The HR Event Every CEO Should Attend

By Henry G. Jackson Dec 1, 2014

1214-Cover.jpgThis month’s HR Magazine comes to you just as the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is concluding our Volunteer Leaders’ Summit, an annual meeting of our most active and engaged volunteers. Representing over 600 chapters and state councils across the country, these dedicated individuals provide local programming, networking and professional development. They are passionate about our profession, and they understand that HR must drive business outcomes.

This summit is the HR event I would like every CEO to attend.

First, it is a showcase of the best of HR management, highlighting professionals and teams who understand not just the art but also the science of people management. At the summit, SHRM awarded the Michael R. Losey Human Resource Research Award to Patrick Wright, Ph.D., of the University of South Carolina, whose research on and teaching of strategic human resource management draws a clear link between people practices and competitive advantage in firms. SHRM also honored the 2014 Human Resource Management Impact Award winners: Cargill, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Sears Holdings, all of which used strong evidence to back up their HR practices and produce measurable results.

Any CEO would have a new appreciation for HR after hearing from Mandy Woulfe, SPHR, the recipient of the 2014 Susan R. Meisinger Fellowship for Graduate Study in HR. Mandy sees HR as an opportunity to improve bottom lines and people’s lives. To her, HR is not just a job but a “calling.” It is not just about performing transactional functions, but also using high-impact people strategies that contribute to financial success.

I believe CEOs who understand the value of corporate citizenship would join us in applauding the SHRM Pinnacle Award winners. These chapters and state councils implemented innovative programs in their communities that helped veterans transition to civilian work life, kept organizations in compliance with new regulations, and more. You can find a full description of the winners—and good ideas for your own work—at

Finally and most important, at this year’s summit CEOs would have seen hundreds of HR professionals preparing to become better business leaders by taking the online tutorial to obtain the new SHRM competency-based certifications—the SHRM Certified Professional and the SHRM Senior Certified Professional. Launching Jan. 5, 2015, these new certifications are based on the critical leadership behaviors and competencies that business leaders have looked for from HR professionals for several years.

Most CEOs understand the importance of HR to business success, but it is up to us to ensure that all of them make the connection. This is why I am excited for these two new certifications. Visit for more information. You will also receive our certification brochure in the coming days.

I know it is wishful thinking to convince every CEO to attend this phenomenal event, but there is something we can do to help them better understand our profession’s value proposition: Each day, we can show the same passion for HR and commitment to business results that is on display at this summit.

Job Finder

Find an HR Job Near You
Post a Job

Earn a SHRM Talent Acquisition Specialty Credential.

Do you have what it takes to win the war for talent? Find out.



Find the Right Vendor for Your HR Needs

SHRM’s HR Vendor Directory contains over 10,000 companies

Search & Connect