The NAHRMA Board conducted a board meeting in Quebec, Canada last September 2008. Also, the Canadian Council of Human Resource Associations will be hosting the NAHRMA Board in Halifax, Nova Scotia next month.
1. CANADA - CCHRA
With the global economic crisis, Canada anticipates 3.0% decline in GDP in 2009. In addition, according to the OECD, Canada’s GDP is expected to post a modest but positive growth of 0.3% in 2010.
Canada’s position is partly due to the vigorous monetary and fiscal measures the federal government introduced to boost the economy. Massive investments in infrastructures, assistance to support Canadians and stimulate spending, together with measures to improve access to financing for consumers, households and businesses and strengthen the financial system, are the main features of
the economic action plan Finance Canada launched in March. This implementation of this plan should enable the Canadian economy to survive the storm over the next few months.
In the meantime, the recession continues to impact on production and employment. In January 2009, the GDP posted its third consecutive decline with a negative growth of 0.7%, following decreases of 1.0% in December 2008 and 0.7% in November 2008.
Slowdown in the labour market …
The last five months saw a significant decline in employment, which was more sudden than that recorded during the recessions of the 1980s and 1990s. Since October 2008, Canada has lost 357,000 jobs (net), representing a 2.1% drop, the largest since the 1982 recession. Full-time work is responsible for this decrease (-387,000 or -2.8%) while part-time employment recorded a modest increase of 30,000 (0.9%). These figures suggest an accelerated decline in the Canadian economy in recent months.
In March the unemployment rate reached 8%, the highest rate in seven years.
Lastly, the OECD anticipates that Canada will end 2009 with an unemployment rate of 8.8%, which will climb to 10.5% in 2010.
A few provinces hold their own … Although Canada has been hard hit by the crisis, particularly in Quebec and Ontario where manufacturing largely dominates the economy, Manitoba and Saskatchewan should remain relatively prosperous.
Manitoba is expected to post a 1.4% growth in 2009, while Saskatchewan will end the year above 2%, a highly advantageous position in comparison to the -3.0% anticipated for Canada as a whole.
The employment scenario is similar, with Saskatchewan and Manitoba seeing unemployment rates of 4.7% and 4.8% respectively, versus 8% for Canada overall.
What’s the secret in these two provinces? Manitoba largely owes its performance to strong regional demand, while Saskatchewan is the world’s leading producer of potash and uranium, whose prices remain both stable and high.
Wages …Despite the turbulent labour market, wages continue to rise. In the last year, the average hourly wage increased by 4.3%.
In addition, the average weekly wage rose by 3.2% from January 2008 to January 2009 to reach $823.71. The largest hikes were noted in retail trade and healthcare and social welfare, at 6.1% and 4.4% respectively.
There’s no doubt that the Canadian economy has been affected by the tensions currently impacting the global economy. However, everything indicates that the strong fiscal and monetary initiatives launched by the federal government, as well as accelerated investments in infrastructures, should enable Canada to weather the storm without too many after-effects.
Association Updates: CCHRA
Economy not yet affecting exam writers
Exam registrations continue to be up for the first part of 2009. May writer numbers are 24% higher that writers in October 2008 and 50% higher than those in May of 2008. This speaks to the quality and perceived value of the CHRP designation and process launched only 5 years ago.
Professional Practice enhancement
As part of continuous improvement, work is underway to conduct a Professional Practice Analysis over the next year. Working with external experts, CCHRA will be conducting cross-Canada focus groups and surveys of HR professionals and business leaders on the current requirements in the field of human resources in Canada. This significant, high involvement effort will result in an update to the Canadian HR Body of Knowledge and Required Professional Capabilities (RPCs®) used in setting the tests for the CHRP professional.
As examinations are a process of constant evolution and refinement, the CCHRA Board of Directors, through the Professional Standards Committee, recently undertook a periodic review of the National Professional Practice Assessment®. This review process was conducted by third-party experts in the fields of professional certification exams and Situational Judgment Tests. As research and examination standards evolve, certain changes were proposed to bring the NPPA to the forefront of certification excellence. These will be implemented in line with the May 2, 2009 exam sitting.
