PHR Study Group-Your Secret Weapon

Using a PHR study group (or PHR online study group)

online phr study groupThe other day I talked about how “hard” the PHR exam is. I discussed motivation as a key component for test preparation, and I think it’s often overlooked when developing a testing strategy. If you think back to Psychology 101, there are two basic forms of motivation-internal and external. Internal motivation is all about setting goals, prioritizing them, and getting satisfaction from your accomplishments. It also requires quite a bit of mental energy, which is often in short supply with the abundance of responsibilities on your plate (work, spouse, kids, church, friends, volunteer activities, etc.). External motivators, however, can be extremely effective when you’re looking for ways to boost your internal motivation. Enter the PHR study group.

How a PHR study group works

The PHR study group can be online or in person, but the key here is having a support system of people to encourage you and help you stay on track with your studies. Continue reading

Is the PHR Exam Difficult?

Is the PHR exam difficult? Just how hard is the PHR exam?

how hard is the phr examBecause of my history of talking about the HR certification exams, I get a lot of questions about the difficulty level of the PHR and SPHR exams. At first glance, it’s easy to see why people ask those questions. According to the HRCI statistics, nearly half of those who take the exams fail them, which can cause anxiety for those who aren’t good test takers.

What makes the PHR exam difficult?

Maybe it’s the “timed test” factor. Maybe it’s test anxiety. Maybe it’s the difficulty level of the questions. Maybe it’s the nearly-famous ambiguity of the questions. Or maybe it’s something else.

I honestly don’t know which part of the exam presents the biggest hurdle, but based on the failure rate statistics I mentioned above, it’s obvious that there is a barrier to HR professionals successfully completing the test. Continue reading

How Much Money Can You Make with an HR Certification?

The value of a PHR or SPHR certification is often discussed heatedly. Some believe it’s worth the time and money invested, but others think it’s just a waste. PayScale.com has sifted through their salary data and come up with some solid answers for everyone.

By the way, if you want to see your own potential salary we have created an HR certification salary calculator.

Interested in taking the exam? Check out what HR certification materials I would recommend. If you’re already certified, have you seen the HR Recertification guide for how to get free recert credits?

Worth It? The Value of the PHR and SPHR

PHR-SPHR Exam Topics (Free Webinar)

Ever wonder what sort of topics are on the PHR or SPHR exams? Look no further! 

It’s that time again, and I’m getting geared up to work with Dovetail Software on our second webinar to help those who are thinking about taking the HR certification exams.

What we’ll cover

The first webinar focused on the overall body of knowledge and a few solid tips from those who have taken, and passed, the exams. This time we’ll break down each area of the exam, look at how to target each one, and go over some practice questions to help you get a feel for what the exam will cover. It’s a great opportunity to start preparing yourself for the exam!

Register now

Click here to register for the webinar on Thursday, July 19th 12:30-1:00pm Central

If you can’t make the event, please register anyway, because you can get the recording for free after the webinar is archived on the Dovetail site.

Cool prizes

We’re giving away over $300 in study preparation tools from our friends at HRCP to a lucky winner, so please join us and you could win!

Free PHR-SPHR Webinar

Because I talk fairly often about the PHR and SPHR exams, my friends over at Dovetail Software decided to ask if I would work with them on a series of webinars to help people get their feet wet when it comes to the HR certification arena. Naturally I jumped at the chance!

What to expect

There will be three 30-minute webinars, spaced out from this week until August. Here’s what you can expect:

  • Thursday, June 21st, 12:30-1:00pm Central-Session 1: Preparing for the SPHR/PHR Exam 101 – For this session we’ll establish a foundation and help you determine if, and how, you can take on the exam.
  • Thursday, July 19th, 12:30-1:00pm Central-Session 2: PHR/SPHR Study Guide Cliff Notes – In this webinar we’ll look at some of the content areas and I’ll give you some tips on what areas to focus on with a little more fervor.
  • Thursday, August 23rd, 12:30-1:00pm Central-Session 3: 25 Recertification Ideas – This session is going to help those who are already certified, because it will provide 25+ ideas for getting your PHR/SPHR recertification.

