HR’s chance to seize the day (Editor’s notes)

Over 20 years <i>Canadian HR Reporter</i> has documented the growth of the HR profession

It would be an exaggeration to say HR is at a crossroads. But it has reached a point it has been struggling to get to for years. The much-talked about labour shortage, combined with the development of certification like the Canadian Human Resources Professional (CHRP) designation, has created a perfect storm of opportunity to elevate the profession to new heights.

Organizations need good HR more than ever, and HR practitioners are better equipped than ever to step up and deliver. Many senior HR professionals already have a seat at the C-level table, and the door is wide open for many more to join them. After all, conversations in boardrooms across the country are being dominated by HR issues: Where will organizations find the labour they need? Who is grooming the next generation of leaders? What packages can employers put together to attract and retain the talent they need without bankrupting the bottom line? These are all critical questions HR can help answer, so why shouldn’t they have a seat at the table?

It’s stunning how far and fast HR has come. It was only a few short decades ago that personnel departments had little, if anything, to offer management in terms of strategic thinking. Now, some of the brightest, most level-headed minds in an organization can be found in the HR department.

The supports to help HR thrive are also firmly in place. There are some brilliant minds developing HR curriculum and running programs at colleges and universities. HR associations are working hard to organize seminars and conferences to give practitioners the knowledge they need. Professional certification, still a neophyte in the HR world, is continually evolving. It might not yet be perfect but, to paraphrase British Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s take on democracy, it’s the best system we’ve got. And it’s getting better.

These are all reasons why it’s an exciting time to be in HR, and an exciting time for me to take the reins at Canadian HR Reporter. As noted in the last issue, John Hobel — who wrote this column with an expert hand and unfailing wit and insight for the better part of a decade — has taken over as publisher, replacing the much-missed George Pearson who retired at the end of 2006.

This newspaper is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, meaning it’s been on a journey with HR professionals since Bon Jovi’s “Living on a Prayer” was blasting from radios and Platoon took the Oscar for best picture.

Canadian HR Reporter has an important role to play moving forward as HR prepares to tackle the labour shortage and get that coveted seat at the table. In these pages, you’ll read stories about your colleagues and how they deal with the same issues you’re facing.

You’ll read about the latest trends, what the various HR associations are doing and what government is doing — or thinking of doing — that could impact your work. That way when the perfect storm finally hits, you’ll be in the best position to weather it and take advantage of the tremendous opportunity it brings.

It’s going to be a fun ride.

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