I am teaching a certification class starting today. I will have some eager students who are in HR related positions hoping they can parlay that experience and what they learn in class into a PHR or SHRM-CP. The class, sponsored by a local university for its employees “sold out” and I will have a full class.
I have been certified for a long time and have both my SPHR and my SHRM-SCP. I have taught classes for both. I learn something new every time because the material updated every year I get a chance to keep up to date with what is happening in HR. That is the value to me. What about to my students?
Value to the student
I have found over 18 years that most people have a limited view of HR. Their experience may come from education, but not typically. They may have worked for one or two companies, maybe three at most, so their HR experience is how those departments are run. This experience may be good or it may be bad. However, even if it is good the person often does not know what the laws say, they know what their company did. They may not be aware of the varieties of theories of management, or reward, or discipline because they only know what their company did. So the value to the student is that they have their horizon broadened.
Getting certified, for the first time, is not easy. Most everyone that is certified will tell you they have no desire to repeat the test. Even getting recertified on CEUs is no piece of cake. For someone to dedicate themselves to studying, learning vocabulary, and practicing tests takes initiative and hard work especially if they are working and have families. Hiring employers should take into consideration the type of person they are hiring. Existing employers should recognize the treasure they have in their midst, with having an employee who is trying to improve themselves in their chosen field.
Denigrating the certification
Due to the separation of HRCI and SHRM in the certification world, some people have questioned the value of a certification. Whether you agreed with it or not, the fact that there are now two HR certifications does not devalue the certification. Both are difficult to get. Both provide students with information and ideas that they normally do not get in their day-to-day job. It makes people more well-rounded in their chosen profession. None of us should make light of the hard work it took for someone to get a certification.
While it may not be valuable to you because you are in a specialty area of HR and no longer need to be diverse in your skills, most people need to keep up on the ever more complicated of HR in the 21st century.
Applaud these people, congratulate them on their accomplishment, and don’t snicker at their certification. Hire them, they work hard and are on their way to being your better HR employee.