About Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)

Founded in 1948, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest HR membership organization devoted to human resource management. Representing more than 275,000 members in over 160 countries, the Society is the leading provider of resources to serve the needs of HR professionals and advance the professional practice of human resource management. SHRM has more than 575 affiliated chapters within the United States and subsidiary offices in China, India and United Arab Emirates.

Visit us at shrm.org.

SHRM Members

SHRM is an individual membership organization, and our members include HR professionals with the following titles:

  • President, CEO, Chairman, Partner, Principal
  • Chief HR Officer
  • Vice President of HR, Personnel
  • Assistant/Associate Vice President of HR
  • Director of HR, Personnel
  • Assistant/Associate Director of HR
  • Manager of HR, Personnel
  • HR Generalist
  • Supervisor
  • Specialist
  • Consultant
  • Administrator
  • Representative
  • Legal Counsel

Nearly forty percent have titles of director or above. Approximately fifty percent of members work in organizations with more than 500 employees, and approximately thirty-five percent are in manufacturing or service industries.

Global Reach

SHRM provides resources, global best practices and a network of valuable contacts to more than 5,000 members in over 140 countries, in addition to U.S.-based HR professionals involved in global HR. As part of SHRM’s commitment to developing the HR profession globally, SHRM opened offices in Beijing, China, and Mumbai, India, to help establish important two-way relationships, provide education and facilitate the advancement of HR. SHRM is running a pilot program to create Member Forums in selected countries to encourage local networking among SHRM members. SHRM is an active member of the North American Human Resource Management Association and the current secretariat for the World Federation of People Management Associations.

Mission and History


SHRM is a global HR professional organization that exists to: Build and sustain partnerships with human resource professionals, media, governments, non-governmental organizations, businesses and academic institutions to address people management challenges that influence the effectiveness and sustainability of their organizations and communities. Provide a community for human resource professionals, media, governments, non-governmental organizations, businesses and academic institutions to share expertise and create innovative solutions on people management issues. Proactively provide thought leadership, education and research to human resource professionals, media, governments, non-governmental organizations, businesses and academic institutions. Serve as an advocate to ensure that policy makers, law makers and regulators are aware of key people concerns facing organizations and the human resource profession.


SHRM will be a globally recognized authority whose voice is heard on the most pressing people management issues of the day – now and in the future.


The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), formerly called the American Society for Personnel Administration (ASPA), was founded in 1948 by a group of just 28 individuals. These founding members anticipated the need for a national organization to represent the personnel profession. Their goal was to provide continued professional development opportunities, promote national networking, and to generally advance the interests of a profession they recognized as being in transition. The Society's first annual conference, which was held in Cleveland, received a total of 67 attendees and generated a net profit of $72.86.

Until 1964, ASPA was strictly a volunteer organization with no permanent facilities or staff. The first Executive Director, Leonard Brice, was hired in 1964 and it was decided that the headquarters would be located in his community of Berea, Ohio. At that time there were 3,152 members and five staff members.

The organization remained headquartered in Ohio until 1984 when, under the leadership of President & COO Ron Pilenzo, SPHR, it moved its headquarters to Alexandria, VA. Seven staff transferred with the organization and 32 new staff came on board to meet the needs of more than 35,000 members. In 1989, the organization's name was changed from the American Society for Personnel Administration (ASPA) to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) to reflect its broadened scope and influence in business and political worlds internationally.

In 1990, after 10 years with the Society, President Ron Pilenzo, SPHR, retired and Mike Losey, SPHR, CAE was selected as the new President & CEO. In 1997, to accommodate its continuously growing membership and staff, the Society moved to its current Alexandria headquarters at 1800 Duke Street. By 1998, during its 50th Anniversary, SHRM celebrated a milestone of more than 90,000 professional and student members worldwide. In May of 2001, the Society celebrated another growth achievement with the opening of a second building adjacent to its Duke Street office. This new building commemorated the formation of the SHRM campus.

Today, SHRM includes a global membership of more than 260,000. The Society has members in 140 countries and offices in India and China.

With a staff of more than 350, there are more than 30 specialized departments within SHRM to serve the needs of HR professionals by providing the most essential and comprehensive set of resources available. As an influential voice, SHRM is committed to advancing the human resource profession to ensure that HR is an essential and effective partner in developing and executing organizational strategy.