Written by Tracy

I have not written a blog post in 21 months. I have thought to do one for a long time, but it fitted more to a Twitter rant. It has to be a topic that needs a lot of room.

Also, as you noticed, I have not written a blog post on recruiting and HR for a long time because I think we’re recycling the whole topics again and frankly, I have written long enough that those articles can be shared and be the same thought. I can truly say this is a different post.

I first saw Johnny Taylor when he was the Chairman of the Board for SHRM back in 2005-06. The guy had a lot of energy and like the HR profession. This was the time I graduated from George Mason and SHRM was a rising organization. Jump 12 years later and SHRM announced that Johnny Taylor would become President of SHRM. I was actually happy about that choice. Fast forward to February of this year, it was announced that Taylor will be joining the advisory board for HBCUs for the Trump administration.

When Taylor joined the board, this raised a lot of flags. After his announcement, The SHRM Legislative Conference had their keynote speakers Sean Spicer and Donna Brazile, the other conferences had Equifax as a sponsor, and Facebook dominated the SHRM Conference. Over the summer, Taylor said the employers need HR professionals to be certified as a requirement.  In the past year, SHRM has shifted from a respectable organization to part of lobbying firm no wants to be part of.

Why I’m writing this because I relied on SHRM to help the HR profession and it has done that. Of course, there were errors, but for the most part, SHRM did its best to help the profession from a tactical profession to a more strategic profession. Now with Taylor up on board with the Trump administration, I’m worried about how SHRM is associated.

I had no idea Taylor had a heel turn in him until I saw this article that he’s a hardcore conservative and got money from the Koch Brothers. I don’t mind different viewpoints, but accepting money from a huge conservative billionaire and shaking hands of the President just paints a terrible picture of everyone.

For Johnny Taylor, his connections and agendas are forcing different groups to go to the route they don’t want to join and basically making him the face of HR for this administration.

For SHRM, the once proud organization is in the direction of the person (or administration) that believes everyone needs to be certified and accepting that sexual harassment is fine. Also, if SHRM wants to attract younger HR professionals, 1) they don’t like to join unions but do support them and 2) they care about the mission and your mission does not align with what’s going on, they will not join but worse, they will tag SHRM as a terrible partner of social issues.

Speaking of HR, the HR profession has taken a huge hit that the profession was on the rise, but now the perception for some is HR protects the company but not the individuals.

Let me say this upfront that without SHRM, I wouldn’t have met the wonderful staff and the other HR professionals and bloggers. I know this is temporary, but I can’t support SHRM as it is today. SHRM should not determine what HR professionals think. HR is not a homogeneous position and HR should be debated, benchmarked, and shared what the profession should be.

I still have high hopes for the HR profession in the future and right now, this feels like a terrible time to be in the profession. I can say it can get better but if you want to solve these issues, it starts internally with our employer and expands of going to the voting booth. It’s going to suck now, but if we don’t do anything from sexual harassment to equity pay to social justice, it’s going to suck for the others for generations to come. Some might care or not, but it’s urgent that HR is an influential part of the company, we just have to get our crap together.


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