2016 State of the Society Address

2016 State of the Society Address

​"The state of our society is strong and getting stronger."

2016 State of the Society for Human Resource Management


November 17, 2016


Thank you, Brian [Silva], and welcome to all of you!


I want to thank you for joining us and pulling yourself away from the critical work you do for your Chapters and State Councils. We will also do some important work here over the next three days.


I believe that it is critical that we come together in person this way to gather as leaders of our profession and the Society and to ignite our vision for HR.


Although I get to speak to you today, SHRM is led by an outstanding Executive Leadership Team whom I would like to introduce to you.


We have:


  • Senior Vice President of Membership and External Affairs, Bob Carr;
  • Senior Vice President for Knowledge Development, Alexander Alonso;
  • Senior Vice President of Professional Development and Strategic Partnerships, Brian Dickson;
  • General Counsel and the Board's Corporate Secretary, Elizabeth Owens Bille;
  • CEO of SHRM India, Achal Khanna;
  • Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of the Society, Mary Mohney;
  • Senior Vice President for Publishing and Media, Jessica Perry;
  • Chief Human Resources and Strategy Officer, Jeff Pon;
  • Chief Marketing Officer Jeaneen Andrews-Feldman; and
  • Chief of Staff, Margo Vickers.


Let's give them a hand.

I also want to recognize the rest of the dedicated SHRM staff, who actually make everything happen.


Finally, I also want to express my gratitude to you, the Volunteer Leaders of SHRM's 571 affiliated Chapters and 51 State Councils. You give your time and your talents so generously to serve our members. We couldn't even begin to do our work without your leadership. 


That is why this Summit is such an important date on SHRM's calendar. Here we take a step back and find the space and stimulus to focus on transforming our profession and our roles within it.


Although our jobs are not getting any easier, I am sure you would agree that they are getting more exciting and challenging every day. I will talk more about this in a little while.


Now let me tell you how we've responded as a Society this year to you and to all of our members. I will start with the bottom line:


The state of our Society is strong and getting stronger. We remain dedicated to serving our members, and they have responded with strong participation in SHRM and our programs.


Our community is now a record 289,000 members—and growing. Those members represent more than 70,000 organizations. And we know we are delivering on our mission to serve them. I get many letters from members telling me how SHRM is making a difference for their careers and our profession. And member satisfaction continues to rise.


A few years ago, we embarked on a journey as an association to create a

Competency Model that would advance the profession and hold us to the highest standards of performance. These competencies have been embraced as the new touchstones of our profession. 


The SHRM Competency Model is now our roadmap—our GPS—allowing us to navigate our organizations through a rapidly changing world. And certification is our vehicle.


I am pleased to report that today, more than 96,000 HR professionals are SHRM-certified. And as of September of this year, applications were up almost one-third over last year—making the SHRM-SCP and SHRM-CP the fastest-growing HR certification, and also the most widely taken HR certification exams in the world.


We are very proud of these accomplishments and the quality of what we offer.


And I hope you have heard this week's exciting news! Our SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP exams have been accredited!


Because of the quality and rigor SHRM used to develop our certification, we received accreditation from the Buros Center for Testing—the leading center that reviews the premier exams of the legal, medical, and other professions. And we did it in less than two years!


Much of the credit for the success of SHRM certification goes to you. You played such a critical role in your Chapters and State Councils to get the profession on board with this next-generation credential. And you should know, it is paying off for HR professionals and their organizations.


Nearly two-thirds of HR supervisors we surveyed told us they view their SHRM-certified employees as better prospects for leadership opportunities. And more employers are asking for SHRM-certified professionals in their HR job ads.


Volunteer leaders, this is what our Competency Model and certification are all about: results for HR professionals and their businesses.


We have great momentum. But certification is a journey that includes recertification. And recertification is really how our profession continues to adapt and grow. So we are counting on you to continue playing your important role in this process.


This is why we will be providing enhanced support for your Chapters and State Councils based on the number of your members who recertify in 2017.


To help maintain your credentials, you asked for more competency-based education, and SHRM responded. You now have access to more than 37,000 competency-based educational offerings through SHRM and its network of 1,800 providers.


And to make it easier than ever to track your status, there's an app for that now!


As HR competencies evolve at the speed of business we have also updated the 2017 SHRM Body of Competency and Knowledge—or BoCK. This week, you'll get a preview before we share it widely next month.


SHRM is determined to be a career home for HR professionals from start to finish—from students to CHROs.


Our student membership has grown to a record-breaking 23,000—and they are inspiring young people. People like Kelly Andrews, who just graduated from

Brigham Young University. Kelly saw huge potential in BYU's small SHRM chapter.

He tapped into SHRM's resources that give students hands-on experience at everything our profession offers in a career.


Now the chapter has grown to more than 200 students, and last year, BYU's HR degree program had 149 applicants—double the year before.


More and more, our profession is attracting and developing passionate, energetic leaders. SHRM is committed to up-and-comers like Kelly, and to mid-career professionals advancing their careers. We will never stop providing new opportunities and the best knowledge they can use at every stage of their career.


For example, the SHRM Annual Conference remains our profession's biggest and most influential learning, sharing and development opportunity. #SHRM16 brought together more than 15,000 HR professionals from around the world, and was our second-largest ever.


