HR Leads Business

Dec 23, 2019 | Clare Chiappetta

The ROI of Certification

Before we make any business moves, we have to know what return on investment (ROI) we can expect. And, that applies to making decisions about our career goals. Luckily, earning an HR certification offers a pretty big ROI. In fact, according to PayScale’s 2018 HR certification study, HRCI certification holders tend to receive both better positions and better pay. 

There are benefits to earning a certification and then adding the credentia’s letters after your name. While upgrading your signature does offer unparalleled satisfaction and a huge boost to your personal morale, the benefits of certification reverberate across your HR practice.

We recognize that earning your certification requires dedication and hard work. But guess what? So do employers. And when it comes to job searches and pay-increase evaluations, that dedication and hard work count for more than you may realize. 

Here are just a few of the many returns HRCI certification earns on your invested time and effort.

Bolster Your Reputation in the Industry

When employers see the letters you’ve earned through HRCI, they will definitely take notice, says Amy Benbarka, director of talent operations at Frontpoint and volunteer subject matter expert at HRCI. “HRCI credentials are considered to be the brand and industry standard of HR certification, so achieving that gives you more clout,” she says. 

Your credentials don’t just tell the story of your professional accomplishments. They say a lot about who you are as an HR practitioner — and as a person. “Certification represents that you have demonstrated a commitment to continuous learning,” Benbarka says. And with great learning comes great responsibility. “Employers expect a certain level of confidence and standards from certified HR professionals,” she says.

Be Prepared for Anything Your Practice Throws at You

As you prepare for your certification exam, you will probably learn about aspects of HR that have never crossed your desk. That doesn’t mean that you won’t use that knowledge in the future — often sooner than you’d think. “HR, especially at larger companies, can sometimes be insular,” Benbarka says. “HRCI exams really represent the practice of HR as it is.”

Certification prepares you to handle any aspect of HR that your organization could possibly throw at you. For example, Benbarka points out that unions only represent about 10% of the private workforce. But your certification prepares you to handle union scenarios, too. Why? “The goal of certification is to end up with a more professional and effective HR team,” Benbarka says. When you want to reach the top of your game, every aspect of HR matters, even those that don’t affect your current daily practice.

Keep Ahead of the Changing Times

To maintain your HRCI certification, you have to recertify every three years. The continuing professional development required is one of the biggest benefits to the certification process, Benbarka says. “Our profession changes, laws change, best practices change,” she says. “The requirement to continue educating yourself in order to maintain certification is its greatest long-term value.”

Few professions are changing as rapidly as HR is. And with its ongoing focus on employee retention, satisfaction and experience, HR has already come a long way from its more administrative past. “Recertification ensures that you're constantly staying up-to-date on the best and brightest ideas in the industry,” Benbarka says.