Opinions from the Non-Certified HR Pro

We all know these haven’t been the best last few weeks for SHRM (Society of Human Resource Management) and the President and CEO, Johnny C. Taylor, Jr. I’ve spoken up about my concerns regarding the “partnership” between SHRM and this horrible administration.

SHRM came into my life approximately 3 months before I started my official HR position. I’d already graduated with my Bachelor’s in HRM and my sister, who is also in HR, told me I should join the organization. I didn’t really explore too much about it, I just knew my sister recommended it, I had never heard of anything like it before, and the student membership fee was something I could actually afford at the time. It took about 2 months after starting my position that I was then introduced to my local SHRM chapter by my boss.

It took another full year before I really got involved in SHRM as a whole and honestly, my career has been taking off ever since. Writing articles for the SHRM Blog, being asked to become a SHRM18Blogger, volunteering for my local NASHRM Chapter, and now it’s led to motivation for me to start speaking. I value the information I’ve received from SHRM, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to turn a blind eye to who and what they are associating the HR Profession with.

Recently, a few articles have come out agreeing with Johnny’s statement that companies should require an HR Certification. Honestly, this is a big “SCREW YOU” to everyone who works their butt off to help the employers and employees of an organization, volunteer for SHRM, provide resources for the students/Universities/Colleges (that SHRM isn’t targeting), attend the conferences, and highlight them in any way, who are not certified.

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Let’s break down the SHRM Certification — note that I’m only breaking down the SHRM Certification because we all know that Johnny isn’t saying “Any HR Certification will do”.


Less than a Bachelor’s Degree* HR-Related

3 years in HR role

4 years in HR role
Bachelor’s Degree HR-Related Degree
1 year in HR role
Non-HR Degree
2 years in HR role
Graduate Degree HR-Related Degree
Currently in HR Role
Non-HR Degree
1 year in HR role

If we keep these requirements, please explain to me how someone who wants to be in HR and actually make a difference, not just continue working in the field because they want to write books and speak, is supposed to have a chance. If a employer should REQUIRE something that new HR Professionals can’t even obtain?

Exam Fee
SHRM Member: $300* USD

SHRM Learning System fee: $695 USD – as a SHRM Member

Total: $995 – Not including any Study Classes SHRM also offers

We have certified HR Professionals on SHRMConnect asking what FMLA means or what they should do if an employee is cursing out their boss. So you mean to tell me, I should pay $995 for an exam and my employer should require said exam and it can’t even teach HR Professionals what FMLA is?

I get it, everything isn’t a straight answer, but even I, a non-certified HR Pro could answer these questions without going on SHRMConnect.

I am dedicated to SHRM and especially some of the employees who have been amazing to me since I really became active with the organization. I understand that everyone can’t speak out against the things SHRM is doing. If SHRM was paying my bills and putting food on my table, I would probably be quiet, too.

This blog post isn’t to bash SHRM, I really believe in the organization. I’m still blogging for them, I still plan on attending SHRMLead in October, and SHRM19 in Vegas. What I simply want from SHRM, or maybe Johnny specifically, is a real no hold bars conversation about the decisions being made for the HR Profession.

I didn’t get into HR to blog, to speak, to write. I got into HR because I want better for employees, I want to be able to make a difference for the HRNewbies coming into this profession to be able to have a chance and not be put in the corner by a certified HR Pro who is still saying Networking and Social Media isn’t helpful to a career.

A lot of people aren’t thinking before they speak. They aren’t weighing the pros and cons. They are certified HR professional expecting everyone else to get it, even though they were grandfathered into the SHRM Certification and have never looked to see what was really on the exam.

If we are going to make this a mandatory exam then make it accessible to all. Are you going to require employers pay for the fees to take and pass the exam?

I had plans to take the certification this coming January and honestly, the only way I could have afforded to do so is with a SHRM Scholarship. I’m two years into my career and since I’ve finished my Masters, it was the automatic next step to get my SHRM-CP so I could proudly show off my dedication to HR. Now, I’ve decided to wait. I know people who are preparing to take the exam and I’ll be rooting for them every step of the way.

I know non-certified HR Professionals who have been golden to my knowledge and career. I know certified HR Professionals who have torn a company down. If you’ve taken the exam and passed that’s a great accomplishment, but that piece of paper didn’t automatically make everyone who passed the best HR Pro ever. If it did, maybe ya’ll wouldn’t still be trying to gain a seat at an imaginary table. Maybe more HR Professionals would recognize that they are being racist, but talking about diversity and inclusion for a check.

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While I still have a lot to learn, I’m damn good at my job. The experiences I’ve had will help me pass my certification exam. Would the SHRM Certification make me better? Only time will tell.

But what do I know, I’m just another non-certified HR Pro.

Until Next Time …

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