CCHRA is continuing to examine the opportunity for a senior designation and whether it would be launched at a national or provincial level.
Excalibur HR case competition HR management students from the four corners of Canada came to compete on March 20 and 21 in the 23rd Excalibur Tournament, organized by the Ordre des conseillers en ressources humaines agréés and supported by CCHRA. Excalibur is an annual competition that brings together business people, key figures in the human resources community, academics and students, with one common goal in mind – to ensure the excellence of future professionals in the field.
This exceptional competition for future HR professionals gains in popularity each and every year. This year, the 23rd tournament welcomed some 70 students from 22 Canadian universities, who came to match wits in this challenging and competitive environment. The winners were from all over the country with first prize going to a team from HEC in Montreal, Quebec, second to a team from the University of Alberta and third to students from Thompson Rivers University in British Columbia.
4th CCHRA National Forum
Planning is underway for CCHRA’s 4th National Forum to be held in Ottawa on November 4th and 5th, 2009. The theme for this year’s event will be: “Economic Reset: People, Productivity and Competitiveness”. The Forum will focus on the critical role that people and innovation will play in enhancing our competitive position and ensuring our national prosperity and the role that human resources professionals have in facilitating success.
Marketing the HR profession and the CHRP designation:
CCHRA will be launching a new website promoting the CHRP designation in the next few months. Work is being done to update the CHRP brand reflecting the findings from focus groups conducted in the fall of 2008. The new site and refreshed brand will help enhance the value of the CHRP for designation holders, and will help raise awareness of the CHRP among professionals, students and employers.
CCHRA is also updating and formalizing its governance policies and processes. Recommendations have been made that include changing the size of the CCHRA Board, updating Committee Terms of Reference, establishing formal Board evaluation practices. As part of enhancing governance, CCHRA will be holding a 1 ½ day strategic planning session as part of its next Board meeting in May.
CCHRA will be hosting the North American Human Resource Management Association Board in Halifax in conjunction with its Board meeting on May 28, 2009. Glenn Tecker, noted governance expert, will be addressing the group on “Association leadership in Turbulent Times”.
2. MEXICO: AMEDIRH
New National HR Association
AMEDIRH reported to NAHRMA last September that for the past two years it has been working with other associations in Mexico (former HR association members of COMARI) to create a national HR association, and a constitution was signed last year during the AMEDIRH international conference (September 24, 2008). For the time being the new national association (federation) is not operational and AMEDIRH will serve as the Secretariat. Also, as per general agreement AMEDIRH will represent Mexico on the NAHRMA Board and consequently on the WFPMA. AMEDIRH is working in cooperation with the president of the national association to determine the structure going forward. The NAHRMA Board accepted this position but reserved the right to revisit it again in a year.
Association News: AMEDIRH
International Human Resources Congress
AMEDIRH will conduct its 44th International HR Congress on September 8-9, 2009 in the World Trade Center in Mexico City. It has lined up renowned speakers, a rich schedule of educational sessions, great networking, great exhibition prizes and a fir-class venue for exposure to HR products and services. Expand your horizons and mark the date on your calendar to attend this premier event.
3. U.S.A. – SHRM
From Bureau Labor Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/bls/newsrels.htm)
U.S. Employment Situation
The labor market started to slide during the second half of 2007 and deteriorated at an accelerating pace as 2008 unfolded. In the first quarter of this year, the Nation’s unemployment rate rose to 8.5 percent, as well over 10 million persons found themselves out of work. The rise in the jobless rate is the largest since 1982, a recessionary period that has long been noted as the most severe in modern times. The labor force participation rate hovered at around 66 percent in 2008, essentially unchanged over the year, indicating that much of the downturn in the labor market resulted from individuals losing their jobs.
