New HR group focusing on senior leaders worldwide

Human Resource Leaders an association ‘without borders’
By Sarah Dobson
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 12/04/2012

A new HR association has sprung up and while it’s based in Toronto, it’s determined to take a global view. Called Human Resource Leaders (HRL), the group is focusing on business leaders, not just those in HR, and hoping to attract members worldwide.

“Other organizations in human resources have silos, they have silos in each province, they have silos in their focus. We are without borders — we are HR without borders,” said Yvonne Blaszczyk, president and chair of HRL.

Launched about one year ago, the association is focusing its efforts on membership, which currently sits at about 1,000, and planning its first major conference for February 2013.

HRL wants to focus on what leadership can do for the business community and that means involving people who have a portfolio in HR, which can include leaders such as vice-presidents of finance or administration, said Blaszczyk.

“Our mission is the acceptance and maintenance of global standards of knowledge, for all business professionals that are responsible for the management of people or human resource capital,” she said.

“Our unique approach has emerged from years and years of working in human resources and many of us came to the conclusion that, as much as we believe in growing our future human resources, it is extremely important to nurture and provide a forum for the leaders.”

The HR agenda is one any good business leader carries, said Carmine Domanico, HRL’s vice-chair and vice-president of membership.

“We felt that that’s a niche that’s not well-served when it comes to senior executive leaders — there isn’t at least a place to turn for that in the marketplace.”

Membership is exclusively for senior management as the association doesn’t really offer programs for students or very junior people, said Blaszczyk.

“Our value is providing an executive, peer-to-peer, exclusive forum,” she said.

Both Blaszczyk and Domanico were previously on the board of the Toronto chapter of the Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA).

Ian Welsh, an independent HR professional in Toronto, joined HRL because of its international focus, as about 80 per cent of his blog followers are outside of Canada, he said.

“I see the new group as being more a community, a communications vehicle more sort of focused on the individual’s needs,” said Welsh.

In addition to the planned conference on Feb. 2, 2013, in partnership with the Association of Career Professionals International (ACPI), HRL offers professional development and networking events.

“I have attended one or two so far and in some ways, it’s intimate enough for people to develop a real rapport,” said Welsh.

HRL also offers online courses, covering topics such as human resource management, financial management and health and safety.

The association has also partnered with Human Resource Systems Group (HRSG) in Ottawa to offer an international certificate in advanced competency-based management.

HRL hopes to build other partnerships to serve the international community, said Blaszczyk.

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