In the ever-expanding world of HR certification, it’s easy to get confused as to what certifications are available and to understand why to get certified in the first place. Is it worth the time and the money?
Certification can be beneficial on both an organizational and personal level. A recent report from the Human Resources Certification Institute (HRCI) and the Top Employers Institute, “Emerging Evidence: Business Performance and the Validation of HR Best Practices,” found that companies that value HR certification outperformed the industry average by 14 percent over a five-year period. The same companies outperformed the stock indexes in their respective countries by an average of 51 percent over the same period.
A study by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), “The Value of HR Certification Around the World,” found that on average, HR professionals attributed a personal ROI of 253 percent to professional certification, and that perceived value of professional certification increases proportionately with level of experience.
Outside of studies and numbers, certification and recertification shows a commitment to learning about and keeping up with the profession over time. Employers who support HR certification show a commitment to their employees, which can lead to greater engagement and retention. Individuals who have attained certification have had to commit to a process and take steps to gain knowledge in the field. Certification lends credibility to the individuals who hold the credential and to the organizations that employ them.
Now you know why. The next question is what certifications are available.
The two groups offering certification specifically for HR (there are others for compensation, benefits, payroll, etc.) are the previously mentioned HRCI and SHRM. HRCI offers several certifications including the Professional in HR (PHR), Senior Professional in HR (SPHR), Global Professional in HR (GPHR), and the new Associate in HR (APHR). Each has different qualification requirements and tests on different bodies of knowledge. HRCI offers information about each test, the application process, and costs. MSEC members currently receive a $50 discount on the application fee for the tests. SHRM offers the SHRM-CP (Certified Professional) and the SHRM-SCP (Senior Certified Professional). You can find more information here.
Certified HR professionals generally feel there is benefit to being certified, and organizations that value and hire certified individuals reap the benefits as well. Whether or not now is the time, you now know, it’s definitely worth it.