Human Resources Networks: Top 10 Networks for HR Professionals

Mar 17, 2022 | 0 comments

HR departments are the engine rooms for every business, but the goalposts are constantly changing. New rules and regulations, technology advances, and best practice guidance keep HR professionals on their toes. And it’s a full-time job keeping on top of the ever-changing HR landscape. Human resources networks provide a crucial lifeline for many. These online platforms bring HR professionals together to stay ahead of trends, share knowledge, brainstorm ideas, and support each other.

Whether you are a seasoned HR professional or a newbie, we share the top ten HR networks.

What Is A Human Resources Network?

An HR network is a forum where like-minded professionals come together. It’s a place where HR staff can connect, challenge, educate and brainstorm with colleagues. And they are great for keeping your knowledge current.

And while some networks are starting to return to in-person events, most offer vibrant online communities you can easily tap into.

Human resources networks come in various forms. The main types  are as follows:

  • Professional accredited organizations (think SHRM, NHRA)
  • Local chapters of national HR networks
  • Social networks, including LinkedIn and Facebook

Some networks charge a membership fee, while others are free to join.

What Problems Do HR Networks Solve?

HR networks perform an invaluable role from providing mutual support to accessing resources, knowledge, and continuing education. HR is complex and ever-changing. Networking helps you understand how others have tackled the challenges we all face. And it helps increase your ability to deliver the best possible HR service.

What Are The Benefits?

Joining a human resources network brings a wealth of personal and professional benefits. Here are just a few of those on offer.

Network With Peers

This is vital, especially in small businesses where the HR department may number just a few people. A network means you have unlimited opportunities to tap into the knowledge and experience of other professionals across many industries.

You can make valuable connections that can help with your career. And from an organizational perspective, it helps spread the word about your product or service. Plus, it’s an indirect way to recruit great talent. You could connect with someone with the skills and knowledge your company needs, if not today then in the future.

Develop Skills And Knowledge

Knowledge is power, so the saying goes. And HR networks connect you with limitless amounts of expert knowledge. You can find new ways to tackle common problems and explore new software solutions/vendors while keeping your knowledge updated with continuing professional development. Membership of HR networks gives you access to knowledge, making you more efficient and effective.

Explore New Ideas

Internet searches only go so far. HR networks mean you can explore new ideas with colleagues already using those solutions. You can ask questions and gain honest appraisals.

Furthermore, HR staff often deal with personal workplace challenges, making it difficult to talk to internal colleagues. Facing a complex people issue can be lonely and isolating when you have no one to bounce ideas off. HR networks are a safe way to gather fresh insights on thorny issues.

Disadvantages Of Human Resources Networks

As with most things in life, the more effort you put in, the greater the rewards. You are unlikely to get the most out of the network if you are a passive member. You will have a much better experience if you commit to actively engaging with the platform. Some HR professionals find setting aside time in their diaries for networking is helpful.

Another downside is the cost. Some professional networks charge a hefty membership fee, and others charge for events or training. Many companies will happily pay or contribute towards the costs. Those organizations see the value to staff membership of professional networks. And if that’s not an option for you, there are plenty of free platforms, as we discuss below.

Top 10 Human Resources Networks To Join Today

1. Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)

Coming in at number one is SHRM. It’s the world’s largest HR professional organization and has 285,000 members in 165 countries. That’s a lot of people to network with! Plus, there are many local chapters to join.

This network is strong on professional development. SHRM authors cutting-edge research and organizes conferences and events. Furthermore, there are plenty of customizable templates and tools, such as standard job descriptions and interview questions. SHRM also has its own certification program.

Membership fees start from $40 for students to $199 per year for professionals.

2. HR Exchange Network

HR Exchange Network is a thriving platform packed with articles, videos, live conferences, and more.

With 270,000 members, this human resources network has comprehensive coverage. Members can connect with other professionals worldwide. Topics explored include the latest employment law, mental health, wellness, and talent management.

Furthermore, HR Exchange Network regularly hosts conferences, webinars, and exchanges.

And the best thing is membership of the HR Exchange Network is free.

3. National Human Resources Association (NHRA)

NHRA may be smaller than others on this list, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t pack a punch. First established in 1951, NHRA has a long history of connecting HR professionals.

From intern to executive, this human resources network has something for professionals at every stage of their careers. Specialties include small conferences, professional networking, and leadership development programs.

There are several local chapters to join dotted around the US. Many chapters hold local in-person events and conferences covering a host of current issues.

