“No comment.”

Anyone involved in the Human Resources profession is familiar with the governing body, SHRM (Society of Human Resources Professionals). What many HR folks may not realize is there exists a current rift between SHRM and many of its practitioners. The main group of dissenters has branded themselves “SHRM Members for Transparency,” or “SMFT.” This group wants more access to the financials and practices of the managing body.

The basis? SHRM’s Board of Directors, for a start: the elected officials making up the BOD are salaried employees. SMFT notes that in the same year SHRM dues were raised, it’s become standard MO for the Board to fly Business or First Class when attending member events. Petty? Maybe, but still not a smart practice. More alarming to most SHRM members is the lack of HR certification by the Board members. Only 38% of the elected officials actually have a PHR or SPHR certification. An issue within itself, there’s a debate over the necessity of an HR certification to be a successful HR practitioner: regardless of your stance on that issue, it’s a certification that is sponsored and promoted by SHRM thru its sister organization, HRCI (Human Resources Certification Institute.) Understand that the SHRM mission is the advancement and betterment of Human Resources via the certification and continuing education programs for its paying members (over 260,000); is it fair to expect the governing Board of the organization to also possess the same certification? The CEO of SHRM is actually a Finance professional ~ not a bad thing for a company (which SHRM most definitely is), but a perceived slight to the membership.

Have a complaint? Well, the Board has the power to dismiss any claim or complaint levied against them, individually or collectively. Social platforms like LinkedIn have seen discussion threads and individual posts deleted and removed on official and unofficial SHRM discussion groups. It appears these actions have awoken the sleeping lion. The upcoming SHRM elections have now drawn heavy interest from the SMFT. They have work to do, as historically only 4-5% of SHRM members actually vote in these elections. My guess is those percentages increase dramatically in the next election. The SHRM BOD has made the tactical error of acting as if they have something to hide, which of course brings on the perception that there is something to hide.

“Uneasy lies the head who wears the crown.” – William Shakespeare

John “Whit” Whitaker is Founder and OH (Original Hardballer); like this post? Try this one, this one, or even this one….go ahead, don’t be a weenie.


Talent Acquisition Executive, team-builder, and full-time dreamweaver. Creative Director, Content Designer, Writer, Speaker, Entrepreneur, terrible golfer, lover of The Art of War & Texas Hold 'Em.

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{ 3 comments… add one }
  • September 11, 2012, 8:21 pm

    I’ll ask the $25,000 question: is SHRM still relevant to the future of HR or is it allowing the world to pass it by?

    • September 12, 2012, 9:40 am

      Broc,That’s actually a question that gets bandied around more often thatn SHRM would like to admit…”relevant”? Yes, I’d say there’s still a huge population of HR that thinks SHRM is not only relevant, but critical to the future of HR. There are others who might think a shake-up is needed.              HR Hardball™Assess ~ Build ~ Coach ~ DevelopJohn Whitaker  817.733-3052http://www.linkedin.com/in/whitakerhrhardball         www.HrHardball.com