Changes in HR: Where it’s been and where it’s going

HR is changing in Canada. Here, our writer interviews key figures at CPHR to see how far we've come, and what is next...


BCBusiness + CPHR

Years ago, ‘human resources’ was viewed as a department in which salary decisions were made, people got hired and fired, and team-building sessions were planned. But as technology and company needs evolved, so did the role of HR. Now, the Chartered Professionals in Human Resources (CPHR) BC & Yukon is fostering the latest evolution with a variety of initiatives.

As the voice of the HR profession since its beginnings in 1942, CPHR Canada propels the human resources sector forward by supporting over 27,000 members (5,700 in BC alone) with education and advocacy.

CPHR BC & Yukon’s chief operating officer Baldev Gill says, “I’m old enough to remember the days of ‘personnel departments.’ The shift to human resources acknowledged the value of employees as an organizational resource, rather than just workers who had to be paid on time. That was the first major change in HR, and it resulted in us identifying and recruiting new talent, developing training and retention programs as well as strong succession plans, and performing many other duties.”


So, how is HR evolving beyond that?

Specifically, as recruiting gets more competitive and organizations put further emphasis on acquiring top talent, HR professionals are increasingly being viewed as having the potential to be part of core management teams in order to bring insights and drive business strategy and results.

Gill says, “Businesses are asking HR professionals to align themselves better with the latest practices to help executive teams meet their goals. In other words, business leaders want us to have a seat at their table. Therefore, our job at CPHR is to advance the value of our profession and the recognition of the designation.”

CPHR kicked off 2017 with a shared desire to bring greater clarity to the business community regarding HR and the merits of the organization’s national designation. “We are showcasing our profession and branding it as a community of strategic business partners who can bring a unified vision and framework of expectations that are aligned with the reality of the business world and designed to deliver results,” says Gill.

Another key CPHR initiative is its continued lobbying for self-regulation of the HR sector. “We want the government to recognize us as a professional industry, and even though B.C. has experienced an unusual election this year, we’ve made good headway in achieving our goal to date,” says Gill.

Finally, CPHR Canada has also established a national Code of Conduct, as well as consistent minimum requirements for certification. “That has been long overdue,” says Gill. “There was a great need to unify and simplify so that HR training would be consistent from coast to coast.”

More than ever, HR is being sought to contribute to significant business decisions, advise on critical transitions and develop the value of the employees. CPHR is positioning itself to ensure that this evolution is brought to full fruition. President & CEO of CPHR BC & Yukon Anthony Ariganello concludes, “What we and our colleagues across Canada have established is a clear, strong and consistent designation, well-positioned to develop fruitful business futures across the country and beyond.

“What these changes reflect overall is the fact that HR professionals today are not only ‘necessary’ – they are impactful, high-value, trustworthy business leaders with unique expertise in delivering on business outcomes while supporting the success of individuals.”


Created by BCBusiness in partnership with CPHR