Through SHRM's Executive Network—HR People and Strategy—we are also supporting HR executives at the highest levels of their organizations with resources and networking opportunities that they cannot get anywhere else.


Our executive membership has grown 150% since our affiliation with HR People and Strategy, and now stands at more than 1,100.


Your Society is also more globally influential than ever. Global revenue is up

10% over last year, as HR professionals around the world are looking more and more for the certification, professional development and community SHRM offers.


SHRM's products and services are being delivered by our growing network of partner organizations in 65 countries. International events like the SHRM India Annual Conference are also growing every year.


Our affiliate, the Council for Global Immigration, is the go-to resource for high-skilled employment immigration and a strong ambassador for SHRM at international business meetings—from the B20 to the Global Forum on Migration and Development.


Our vision is to be the global HR authority—and SHRM is getting closer to realizing that every day.


Through all of this, I am pleased to report that SHRM remains financially sound. Revenues grew by 4%, as they have been doing year over year, enabling us to meet our operating goals once again, and most importantly, to reinvest in services that benefit our members and the entire HR profession.


The SHRM Competency Model, certification, and our successful awareness campaign—the ads you've seen on TV and elsewhere—are prime examples of how we are setting our members and HR up for success.


Now let me tell you about some of the other ways we are blazing new trails for the profession.


Advocacy has been a major activity for us this year, and we were asked for input on public policy issues by Members of Congress and the Executive Branch more than 110 times.


Of course, the overtime exemption rule has been a key issue for SHRM and our members this year. As you may know, SHRM was supportive of an increase in the salary threshold, but the new overtime rule was simply too far, too fast.


We have been deeply involved in this issue from the very first developments. SHRM led the group of organizations that got the original, highly complex proposed regulations removed. It would have been a nightmare for HR professionals to implement.


When the revised rules were announced, we had a fact page up on SHRM.org within hours to help our members understand what it means for them and their organizations. And we have urged both houses of Congress to introduce bills that will phase in the new salary threshold. We are hopeful that some version of this will be included in the end-of-the year spending bill.


But be reminded that SHRM's success in advocacy is only possible with you leading the charge on issues like overtime.   


SHRM's A-team is our real strength. Our members sent more than 2,600 letters to their representatives in support of the overtime reform bill. All 51 SHRM State Councils joined the effort. And I want to thank each and every one of you who went to Capitol Hill this morning.


Please stand, those of you who joined us.


Whatever the outcome of our advocacy efforts, I want you to know that SHRM will remain at your side as you work to implement these new overtime changes.


Overtime is just one of the challenges heading our way in the coming year—known and unknown. One thing we do know is that in this volatile climate, HR professionals are being asked to lead. Your Society is drawing from every arm to ensure you are ready to respond to this request.


The SHRM Foundation, which is celebrating its 50th year, has always been a catalyst for HR thought leadership. You'll hear more from them this week about their strategy to continue shaping the future of HR.


Additionally, SHRM research introduced this year added greatly to the profession's body of knowledge and is transforming the conversations on talent, inclusion, competencies and HR's impact in driving business results.


To bring you all of this knowledge and the most relevant HR content, we launched a new and improved SHRM.org, which puts you first. We made the entire site easier to personalize, navigate and search. We increased our content on talent acquisition. And we enhanced our Volunteer Leaders Resource Center to help you. I also hope you are getting great use out of our new and improved online community—SHRM Connect.   


We know that SHRM.org is more than just a website. It's a place where

HR professionals turn for the most trusted resources on human resources.


Whether through SHRM.org, our research and insights, our professional networking and development offerings, or our advocacy work, we as a Society are focused on helping you navigate today's rapidly changing world of business—a world where HR will be doing the driving.


As I have been saying for some time we are living in the Decade of Human Capital. And every day I am more convinced that we are in a truly exceptional moment in our profession's history. Many factors have brought us here:


●          The knowledge economy exploded.

●          Globalization is now the norm.

●          The service industry is dominant.

●          And technology has become the great equalizer.


So people are often now the only moving parts of a company—the differentiator.


Talent has never played such a critical role in the company bottom line before. Organizations are coming to understand that what you do matters the most. That great HR makes great organizations.


This is a major opportunity—a moment of HR greatness. And to seize it, we must be fully prepared.


Preparing you, and preparing our profession, is what SHRM is dedicated to doing each and every day. In the Decade of Human Capital, we must meet the expectations for how the HR profession can lead now, and how we will be called upon to lead in the future.


Because if you don't already know, let me tell you, your leadership skills are in high demand. Last week's outcome of a long, intense and contentious national electoral process is one of many recent examples of how organizations urgently need HR to lead.


You are the people who understand people. You are the ones ushering your organizations through cycles of transition and uncertainty. And more practically, you will be the ones on the front lines, implementing the new regulations and legislation that will come from Washington.


For these challenges now, and many, many more to come, HR will need to be up front, and in front, leading change.


Volunteer Leaders, this is exactly what you do. So I want to thank you again for raising the profile of our profession, for cultivating the next generation of HR innovators and trailblazers and for joining us in this mission to serve the

HR professional and advance the HR profession.


We have a huge responsibility to not only prepare ourselves, but to lead our organizations—and potentially our society as a whole—in this

Decade of Human Capital.


Thank you.




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