Tag Archives: HR Certification

hr certification career options

2018 HRCI Certification Changes: What You Need to Know

If you haven’t heard, HRCI recently came out with some major changes to their learning content structure–the biggest I’ve seen in the last ten years. Below I outline what you need to know, how to prepare, and a major announcement from me about what we’re doing to help you prepare.

Before I jump into the changes, one of the most common questions I’m getting is whether our certification materials help with this NEW exam. I cover this more deeply below, but my most common answer is this: there aren’t fundamentally different ways to practice good HR. There’s pretty much one way. And changing exam weightings, names, or even throwing in a competing certification (SHRM) doesn’t change that, despite the fact that each certifying body tries to make themselves sound unique and different. Our courses and training materials are designed to help HR professionals get their arms around the needs of the business and how HR can align with them, whether in recruiting, learning, performance, or something else.

That said, we ARE making changes to what we offer, and again, I cover that in more detail at the end of this post.

HRCI Changes: The Big Picture

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battle hr recertification credits

The Hidden Battle for SHRM and HRCI Recertification Credits

Today I’m going to talk openly and honestly about SHRM, HRCI, and things that matter to today’s HR professionals. I have my SHRM-SCP and my SPHR, and I expect to keep them both for the foreseeable future. I think both have merit as of today (February 2018). But maybe that is going to change…

Newsflash: if you get certified as an HR professional, you need recertification (or “recert”) credits to keep your certification (unless you want to take the test again every three years!) As a chapter leader AND a speaker, I see the other side of the equation that most HR practitioners do not. I have to submit my content for credits, and I also have to work with my chapter to submit our content as well to get the appropriate credits.

battle hr recertification creditsOver the years, HRCI has become increasingly stubborn and challenging about awarding SPHR-required business credits for sessions. After several failed attempts in 2016 to get credits awarded for our chapter (for sessions like “building a strategic hiring plan for your organization” and “evaluating the ROI of training initiatives,” we actually ran into an even BIGGER problem. We received business credits, promoted it with business credits to our members, and then HRCI changed their mind after the session was over and our attendees were stuck with general credits, despite paying an extra fee for a business-credit session. Madness, right?

I finally came away with this conclusion: if you want to get business credits, you have to attend a session that has 0% HR content. Take a marketing class. Go to a statistics program. Just don’t do anything that mentions HR in the title or the session abstract and you’re fine. Continue reading

phr shrm-cp hr certification

Which HR Certification is Better? An Analysis of the SHRM-CP and PHR

Last week I received an interesting question that echoed what I’ve seen from dozens of people around the new year:

I came across this discussion while trying to formulate an argument supporting the value and credibility of the SHRM-CP credential.

I have years years of HR experience and about five years ago, I started looking at HRCI and the PHR certification. Eventually, I hit the experience AND degree requirements to take the PHR, but decided to go with the certification offered by SHRM, thinking that a credential offered directly by the society would hold equal if not more weight.

My immediate supervisor is PHR credentialed. When I announced that I had earned my SHRM-CP credential, the response was underwhelming and I was left with the impression that they are not convinced that it is on par with the PHR credential.

We are in the process of updating a Professional Development policy for our company and I’d really like to be able to present an argument for recognizing the SHRM-CP as equivalent to the PHR. I’ve done a bit of looking online, but have yet to see anything that clearly compares the two credentials.

Over the last few years, the piece I wrote about the PHR vs the SHRM-CP certifications has been seen hundreds of thousands of times. I’ve had dozens of comments and questions from people, and over time my thoughts have changed a bit and have become more clear. Plus, some of the actions of the certifying bodies themselves are changing how I view the world. First, let’s address the question at hand.  Continue reading

Will an HR Certification Make Me More Valuable for a Senior HR Role? [Reader Question]

hr certification career optionsHR certification questions are often seen as pretty binary: either I get one or I don’t. But in reality there’s a lot of nuance to the decision. Should I get an HR degree or an HR certification? Will this help my career? Can it make me more competitive? How much money can I make?

That’s because certification is tied in with our personal lives in that it supports us financially, if we do it right.

For the sake of the author I’m not sharing the person’s real name. 

Hi, Ben!

I am an HR Generalist in a school district. We only have two HR staff here. The rumor is that there may be an opening for an HR Director. I would love a shot at the job. The issue is that my co-worker has been at the district for a long time and I have only been there about two years even though I have nearly 10 years of HR experience.

I feel taking the PHR exam would possibly give me a shot at the Director’s job. What are your thoughts?

-Nancy

My Response to Nancy

Two questions wrapped into one!

First the easy one: if you want to pursue the PHR then go for it. There’s nothing that forces you to tell everyone at work that you’re pursuing the exam on the off chance you don’t pass, and you could have it as soon as March/April if you decide to jump in with both feet. No time like the present, right? If you’re worried about preparing then I’d highly recommend the courses that we’ve put together simply because they help in ways that no other system does. If you have the budget, the HRCP materials even offer a “pass or money back” guarantee, which is hard to beat.

