Human capital is a company’s most important asset, which is why human resource departments are vital.
When it comes to managing talent in today’s global economy, human resource departments deal with numerous challenges: remote workers, scattered office locations, and sourcing candidates who fit company culture.
Beyond this, the HR field is constantly evolving says Anna C. Smith, Senior Professional in Human Resources. According to Smith, “HR professionals need to be on top of any recent changes to healthcare and employment laws, retirement, worker’s compensation, unemployment, and paid time off.”
But, when staffed with skilled professionals, HR departments can navigate industry change, adapt to new technology, and build a high-performing workforce.
For today’s HR professional, staying on top of the latest skills and certifications is key to career advancement in an evolving industry.
Why human resources certification is worth it
Certification is an investment of your time, money, and energy. But, the return goes a long way — in the HR field, getting certified helps HR professionals:
Stay on top of the pack
When it comes to applying for jobs, there will likely be other candidates with similar experience to your own. Luckily, certification can give you the edge over an uncertified professional with a comparable work background.
Command higher salaries
Certified human resources professionals have the ability to earn more. In fact, Payscale.com reports that HR managers and directors with advanced certification (Senior Professional in Human Resources) can make upwards of $10,000 more than those without certification.
Gain advancement opportunities
Being certified qualifies you for more opportunities. Plus, it can help you negotiate a better title and a higher salary.
Enhance your skill set
As in any industry, building up your knowledge and skills will help you better perform on the job. Moreover, you’ll be up on the latest industry trends (it’s definitely automation technology).
Who needs HR certification?
While you don’t have to be certified to land your first HR role, 96 percent of surveyed employers think certification is valuable when hiring new candidates.
Moreover, certification is beneficial for associate level and mid-career level employees who want to advance their careers.
Associate level HR professionals
After working in your first HR role for a year or two, you understand the ins and outs of your company’s HR function. This is also a great time to specialize or position yourself for your first promotion.
Becoming certified professional in Human Resources demonstrates that you fully understand the “functional areas” of a human resources department:
- Talent planning and acquisition
- Employee and labor relations
- Business management
- Learning and development
- Total rewards
Mid-career HR professionals
Even if you already a certified human resources professional, it might be time to earn a higher level HR certification.
Taking this step prepares you to take on new responsibilities and may give you leverage when asking for promotions or raises.
Becoming a Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP) shows that, based on your deep experience in the field, you can lead an HR team. Senior HR professionals must know how to:
- Navigate organizational politics
- Develop relationship management skills
- Encourage cross-cultural communication
- Evaluate workforce with data and statistics
- Strategically lead functional HR areas like talent acquisition and learning and development
How to become a certified HR professional
Find your specialty
Human resources professionals are found in literally every type of company and in every industry in the world. So, there’s room to build a career; but when it comes to advancement, specializing in an HR functional area is extremely beneficial. According to Monster.com, the five fastest growing specialty areas in human resources are:
- Compensation and benefits
- Training and development
- Recruitment and placement
- Employee assistance plans
- Human resources information systems
So, being the go-to person for payroll or training can dramatically alter your career prospects.
Choose the certification right for you
There are two main certifying bodies in the human resources industry:
- Human Resources Certification Institute (HRCI)
- Society for Human Resource Managers (SHRM)
Of course, both of these organizations are recognized globally and whichever you choose will greatly benefit your career.
Similarly, both organizations require that you pass an exam and meet certain work criteria to earn certification.
Learn more about HCRI and SHRM.
Enroll in a human resource certification training course
Online training courses are a great way to prepare for your certification exam efficiently.
More so, for the working professional, most programs can be completed entirely online at a pace that suits your busy schedule. Regardless of where you find yourself, certification benefits anyone in the human resources industry.
Investing in yourself with a certification will benefit you for the rest of your human resources career.
To learn more about our online human resource certification courses, click on the links below: