FROM THE CEO The Evolution of HR Continues

Change is hard, but the HR profession is ready for it. As the saying goes, “Nothing surprises me. I work in HR.”

By Henry G. Jackson September 24, 2014

1014-Cover.jpgIt’s been said that the most important values of any profession are shared knowledge and shared experience, the passing along of what we know from person to person and generation to generation. This is certainly true of HR.

Too often in the early days of our profession, there wasn’t a ready source for people to ask when crunch time came and critical problems had to be solved. In the days after World War II, hundreds of thousands of soldiers were returning home, and workplace issues were moving to the forefront of American life. Employers needed help recruiting skilled employees while adjusting to a peacetime economy. Our profession was growing like never before.

But there was a problem: HR professionals needed a voice in business and government, as well as a forum to exchange ideas.

So a small group of personnel managers came together to form this professional society, dedicated to elevating the standards of our profession, to sharing information and to passing experiences from one professional to the next.

Today, HR professionals are generally recognized within the business community as strategic partners, with the best companies understanding that people are the real driver of business success. When HR speaks on the people management issues of the day—from immigration to employment law to workforce development—policymakers listen. And the millions of HR professionals around the world are more connected than ever before.

Our young profession has developed immensely over the past several decades, but the evolution continues. According to a new study by the consulting firm Development Dimensions International and The Conference Board, “The skills and knowledge that got HR to where they are today probably won’t be relevant in the future. HR needs to be in a constant learning mode to avoid obsolescence. The role of human capital management will change more in the next 5 years than it has in the past 30.”

Change of this magnitude can seem daunting, but no one is better prepared to face and manage this transition than HR professionals. As the popular saying goes, “Nothing surprises me. I work in HR.”

Moreover, the SHRM Competency Model and new competency-based certifications were specifically designed to help you develop the skills needed to succeed in HR now and in the future. We also thoughtfully develop HR Magazine each month to be a must-read for members of the HR profession. SHRM is your professional society, and we want you to know that everything we do is with your interests—and those of the HR profession—in mind.

HR will, indeed, continue to evolve. But SHRM’s purpose remains the same. We are just as dedicated to raising the bar for HR, sharing information and connecting HR professionals as those visionary SHRM founders were more than 65 years ago.

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