Getting certified. Its a big deal for some people. Not so much for others. And some people just laugh at others about it. Why in the world do people put themselves through this kind of stuff? Well, here are the top 15 reasons to take the PHR or SPHR exam… And if you don’t get humor/sarcasm, then this ain’t the post for you. :-)
- Your boss told you to.
- You really want that nifty certificate on your wall.
- It’s easier to be the “smug HR person” when you have letters after your name.
- It can help you pick up HR chicks/dudes.
- You want to show your mastery of some subject so boring that it would make a librarian cry.
- You needed an excuse to get the Rock the PHR guide.
- You need something to balance that upcoming performance review.
- That new job you’re looking at requires it.
- You’re in HR. Other than torturing employees, you have a lot of free time.
- You’d like to demonstrate excellence in (snort) and commitment to (giggle) the HR profession (cough). Riiiight.
- All the cool kids are doing it.
- You enjoy spending hundreds of dollars on study materials.
- Because Dwight Schrute would do it if he was in HR.
- You want to learn new and creative ways to make employees miserable.
- Because you want your HR department to do more than plan birthday parties.
And there you have them! The top 15 reasons to take the PHR or SPHR exam. Think you could do better? Have something to add? Drop it in the comments below.
PHR Exam Tag Cloud
Before I begin, I’d like to ask you to add UpstartHR to your feed reader to get free updates to the blog. I have a great one coming later this week on how entry level HR can be more relevant that you won’t want to miss!
To be completely non-HR and totally geeky for a moment, I’d like to give a few details about traffic for the UpstartHR blog. It’s only been around for a short while, but the hits from Google are coming fast and furious. While I would hope that people were Googling “amazing HR guy,” most of it’s actually coming from those pesky PHR exam takers looking for some last-minute study advice.
That’s fine with me! Let me tell you a short story that some of you may already be familiar with. When I was studying for the PHR exam last December/January, I was pretty lost in the whole experience. I met a wonderful young lady who had just completed her SPHR exam, and she was kind enough to give me some assistance. I promised her that I would do what I could to “pay it forward” to others preparing for the HR certification exam, and I have done so ever since.
I would advise those looking for that information to head over to the Free Resources page (link at the top!) and peruse the free eBook linked there. It’s been wonderfully helpful to dozens of PHR and SPHR candidates. Also check out a few more resources on PHR, SPHR, and GPHR Exam Strategy and SPHR and PHR Certification Exam Study Materials.
And feel free to email me at UpstartHR AT gmail DOT com. I’d be happy to help! Or click here for email updates.
In case you’re new, I love talking about the HR certification exams. Like it? Great. Don’t? Well, there will be other topics coming along shortly, so stick around. And if you’re preparing to take the exam, then I recommend you check out the Rock the PHR guide!
In an old article I wrote about my process of taking the PHR exam, I included a graph that showed the pass rates for the PHR, SPHR, and GPHR exams. The green line stands for PHR, the red for SPHR, and the blue for the relatively new GPHR exam. It isn’t the best picture, but it should illustrate my point that as time has gone on, the pass rates have fallen much for the PHR exam. The SPHR has fallen less, but it’s still hovering around the 50% mark. Maybe because it’s so “easy?”
This shows a downward trend in pass rates for PHR & fairly steady rates for SPHR.
In response to the post yesterday, Kerry of the (fantastic) Clue Wagon blog said:
Honestly, I don\’t get why we\’re still having this debate over certification. I\’ve been listening to this since the Clinton administration, and it doesn\’t seem to progress.
If you think certification is useless, don\’t get certified, and don\’t factor it into your HR hires. If you think it\’s useful, pass the test and hire people who have passed as well. There\’s room for everyone. We don\’t all have to agree on this.
As I\’ve said elsewhere, my number one beef about HR is the navel gazing. I don\’t want to talk about tests. I want to talk about how to help companies succeed (especially now). We do a real disservice to people who are new to HR by encouraging them to focus on “the profession” instead of “the work.”
HR people spend a crazy amount of time talking about the innards of HR. How about we shut up and go help run our companies?
That is a great point. Just because someone doesn’t think the process is useful doesn’t mean we all have to hear about it. A friend told me yesterday in reference to the original debate, “Either give a solution or shut up. Stop whining.” I agree wholeheartedly.
A fellow Twitter user, @hroncall, is stirring up a debate today. The basic question postulated is this:
Does a SHRM certification make HR less prestigious?
He believes that in order to get a SPHR certification, candidates must complete a process like that of a pilot or an eagle scout, requiring not only a test, but also a demonstration of accumulated knowledge, skills, and abilities.
The tweet heard round the world
With more than 10 people (at the time of this post) firing back at the original poster, it\’s clearly a hot debate. What do you think? I may have been less inclined to respond six months ago, but now that I have my PHR certification, I think this topic deserves to be discussed! The certification process is pretty difficult, but that isn’t good enough for some people that think just anyone can get a certification.
My first post is going to be a useful one. I just completed the first UpstartHR free resource-the PHR Study Guide. Actually, I had written it a while back, but I have updated it somewhat, added some helpful links, and created a portable document that could be passed out freely to others looking to take the PHR exam. Check it out on the UpstartHR Free Resources page.
Look for more great info on the horizon from UpstartHR.