HR professionals cater to employee requirements while meeting organizational talent needs. Certifications are extremely valuable for their careers, more so if from international bodies.
As a professional field, human resources (HR) is and will always be in demand. People are the most important resource for an organization, and as long as that is so, there will always be a need for HR.
The role of HR itself has evolved significantly over the years. From discharging primarily administrative duties, HR professionals now also play a role in high-level planning, working on important policies and strategic organizational initiatives in consultation with top executives.
It follows that HR is a popular career choice, as it is required across organizations. Young professionals with degrees in HR or related subjects are top candidates, and many choose to pick HR certifications to give their prospects an extra boost. In fact, according to a PayScale report in 2018, 34.2 percent of all HR professionals hold at least one HR certification.
What makes the certification decision important is that there is no uniform track or academic line to success in HR. There are various degrees one can take up to join the HR field, and similarly many organizations offer HR certifications. And often, to be considered for higher-level positions in HR, an HR certification is mandatory. The reasons for the importance of HR certification are the following:
An HR certification gives the holder the latest skills and knowhow in the HR domain. These include:
An HR certification also prepares the holder for the strategic dimension of HR. HR responsibilities have expanded far beyond administrative aspects, and modern HR professionals are often part of organizational strategy teams. In the present scenario, HR programs must address the problems being faced by the business along with contributing to long-term strategic goals. A good certification ensures the HR professional is adequately prepared to meet these strategic requirements.
There is more than one factor to evaluate when considering taking up an HR certification. Look through the following parameters to make the decision easy:
These facts are borne out by statistics. The higher the designation, the more chances of the person holding an HR certification. For instance, 55.7 percent of CHROs are certified, compared with 46.5 percent of HR Directors and just 5.2 percent of HR Assistants. Even within these, it is not uncommon to see one person holding more than one HR certification.
The chances of promotion are higher too, ranging from 10.2 percent for an HR Manager to 24.8 percent for an HR Director. And of course there is a salary boost, ranging from 2.9-28.8 percent depending on the particular certification. Important to remember here is that the pay boost is likely in the early to mid-career phases, but not so much at senior levels, such as the director level. This may be due to higher practical experience garnered by this stage, because of which professionals might not renew their HR certifications.
A common question is: Do you really need an HR certification? The answer is not all black and white. An undergraduate or master’s degree in HR is often enough to make a start, with an HR certification coming in later as a knowledge refresher. Also, specialized HR positions tend to not require certifications as much as HR generalist roles.
So which institution should you choose if you are looking for HR certifications? Here are some great options:
Given this information, it becomes important to choose the best HR certification as per requirements. Some important questions can make the choice easier:
A key consideration in this regard is international relevance and value of the HR certification. Certifications are sometimes highly valuable only in the country where the certifying organization is headquartered, and not so much elsewhere. In fact, many popular HR certifications are often criticized for not having enough of an international focus.
Employers also place importance on the international aspect of education and certification. In fact, some employers encourage their employees to acquire certifications outside of their home countries, often offering incentives for this purpose. They see immense value in how an international certification gives an HR professional the capability, knowledge, skills, and talents to perform excellently on the global stage.
Additionally, it is advisable to look for HR certifications specifically with an international component if the plan is to seek employment outside of the particular country. This becomes especially important when considering that staffing approaches also differ as per country.
The last word…
HR professionals handle a continuously evolving yet always critical set of tasks. Their growing order of responsibilities makes HR certifications extremely valuable tools in their arsenals. With the onset of the pandemic, the demands placed upon this discipline are ever higher, and a good HR certification equips them even better to discharge these to the best of their abilities, leveraging the latest skills and knowhow. Remember, though, that there will be demands placed on time and money. Weigh these against the rewards, and make the right choice!