5 Professional Associations for Human Resources Directors

HR Professional Organizations

  • Society for Human Resource Management
  • SHRM Executive Network: HR People + Strategy
  • Academy of Human Resource Development
  • Association for Talent Development
  • College and University Professional Association for Human Resources

Human resources professionals are a critical part of an organization because their job is to support the workforce, and in order to do this most effectively, there are various HR professional organizations available to support them. As business strategies and technologies evolve, human resources techniques also change. Professional organizations like those listed below help these workers stay up to date in the field and connect with other members of the industry.

1. Society for Human Resource Management

The SHRM is an HR professional organization for students and workers in the field. Membership includes 10 issues per year of their magazine and access to career development tracks as well as forms, presentations, and resources that can be used in the workplace. On their website, the SHRM provides members with news and research applicable to human resources as well as an explanation of the organization’s policy positions on issues like immigration, labor unions, pay equality, and healthcare. This association also offers certification examinations. Along with these resources, members have an opportunity to meet in person at numerous events throughout the year.

2. SHRM Executive Network: HR People + Strategy

This is a branch of the original Society for Human Resource Management and is open to high-level HR executives and researchers. Members of this association join with a desire to contribute to the field of human resources in the areas of HR strategy, training, recruiting, increasing efficacy in the workplace, and leadership training. The future of the field is discussed at an annual conference, a summit, and periodic invitation-only round-table meetings.

3. Academy of Human Resource Development

The AHRD is a human resources professional association that focuses on the academic side of the industry, researching and reporting on new theories and standards of practice in HR. Both students and professionals can join, and members get access to journals, monthly newsletters, and webinars. Plus, there are two annual conferences, one in America and one in Asia, which provide opportunities for advanced training and networking.

See: 10 Best Deals on Online MBA and Online Master’s in Human Resources Management Degrees

4. Association for Talent Development

As one of the more specialized professional associations for human resources, the ATD is made up of workers and students who design workplace training modules and help employees achieve their full potentials. The primary goal of this association is to teach HR professionals new strategies and practices for assessing and developing employees’ skills. According to Forbes, this is the future of human resources. Instead of mostly administrative tasks, HR professionals will focus on talent discovery, onboard training, assessment, and employee development.

5. College and University Professional Association for Human Resources

Human resource professionals working at colleges and universities are eligible to join CUPA-HR. Members research and share about topics relevant to their positions including designing professional development tracks for professors, benefits and pensions, faculty organization and work/life balance, and workplace discrimination legislation. The CUPA-HR platform has opportunities for members to take surveys and access results and statistics.

While, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are over 500,000 HR employees in the United States, national conferences and local workshops help connect everyone in the industry. Along with face-to-face meet-ups, membership in one of the many professional associations for human resources also offers access to the latest news and theories as well as career services like certification exams and job boards.