Looking back, moving forward
Another year has come and gone, and as we close the door on 2016, I wanted to take the opportunity to reflect on some of the milestones HRPA reached this year.
2016 was a great year for your association. At better than six per cent growth, we exceeded our membership growth target. We equalled our best-ever member retention percentage at 91 per cent. Retention of first-year members, always the most vulnerable group, improved by over one-third to 80 per cent. Satisfaction with the Annual Conference and Trade Show and with our Professional Development offerings remains at well above 90 per cent. Attendance for senior leadership events improved dramatically from under 400 registrations in 2015 to over 900 registrations in 2016, thanks in part to the calibre of our CHRO event calendar.
As of November 30, 86 per cent of Hire Authority job postings year-to-date specify that a professional designation is required or preferred so it is encouraging that 14,680 members (almost two-thirds of total membership) are now professionally designated, including 260 CHREs. We successfully introduced our CHRP and CHRL law exams and Job Ready Program and by year-end had introduced computer based testing, eliminating forever manual testing methods. Test-takers will now have a more convenient way of scheduling all exams, with a window of available time slots instead of being limited to Saturdays, and the new process provides more secure testing technology than traditional paper-based Scantron exams.
With strong member input, we researched and presented half a dozen research whitepapers on HR related issues to policy makers and the latest, on Millennials, was covered by over 230 print, radio and TV outlets across Canada and the US. And through ISO, the International Standards Organization, we initiated a program to create a global HR competency framework in partnership with nine other countries.
In June, we launched a new HRPA website, a new Hire Authority job board, a new iVolunteer online volunteer management and recognition community, as well as committee and chapter communities. We completed a massive upgrade to our ecommerce system, greatly improving the user experience for members. We upgraded our phone system so it is easier to reach the staff members you need to speak with, and we continue to be one of the leanest associations with the highest per capita staff productivity among tier-one regulators.
2016 was a very good year, but it is just the start of our 3-year strategic plan. There is still much more to do — but we are off to a terrific start. To each of you, I wish you a very happy holiday season and a healthy and safe 2017.