A HR person is often thought of as someone who is the answer to all people matters of a company. (S)he is someone an employee turns to for salary enquiries, appraisals, feedback and more. Aside from this, HR also keeps a record of attendance, office policies and other principles.
Over time, though, the role of HR and talent management has evolved significantly. There is a lot more emphasis on the “human” aspect, and employees are looked at as a significant resource of high strategic importance for a company. In this process, HR also works with a number of tools and techniques that directly impact the reputation of the organization. In the course of their HR careers, HR personnel handle a number of serious responsibilities, and it is important to have qualified, capable people handling such roles.
How important is certification?
Given this background, for someone looking to make a career in HR, it is a good idea to get certified. A certification is never a mandatory part of the profile of a candidate. If, however, you consider your career over the long term, getting certified is a valuable investment in your future. A certification is proof of the candidate possessing the most current, relevant skills, and also shows seriousness about making a career in the field. It is a great way to stand out from a number of applicants looking to begin or grow their HR careers.
There are a number of organizations offering some of the best HR certifications. These are targeted at candidates with differing career lengths and experience levels. Some of the important certifications are explained below:
Association for Talent Development
The Association for Talent Development (ATD) works to help organizations who want to develop the knowledge and skill sets of their employees. ATD offers comprehensive training modules, instructional seminars, and workshops from international TM practitioners for a practical and meaningful experience for HR professionals. It has a total of 100+ programs, including TM and other disciplines within HR. Some of its leading certifications include the following:
- Associate Professional in Talent Development (APTD): this is targeted at talent development professionals in the early stages of their HR careers. It covers the basics of talent development used on a daily basis at different levels in an organization or company.
- Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP): This is a broad-based certification measuring competence in talent development across 10 expertise areas, looking to develop a global mindset.
Human Resource Certification Institute
The Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI), a 40-year veteran, offers certifications for upcoming as well as highly experienced human resources professionals. Eight certifications are offered, covering HR operations, HR strategy development and more. Some of the key certifications are given below:
- Associate Professional in Human Resources (aPHR): Designed for professionals just beginning their HR journey, this testifies to a foundational knowledge of human resources and is useful to fast track their career growth.
- Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR): A testimony to one’s credibility as a HR leader, SPHR is proof of mastering the strategic and policy-making aspects of HR management. It is designed for those engaged in planning HR policy and being accountable for HR department goals.
For a candidate looking to make a career in HR and talent management, opting for talent management certifications is also an excellent choice. Talent management is a newer field that is more broad-based than traditional HR, as it looks at the fit of a candidate with not just the current role but with future roles as well as with the organizational culture.
Talent Management Institute
A leading provider in this domain, the Talent Management Institute (TMI) offers an impressive array of talent management certifications for industry leaders. It delivers best-in-class knowledge along with propagating an ideal talent management ethos. TMI offers a total of five certifications, including two programs in collaboration with the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.
TMI credentials must be renewed by the specified deadline. Training is not mandatory, and only a short–duration online refresher learning program must be completed. The certifications are typically valid for three or five years. Two of its leading certifications are given below:
- Talent Management Practitioner (TMP): This is a good choice for young HR professionals moving into talent management, and serves as a top-up HR certification for those graduating with an HR major or a similar discipline. It helps to reengineer the understanding of the field as a modern professional, and is often picked by MBAs and HR personnel across specializations.
- Senior Talent Management Practitioner (STMP): This is a good choice for a mid-career human resources professional looking to move into higher roles and responsibilities. STMP can also be a valuable first step in prequalifying for the TMI-Wharton Fellow Programs, and is an assurance of advanced skills in handling complexities of a dynamic business landscape.