Secondly, let’s look at the career front. While this is still a rumor you should start thinking critically about what makes you a fit for the role.

  • Can you demonstrate your leadership skills now, before the job even exists?
  • How can you start positioning yourself as the kind of person that would be a fit for the job in the eyes of those around you?
  • What other hard or soft skills do you need to pick up in order to be competitive for the role?

Thinking this through helps because when it comes open, even if it’s a publicly posted opening, you have an edge because some of the local leadership should see you as a strategic player, not just another administrative paper pusher.

Let me know if that helps or if I can offer anything more to support you! I think it’s a good question not only because it’s making you think about certification, but because it’s making you think about yourself in terms of how qualified/ready you might be for a leadership role. This book I reviewed previously might be helpful in guiding you towards ways to be influential as a leader even before you get the “title” to go along with it.

Anyone else have comments or suggestions for Nancy?

If you have your own question you’d like featured here, feel free to shoot it to me at ben@upstarthr.com for consideration. 

money hr certification exam

How Much Money Can You Earn With an HR Certification? [Free Calculator]

money hr certification examHow much does an HR certification impact your salary? While it matters differently at every organization and for each person, let’s answer that question with some data.

Using data from Payscale.com we (hat tip to my youngest brother Barrett for his Excel wizardry) hacked together a calculator that shows you the median pay for job titles in HR as well as the adjusted rates based on whether the person has a PHR or SPHR certification (at the time of this data gathering there was no data on SHRM certifications, but assume similar levels of competency for PHR and SHRM-CP and SPHR and SHRM-SCP).

Additionally, we threw in a 10-year impact to show you the potential for what a certification could mean to your earnings over time. Again, this is a linear projection and does not take into account all the variables that could happen in your career, but it’s a good starting point when considering whether you’re going to prepare for the HR certification exams.

A few notes and caveats:  Continue reading

hr certification audio

Preparing for the HR Certification Exams: Audio Style

hr certification audioIn 2017 I launched a “beta” version of the HR Certification audio product. That has continued to mature and develop and now has 50+ tracks and several hours of content that ranges from technical to practical. For example, it covers highly technical analyses of specific HR elements, such as:

  • Executive compensation
  • Validity vs reliability in pre-employment selection testing
  • Performance evaluation methods

However, unlike virtually every HR certification prep tool on the market, it goes a step further to more broad explorations of HR’s impact on the business, such as:

  • Recruiting and hiring trends
  • The impact of talent technology on employees
  • How to improve training outcomes

Additionally, since the beginning I have been looking for quality external sources of audio content to throw in as bonus items just to round out the content and give a broader perspective. I’ve referenced a few of the episodes from great HR podcasts like HCI and Xenium, and I’m also adding some of my shows from We’re Only Human to the mix. Why? Because the number one reason people fail the exams is because they don’t understand how to see the big picture–they only study academic terms, take practice tests, and then assume they will understand the strategic impact when it comes test time.

Sorry, but it doesn’t work that way, especially for the senior level exams (SHRM-SCP and SPHR). For these types of exams, learners must critically examine the full scope of decisions in a specific area and how it impacts the larger business. That’s where these additional resources come into play and help.

Because the team is continuously adding content and demand is increasing for the audio content, the price is going up over time. If you’re interested in getting it, this post has the links to the course as a standalone or packaged at a discount with the SPHR self study prep course.

For those of you that have already signed up, thank you for supporting the work we do here at upstartHR! I appreciate it.

Does HR Certification Even Matter? [Podcast]

If you’ve read this blog for more than a few days, you know I’m no stranger to the discussion around HR certification. But today I’m going to share some thoughts from a recent conversation with a friend and colleague on why HR certification matters and how to leverage it for career success. It was a fun discussion with Kristina Minyard, who recently completed her own SHRM-SCP exam, about the value of both the HRCI and SHRM certification options. Click here to check out the episode and listen in.

Notes from the podcast

  • Link to the episode
  • Ben celebrates his 10th wedding anniversary and his one year anniversary running Lighthouse Research.
  • Kristina also participated in episode two, Recruiting as a Service.
  • Ben and Kristina talk about why certification matters to them as volunteer leaders, speakers, professionals, and more.
  • Kristina points out why certification is different from education and why it is arguably more important.
  • Ben and Kristina discuss the HRCI vs SHRM options for certification exams.
  • Kristina talks about group vs solo prep and which works best
  • Ben reminds everyone about some of the certification tools available on upstartHR
  • Kristina talks about her recent experience taking and passing the SHRM-SCP exam and her lessons learned

If you enjoyed this show, be sure to check out all the show archives!