HR Leads Business

Aug 12, 2020 | Clare Chiappetta

HRCI Credentials Lead the Way in Adding Value, Payscale Study Finds

HRCI® certificants know from experience that HR certification supports their personal careers and improved workplace outcomes. In fact, a 2018 Payscale study validates certification’s pivotal role in the human resources profession. 

The study’s findings suggest that HR professionals are turning to certification to support their ability to evolve. Likewise, companies are recognizing the value of having an HRCI-certified practitioner within their ranks. 

For example, Payscale notes that those who earned a Global Professional in Human Resources® (GPHR®) from HRCI, experienced a 16% increase in pay, reflecting the added value the GPHR certification brings to an increasingly global workforce.

In 2020, we are experiencing unprecedented changes in the workplace and its workforce. Earning an HRCI certification now becomes more valuable than ever before. Here’s why.

Access to a Verified Network of Peers

The HR profession has evolved and experienced several changes in the past decade. The expansion of the global economy, a blossoming of HR technology and automation, and the progressive shift to remote work have altered business practices and the role of HR practitioners. Earning an HRCI certification enhances the HR professional’s ability to be agile and adapt to the new demands of both the workforce and the work environment.

Our certificants gain access to the larger HRCI certifying body, which provides invaluable perspectives through times of change. “Having access to other certified professionals has helped me pivot through these changes,” says Zaranique Pope, SPHR, Chief HR Officer at DotHouse Health. “I can tap into their expertise, and they reach out to me for my expertise.” Their certification demonstrates that they are a credible source of expertise, she says.

Dr. Salvatore Falletta, GPHR, Drexel University Professor of HR, upon reflecting on his HRCI certification, said: “It gave me a well-rounded global perspective to learn to design, develop and implement HR programs while considering the contextual nuances of country laws and cultural differences.” 

Proof of Expertise to Employers 

HR certification is becoming more valuable to businesses, and that is reflected in increased compensation practices. 

Certification was associated with a 17 percent boost in pay in 2018. By 2018, the Payscale study found that it had increased to 31.6 percent. “Organizations are looking at HR now as a necessary partnership that will help the organization continue to grow and be successful,” Pope says. “They’re looking to their HR departments for guidance more so now than they ever have.”

Certified professionals are prepared for this: They’ve learned and dealt with changes behind the scenes for years. Maintaining certification supports continued learning and development. “Organizations are looking to certified professionals for that expertise and guidance,” Pope says. “It made employers look at me more seriously as a professional.” This is increasingly reflected in job postings in which an HR certification is a requirement.

According to Payscale, 55.7 percent of CHROs are certified, demonstrating the immense value certification brings to organizations and professional careers.

Reinforcement of the Value of Continuing Education

Certification is especially valuable in small to midsize companies, where there is a preference for requiring a professional certification over advanced HR degrees, Falletta says. This speaks to the broad basis of HR knowledge that it takes to pass professional-level HR certification exams. “HR is such an interdisciplinary profession,” Falletta says. “Certification demonstrates anywhere from a broad to an advanced foundation in the field grounded in the major functional areas of HR.”

Maintaining your certification requires continuing education in HR, which gives HRCI certificants another competitive edge over their peers. “It impacts the way I function as an HR professional,” Pope says. “Having certification forces you to stay current on what’s happening in the world from an HR perspective.” 

This is not to say that having advanced HR degrees is not highly valued by some organizations. What is lacking is the incentive to pursue continued education and development learning opportunities. Certified HR professionals bring the added value of pursuing continuing education built on a broad base of HR knowledge. “As a professor of HR, I highly encourage my students to supplement it with certification,” Falletta says.