There are a number of reasons a human resources professional may want to join an HR organization or association. Many such HR organizations assist in:
- developing leadership skills
- providing educational resources
- organizing conferences and seminars
These areas help HR practitioners network with others in their fields and learn best practices. Joining a human resources association allows HR professionals to boost their credibility. It also helps advance their careers. Which human resource organizations are worth joining? Keep scrolling for Human Resources MBA’s list of the 15 best human resources professional organizations.
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Academy of Human Resource Development
AHRD is a top human resources professional organization. Human resources professionals interested in furthering their HR knowledge and keeping up to date with the latest industry trends would do well to join the Academy of Human Resource Development. This global organization promotes “the study of human resource development theories, processes, and practices.” They also frequently send out educational resources and invitations to various networking opportunities, including for those working in human resource agencies. Members pay either $130 (students) or $220 (individuals) per year. They then receive:
- conference invites
- award opportunities
- faculty mentoring projects
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American Payroll Association
The American Payroll Association (APA) was founded in 1982. It has been a leading organization for HR professionals. It is aimed specifically at those who work in payroll. The APA offers its members conferences and seminars on the topics of:
- payroll training
- various educational resources
The association also offers Fundamental Payroll Certification (FPC) and Certified Payroll Certification (CPC). Individual memberships cost $219 per year.
Association for Manufacturing Excellence
The Association for Manufacturing Excellence is a great organization for those with a human resources position at a manufacturing company. Membership to this respected association costs just $150 for an individual. Once enrolled, members can “exchange best practices and network in order to advance their careers and improve the competitiveness and overall value of their organizations.” The association also hosts excellent conferences held throughout the country.
Association for Talent Development
As its name suggests, the Association for Talent Development (ATD) is an organization for those professionals who recruit, train, and develop employees. ATD offers members a number of conferences and other networking events each year. The association also produces an impressive amount of educational content in the form of:
ATD membership fees range from $229 to $349 per year.
College and University Professional Association for Human Resources
Those who work in human resources within higher education are able to join the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR). This international HR association:
- monitors trends within the field of higher education
- conducts research
- shares news, updates, and various educational resources
Council for Global Immigration
Council for Global Immigration is affiliated with the Society for Human Resources Management. SHRM is also on our list of the best organizations and associations for human resources professionals. The Council for Global Immigration is one of the best human resources management organizations. It is for those who work specifically with employment-based immigration. Members of the Council always have access to up-to-date information on immigration policies to ensure their company or institution remains in compliance and able to attract top international talent.
HR People + Strategy
HR People + Strategy is one of the top human resource professional associations. It is associated with Society for Human Resources Management, the largest human resource organization in the world. SHRM is another entry on our list of the best organizations and associations for HR professionals. HR executives with 10 or more years of experience are invited to join HR People + Strategy. The organization focuses on:
- developing talent
- HR strategy and planning
- honing leadership skills
Membership costs range from $495 for an individual to $5,000 for an enterprise consisting of 12 members. This includes next-level access to:
Human Capital Institute
Human Capital Institute is a top human resources professional association. Human resources professionals are expected to keep up with the trends relating to recruiting and developing talent. That’s where HCI comes in. Members of this well-respected association have access to:
- current academic research
- HR mentors from prominent companies
- a community of thoughtful leaders
- conferences held throughout the year
Community membership is free, though there are annual fees for corporate memberships, conferences, and certification programs.
International Association of Administrative Professionals
The International Association of Administrative Professionals has been a leading human resources organization in the world of human resources since its founding in 1942. Today, IAAP has branches in 49 states. It works to provide HR professionals with the skills, knowledge, and insights necessary to keep up with an industry that changes rapidly and to advance their careers. IAAP members receive access to:
- training programs
- various certification programs
- conferences and networking events
International Association for Human Resources Information Management
The International Association for Human Resources Information Management (IHRIM) is a top human resource managers association. It is one of the top membership organizations in the world for HR professionals working in information management. The association offers:
- educational resources
- professional certification
- collaboration opportunities
Memberships cost $50 (students), $100 (faculty), $295 (individuals), or $2,800+ (corporations). This includes job listings, conference invitations, access to a knowledgable community, webinars, and certifications, among other things.
International Public Management Association for Human Resources
The International Public Management Association for Human Resources, or IPMA-HR, has been around since 1906. The organization acts as a one-stop shop for the industry by providing:
- educational resources
- job opportunities
- conference invites
The international association does have a central governing body. There are more than 40 chapters throughout the United States. This means that members receive personalized attention and information most relevant to them.
National Association of African-Americans in Human Resources
This national association for HR professionals is specifically for African-Americans working in human resources. NAAAHR, as it’s known throughout the industry, describes itself as an “inspirational and unique career development and networking powerhouse.” Members receive a myriad of benefits, including:
- networking opportunities
- educational and professional development
- mentorship and coaching
And because the NAAAHR has regional groups, one-on-one and personalized access is easy to achieve. Membership costs range from $30 for a student to $125 for a professional. Corporations can register 10 members for $1,000 or purchase a “Corporate Elite” membership for $5,000.
National Human Resources Association
National Human Resources Association (NHRA) is smaller than some of the other human resources organizations and associations on our list. NHRA provides deeper, more intimate development opportunities for HR professionals to learn and connect with others. The non-profit association is run entirely by volunteers. Thus, it emphasizes a “high focus on products and services that will bring bottom-line savings and value to organizations.” These products and services include:
- small conferences
- professional networking programs
- leadership development services
Membership costs vary by region, but range from about $50 (students) to $300 (corporations).
Society for Human Resources Management
With more than 275,000 members across 160 countries, Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) is the largest HR organization in the world. The group is dedicated to human resource management. According to its website, it seeks to “serve the needs of HR professionals and advance the professional practice of human resource management.” SHRM:
- produces publications and industry research
- offers awards, scholarships, and certifications
- organizes conferences
Individuals who purchase a membership with SHRM receive customizable HR tools such as:
- interview questions and job descriptions
- an HR advisor service
- an HR magazine subscription
- weekly webcasts
Membership costs range from $40/year for students to $190/year for professionals.
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WorldatWork is one of the best human resources professional associations. It is an organization for HR professionals that deal with:
- executive compensation
- sales compensation
- compensation benefits
- work life
The goal of WorldatWork is to help its members advance their careers by taking advantage of networking opportunities and staying up to date on industry changes. To do this, WorldatWork offers various certification programs, including
- Certified Compensation Professional (CCP)
- Certified Sales Compensation Professional (CSCP)
- Certified Benefits Professional (CBP)
Memberships cost $350 annually. This includes:
- conference invitations
- training from leading experts
- valuable educational resources