Human Resources (HR) is one of the most demanding positions in an organization. HR professionals deal with many human capital related issues on a day-to-day basis. From economical factors to ongoing policy amendments, it’s important for HR professionals to network and join affiliated associations that provide insight for some of today’s burgeoning issues in HR management.

HR management is the strategic approach to the effective management of people in an organization in order to help the business gain a competitive advantage. Commonly known as the HR department, it’s designed to maximize employee performance in service of an employer’s strategic objectives.

The National Human Resources Association (NHRA) expects human resources to contribute to such areas as mergers and acquisitions, improvements in productivity, quality, the ability to release new products to market, and to continuously improve the company’s focal asset…the employees.

With new HR responsibilities on the horizon, which professional affiliations are best to help lead an organization’s HR team into the foreseeable future? For your convenience, we have outlined 10 HR associations that can provide immediate benefit not only to your organization, but to your career development as well.

10 HR Associations to Join

Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM)Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) is a global association that represents over 300,000 members in more than 165 countries. For nearly seven decades, SHRM has served its members as the leading provider of resources, the needs of HR professionals, and advancing the practice of human resource management. SHRM has more than 575 affiliated chapters within the United States and has subsidiary offices in China, United Arab Emirates, and India. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., SHRM has a staff of over 350 people. SHRM provides education, thought leadership, certification, communication, community, and advocacy to enhance the practice of human resource management, and the effectiveness of HR professionals in the communities and organizations they serve.
National Human Resources Association (NHRA)Established in 1951, the National Human Resources Association (NHRA) propels the career development, planning, and leadership of human resource professionals in the United States. NHRA offers professional networking programs and development services to support human resource professionals throughout their career from internship to executive status. The organization offers professional development tools and opportunities through live meetings at affiliate locations, via conferences, and seminars with training partners. The NHRA includes leadership opportunities for those HR professionals looking to boost their career growth.
Academy of Human Resources Development (AHRD)The Academy of Human Resources Development (AHRD) was founded in 1993. Their purpose is to encourage the study of Human Resource Development (HRD) including theories, processes, and practices and to proliferate HRD information and the use of its findings. The organization provides social networking opportunities for academic or professional interest in HRD from different industries around the world.
Association for Talent Development (ATD)The Association for Talent Development (ATD) is a professional membership organization designed to support those who help develop the knowledge and skills of employees on a global level. Their members include but are not limited to: talent development managers, trainers, instructional designers, performance consultants, frontline managers, and workplace learning professionals. Members come from 120 different countries around the world, working in organizations of all sizes, and in many industries. ATD provides insights through articles, webcasts, books, industry research, print media, conferences, educational programs, certifications, and job opportunities.
International Association for Human Resources Information ManagementFounded in 1980, the International Association for Human Resources Information Management (IHRIM) is an organization that provides their members with access to a networking community that incorporates education, collaboration, and professional certification. Through conferences, educational programs, and webinars, IHRIM offers members intelligent HR system investments and solutions to business challenges. Their certification program allows its members who work with intelligent HR systems to become recognized for their experience. The IAHRIM online community includes virtual networking through LinkedIn groups to collaborate and share industry knowledge from articles to HR technology solutions. The Human Resource Information Management Foundation (HRIM) is a nonprofit organization which promotes scholarships, research, and education programs for the HR profession.
Council for Global ImmigrationNow a part of Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM), the Council for Global Immigration (CGI) provides resources and support for advancing the employment-based immigration of highly educated professionals globally. Their resources include educational programs, updated public policy insights, business solutions, toolkits, guides, and events.
College and University Professional Association for Human ResourcesCollege and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPAHR) is a national organization that provides educational opportunities through advanced knowledge, resources, advocacy, and networking for organizational and workforce excellence. The organization is comprised of over 25,000 HR professionals and higher education leaders from over 2,000 member organizations across the U.S.
American Payroll AssociationAmerican Payroll Association (APA) is a national leader for payroll education, publications, and training. Founded in 1981, APA enhances the skills of payroll specialists through knowledge and peer-to-peer networking. The organization offers payroll conferences, seminars, resources, and industry recognized certifications. They represent over 20,000 members who join the organization to become recognized for their achievements in the payroll industry.
Human Capital InstituteHuman Capital Institute (HCI) offers members live and virtual educational content for HR teams, talent management leaders, and business executives in order to help build and establish the workforce of the future. HCI’s focus is on innovations that help organizations get the most impact out of their employees.
HR People + StrategyHR People + Strategy is the executive network for the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM). The organization offers its members access to a network of executives and thought leaders in the HR field. Members obtain access to peer-to-peer executive networking, research, and publications.

HR Associations FAQ:

What HR Certification is Best?

According to Business.com, the most in-demand HR certifications are as follows: Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP), Professional in Human Resources (PHR), Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR), SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM-CP), SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP).

What is an HR Generalist?

A human resources generalist has an important job within an organization because they’re responsible for the everyday management of HR operations. They’re in charge of making sure employees are aware of their benefits, they’re in charge of policies and company values, and many times, they’re in charge of planning team building activities and events.

I’ve Worked as an HR Professional for Three Years and Would like to Obtain a Certification. Which Certification is the Best for Me?

This can depend on many factors, including current experience, the direction of your career, and education. The Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) is one of the top organizations to be associated with as an HR professional. They offer an SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP certification program. The SHRM-CP is the perfect certification for those engaged primarily in HR operational roles, including implementing policies, an HR point of contact for staff and stakeholders, and performing day-to-day HR functions. The CP eligibility requirements are less than the SCP eligibility requirements: the SHRM-CP certification requires one year of field experience for those with a bachelor’s degree in an HR related study. For a non-HR bachelor related study, the requirement is two years of field experience. The SHRM-SCP certification is primarily for experienced HR professionals at a senior level who operate in a strategic role, including developing policies and strategies, overseeing the execution of HR operations, analyzing performance metrics, and contribute to the alignment of HR strategies to operational goals. For the SHRM-SCP certification program, eligibility requires a graduate degree in an HR related study and minimum three years of working experience. The certification information page at SHRM offers an eligibility table, sample exam questions and an experience assessment to evaluate which is the right certification exam for you.

Which of the 10 HR Associations Listed can Help with Questions on HR Policies?

Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is going to be the best association for all policy questions. The network of professionals, resource guides, and latest policy amendments will help with workplace HR policies. The National Human Resources Association (NHRA) is another HR association that provides helpful information on policies. Their conferences and seminars cover such topics as HR policies and provides access to a networking forum of other affiliated HR professionals.

Which of the 10 HR Associations Listed can Help Develop Interview Questions to Hire the Top Talent for our Organization?

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the best option here. Their members receive access to over 450 interview questions. If you need assistance writing job descriptions, sample policies, HR forms, and how-to’s for HR professionals, then SHRM will be your top resource.

Is your HR department looking for their next team building activity? Try Team Building Kits!