Human Resources Profession: An Overview
Today, business success depends on the conservative management of all resources, including Human Resource capital. Workers at all levels provide to their employer’s sustainability and profitability. HR management maximizes those contributions by carefully managing recruiting, hiring, training, compensation, and benefits.
HR managers often consult with top management on the organization’s direction, employee development, and strategic planning. They maintain their companies continue viable by attracting top talent, recruiting the best candidates for each position, and allowing employees to develop their skills and abilities for their benefit and that of the company.
HR managers compare the value of human capital to the company’s bottom line. They are adept at dealing with people from all backgrounds and levels of experience, knowledge, and skill. Some of the required attributes to succeed as an HR manager include flexibility, patience, attention to detail, excellent communication and listening skills, negotiation skills, and professional responsibility.
Types of Human Resource Certifications
There are two leading certifying organizations: the HR Certification Institute (HRCI) and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).
The HRCI offers seven different certifications, depending on location, education, and experience. The most common is the Professional in Human Resources (PHR) and the Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR). Those just beginning in the field can take the aPHR, which is ideal for college graduates or those transitioning into the area.
The HRCI used to be the certification arm of the SHRM; however, in 2014, the SHRM launched its certification exams, the SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) and the SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP). SHRM began accepting applications for the certification exams in 2015.
Human Resource Recertification
Both the HRCI and SHRM credentials expect you to renew your certification every three years by confirming participation in ongoing professional development. However, HRCI recertification and SHRM recertification differ slightly in their requirements. Those who choose not to recertify through professional development also have the option of retaking the exam.
While there are specific standards in some areas of HRCI recertification as far as what includes toward maintaining the credential, keep in mind that online course offerings are also available that can be completed at your preference.
Benefits of HR Certification
1. Hireability and Promotability
Certification has other benefits in addition to an improvement in salary. Payscale.com notes that holding either a PHR or an SPHR certification increases the likelihood of a promotion at all levels. Certified HR assistants are 37% more likely to be promoted within five years than those who are not certified.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, candidates with a certification or master’s degree have the best job prospects. Additionally, certifications can sometimes be tiebreakers among candidates with similar education and experience.
For some jobs, certification can even be a necessity. According to HR Payroll Systems, most mid-level to senior-level job postings mention certification, and some recruiters throw your resume aside if you don’t have those magical 3 or 4 letters after your name, even if you make it past the application system that may be scanning candidates for certification.
2. Evidence of Professionalism
By going through the steps of certification and paying the application and test fees, certified professionals show a commitment to the field of HR.
Certified HR professionals generally perform correctly in their jobs, which could be due to an increased commitment to their profession, or from the knowledge they have obtained while studying for certification exams. According to SHRM, certifications are linked to realistic job scenarios and work situations, which may lead to better job performance.
3. Proof of Up-to-Date Skills
As mentioned previously, certified professionals must maintain their credentials. Because of this, many seek professional development opportunities rather than opting to retake the certification exam. By taking professional development courses, certified HR professionals remain current in their field; the certification itself establishes that they are committed to doing so.
4. Networking Opportunities
One of the key benefits associated with any professional certification is the opportunity to connect with other professionals in the same field, which could lead to friendships or even future job opportunities.
In 2016, HRCI had 140,000 certified professionals, while the SHRM claimed 60,000 certified professionals, though it has a total membership of 275,000.
Both organizations offer a host of opportunities to network with other Human Resource professionals. HRCI offers events based on job type, as well as state and national conferences. SHRM presents discussions on topics related to leadership, law, and more, including an annual conference.
The SHRM Diversity & Inclusion Conference also allows a dinner event that will enable attendees to meet each other as well as popular speakers while enjoying local restaurants.
HR Certification and Salary Potential
Many professions have optional certifications that appear to be valuable, but will they help you earn more money. According to Payscale.com, an HR certification can increase salary earnings for all levels of Human Resource professionals, from assistant through the director. For HR managers, the salary difference between certified and uncertified professionals could be as much as $10,000 per year.
Additionally, where you live in the United States can make professional certification even more valuable.
Regardless of which HR certification you want, having either credential can lead to a higher salary and elevated promotion and employment opportunities and improve job performance, among many other benefits.
Human Resources Certification shows that you are a committed HR professional who will stay current in your chosen field of Human Resources.