Partner Spotlight: Frederick County SHRM - Society for Human Resource Management

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Our Partner Spotlight for this month showcases the Frederick chapter of SHRM or Society for Human Resource Management; they are 158 members strong, representing 120 Frederick businesses. We spoke with member John Mauck, current Treasurer of FCSHRM, recently and he shared some of the latest trends and issues impacting human resources for Frederick businesses.

How does (SHRM) interact with local businesses & professionals?

The Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) is one of the largest national professional organizations of Human Resources professionals.  At the Frederick County chapter of SHRM (FCSHRM), we strive to bring networking opportunities for HR professionals to provide them tools and additional resources to support the businesses where they work.   Additionally, we offer regular monthly meetings and an annual conference for human resources professionals and business leaders to come together to listen to topics that are key to success in businesses and their workforce. 


What needs does SHRM help meet or what services do you provide?

Our local chapter, FCSHRM, offers monthly meetings covering such topics as legislative updates on workforce related items as well as shares opportunities to network with professionals at all levels. The chapter provides resources and connections for all aspects of workforce. Additionally, there are opportunities to volunteer within the chapter.

What recent trends have you seen in the Human Resource field?

Artificial intelligence (AI), or technology in general is becoming a greater focus area in HR.  Technology is not replacing HR. Rather, it is being incorporated into our job function.  Over 75% of businesses use an applicant tracking system for their application process —- a number that will continue to grow as more mobile applications crop up to help the applicant apply faster.   However, you still need a qualified person on the other end to make sure the technology is set up properly and the applications are properly vetted.  To compete for talent, businesses need a savvy HR person or persons on their team.

What challenges do Human Resources professionals face today?

In Maryland, human resources professionals are challenged to be knowledgeable not only about state and federal laws, but informed about local laws.   At times, the deadlines for implementation of these laws are relatively short.  Businesses need HR professionals who are agile and ready to act. 

Another challenge is the historically low unemployment rate.  The applicant, not the employer, has the edge in today’s job market.  Employers need to reach more to applicants to attract and engage workforce.   Businesses need HR professionals who understand that. FCSHRM is teaching and supporting them in these strategies. 

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Are there any new hot topics businesses need to be aware of?

There are many current topics that HR needs to be able to handle.  Ban the box, for example, is a law that prevents employers from asking about criminal background in the hiring process until an offer is made.  Diversity and inclusion continue to be important topics in the workplace.  Gender diversity is growing as well. Simply asking if a person is male or female, is quickly disappearing.   As already mentioned, the job market is getting more competitive.  Employers have to stand out to applicants. 

What tools, resources or programs does FCSHRM recommend to local businesses?

FCSHRM members have access to our website that provides various tools and resources.  Also, we frequently update members on upcoming training opportunities, news and other resources.   While FCSHRM, is comprised of mostly human resources professionals, business leaders and managers are welcome to join or participate in certain events.

What resources are available to companies that might not necessarily be large enough to have an HR department ?

I would highly recommend that they encourage the person who manages the HR function to join our organization or attend meetings.   We frequently offer trainings for that HR Department of one.   We have tools and resources on our website to help.   Just as important, you can network with professionals who are willing to share their free advice and years of experience.  All you have to do is ask.


What general advice do you have regarding
human resources departments & functions?

Human Resources does way more than hire and fire.   HR has become a dynamic profession that can be a strategic partner in your business.  If HR does not have a seat at the table with your company leadership, your business is missing a key component to their continued success.   The national SHRM website uses the catchphrase “The Voice of All Things Work”.   HR is truly an essential function in every business.   Businesses need to not only support the HR person in their workplace, but encourage them to step out and meet others in the field to learn more to bring best practices back to their workplace.  FCSHM is that type of opportunity for Frederick County businesses.