SHRM, in addition to sounding kind of hilarious when you say it out loud (do any Shermans out there actually go by Sherm?), also hosts the world’s largest HR conference, which is presently in full swing in Chicago.
This provides an opportunity to ponder the role of HR and of these sorts of gatherings in general. Practically every company has at least someone working in HR, and larger corporations have an entire department. It’s one constant shared by every business, no matter how desparate they may be. And it’s a job that doesn’t radically change depending on where you go. Every company has a different purpose, product, service, philosophy, and culture. But all of them are exactly the same in that they need people to function, and in managing those people, HR professionals are united in their evolving role in the workplace which, no matter where a company’s located or what its size, will be uniform to some extent for the simple fact that people are people, no matter their profession.
And so it is that the SHRM conference is an especially fortunate thing. All of these HR professionals the nation over can gather in one place in order to acknowledge the all-important unity of their work, to hear talks and view products that speak to the cutting edge of the human resources field. There are many conferences like this, expos for certain professions or industries, but this one is special simply because HR is ubiquitous—every company in America could probably send someone to SHRM—but also isolated, in that HR professionals, while crucial, aren’t the main purpose of most of the companies that they’re a part of.
Here HR professionals can gather and, for once, have it be all about them. And what’s nicer than that? Everyone likes to be the center of attention once in a while, and, as HR makes perfectly clear, we’re all people.