It was the fast moving political, economic and social changes of the early to mid 20th century that spurred the development of the human resource profession in America. War brought the need to hire and train new workers. Workplace disputes created unions and the need to negotiate on behalf of management. And equal protection laws created the need for compliance expertise.

This branching out of the HR profession into several disciplines continued into the late 20th century. Laws such as OSHA, ERISA, ADA and FMLA allowed HR pros to expand and sharpen their skills.

The start of the 21st century is promising to offer just as much opportunity for growth, if the HR profession is willing to embrace it.

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