HRCI Champion Profile: Adnan Faheem, GPHR, SPHRi

Adnan Faheem, SPHRi, GPHR, is an accomplished Human Resources and organizational development professional with experience in pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, media, and healthcare. He specializes in the strategic alignment of business and HR goals, recruitment and selection, performance management, organizational culture, and fostering agile and productive workplaces through effective people practices. 

How has your HRCI certification(s) impacted your HR career? 

Getting certified wasn't just about adding fancy letters after my name. It was about showing my dedication to HR and my commitment to staying sharp in a fast-paced industry. My HRCI certifications, SPHRi and GPHR, upped my credibility big time. Employers, colleagues, and clients see me as someone who knows their stuff when it comes to global HR practices. 

Another significant benefit of my HRCI certifications has been expanded networking opportunities. These certifications have opened doors to a whole network of HR pros. I've met some amazing people, gained mentors, and received access to insider knowledge and tips. 

Furthermore, keeping up with HRCI certification has been a game-changer for my professional growth. It's helped me stay on top of the latest HR trends and regulations, even when life gets busy. Lastly, the global recognition associated with HRCI certification has opened doors to opportunities beyond my local sphere. It's like having a stamp of approval that's respected worldwide, which has definitely boosted my career. 


In your opinion, what is the most significant benefit of obtaining an HRCI certification and how has it helped you in your career? 

For me, the standout benefit of HRCI certification is proving my expertise and competence in HR. It's like a seal of approval that says, "Yep, this person knows their stuff when it comes to HR principles, laws, and best practices." 

Beyond boosting credibility, certification has also given me a competitive edge in a cutthroat job market and has deepened my understanding of HR principles, laws, and practices, which has made me way more effective in my job. 


As a seasoned HRCI certification holder, what advice would you give to those who are considering pursuing this certification? 

First, take a good look at the different certification options HRCI offers and figure out which one matches best with where you're at in your HR journey and where you want to go. Next, make sure you're clear on the requirements for the certification you're eyeing. I must also emphasize the preparation. You've got to put in the hours studying the exam content, hitting the textbooks, maybe even taking a prep course or two. And don't forget about practice exams—they're a lifesaver for getting a feel for what the real exam will be like. Don't go it alone—get some backup. Join a study group, find a mentor, or tap into HRCI's resources. You'll learn a ton and feel a whole lot more confident going into the exam. And finally, don't give up. It's a journey, but the hard work pays off in the end. 


As a subject-matter expert for HRCI for six years, what is the greatest benefit you see in volunteering and giving back to the profession? What do you like most about being an HRCI SME? 

Having been part of HRCI as a SME for nearly six years, I've had the chance to dive deep into specific areas of HR practice, keeping up with the latest trends and best practices. Beyond personal growth, being a SME has allowed me to give back to the profession that's given me so much. Whether it's shaping certification exams or developing educational materials, each contribution feels like a small step forward for the HR community as a whole.  

And let's not forget the people—the connections I've made as a SME have been invaluable. Collaborating with fellow HR professionals and experts has expanded my network and enriched my perspective on the field. It's like having a supportive community cheering you on every step of the way. The best part is seeing the impact of my contributions firsthand. Knowing I've played a role in someone else's success is the most rewarding feeling of all. It's a role that's allowed me to grow, connect, and make a difference—and for that, I'm truly grateful. 


Who or what has been the biggest influence on your HR career and how have they helped shape your professional journey? 

Mentors and colleagues have been the guiding lights in my HR career. Mentors have urged me to step out of my comfort zone and embrace growth, and my colleagues share insights and spark innovative ideas.  


Can you share any recent professional achievements or new developments in your HR career that you are particularly proud of? 

I'm particularly proud of a few recent achievements. I spearheaded the implementation of a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiative in my previous organization, aiming to enhance representation and inclusivity in the workplace. By raising awareness and implementing targeted interventions, we've made strides in fostering a culture that values diversity and promotes inclusion at all levels of the organization. 

I also led the assessment and improvement of mental health initiatives for our workforce, launching a successful mental health awareness campaign during COVID-19. This benefited our employees and also extended to the broader community. As a result, we saw improved staff productivity and enhanced our organization's reputation externally during the most testing times.  


What are your future career goals and how do you plan to continue growing and developing as an HR professional? 

In the future, I simply want to keep growing in HR, learning as much as I can and making a difference. I aim to step into leadership roles, specialize where I'm passionate, and stay connected with my HR peers. By focusing on my own growth and grabbing opportunities, I hope to really contribute to organizations and the HR community. 


Lifelong learning is critical in the HR field as the modern workplace is continually changing. How does HRCI recertification play a role in ensuring you stay relevant and impactful in your career? 

HRCI recertification is essential for HR professionals, ensuring our continued relevance and impact in a field that's always changing. To maintain certification, we earn recertification credits every three years by attending conferences, completing courses, and investing in our professional development.  

Recertification activities keep us up-to-date on important topics like changes in employment laws and emerging trends, while also allowing us to deepen our skills in areas like employee relations and organizational development. Maintaining HRCI certification demonstrates our dedication and professionalism to employers and peers, opening doors to new opportunities and boosting our credibility. In essence, HRCI recertification is a commitment to ongoing growth and excellence in our field. 


Looking ahead, what do you see as the biggest challenges and opportunities facing the HR industry in the coming years? 

Looking ahead, the HR industry faces both challenges and opportunities due to technological advances, demographic shifts, and changing work dynamics. HR professionals need to be prepared to tackle these challenges and take advantage of the opportunities that lie ahead. 

Remote work has become a trend, and HR professionals need to ensure that policies are in place to support teams, no matter where they are. However, keeping everyone connected and engaged in remote or hybrid setups is tough. HR professionals need to prioritize initiatives that help people thrive, not just survive, by addressing mental health and work-life balance. 

Finding the right people with the right skills is like searching for a needle in a haystack, and HR professionals need to get creative with how they attract and keep top talent. Diversity and inclusion are essential, but making it happen is harder than it seems. HR professionals need to walk the talk with strong initiatives and real accountability. 

As we collect more data, HR professionals need to ensure that they are doing it right, with transparency and rock-solid data protection.  

On the other hand, there are also opportunities the HR industry can take advantage of. Embracing AI, machine learning, and all the fancy tools can make HR a breeze, streamlining processes and making work life easier.  

Remote work isn't just a trend; it's a game-changer that allows HR professionals to tap into talent from all over and give people the freedom they crave. 

By adopting agile methods, HR professionals can quickly adapt to whatever curveballs come their way. Happy employees equal a happy company, and HR professionals can use design thinking to make work a joy and create a culture where everyone feels valued. By aligning with business goals and proving their impact, HR professionals can become true partners in success. 

In a nutshell, the HR industry is full of challenges and opportunities. HR professionals need to tackle them head-on with heart and creativity. By prioritizing initiatives that help people thrive, not just survive, and embracing new technologies and methods, HR professionals can create a culture where everyone feels valued and become true partners in success.