How Certifications Help You Compete in the Global Workforce

Technology keeps us connected across national borders. As our digital world continues to evolve, we’re brought closer together despite physical distances. We now belong to a global economy, and HR practice has to support employees across the globe.

HRCI has always been dedicated to supporting the global HR community. This is reflected in certification tracks, specifically the GPHR. Earning this elite certification can bring your global HR practice to the next level.

“Being knowledgeable in the global arena is very important,” says Amine Issa, senior director of external partnerships. “To be truly global in your approach to HR, it’s critical to stay up-to-date on the different trends and developments around the world. Certification provides a basis for that knowledge.”

Issa has earned both the PHR and GPHR credentials and shared some of the benefits your global HR practice will derive from an HRCI certification.

Engage With Globally Sourced Content

Keeping up with global HR trends, laws and practices isn’t easy — and neither is writing the exam material. Luckily, the GPHR is sourced and written by actual HR practitioners across the globe. “It’s not just HRCI as an organization determining what you should know or be assessed on,” Issa says. “The exam content is determined by a volunteer community who practice HR in different countries and cultures.”

The content you learn for the exam is derived from actual situations you may face when handling global HR. This provides much better preparation for actual HR practice. “Sourcing content from global HR practitioners brings up non-traditional business practices,” Issa says. “For example, to open a business in certain countries you must partner with a resident, even if it’s in name only.” Exam content like this is much richer for having come from actual practice.

Learn About Laws — and Culture

There are a number of diverse legal differences covered by the GPHR content, including matters regarding classification, termination, compensation and benefits. Learning to navigate regional labor laws — and knowing when to turn to legal counsel — are critical facets of HR practice, but not all that the exam covers. “Across the globe, HR is becoming more strategic,” Issa says. “About 25% of the exam covers strategic management from a global perspective.”

Culture makes up another large portion of the exam content. You can learn all there is to know about a country’s laws, but those don’t function in a vacuum. To apply that knowledge, culture must be taken into account. “Perceptions of authority differ from culture to culture, for example,” Issa says. “And there are ways of doing business that are ingrained in certain cultures, like kaizen in Japan.” These cultural differences must be learned alongside practical and legal material.

Join a Global Community

All HRCI certifications are ongoing. There are recertification requirements for maintaining certification. For the GPHR, every three years certification holders must complete 60 recertification hours, a quarter of which have to be specifically global, Issa says.

Certification grants holders access to HRCI Voices, a global HR community. “This global community gives you a place to ask questions and swap ideas with HR practitioners from all over the globe,” Issa says. “It combines a global outlook with experience, industry practices, cultural exchanges and up-and-coming technology to create a better HR practice.”

There’s no cost to join HRCI Voices — a free and open network where you can share your professional experience with a global HR community of like-minded peers. In return, this  presents you as an HRCI Certificant with an excellent opportunity for continued learning and growth.