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HR certifications – making the right choice

The job market these days is particularly competitive, and jobseekers look to do whatever it takes to land their dream job. A recognized, accredited certification is a popular course of action in such circumstances, as it could be just what one needs to get a career jump along with serving as a professional skill endorsement that is recognized by employers as well as clients.

The statistics ring loud and clear! According to a 2018 study by PayScale, 34.2 percent of all HR professionals have at least one HR certification. Job descriptions so far do not state a certification to be essential, though they are indicated as “preferred” or a “strong plus” among the skills of a candidate. They serve as useful supplements to regular education and indicate a candidate’s seriousness towards a fruitful HR career.

There are a number of certifications offered by different institutions, and these are targeted at candidates with differing career lengths and experience levels. Some of the important certifications are explained below:

For beginners

Talent Management Practitioner (TMP)

The TMP from the Talent Management Institute (TMI) 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.

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. No work experience is required, as this is a knowledge-based credential.

SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM-CP)

Offered by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), this is a useful human resource certification for those who are engaged in policy and strategy implementation as well as serving as points of contact for staff and stakeholders, delivering HR services, and performing operational HR functions.

For those seeking to move up

Senior Talent Management Practitioner (STMP)

Offered by TMI, 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.

Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR)

A testimony to one’s credibility as a HR leader, SPHR, offered by HRCI, 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 and possessing a breadth of knowledge across HR disciplines as well as comprehending business issues beyond just HR.

SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP) 

From SHRM, the SHRM-SCP certification is a HR certification for professionals working in strategy development as well as HR leads, helping them to analyze performance metrics and align HR strategies to organizational goals.

For those requiring an international perspective

Global Talent Management Leader (GTML)

Considered among the world’s most prestigious qualifications to accelerate the progress of mid-career HR and talent management professionals, GTML incorporates learning material from TMI as well as the Wharton School. It helps to boost a HR career by offering advanced techniques, frameworks and tools for effectively driving business though talent management.

Global Professional in Human Resources (GPHR)

Offered by HRCI, GPHR is a human resource certification that validates expertise in multinational HR, confirming the knowledge and skills needed to manage HR challenges in a global marketplace. A GPHR-qualified HR professional is experienced in strategizing the global development of HR policies and taking initiatives promoting global growth.

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