Another ILSHRM conference is in the books. The conference was a success. Thank you to Sabrina Baker for your efforts on this and to Cathy Plouzek for your leadership and guidance as our State Director.

The Entrance to ILSHRM14

The Entrance to ILSHRM14

The conference itself appeared to be flawless to me. There were no outward signs of failure; things like a speaker not showing up, a room being too full or problems with food.  I did not hear of anyone who was upset or offended by session content or speaker conduct – so I call this a success.

The purpose of the conference is to provide educational opportunities to our Illinois SHRM Members at a reasonable price, and the board accomplished this.  While the reviews have not been tabulated as the military folks like to say the anecdotal evidence indicated that attendees were pleased with the session content. This included all three keynotes, which by my measure were fabulous.

We even added a new wrinkle this year with the Monday evening social event, which raised $1600 for the No Kid Hungry organization. A special thanks to ILSHRM long-time friend Dwayne Lay for his efforts on this.

So all good, BUT… the underlying concern, the elephant in the room was still the “new” certification. Illinois SHRM members are still concerned about this and are looking for hard fast answers to the questions.   In an effort to ally these concerns we did have a couple representatives on site.  SHRM CHRO Jeff Pon held a town hall style meeting Tuesday morning with what looked to be about 100 folks or so.  It appeared that most if not all of the folks in the room held some certification and were concerned about where this whole process is going, and how it got there.

Mr. Pon did a 20 minute presentation and fielded questions for about 20 minutes.  Thank you SHRM for trying to put us in the loop.

However, in my opinion, this is a very complicated story with a lot of history behind it. Accordingly many questions cannot be fully answered in two minutes. In this instance I am referring to what happened between SHRM and HRCI. We will get the story in the days to come and I would venture to say it will all make sense.

Regarding the new certifications and the transition from one to the other or the holding of both, this is going to happen. It is a reality whether you like it or not.  There still are details to be worked out –but it is a reality.  I would guess most folks will maintain both, this is what I intend to do.

Another fear I heard was this; SHRM is dumbing down/devaluing the certification, and/or it is a money grab by SHRM. As we say on twitter, IMO I can’t see the benefit for SHRM, or any group of HR pros, to lower the bar. This makes no sense to me! Regarding the money matter, I can see where one would want to think this.  My thoughts are that there has to be a great deal of cost in ramping up for and implementing this program.  So if the plan is for SHRM to monetize the certification program I think they are working outside the standard 12 month ROI model.

One other concern that was raised was the delivery method for training.  Some sole HR practitioners/contractors expressed some concern about who and how training will be done. The answer I heard on this matter was that this is still a work in progress.

Ironically there was little discussion of the some of the upside arguments.  I have heard countless chapter volunteers complain about the process of getting certification credit for meetings. This will improve dramatically the new system.  Chapters will be pre-approved, no submission for meetings – BAM!

If you are a SHRM member who holds a certification I implore you to follow this matter.  It will get better, and it will be good.  SHRM has been too good, too long for it not to be.

If you attended Illinois SHRM the board thanks you. If you did not we would love to have you join us next year. I hope to see you then!