HRIS Certification Questions Answered

On social networking sites, forums and blogs I have seen people ask about a general HRIS certification class. It’s great to see that people are interested in getting into HR through the HRIS administration angle. The problem is that I don’t know anyone or any company that offers a class of this type. Even if offered, I am not sure a general certification class would be beneficial.

Why is it hard for someone to offer a general HRIS certification course?

The problem with creating a general certification course is that it would have to be too broad to be of much value. Yes, there are similarities between the various systems on the market but there are also a lot of very detailed differences. None of the systems are going to import or export data the same. None of the systems handle report writing in the same manner. For that matter, every system I have seen is setup completely different. I have yet to see any two HR systems which offer the same type of setup for benefits administration. A general HRIS certification class would have to not only prepare users for an entry level system but would also have to prepare users, at least in some regard, for a multi-national global system. How could a class possibly accomplish both?

Individual Product HRIS Certifications

If you want to receive an HRIS certification, the better answer is to get certified or trained on specific applications. The problem with this option is it can be expensive. With prices for HRIS system training easily exceeding $1,000 per day, this is probably not an option for someone just trying to pad a resume. If you already work in HR, it’s likely your company is either using an HR system or plans to implement one. At that point is when most, if not all, HR professionals receive their training on various HRIS products. The training is important but the experience from implementing a product or using it day in and day out for five years is worth far more.

What Type of HRIS Certification is important on a resume?

Even if a general certification was offered, I am not sure it would help anyone land a job. I’m not sure I have ever seen an HRIS analyst position request a general HRIS certification. For those types of positions, the employer is going to want to see specific experience with the system they are currently using. Experience on another system might get you to the short list but having experience with the exact same product is probably what is going to land you the job.