Friday, November 18, 2016


It’s day two of the SHRM Volunteer Leader Summit (#SHRMVLS). Yesterday was a good day.  We had 300+ HR pros visit Capitol Hill and talk with our elected officials.  A big thanks to Mike Aitken and the Legislative Affairs Team. This event came off without a flaw, and always does so kudos to the team. Later in the day we heard from SHRM CEO Hank Jackson on the state of the society.  The condensed version of his remarks would be… all is well.

I agree with Hank, at least from where I sit in my SHRM Volunteer role. There is one thing however, that I continue to be concerned about.   As I look around the room at the event I do not see a lot of young faces.  To be clear, a young face would 35 or under. So based upon my completely unscientific analysis I think we as volunteer leaders need to do more to engage and welcome younger people and get them involved in board positions and then groom them for chapter president and state director positions.

You will notice I have refrained from using the “M” word about these folks.  I don’t like the labels because we then associate that with a whole bunch of stereotypical views about them. Google “SHRM” and “Millennials” and you will see what I am talking about.

So what do we do about this? I do not have the pat answers, but I know this; doing something is better than doing nothing. So try something – anything.  My chapter has had a couple after-(drinks) and engaged a couple young folks to reach out to their peers and give them a personal invitation.  Last year at our state council leadership meeting we had a panel discussion with some articulate young folks and gave them an opportunity to tell us (the old people) what is wrong with us and then do some Q & A to help create a dialogue.  As the planning for next year is coming around, we are contemplating doing some 10 minute TED Talks having the younger folks speak to our leaders and tell us how we can better engage them and their peers.

Many of us deal with this in our day jobs and we call it succession planning.  I am suggesting this, all of us as SHRM volunteer leaders need to add this to our collective list of things to do; engage and recruit millennials to our boards.   And just like an effective affirmative action plan, you have to work at this, you have to reach out, and do some things that might fail or that may be uncomfortable. 

Just like Hank told us yesterday, HR has “lead the change.”   

Thursday, November 17, 2016

SHRM Certification Update

One of the next major steps in the evolvement of the SHRM Certification process has been completed. As of two days ago, November 15, SHRM is proud to announce that the SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP exams have been accredited by The Buros Center for Testing, a pronouncement that the HR credentials meet the highest standards in testing.  
In a statement from Hank Jackson, SHRM President and CEO, “HR professionals around the world have embraced SHRM Certification,” said Henry G. (Hank) Jackson, SHRM’s president and CEO.  “They know — and the Buros Center has confirmed through its accreditation — that SHRM credentials meet the highest quality and standards of an industry-leading certification. This is groundbreaking for human resource certifications.”
The Buros Center for Testing, located at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, is an independent nonprofit organization that has reviewed or accredited other well-known tests including major state educational achievement exams; admissions tests for medical school, law school and graduate school, such as the LSAT, MCAT, GMAT and GRE exams; and licensure exams for physical therapists, clinicians and technicians. It specializes in auditing major educational and licensure testing programs for fairness in testing and overall psychometric quality of tests based on standards for testing developed by the American Psychological Association, the American Educational Research Association and the National Council on Measurement in Education, the leading authorities in high-stakes testing. 
In a statement from Kurt F. Geisinger, Ph.D., director of the Buros Center said, “We not only find that you meet our standards ... for accreditation, but we also find that you are thoroughly, competently and appropriately meeting the mission of SHRM, and therefore, the needs of the public. For more information on the accrediting body, visit
Since the launch of the SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP two years ago, SHRM has worked to gain recognition as the global standard in HR certification. Achieving accreditation further demonstrates to HR professionals and their employers that SHRM-certified professionals meet the high standards expected and needed in HR today. 

We celebrate this milestone with almost 100,000 SHRM-certified professionals, the fastest-growing HR certification community. The SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP are the most widely-taken HR exams in the world. Last year alone, over 20,000 people have taken the examination.
Accreditation does not mean SHRM Certification will be sitting still. SHRM’s work on competencies continues, and an update of the framework for the certification exams—the SHRM Body of Competency and Knowledge—is being released in December. The SHRM Learning System and the Certification exam will be adjusted to reflect that change.
Full disclosure: I currently hold both the SHRM-SCP (obtained by the Pathway AND testing) and SPHR. I have no plans on getting rid of either. I am an Instructor for Northern Illinois University’s HR Outreach program teaching the SHRM Certification Preparation Program preparing HR professionals to pass the SHRM Certification exams since January 2015. Prior to that I taught the SHRM Learning System preparing HR pros to take and pass the HRCI Certification exam for years.
-John Jorgensen ISC Strategic Advisor

Wednesday, November 16, 2016


It's the week before Thanksgiving, deer hunting season opens this week in the Midwest and the SHRM Volunteer Leaders Summit is taking place. This annual event is many things to many people but as I reflect on the event, I can easily group folks into three groups.

The newbies, are the first or second timers. Welcome! These are the folks who are new to their SHRM leadership role and have been dispatched to #SHRMVLS (as we call it on twitter, Facebook and Instagram) to see what this is all about and what is expected of them. At the other end of the spectrum is the "old timers" or veterans. These folks have been attended since the event was called SHRM Leadership and it was held at the Crystal City Marriot. Then the other group would be those that don't fit into these other two groups.

VLS has several objectives. One is to initiate volunteer leaders to their new roles. Another is to update all attendees on SHRM's path and mission. Then there is the Capitol Hill visits, whereupon nearly 500 volunteer leaders go to Capitol Hill and offer the SHRM position on the legislative issues that are "in play". It would also be the hope that the trips to Capitol Hill result in some deeper relationships with our elected representatives. Lastly I think the conference is about "amping up" the leaders before they are sent back home. This is usually accomplished though the keynote addresses.  Most of the speakers at these events are damn good. They motivate us and tug at our heartstrings.
For the long-term volunteers, there is one more aspect to the event. Us "old dogs" get to see our old friends, the ones we have met over the years. These are the like-minded people who share a passion for Human Resources, volunteering and networking. We seem to gravitate to one and other.  These relationships run long and deep!  (I challenge you to meet 50 new people at the event.)

Having said all of that, I may have totally missed the mark, for you; but this is what VLS is all about but these have been my takeaways over the years.

And just in case you didn't know this SHRM's Martha Ramirez was the lead person on this event for last year (2015) and this year. In Illinois, last year we were so proud of Martha for doing a great job with the event, the Illinois State Council of SHRM presented Martha with a board resolution congratulating her on what an awesome conference she assembled. She has set the bar high for this year.

Don't forget to download SHRM's new conference app. It is available in the iTunes Store of the Google Play Store.  This app will keep you plugged into all that is going on at each SHRM event.

Looking forward to a great conference, I hope to meet all of you!!

- Dave Ryan ISC SHRM Director Elect