Large-Scale Study Demonstrates Value of HRCI Certification to HR Professionals and Employers

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The HR Certification Institute (HRCI) today announced the results of a large-scale study on the value of professional HR certification. The study, which was conducted by the Human Resources Research Organization (HumRRO), shows that HRCI-certified HR professionals have higher compensation and career satisfaction, better employment prospects and on-the-job performance, and greater HR expertise.

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The link between HRCI certification and career success and satisfaction is clear. Employers and organizations want HR professionals who can think and perform strategically, and this study shows that HRCI-certified professionals fit the bill.

HR Certification Institute (HRCI), the premier human resources credentialing organization dedicated to setting the standard for HR mastery and excellence around the globe, today announced the results of a large-scale study on the value of professional HR certification. The HRCI-commissioned study was conducted by the Human Resources Research Organization (HumRRO) during late summer and fall 2014. The study included responses from nearly 12,000 individuals with either the Professional in Human Resources (PHR®) or Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR®) certification, 5,600 HR professionals without either of these certifications, and 2,400 supervisors who make hiring and promotion decisions about HR teams.

Among the study’s major findings were that certified HR professionals, specifically those who have earned either the PHR or SPHR, are more likely than non-certified professionals to:

  • Get hired and be employed full-time, be well compensated, and be happier with their career.
  • Perform better on the job, show greater potential for future positions, perform better on strategic HR efforts, and offer greater HR expertise.

“The link between HRCI certification and career success and satisfaction is clear,” said HRCI CEO Amy Schabacker Dufrane, Ed.D., SPHR, CAE. “Employers and organizations want HR professionals who can think and perform strategically, and this study shows that HRCI-certified professionals fit the bill.”

The study looked at outcomes that matter to HR professionals – employability, promotions, professional growth opportunities, compensation and career satisfaction – based on responses from HR professionals with and without HRCI certification. Outcomes that matter to supervisors – job performance, future potential and HR expertise – were also examined based on responses from HR practitioners’ supervisors. HR professionals in generalist and specialist roles, in positions ranging from entry-level to senior management, with varying levels of education and different types of educational backgrounds, working in a variety of for-profit, nonprofit and public sector organizations throughout the United States were surveyed.

Among the study’s more specific findings:

  • HRCI-certified professionals reported significantly higher compensation than those without HRCI certification, with SPHR certificants reporting their annual income as $19,712 higher on average, and PHR certificants reporting their annual income as $4,547 higher on average, than their non-certified peers.
  • Certified HR professionals were less likely to report being unemployed or underemployed than non-certified professionals, with 90 percent of PHRs and 87 percent of SPHRs indicating they were currently employed full time in an HR position, compared to 69 percent of their non-certified peers.
  • Certified HR professionals reported greater income growth over time and higher career satisfaction.
  • Two-thirds of supervisors of HR professionals surveyed said their organization prefers to hire HRCI-certified professionals for at least some positions.
  • 1 in 5 supervisors said their organization requires certification by HRCI for some or all positions.

“This study stands out from all prior value of certification studies in the human resources field because it comprehensively and rigorously evaluates the impact of HR certification on outcomes that matter to HR professionals and their employers,” said Cheryl Paullin, Ph.D., Director, Private Sector Talent Management, HummRRO. “One of the noteworthy aspects of this large-scale study is that it includes evaluations of the job performance, HR expertise, and future potential of 2,400 of the more than 17,500 certified and non-certified HR professionals who participated in the study by their direct supervisors. The HR Certification Institute is to be lauded for commissioning a detailed, objective evaluation of the impact of its certification programs.”

Added HRCI’s Dufrane, “By incorporating responses from so many direct supervisors of the HR professionals we surveyed, we were able to examine more deeply the link between HRCI certification and performance, and we were able to look at the value of HR certification from the employer and organizational perspectives. What we found was that across the board and for all types of organizations, HRCI certification is a marker of actual and potential value.”

“Few personnel certification bodies have taken the time to conduct studies to look at the effectiveness of their credential in the workplace,” said Roy Swift, Ph.D., Executive Director, Workcred. “It is to HRCI’s credit that they have conducted this important study.” Workcred is a nonprofit affiliate of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Swift previously served as ANSI’s Chief Workforce Development Officer and Senior Director of the Personnel Credentialing Accreditation Programs.

About HRCI
Headquartered in Alexandria, VA, the HR Certification Institute (HRCI) is the premier professional credentialing organization for the human resources profession. For nearly 40 years, HRCI has set the standard for HR mastery and excellence around the globe. An independent nonprofit organization, HRCI is dedicated to advancing the HR profession through developing and administering best-in-class certifications including the Professional in Human Resources (PHR®) and the Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR®). All of HRCI’s credentials are recognized as the most rigorous, meaningful, and grounded professional certifications demonstrating competency, real-world practical skills and knowledge in the field. Together with HRCI-certified professionals in 100 countries around the globe, HRCI ensures, strengthens and advances the strategic value and impact of HR. Learn more at http://www.hrci.org.

About HumRRO
The Human Resources Research Organization (HumRRO) has a long, rich history of providing solutions to a variety of human capital, educational, training, measurement, and survey challenges. Our staff works with clients to help resolve their “people” issues and improve their human capital management. Through our research, program evaluation, and policy analysis, HumRRO has supported a wide variety of federal and state agencies as well as corporate and nonprofit organizations, and foundations. We are dedicated to excellence in everything we do, drawing on the qualities that have long contributed to our success: competence, objectivity, professionalism, character, integrity, energy, and commitment. We also are committed to understanding and meeting our clients’ needs and expectations, and developing a lasting partnership with them.

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