.

Combining new reporting with highlights from the Society for Human Resource Management’s online news coverage and statistical data from the SHRM Research Department, this 2009 HR Trendbook will help you take stock of where we are and where you want to lead your organization.

A centerpiece of this year’s Trendbook is extensive data from SHRM’s annual HR compensation survey, done in conjunction with Watson Wyatt Data Services. Not surprisingly, HR total compensation is weakening along with the economy. Our report begins on page 8.

Other highlights:

  • For a broad overview of the economic crisis that will undoubtedly affect organizations well into 2009, see Jennifer Schramm’s outlook, starting on the next page.
  • The relentless rise of health care benefits may moderate in 2009. Cost projections, and the latest techniques in the administration of wellness programs, pharmacy benefit management and other strategies are explored in our Benefits section on page 21.
  • Finding, placing and retaining the best staff members are no less important during tough times. Turn to our Staffing Management section on page 61 for developments in phased retirement, quality-of-hire metrics and reference-checking technology.
We hope you find much value in this supplement to help guide your organization’s managers through these difficult times. As SHRM Chief Executive Officer Laurence O’Neil wrote in the November HR Magazine: “Now is the time for HR professionals to shine.”
The Editors
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