· 1 min read · Features

From the HR editors: Martin Leach

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As HR magazine reaches its milestone 25th birthday, editors reflect on the industry during their tenures

“When I launched, as publisher, Human Resources magazine in the spring of 1991 it was a difficult time; not only for the economy, but also for the publishing world. Magazines were closing and advertising budgets were in steep decline. Having identified the market for a strategic HR publication I needed to ensure that we continued to stay in front. We chose an outstanding editor in Godfrey Golzen, created a format readers loved, built up a pool of advertisers and strived to make each issue better than the last.

Along the way we redesigned the magazine twice, increased the frequency from quarterly to bi-monthly, and added single-page columns. We provided comment on Europe, information technology, the World Wide Web, and America, along with regulars such as the ever-popular ‘law on line’ and ‘putting theory into practice’. I was responsible for commissioning all the photography and illustrations we used in each issue.

Over time we built up a pool of more than 100 leading journalists who were commissioned regularly to write our features. Their expertise and independence ensured standards were kept at the highest level.

We became well-known for featuring international management gurus, like Harvard’s Rosabeth Moss-Kanter. Closer to home Golzen and I became friends of Charles Handy, who believed that organisations were facing an age of paradox: a struggle to reconcile conflicting social, economic and moral forces.

After publishing the magazine for four years we created the first HR Excellence Awards.

Human Resources went monthly in 1998 and was sold to Haymarket the following year. I am proud the magazine collected 20 publishing accolades in my time and 25 years later is still being published.”

Martin Leach launched Human Resources magazine 25 years ago. He is now editor of Ponsonby News, a community magazine in Auckland, New Zealand

Check back tomorrow for Morice Mendoza (editor between 1999 and 2002) for his memories of the HR function during his tenure