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We asked HR professionals to tell us about their time in HR. Here are their stories.
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Change is hard, but the HR profession is ready for it. As the saying goes, “Nothing surprises me. I work in HR.”
It’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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