In today’s hypercompetitive business world, there are numerous reasons why an HR certification matters. For starters, one out of every two hiring managers prefer candidates with certification, according to the Human Resources Certification Institute’s 2008 Value of Certification Survey. In addition, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected the demand for human resources professionals to grow 17% by 2016. Even more compelling is that Money Magazin ranked Human Resources Manager careers #4 in a recent Best Jobs in America survey. As the competition for this job grows, HR professionals with valuable certification may be more likely to stand out from the other candidates.
HR: Then and Now
Today’s human resources field is light years ahead of when HR was predominantly limited to administrative duties. Human resources professionals still perform traditional tasks like employment screening and answering benefits questions, but they are also pivotal in high-level planning with responsibilities like consulting with top executives to chart strategic direction and shaping key policies. Mary E. Power, executive director of the HR Certification Institute, stated that “Credentials earned through the HR Certification Institute are key to keeping the skills of today’s HR professional current.”
The Importance of HR Certification
It often makes a world of difference when you can show others just how dedicated you are to your career. In general, to be respected as a human resources professional and to be considered for higher level positions, you must have an HR Certification. This valuable credential can help distinguish you as an HR expert and professional. For more information about why HR certification matters to you, there are a number of reasons detailed in the Value of Certification Survey from the Human Resources Certification Institute (HRCITM), including:
- Hiring managers typically consider an applicant’s certification when making hiring decisions
- Certified HR professionals may inspire greater trust and confidence from business colleagues than their non-certified HR co-workers
- Some organizations believe hiring HR-certified professionals gives them a competitive advantage
- Business leaders may find HR-certified professionals better motivated and knowledgeable than non-certified HR workers
- HR professionals report that certified HR professionals can help create a positive impact on their organizations’ financial performance
What Does HR Certification Mean to You?
There are several reasons why an HR certification can matter, both personally and professionally. HR certification is a career-long commitment that can help demonstrate to your peers and your company that you are driven to be a successful human resources manager.
Prestigious HR Credentials:
- Can help set you apart from those without it
- May help increase your professional confidence and satisfaction
- May increase earnings potential
- Can result in greater respect from your organization
- May make you a better candidate for a new job
Personal Benefits of Professional HR Certification
How is HR certification important to you and your career? There are many reasons why HR certification matters, but this question may be answered accurately by those who currently have an HR certification. According to the Value of Certification study by HRCI, when HR professionals were asked about the perceived benefits from achieving certification, the top-10 advantages were:
- Strengthens my résumé
- Provides me personal satisfaction
- Differentiates me from non-certified HR professionals
- Increases my chances of getting a better job outside my organization
- Helps me be more successful in my role as an HR professional
- Gains me respect from my organization (e.g. colleagues, superiors)
- Helps prove my worth/value to my employer
- Increases my earning potential
- Allows me to have a greater impact on my organizations business success
- Improves my career advancement opportunities within my organization.
Nationally Recognized HR Certification
Now that you have a clear understanding of why HR certification matters, you should know what types of certification are available. The four most recognized types of HR certifications are: SHRM-CP®, SHRM-SCP®, PHR® and SPHR®. The SHRM-CP stands for the Society of Human Resource Management Certified Professional, and the SHRM-SCP stands for SHRM Senior Certified Professional. Additionally, the PHR stands for Professional in Human Resources, while the SPHR represents Senior Professional in Human Resources.