- Having an HR certification pays — in salary boosts and in promotions, according to a new report by PayScale. Almost all HR certifications studied by PayScale lead to a pay raise of some sort, with increases ranging from 2.9% to 28%. The Certified Professional Coach certification (a certification from the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC)) brought the highest boost in pay, followed by the Global Professional in Human Resources certification (an HR Certification Institute (HRCI) certification).
- HR certifications of all types positively influence an HR pro's chance of being promoted at almost every job level, but certification is especially important early on in an HR pro's career, PayScale's report noted. In entry-level roles, 82% of certified professionals report they've been promoted in the past five years versus 68% of those who aren't certified. HR directors also are more likely to be promoted when certified.
- PayScale compared 10 different certifications from HRCI, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), World at Work and iPEC using a statistical model that sought to control for factors such as job title, industry and location.
As HR continues its push to be seen as a key strategic partner rather than an administrative function, the talk surrounding certification will likely only continue to heat up. SHRM courted some hot discussion when its president, Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., said that employers should "require certification" — specifically, SHRM certification, which emerged in 2014.
The main argument behind the push — "treat HR like a profession" — does reveal the continued shift in how HR practitioners are approaching the job. In a tight talent market, companies are beginning to realize that they can't ignore the impact and importance of a strong HR function, especially when it comes to recruitment and retention. A previous Harvard Business Review and SHRM study showed that CEOs rated talent acquisition as a top challenge, meaning HR is increasingly called upon to make strategic decisions that impact the whole company. And executives are supportive of HR departments becoming certified, a previous Dow Jones Customer Intelligence survey revealed.
The nature of such certifications have been shifting, as well. Last year, HRCI's Professional in Human Resources — International (PHRi) certification exam shifted to include technology and program development to better align with the new responsibilities (technology management, for example) that HR professionals face every day.