Total nonfarm employment peaked in December 2007, coinciding with the start of the current recession. This turning point marked the end of about 3 years of job growth totaling nearly 5.5 million jobs. During 2008, payroll employment fell by a little over 3 million, and the declines were quite widespread across industry sectors. Few parts of the economy have been immune from layoffs, in fact job losses have been large and widespread across the major industry sectors: manufacturing, construction, financial activities and professional and business services, as well as retail trade and leisure and hospitality, all have suffered job cutbacks. Only a couple of major industries, most notably health care and mining, managed to add jobs last year.
Consumer Price Index
The Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported for the first three months of 2009, consumer prices increase at a seasonally adjusted annualized rate (SAAR) of 2.2 percent. This compares to a 0.1 percent increase for all of 2008. The index for energy, which fell 21.3 percent in 2008, advanced at a 7.9 SAAR in the first quarter of 2009. Petroleum-based energy costs rose at a 29.1 percent rate and energy services decreased at an 8.5 percent rate. The food index fell at a SAAR of 0.8 percent in the first quarter of 2009 after rising 5.9 percent during 2008. The food at home index, which rose 6.6. percent during 2008 fell at a 3.6 percent SAAR in the first quarter of 2009.
Excluding food and energy, the CPU-U rose at a 2.2. percent SAAR during the first quarter of 2009 after increasing 1.8 percent during 2008. Advances during the first quarter in the indexes for tobacco, new vehicles, medical care, and apparel contributed to the rise, while declines in the indexes for lodging away from home and public transportation mitigated the increase.
From SHRM/ Rutgers Leading Indicator of National Employment (LINE) Report
The current LINE® survey indicates that April will continue a bleak employment outlook for job seekers as employment expectations continue to sink in the manufacturing and service sectors.
In the biggest decline of the survey’s four year history, the LINE, or Leading Indicators of National Employment®, Report forecasts for April a 53.5 point drop in manufacturing sector hiring and a 40.7 point decline in service sector hiring compared to this time last year.
“The recession continues to impact the job market, as seen in this month’s LINE Report, where April has traditionally been a strong month for manufacturing job growth,” said Jennifer Schramm, manager of workplace trends and forecasting at SHRM. “In April 2007, more than 60 percent of companies added to their payrolls. That number has dwindled to 16.7 percent in just two years and 31.2 of organizations report they are now decreasing their payrolls.”
Given April’s hiring expectations, HR professionals and recruiters in both sectors noted little difficulty in finding qualified applicants. For the first time in four years, LINE recorded single-digit response levels — 2.7 percent in the manufacturing sector and 1.7 percent in the service sector — for those HR professionals reporting increased difficulty with recruiting in March with many more reporting decreased recruiting difficulty (24.0 and 25.4 percent respectively). See full report at http://moss07.shrm.org/about/pressroom/PressReleases/Pages/April2009Hiri...
The SHRM/Rutgers LINE indicator of employment expectations provides an early snapshot of anticipated U.S. hiring for the same time period as the report the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) releases. The monthly report forecasts changes in national employment by surveying human resource professionals at more than 500 manufacturing and 500 service sector firms. The index is released approximately five weeks before the BLS U.S. Employment Situation Report. The indicator reports on four employment measures: job expectations, job vacancies, new-hire compensation and recruitment difficulty. The LINE report is a collaborative effort between the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the Rutgers University School of Management and Labor Relations. The SHRM/Rutgers LINE report began forecasting manufacturing sector hiring trends four years ago and service sector three years ago.
SHRM Launches Strategic Business Review
The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is currently conducting an in-depth assessment of SHRM’s capabilities and competitive position; the current external challenges and trends for future growth; and the evolving needs of its members, their organizations, and the human resources profession.
The objective is to create a new multi-year strategic plan that builds on SHRM’s strengths and achievements, prioritizes opportunities for strategic growth, and ensures the Society’s continued long-term success as the world’s largest and most influential HR organization.
