It’s the annual conference for SHRM this week, and I’m in Vegas for the show. This is SHRM’s 75th year, so it’s a big celebration and the biggest conference they’ve ever put on, with over 24,000 HR Professionals in attendance.
This is my 12th or 13th SHRM conference, and every single one I’m still amazed at the passion and energy HR professionals bring here. I love to tell any audience I speak to that those who attend a SHRM conference – local, state, or national, are in the top 1% of HR Professionals worldwide. Why? The vast majority of HR Professionals will never do anything to make themselves a better HR professional. The professionals who make the effort to attend SHRM events are purposely working to increase their HR skills. I think that is amazing.
SHRM has had a mission to help HR professionals be the best HR professionals for 75 years. Building community, building educational resources, building certification. The SHRM I originally signed up to be a member of in 2001 is not the same SHRM that it is today. Today’s SHRM has a large international presence that grows every year. Today’s SHRM is pushing the boundaries within the HR Technology community with their Better Workplace Challenge Cup and SHRMLabs, investing in many HR Technology startups. SHRM continues to publish amazing authors with a specific emphasis on our profession. They’ve added specialty micro-credentials to help HR professionals as we get more and more specialized in our field.
I’m not a SHRM historian. There are way better people who can give you that knowledge. For me, the history of SHRM isn’t as important as the future of SHRM.
SHRM is one of the largest associations in any capacity in the world. Over 300,000 members strong and growing. HR, over the past few decades, has continued to increase its relevance and importance to world-class organizations, and I don’t see it stopping.
What would I like to see SHRM do over the next decade?
- Bring Talent Acquisition into the fold in a much bigger way. Some sort of full-blown certification, training, and education. TA, in many ways, rivals HR as a function. Most CEOs would say there is nothing more important for the organization than their ability to acquire and keep talent.
- Build HR Technology as a core competency that is a strength in HR Leaders. Currently, HR Technology is the weakest competency overall for HR leaders. In the future, that can not be the case.
- I love what LinkedIn Learning has done, and I think SHRM can do the exact same thing for HR. Short, impactful video-driven HR education for top voices and minds in our field. GenZ grew up on video, shorter range, on-demand, and classic education and development will not call to them.
- Get more involved in university HR and TA program development. We continue to see more and more high school graduates specifically choosing HR and TA as careers. While we see a lot of HR college programs, honestly, they aren’t the best. I believe SHRM could lead the charge to help make these programs better. And almost no universities have TA-specific programs, and it’s one of the most important functions in organizations!
I could go on because SHRM is my association and I like to push them forward, but if any of these things can happen above it’s a giant win for our profession. I want to wish all the employees and members of SHRM a Happy 75th Anniversary. It’s a huge accomplishment and our size and voice in industry are being heard.