Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development should promote HR to a wider business audience

To add to the opinions expressed by Cara Davani and Martin Tiplady (Personnel Today, 16 January) on the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), I would like to see the CIPD playing a greater role in promoting the profession to those outside HR.

Issues arise regularly that I believe offer the CIPD the chance to raise the profile of HR in the wider business media and community. The recent issue of ageism and new legislation, for example, presented huge opportunities for comment, and yet the vast majority of the news coverage that I saw was instigated by other trade associations such as the CBI and the Institute of Directors, or by law firms and employment agencies looking for a quick PR hit. I don’t for a minute begrudge those organisations their own PR, but wouldn’t it be better if the CIPD was leading the way?

As the Economist Intelligence Unit reported earlier this month (Personnel Today, 23 January), HR is still not rated by CEOs, and yet the impact that the profession is having on business is indisputably profound. We are now in a predominately service-driven economy, and the key differentiator is a company’s ability to secure the best people, retain them, and get the best value from these individuals through effective development and resource management.

I believe the CIPD should focus more on promoting to business the fundamental success that HR is having on the bottom line, rather than just providing its members with the more esoteric research that is taking place within the profession.

While I’m on this hobbyhorse, why does the CIPD still insist on everyone trooping up north to Harrogate? The last thing I’d promote is the idea that everyone comes to London, so how about Brighton, or somewhere similar? I’d vouch that attendance would leap – and I may even go myself for the first time in 15 years.

John Maxted
Managing director, Digby Morgan

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