SHRM last conducted a strategic review in 2001-2002. Since that time, membership and services have grown, and the profession and the business world have experienced significant changes. Additionally, this is a particularly important time, as several economic, demographic and political forces are converging that have implications for the HR profession.
The success of the Strategic Business Review relies on the active involvement of all of SHRM’s key stakeholders, including SHRM’s members, employees, senior managers, board of directors and affiliate organizations, as well as outside CEOs, other business leaders and policy-makers. This will be a collaborative, participatory and inclusive effort, and SHRM will seek input from all stakeholders.
Once a new strategic plan has been approved by the SHRM board, a process will be outlined for implementation. SHRM has partnered with Booz & Co. to plan an complete the strategic review, and with Celerant Consulting to implement approved recommendations.
“This is truly an exciting time for SHRM and our members,” said Laurence G. O’Neil, president and CEO of SHRM. “We are embarking on a journey of discovery to examine and adjust our mission, vision and strategy to meet the challenges of a changing world. We believe this process will result in a refined strategic direction for SHRM that will continue to support our growth and the needs of our members.”
HR Standards for the U.S.
The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) has been named by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), as the exclusive national developer of HR standards for the United States.
The designation, puts SHRM “on track to oversee the development of human resource standards,” says Lee S. Webster, SHRM’s HR standards director.
Leading the creation and deployment of HR standards will advance the profession, according to Webster, by:
• Setting the agenda on what the standards are for HR organizational success within the profession.
• Elevating the view of HR practitioners as a vital, learned group of business professionals.
In the past, HR professionals would have many different and sometimes conflicting methodologies for how to handle such things as employee investigations and job evaluations, he said. The Standards Developing Organization (SDO) designation means that SHRM will be crafting “a common approach that all human resource organizations can voluntarily adopt,” he explained.
Once these standards are created, local HR leaders can use them “to manage their practices more effectively in their workplaces, and [the standards] will be connected to what we do with certification,” Webster said.
Having operating standards rather than using an ad hoc approach to manage HR operations will allow HR to act in a manner similar to other professionals, Webster said. Those standards can cover a range of topics.
“It’s really only limited by what the profession says is necessary or not necessary to be a standard,” and the resulting document can be a few pages to an entire manual, Webster said.
A task force will develop those standards. Membership on the task force is not limited to SHRM members. Webster urges those who “want to influence their futures in a deep way” to consider joining the task force.
“They’ll be setting the standards for workplace performance for HR professionals for the future,” he said.
A web site with more information will be posted prior to SHRM’s Annual Conference & Exposition in June 2009. Webster is scheduled to speak about the SDO designation at the conference in New Orleans.
In addition, SHRM is partnering with another standards developing organization—securities professional association ASIS, formerly known as the American Society for Industrial Security—to develop standards for handling workplace violence
The Multigenerational Workforce: Opportunity for Competitive Success
Demographic and social trends will have a significant impact on the workforce in the coming years. Thus, in today’s struggling global economy, it is more important than ever that organizations leverage the knowledge, skills and abilities of all workers—from all generations. By capitalizing on the strengths and values of different generations, HR leaders can create a competitive advantage.
For the first time in history, four generations work side-by-side in many organizations. The working
generations span more than 60 years, including so-called Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Generation X and Millennials/Generation Y. All bring different experiences, perspectives, expectations, work styles and strengths to the workplace. Despite the perceived “generation gap” from differing views and potential conflict, organizations—and especially HR—have the opportunity to capitalize on the assets of each generation for competitive advantage. Predictions in Workforce 2020 (published
in 1997) focused on demographic change as a major global force shaping the world economy.2
More than a decade later, SHRM’s 2008 Workplace Forecast upholds these predictions with key demographic trends: 1) the aging population, 2) retirement of large numbers of Baby Boomers, 3) generational issues and 4) a greater demand for work/life balance. At the same time, the loss of talent due to the retirement of older workers will likely drive an increased focus on skills, labor
shortages and retention strategies for the current and future workforce. 3 Thus, in their respective industry sectors, HR leaders have the opportunity to create competitive success by strategically managing generational differences in terms of differing experiences, values and expectations.
