What Professional Organizations Exist for Human Resource Professionals?

Pin It

Human resource professional organizations exist to promote the business discipline of human resource management (HRM) as well as the career goals of its practitioners. HRM must adapt to changes in domestic labor markets as well as the growing trend of some companies to expand into international ones. To help HRM professionals keep up with the latest industry news and best practices, some professional associations provide access to trade journals, white papers and other professional development resources. They also offer job boards and facilitate HRM conferences where HRM professionals can network and learn from industry experts. Other HRM professional associations provide these resources to specific groups within the HRM career field. Here are some of the leading human resource professional organizations that provide guidance to HRM leaders in business and academia.

National Association of Personnel Services

One of the most prominent areas in the field of human resources is recruiting. The National Association of Personnel Services (NAPS) was formed because interested stakeholders recognized the need for HR recruiters to have representation for key government policy making that affected personnel services. Today, the organization lends guidance to government legislative agencies about the HR recruiting field, and it establishes professional standards in performance and ethics for HR recruiters. NAPS also provides education, training and certification opportunities for its members to promote excellence within the HR recruiting profession.

Association for Talent Development

Training and development of workplace talent are top priorities of businesses that want to stay competitive in the market. That is why many organizations support membership with the Association for Talent Development (ATD) for their HR training managers. ATD provides resources for training managers working in the public and private sectors to help employees develop skills that are great for their careers and assets to the company for which they work. The resources include online publications, webinars, conferences and workshops led by industry experts.

International Public Management Association for Human Resources

Established in the early 1900s, the International Public Management Association for Human Resources (IPMA-HR) is one of the oldest professional organizations for HRM. Unlike NAPS and ATD which focus on specific functions of HR, IPMA-HR serves the needs of all HRM professionals working within the public sector. The organization offers its members news about trends in HRM and new government policy changes pertaining to HRM. Professional development resources about best practices, current HRM policies and emerging issues within the profession are also available to members.

Society of Human Resources Management

One of the largest and well-known HRM professional associations is the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM). SHRM acts as a non-government organization advocate for HRM issues with government agencies, and they promote excellence within the profession by publishing results of industry experts’ research and analysis. SHRM is also known for its extensive education, training and certification programs as well as its positive influence on curricula development for university level degree programs.


The transformation of the domestic labor market from one that repetitiously churned out commodity products to one that mainly provides specialized services makes a company’s human assets even more valuable. The described human resource professional organizations give HR professionals the tools that they need to effectively attract, retain and manage the most valuable of resources.

Pin It