From the CEO: Insights on HR from Hank Jackson

Jan 15, 2017
During his tenure as SHRM president and CEO, Henry G. (Hank) Jackson has shared his vision for SHRM and the HR industry through a monthly column in HR Magazine. Here are some highlights.

“In today’s tightening labor market, we cannot afford to categorically exclude any talent. We need to be creative and resourceful. We must consider the possibility that some of the workers we need will not come ready-made with certain letters after their names and personal histories that neatly align with our expectations. In the end, we must simply evaluate each candidate on his or her own merits.” – September 2016

“No one else has as much insight as HR does into companies and the people who drive their success. No other profession knows the complex, rapidly changing world of work quite like we do. This means HR professionals are in the best position to speak to the real-life implications of workplace public policy.” – February 2016 

“Over the years, SHRM has helped turn an occupation into a profession—from personnel administration to human resource management to people strategy. From a profession, we have transformed into a community dedicated to the best of people management. And in that community lies our power.” – December 2015/January 2016

“Today, as HR professionals, we are called on to create and embrace this culture of imagination, while fostering smart risk-taking and developing a staff that stays one step ahead of the next disruption. To do this, we must continually re-examine some of the old ways of doing business. We must improve what is working and take a critical look at what is not. In an environment where we must innovate or fail, adapt or die, we must rethink even some of the most basic people management practices.” – April 2015

“Demographers call it the ‘silver tsunami:’ a rising tide of older workers that threatens to overwhelm institutions and systems from retirement to health care employment. Others simply call it ‘the aging workforce,’ which sounds less alarming. But by any name, the challenge facing U.S. businesses, government and society as the workforce ages and the Baby Boomer generation retires is real. And after many years of anticipation, it has arrived. …The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the SHRM Foundation are proud to take a leading role, collaborating with some of the world’s most venerable organizations on aging workforce issues.” – November 2014

“As the world’s largest HR professional association, SHRM has a responsibility to help you respond to the new, higher expectations of HR; to advance the profession to the level business demand; and to better serve you in this process. That is why SHRM recently announced a new certification for HR professionals based on our HR Competency Model. It will be the first of its kind, focused on teaching and testing the practical, real-life information HR professionals need to excel, including knowledge, skills and competencies.” – July 2014

“Arguably, no single piece of legislation has affected the American workplace as greatly as the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Under Title VII, the law prohibited employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin. … It ushered in a new era for HR. As this month’s HR Magazine cover story explains, Title VII forced a dramatic shift in employment practices. While the concept of equal opportunity seems commonplace now, it was exceptional not too long ago.” – June 2014

“Our Society has grown to become the largest human resource organization in the world because it has never lost its focus on the original principles: Serve the members. Give them what they need to assist employers and employees alike. Advance the profession by protecting and promoting its professionalism. … From the beginning, our founders knew that SHRM needed to be more than a membership organization. To be successful, it need a “professional association,” in which individuals made conscious decisions to grow in their career and learn from a broader community of HR professionals that they couldn’t find anywhere else.” – April 2013

“I came home from the SHRM 63rd Annual Conference & Exposition in Las Vegas humbled by the Board of Directors’ decision to remove ‘interim’ from my [CEO] title. I graciously appreciate the responsibility to lead SHRM but with the awareness that success always involves a team. Their decision is as much an acknowledgement of the support I received during the past year as interim CEO as it is a reflection of my efforts.” – August 2011

“From what I’ve seen—and I’ve never missed [an annual conference]—I can’t imagine a meeting that has more excitement, more spark or more spirit than this event. It combines the enthusiasm of people who truly care about what they do with the promise of learning and practical solutions, the fervor of discovery and the pleasure of real camaraderie.” – June 2011

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