HR Certifications and the HR Business Partner

It’s the Monday after Thanksgiving. We are shaking off the rust and heading back to work. If you’re like me, you are coming off a 5-day weekend filled with family, food and drink and more food and drink. So I can’t think of a better topic to cover on this beautiful Monday than the importance of HR certifications.

The past couple of months, I’ve been talking about what it takes to be a strong HR Business Partner. I talked about strategic advisory and consultation and how experience plays a big part. I also want to stress the importance of certification. While experience in the trenches of HR yields the best HR Business Partners, obtaining certification demonstrates a commitment to the field and a mastery of the content.

I currently hold both the SHRM-SCP and the SPHR. I have maintained these certifications through continuous education and credits by attending conferences and other learning events. By having these certifications, I’m showing my current and future employers, as well as any others in the industry that I’ve applied my experience and know what I’m talking about.

Some would downplay the importance of certifications. That anyone can grab materials, memorize them, and pass the test. In some instances that may be true. But would you take your taxes to an accountant who doesn’t have her CPA?

At the very least, a certification gets your resume to the upper part of the pile when looking for a job. Most HRBP roles strongly recommend the SHRM or HRCI certifications. If you haven’t obtained your certification, I’d recommend you do. Make a business case for your employer to pay for it. Take the prep courses and get the most out of the process. If you run a team, pay for them to get certified and make sure you reimburse for the recertification process.

HR certifications provide an initial seal of approval to your peers and colleagues that you take your profession seriously. And be proud of your certifications. Display them prominently in your cubes and offices. Keep them current and continue to learn and be educated on all of the past and current events in our industry.

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