Expanding HR’s online resources (Editorial)

Internet provides another means of reporting on issues

The completion of our 22nd and final issue of the year lends itself to stepping back and reflecting on the many events and stories Canadian HR Reporter has covered. Publishing every two weeks gives us an opportunity to regularly inform HR practitioners about labour, business and HR developments that affect them and their organizations — and since 2000 we’ve had a website helping to fulfill this mission. So, from the managing editor’s perspective, the question is sometimes not what we covered but how.

Since www.hrreporter.com’s inception we’ve worked to balance what goes online and what goes in print and, all modesty aside, the site has been an unqualified success, with traffic growing year after year. But while traffic climbs, we also know not all subscribers have signed up for their free online access that opens the door to our archives section. So there may be some features readers are missing out on.

Canadian HR Reporter’s archives are a resource your HR department can easily tap into — if you haven’t already. Subscribers can access every article published in print since 2000, as well as those written exclusively for hrreporter.com. So, if the CEO says, “Tell me what you know about SERPs,” you’ll be able to answer. HR rookies can find out that it means “supplemental executive (or employee) retirement plans.” Experienced professionals can review the archives to see how government tax and pension policies are affecting SERP funding over a five-year period and print out supporting literature for senior management.

A great deal of effort has gone into designing the archives as a resource HR practitioners will find valuable. Subscribers can find the 11 most recent issues ready for review, and the site’s keyword search function is a powerful tool that searches the entire archives. In addition, we’ve created an “Advanced Search” that allows subscribers to search under topic headings (such as “Pensions”), and further refine a search with sub-categories (such as DB vs DC). It’s meant a lot of time “categorizing” articles to give subscribers a systematic way of reviewing applicable information without sorting through a few million Google hits.

As the years go by, archives have kept growing in strength and value.

And the daily online offering has grown, too. When we started we tried to post as often as a harried editorial staff could. Since then we’ve developed (and resourced) a more dedicated approach. Online readers can be certain of regular postings that encourage returning to the home page on a daily basis. As well, our revamped secondary pages offer in-depth features in 11 areas of HR representing everything from pensions to employment law to HR strategies.

And if you just want some fun when the workday is through, we just added online HR-themed crosswords. Print out the PDF if you prefer to fill it out the old-fashioned way.

Coming soon in the new year will be a “Research” page, which will aggregate national and international workplace studies, surveys and research, organized by areas of HR discipline.

Interested in employment and labour law? We’ve taken what we learned designing hrreporter.com and built a similar site for our sister publication Canadian Employment Law Today. Launched this past spring, www.employmentlawtoday.com keeps readers abreast of recent cases, while offering subscribers archived articles that help with everything from writing employment contracts to understanding if your disciplinary procedures will stand up in court.

Just as the Internet has changed the workplace, it’s changed how Canadian HR Reporter meets the needs of readers, and we expect to keep changing. It was uncharted territory for a group of people who a few years ago shared one e-mail, but we’ve found our place in cyberspace.

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