What are HR certifications?
A professional Human Resources (HR) certification is a designation offered by a recognized Human Resources credentialing organization. HR professionals take a rigorous exam to earn the credential. HR certifications are designed to demonstrate proficiency in a broad range of HR topics. Certification programs help people working in the field grow as a professional.
Why is an HR certification important?
Many companies require employees working in Human Resources to have an HR certification. HR professionals generally earn more and advance more quickly in their career if they have a certification and keep it current.
Which organizations offer HR certifications?
The two main HR accreditation organizations in the U.S. are; SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) and HRCI (Human Resource Certification Institute).
What is HRCI (Human Resource Certification Institute)?
HRCI was the credentialing arm of SHRM from 1976-2014. During that time, the HRCI PHR (Professional in Human Resources) was the HR industry standard. In 2014, SHRM quit offering their flagship certification, the PHR, and simultaneously introduced their own certifications which are listed below following the HRCI credentials.
HRCI offers the PHR (Professional in Human Resources) and related certifications. HRCI has designed the PHR to ‘demonstrate mastery of the technical and operational aspects of HR management, including U.S. laws and regulations.’
The topics covered and their respective weighting is as follows:
- Workforce planning and employment (25%)
- Employee and labor relations (20%)
- Compensation and benefits (19%)
- HR development (18%)
- Business management and strategy (11%)
- Risk management (8%)
HRCI offers several related credentials:
- aPHR Associate Professional in Human Resources
- PHRca Professional in Human Resources — California
- PHRi Professional in Human Resources International
- SPHR Senior Professional in Human Resources
- SPHRi Senior Professional in Human Resources International
- GPHR Global Professional in Human Resources
What is SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management)?
SHRM is the largest professional Human Resources organization in the world. It was founded in 1948 and has over 300,000 members in 165 countries.
SHRM offers the following credentials:
- SHRM-CP Society for Human Resource Management Certified Professional
- SHRM-SCP Society for Human Resource Management Senior Certified Professional
- SHRM organizes eight behavioral competencies into three areas as follows:
- Leadership (Leadership & Navigation, Ethical Practice)
- Interpersonal (Relationship Management, Communication, Global and Cultural Effectiveness)
- Business (Business Acumen, Consultation, Critical Evaluation)
According to SHRM, their certifications are designed to measure practical application of HR knowledge with questions based on ‘on-the-job scenarios and realistic work situations.’
When professionals have their general HR certification, they can consider advanced training focused on their HR specialty.
Besides HRCI and SHRM, are there other HR certifications?
In the past few years, other HR organizations have introduced certification programs. These include:
AIRS Alliance of Information and Referral Systems
- CIR Certified Internet Recruiter
- ACIR Advanced Certified Internet Recruiter
- CDR Certified Diversity and Inclusion Recruiter
- CSSR Certified Social Sourcing Recruiter
- PRC Professional Recruiter Certification
- CSMR Certified Social Media Recruiter
- CMVR Certified Military Veteran Recruiter
- ECRE Elite Certified Recruitment Expert
NAPS National Association of Personnel Services
- CPC Certified Personnel Consultant
- CTS Certified Temporary Staffing-Specialist
CPSP The People Sourcing Certification
- CPSP-1, CPSP-2 Certified People Sourcing Professional
The Sourcing Institute
- TSI Levels: Member, Specialist, Professional, Leadership, Leadership Only
Social Talent: Social Talent Internet Recruitment Certifications
- Social Talent Internet Recruitment Certifications: Orange Belt, Blue Belt, Brown Belt, Black Belt
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