Remember when I asked "What Are HR Certifications Worth?". My conclusion after looking at a variety of factors was that it's valuable, but it would be nice to have some hard data to back it up. Hello? HRCI? How about taking this project on?
A recent academic study tried to determine the impact of being certified by examining the Demand for Certified Human Resources Professionals in Internet-Based Job Announcements. The study, chaired by Herman Aquinis at the University of Colorado at Denver, found weaker than expected demand for the PHR and SPHR in postings from 2005.
Here's the summary of the findings:
"We tested empirically whether potential employer require and/or prefer HR professionals who hold a HR Certification. We analyzed each of the 1,873 HR job announcements available on Monster, HotJobs, CareerBuilder and SHRM. Results showed that only 9 (.48%) job announcements state their was a requirement and only 70 (3.73%) job announcements stated that there was a preference for job applicants with any type of HR certification. In spite of low overall demand for certified HR professionals, results indicated that the demand is slightly higher for jobs posted on SHRM.org, certain job titles (HR Director, HR Generalist), HR specialty areas (employee relations, general HR), industries (manufacturing), and for jobs requiring more years of HR job experience. Overall, results suggest that the field of HR needs to do a better job of gathering evidence about validity, utility, and a lack of adverse impact regarding the use of certification in selection and assessment decision making. Once this evidence is collected, employers may perceive HR certification as a more critical signal of a job applicant's future contributions."
Here's my take on the findings. It's valuable to look at the demand for certified professionals in this way. However, most ads for HR Coordinators and assistants aren't going to list certification as preferred. The numbers still seem low, but it feels like the demand according to job posting criteria is higher than it was in 2005.
Dr. Aquinis did the best with what he had access to. Regardless if certification was listed as required or preferred in postings, here are the three big questions that need to be asked of hiring managers for the 1,873 open positions to determine the true worth of certification:
1. If all other factors (experience, knowledge, skills and abilities) are the same, would you be more likely to hire a HR professional that is certified?
2. Would you be likely to pay more for a candidate with certification than you would a similar candidate (see above factors) without certification?
3. If yes to question #2, what percentage premium would you pay?
If the answer is yes to #1, the certification is worth the effort. If the answer is yes to #1 and #2, the drive to certify is worth the effort many times over.
If the answer was "no" to all three, no one should be concerned with becoming certified.
My take? I think the answer to #1 is a strong yes, with about 50% of the group that would hire a certified pro before an uncertified pro, also feeling like they would pay more (if they had the budget).
What percentage of a premium would that group pay?
I don't know - how much are you worth?