With this being a presidential election year, I really have to focus and be discipline to stay on top of my game. After Super Tuesday, I am sure campaign workers and many volunteers are really feeling the burn just like those of us studying for the Professional in Human Resources (PHR) or Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) exam. That’s how it was back when I was volunteering to help political candidates get elected. Nonetheless, You Gotta Keep Movin’… You Gotta Keep Movin’ to Get Over the Hump.
The hump for us (HR professionals) is staying abreast of current HR changes, which is critical, as well as continuous learning – for example studying for “the HR Bar” aka the PHR/SPHR exam.
The forward-thinking HR pro’s job is complex. Concurring with Ron Lawrence, vice president of organization development at VP Corp., HR pros must have 5 key skills: domain knowledge, business acumen, communication, a learning mindset, and courage to succeed in HR. We have to always bring our “A” game. We must earn our seat at the table. Lawrence asserts, “Experts in many fields are never challenged regarding their domain knowledge, yet it happens to HR professionals all the time.”
For instance, how often does someone say; “I could do the chief financial officer’s job” or “I know more about the legal system than my company’s law department”? On the other hand, it is almost a routine occurrence to hear business leaders claim that they know more than enough to run the HR department. – Ron Lawrence
Over the next few weeks, I will be reading PHR/SPHR: Professional in Human Resources Certification Study Guide by Sandra M. Reed and Anne M. Bogardus. Yes, I said reading! There is so much that HR pros must know about Workforce Planning and Employment. It is 24% and 17% of the PHR and SPHR exams, respectively. So far, it’s been a refreshing read.
Right now, I’m really focusing in on the Workforce Planning (WFP) and Employment section. The module starts with the federal employment legislation including many laws enforced by the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission). I am taking full advantage of the EEOC’s online resources too. The enforcement agency provides detailed information on its websites. If you want to go more in depth, it’s a great resource. Why not? It’s actually free.
Federal legislating governing WFP activities requires taking a close look at the laws enforced by the EEOC. Things are constantly changing or being updated. Below is a short list with links to complement what I am reading in the Reed and Bogardus book.
Laws Enforced By the EEOC
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII)
- The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA)
- The Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA)
- The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA)
- Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)
- Sections 102 and 103 of the Civil Rights Act of 1991
- Sections 501 and 505 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
- The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA)
My classmates in the PHR/SPHR study group recommended this book as well as a few others. I am also using the SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) Learning System and David Siler’s PHR – SPHR Study Guide (on audible) that I purchase awhile ago. I figure, I may as well get my money’s worth especially from the SHRM materials, you know what I mean. I paid for it (no company reimbursement). It was not cheap. However, I believe in investing in my own professional development. You should too.
The HR certification journey is both challenging and fascinating. I am excited. I like what I am learning. I will update my blog on my progress. So stay tuned. Besides, we all can use encouragement from time to time. I believe with faith and determination, I will slay the exam. I would love to hear from other PHR and SPHR candidates. What area(s) are you studying right now? What resources are you using? Are you taking any classes, participating in a study group, etc.? Hit me up in the comments?