Membership costs range from $50 for students to $300 for corporates.

4. Human Resources (HR) Professionals (LinkedIn) 

Hosted by LinkedIn, this informal networking group has the advantage of being easily accessible. And with more than 200,000 members, there’s plenty of lively and insightful debate.

The community is actively managed and moderated and also produces a weekly newsletter.

HR professionals use the forum to discuss the latest trends, including talent acquisition, staff development, and employee benefits.

All you need to join is a LinkedIn profile. Membership of the community is free.

5. HR.com

HR.com is the largest global social networking and resource site for HR professionals, with nearly two million members.

Alongside networking opportunities, the platform has thousands of articles, webcasts, and e-learning opportunities. This human resources network has a strong research focus and an HR certification exam preparation program. It’s an excellent choice for those wanting support with career development.

Basic membership is free. Prime HR Pro membership costs $189 per year, and the Prime HR Elite option costs $1,999 per year.

6. Association For Talent Development (ADT)

As the name suggests, the focus of ADT’s network is recruitment and employee development. Members come from more than 120 countries and work in public and private organizations across all industries. There are also a large number of local chapters.

ADT has a wealth of resources. There’s everything you could need, from articles and webinars to research, networking, and conferences. You can even access an extensive library of templates and tools.

This is the perfect platform if you are responsible for recruitment, training, and employee development.

There are several membership packages available. Student membership is $119 per year, and the premium professional plus option is $1,674 per year.

7. National Association Of African Americans In Human Resources (NAAAHR)

This specialist human resources network has an extensive selection of local chapters and a 20,000 member-only social media following.

NAAAHR members benefit from networking opportunities, professional development, mentorship, and much more.

There’s a vast program of webinars and an annual conference. Plus, chapters have local events and workshops.

NAAAR also has a popular HR job postings section, making it easier to access qualified diverse HR candidates.

Membership costs vary depending on the package and start from $30 for a student to $125 for a professional. Corporate memberships are also available.

8. Human Resources Management & Executive Network (LinkedIn)

Another network hosted on LinkedIn, this one focuses on HR leaders. With 80,000 members, it’s a great networking platform for senior HR executives.

You can stay connected and informed with the latest HR trends and initiatives. And share insights and knowledge with your peers. The network aims to help members become top HR executives in their field.

It’s free to join this human resources network. All you need is a LinkedIn profile.

9. WorldatWork

This specialist platform will interest HR professionals working in compensation, employee benefits, and total rewards programs.

Member benefits include professional development, networking with peers, and practical resources. There’s a vibrant online community where you can reach out to other professionals to ask questions and share best practices. Plus, you can join a growing number of local networks.

WorldatWork also has a certification program. Members can qualify as certified compensation or remuneration professionals.

Membership varies from $55 for students to $350 per year for professionals.

10. Human Capital Institute

The Human Capital Institute is a must for HR professionals interested in talent management. Membership will help you keep updated with the latest trends in recruiting and developing talent. The institute has a global reputation for thought leadership and a strong emphasis on research. With over 195,000 talent leaders worldwide, the institute is an excellent platform for networking with a diverse community.

Webcasts and virtual conferences are regularly held on hot topics like employee engagement, inclusive diversity, and people analytics.

Furthermore, the institute has a comprehensive certification program in a range of areas. Industry-recognized certifications are available in critical areas such as workforce planning and change management.

You can select from a variety of membership options. Community membership is free, and fees apply for corporate members.

Human Resources Networks: Final Thoughts

No matter the industry or challenges you face, membership in a human resources network helps you get ahead.

Sharing your knowledge and experience with others is incredibly rewarding. And learning from the expertise of others can give you that much-needed breakthrough moment.

Furthermore, most of the identified networks offer extensive professional development opportunities. Taking advantage of those will help grow your HR career.

And with the goalposts constantly changing in HR, membership of these networks keeps your knowledge current.

However, be prepared to put in some effort to get the most out of human resources networks. Passive membership won’t be enough. You will need to engage with these networks actively. To this end, rather than joining every network going, it pays to be selective.

With so many HR networks at various price points, your biggest problem is deciding which one to join.

If you have enjoyed this article, check out MyHub’s blog for more insights on the latest HR issues.

MyHub provides cloud-hosted intranet solutions to businesses worldwide. Our easy to deploy intranets support HR teams to deliver superior services to their clients. Find out more in a free demo or 14-day no-obligation trial.

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