For now, let’s focus on getting started, shall we? The first piece is going to help get you up to speed on the latest changes from the HR Certification Institute. This 30-minute session will cover the difference between each certification, FAQs, and tips and techniques for preparing for and passing the certification exam. It\’s everything you could spend hours reading but don\’t want to… and it\’s FREE.

I am excited to be working with the fine folks at Dovetail Software, and I hope you guys can join the webinar this week and get some tips and tricks for passing the exams!

PHR vs SPHR-Which is right for you?

One of the major questions that faces HR pros considering certification: Should you take the PHR or SPHR exam? For some people, it’s fairly clear cut if you only qualify for the PHR, but if you have the experience to attempt the SPHR, which should you pursue?

Want a $20 discount on PHR/SPHR study materials? Get it here.

Here’s some guidance from HRCI on their “candidate profiles.”

PHR Candidate:

The Professional in Human Resources (PHR) certification is designed for HR professionals whose primary responsibilities focus on HR program implementation, are tactical and operational in nature, and function primarily within the HR department. A PHR candidate is one who:

  • Focuses on program implementation.
  • Has tactical/logistical orientation.
  • Has accountability to another HR professional within the organization.
  • Has two to four years of exempt-level generalist HR work experience, but lacks the breadth and depth of a more senior-level generalist.
  • Has not had progressive HR work experience.
  • Holds a job that focuses on HR department responsibilities rather than on the whole organization.
  • Commands respect through gaining knowledge and using policies and guidelines to make decisions.

SPHR Candidate:

The Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certification is designed for the HR professional who designs and plans rather than implements HR policies. An SPHR candidate is also one who:

  • Designs and plans rather than implements.
  • Focuses on the “big picture.”
  • Has ultimate accountability in the HR department.
  • Typically has six to eight years of progressive and increasingly complicated HR experience.
  • Has extensive HR generalist knowledge.
  • Uses judgment obtained with time and application of knowledge.
  • Has generalist role within organization.
  • Uses judgment obtained with time and application of knowledge..
  • Understands the business beyond the HR function and has influence within overall organization.
  • Commands credibility within organization, community and field by experience.

From the people I’ve talked to, it is hard to know if there’s a large difference in the difficulty level of the exams. It seems that SPHR focuses much more on strategy and the “big picture” when it comes to the actual question content.

Have you taken either (or both) exams? What did you think? Be sure to check out the study courses we offer while you’re here!

HRCP-Guaranteed to Pass or your Money Back

With a background of working for numerous small companies, I am a strong supporter of those people and organizations that take a step of risk and try to fill a need in the marketplace, no matter who the competition may be. That’s how I found HRCP a few years ago, and I’ve been a big fan of theirs ever since.

For the HR pro searching for a cost effective way to pass the exam for less than half the price of the SHRM product, this is what you’ve been looking for. (Be sure to use the discount code to get a $20 discount on the HRCP study tools! Plus, read on for information on the money back guarantee!

UPSTART17P is for the Complete HRCP Program: Print Edition
UPSTART17E is for the Complete HRCP Program: Print AND Online Edition!)

I sometimes talk about the PHR and SPHR exams, because I think it’s a powerful way for people to show commitment to the HR profession. With a pass rate hovering around 50%, it’s not an exam to take lightly. With the numbers of people who are unemployed or are on the verge of it, it just doesn’t make sense for many of them to take the risk involved with attempting the exam. The great folks over at HRCP are doing something revolutionary in the HR certification space to help minimize that risk and instill confidence in PHR/SPHR test takers everywhere.

Not only does HRCP offer a great study product, they have recently started offering a money back guarantee with their learning system. If you purchase their study tools, take the practice exams they offer, and still don’t pass the exam, they will give you your money back. Wow!

This is a good time to note that the HRCP tools would be a great fit for the self study course that has helped dozens of HR pros pass the exam.

Continue reading