Alex Alonso, SHRM, Discusses Why Continuous Learning is Important for HR Professionals

With a rapidly changing business world, HR professionals need to keep upgrading their own knowledge base in order to remain relevant and business-focused. Learning is an integral part of an individual’s growth. Hence, many of us spend a significant amount of time researching for quality resources. Have a look at this comprehensive SHRM video which can give you this information right away! Alex Alonso, Head of Knowledge and Certifications shares insights on the resources that SHRM offers in this space. 

SHRM has been focused towards advancing and serving the HR profession. It offers a range of career and professional development resources, which are aligned towards learning. For example, there is an E-Learning library which 1200 different opportunities to learn through micro-learning.

A Career Portal is also about to be launched soon. This is a tool that HR professionals can use to assess their own competencies. It gives them the right guidance and insights to navigate their own career path. 

Alex shares “There is an evidence base built by SHRM, over the last 25 years actually, but more so in the past 10 years. SHRM has engaged in a body of research to find out what great HR looks like”. Around 45000 HR professionals across the world were covered in the research to identify the competencies needed to be a good HR professional.

Following that the SHRM Certified professional/CP or SCP was launched in 2015. This certification is based on the SHRM Body of Competency. It assesses whether real world knowledge exists within HR professionals. There are 160 different questions, geared towards both – evaluating basic knowledge and work situations. 480 different types of behaviors that should be demonstrated are being assessed.

According to Alex, “The broad-based nature of the SHRM HR Competency Model has led to many industry leaders to say that this is not an HR competency model, it is really an HR leadership model”.

SHRM has worked with 2000 different organizations across the global for professional development. That indicates the kind of depth that has been created by keeping learning aligned to the evolution of the profession. HR is expanding now to take on more roles that encompass employee and customer experience as well. Hence there is a requirement of new emerging competencies that HR professionals need to demonstrate in the workplace.

These are categorized into 3 clusters - Leadership and How to navigate difficult situations, Relationship management and building, Business acumen and Analytical thinking.

Apart from this, the ability to remain inquisitive is critical. These are the future core competencies, since they help an HR professional to know what makes the organization work.  

Continued professional education is important from this perspective. It gives the professional a clear roadmap and through SHRM Certifications, they also get a commitment for continued growth and learning, in a manner that they continue to evolve and remain relevant.

While talking about credentials, Alex emphasizes “More importantly the employer outcomes need to be thought about. Everyone thinks about the employee first when it comes to credentials, but what does it mean for an employer to have a credential holder”

Having the right credentials therefore is important for the employee and the employer, both. Watch the complete discussion here. 


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