While not inclusive of all generational workplace issues, this article provides perspectives for HR and organizational leaders on selected key aspects of the multigenerational workforce and offers recommendations, primarily for U.S. organizations
As HR professionals work to optimize talent in their respective organizations, research shows that
it is critical to leverage the strengths of each generation. Whether in a domestic or global organization, HR has the unique opportunity to create a competitive advantage by guiding policy and program development and management strategies to increase attraction and retention of the four generations in today’s workplace. http://moss07.shrm.org/Research/Articles/Articles/Documents/09-0027_RQ_M...
Can Sustainability Initiatives Survive in a Tough Economy?
Over the past decade, many organizations have made significant progress in developing sustainable, socially responsible ways of working and have benefited through improved employee morale, loyalty and productivity.
• An emphasis on sustainability has also strengthened HR’s position as a strategic business partner because so many dimensions of sustainability involve HR responsibilities.
• The challenges of the current economic environment are likely to cause some organizations to put sustainability initiatives on the back burner. Yet far-sighted HR leaders will continue to help their organizations leverage sustainability to make a positive difference, enhance the organization’s reputation and employer brand, motivate employees and even improve the bottom line.
With mass layoffs, stagnant wages and signs of economic turmoil all around, it would be easy to assume that the issues of sustainability, corporate social responsibility (CSR) and greener ways
of working will have to take a backseat. But sustainability has by now become deeply integrated into the business agenda of many organizations. For these organizations, sustainability no longer
merely consists of an optional set of corporate initiatives that can easily be eliminated. Instead, sustainability has become a part of the philosophy, mission and culture of the organization. Similarly, for the HR function, sustainability issues are now much more than a collection of programs and initiatives that can be slashed when times get tough. Many of the measures used in sustainability/CSR reporting indices—such as promoting diversity and inclusion, ensuring employee
health and safety, and working to guarantee nondiscriminatory employment through fair compensation and equal employment opportunities—form the backbone of the HR function. Even in the current challenging economic environment, HR professionals will continue to lead their organizations in these aspects of sustainability. Innovative HR leaders will even find ways to build sustainability into their strategies for dealing with the repercussions of a down economy. Read the full issue of Workplace Visions and look at how the challenges of the current economic environment will influence sustainability initiatives and how far-sighted HR leaders will continue to help their organizations leverage sustainability to make a positive difference, enhance the organization’s reputation and employer brand, motivate employees, and even improve the bottom line. Download PDF at : http://moss07.shrm.org/Research/FutureWorkplaceTrends/Pages/default.aspx
SHRM Workplace Forecast Survey Report
Based on a large-scale survey of HR professionals, the Workplace Forecast examines the issues and trends in the economy, demographics, politics, science and technology that HR professionals think will have the biggest impact on the workplace and the HR profession in the coming years. Download PDF at: http://moss07.shrm.org/Research/FutureWorkplaceTrends/Pages/default.aspx
SHRM 61st Annual Conference & Exposition
Preferential Registration Rate to Members of HR National Associations
The SHRM Annual Conference is planned to be held in New Orleans, Louisiana, June 28-July 1, 2009. Keynote speakers include well renowned former GE CEO Jack Welch, he speaks to business audiences and students around the world. Jack also teaches a leadership course at MIT’s Sloan School of Management. Harvard Business School Professor John Kotter is widely regarded as the world’s foremost authority on leadership and change; inspirational speaker Lee Woodroff and co-author of the best-selling In an Instant.
SHRM is extending a specially discounted registration rate to members of the HR national associations registering in groups of 2-3 attendees. Click on the following link for a view of the full conference program: http://www.shrm.org/conferences/annual Any questions? Send to Rosaura Barrera, Manager, Global Relationship at firstname.lastname@example.org