The job of HR professionals was in the early years considered to be essentially an extension of administration. They handled routine tasks such as interviews, filling open job positions, appraisals, and salary disbursal. The skill requirements were not considered much beyond being a people’s person and comfortable handling workforce concerns.
Over the years, however, the job has taken on a significant strategic dimension. The HR team is now tasked with creating and implementing a people strategy and hiring people with the skillsets that help the organization achieve its strategic goals. They must ensure a match between the people strategy and the overall strategy of the organization.
Does certification help an HR professional?
HR in the present day is a particularly dynamic field, showing significant changes in response to the economy and market movements and other factors. With the workforce becoming more aware of its significance, the demands on HR professionals too have risen. This makes it critical for them to stay up to pace with best practices, employment laws and regulations, and other trends in the HR domain.
It is for these reasons that HR certifications have risen in importance. When obtained from recognized, respected institutions, HR certification programs can be of great support to long-term career success — research indicates chances of improved earnings by as much as 44 percent over a career. And even though certification is currently not mandatory, it is increasingly becoming ‘preferred’ or even ‘essential’ from the previous ‘optional’.
Which are the best HR certifications available?
Here are the best HR certifications for professionals:
SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP)
Targeted at experienced professionals in HR with at least three years of experience, SHRM-SCP is offered by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). It is for those who work in strategy development, lead the HR function, analyze performance metrics, create HR strategies that align with organizational goals, and foster influence in the community. The four-hour exam contains 160 questions split between knowledge items and situational judgment items.
Change Management for HR (CMHR)
CMHR is offered by the Human Capital Institute (HCI). Its focus is on people over processes, seeking to help candidates identify and build capabilities to successfully navigate change and help businesses succeed. Successful candidates are equipped with an action plan and actionable, relevant techniques and tools for change initiatives. They learn how to partner with the business, explore the role of HR during change, and create an action plan.
Professional in Human Resources (PHR)
PHR is a good HR certification choice for candidates who want to establish themselves in the HR field. It PHR demonstrates expertise in the operational and technical aspects of HR management, including US laws and regulations. The right candidate is someone experienced in program implementation, with a logistical/tactical orientation, accountable to another HR professional within the organization, and holding responsibilities focusing on the HR department rather than the whole organization. The maximum weightage of the PHR exam goes to employee and labor relations (39 percent), with other coverage areas including business management, talent planning and acquisition, total rewards, and learning and development.
What other certifications can an HR professional take up?
Apart from HR certification programs, professionals can also opt for talent management certifications. Here are two of the best options:
Senior Talent Management Practitioner (STMP™)
Offered by the Talent Management Institute (TMI), STMP™ is targeted at upwardly mobile professionals in the mid-stage of their HR careers, and looking for high-demand talent management roles. The STMP™ certification makes the candidate a qualified HR specialist capable of anchoring organizational talent strategies with an eye on the future. Such a person is skilled in handling the complexities of a changing business landscape, workforce dynamics, and HR accountabilities for business.
Certified Professional in Talent Development (CPTD)
A professional certification offered by the Association for Talent Development (ATD), CPTD is for talent development professionals who have at least five years of experience. Its scope covers the application of knowledge and skills as well as decision-making across the breadth of talent development. CPTD candidates are tested on content covering 22 capabilities from the Talent Development Capability Model of ATD.