Learn how the new HRO Today Association Certified Provider program is verifying the quality and credibility of HR services.
By D. Zachary Misko
Project management professional (PMP), Zagat-rated, five-star hotel, Good Housekeeping seal of approval, FDA approved, certified public accountant (CPA)—and the list goes on and on. All of these “badges” are a combination of seals, approvals, and certificates that can be useful to consumers, especially those new to or unfamiliar with the company, product, or service they intend to purchase. A “badge” is usually born in an organization, school, or university that has a responsibility for continuing education through learning, best practice sharing, and/or a library of data and information. It usually requires members to engage and evaluate where they need to invest time to ensure the best return on investment for themselves and/or their organization. So what about the HR industry?
Enter the HRO Today Association: a global group of HR practitioners, providers, and analysts all utilizing a community dedicated to learning, strengthening networks, sharing best practices, and creating HR services and technology industry tools. HRO Today Association members have access to research, best practices, industry tools, references, and a network of experts who can help when there is a question pertaining to HR services and technology needs and how to best utilize through an outsourcing partnership or purchase. This year, it was evident that there was a need in the marketplace for better knowledge and understanding of the products, services, and resources to help HR professionals work smarter and not harder. A solution?
The HRO Today Association Certified Provider program. Certification can be one of the most powerful initiatives of an organization or industry, allowing consumers to verify as well as learn several key components, specific deliverables, and information. It is a voluntary process through which an organization, in this case HRO Today, grants recognition to a company after verifying that the company has met minimum criteria. The criteria for the HRO Today Association Certified Provider program will include five components:
- an assessment;
- a review of information about the company (experience and qualifications, financial well-being, technology application, and labor commitments and practices, among others);
- information collected on the company’s approach and methodology as it relates to the services it provides;
- references; and
- an application.
Certification programs over the years have helped to elevate a profession and transform entire industries. But the extent to which they can accomplish any of these things depends in part upon the knowledge, skill, and effort in finalizing the program details. At HRO Today, the Baker’s Dozen Customer Satisfaction lists, magazine, research, and company and team experience—combined with the Association’s board of advisors and members add up to the knowledge and skills needed to build and manage a successful certification program. This is an important industry standard and benchmark.
Those companies who successfully meet the criteria will receive a badge to use on their website, in collateral, and in response to request for proposals (RFPs). The badge very simply states that the company using it is an HRO Today Certified Provider and over time, this will be something HR practitioners look for and rely on to help select a service or technology provider to partner with. Certified companies will have ongoing requirements annually that will include updating and verifying company information, assessment retesting, and documented current or recent performance via current customer reference checks. The process for applying for certification and recertifying annually will be managed electronically, and can be completed within a reasonable time frame of four to six hours. This can be a rewarding self-assessment or health check experience for the company and its executives to collaborate and complete the certification process together.
Certification can be one of the most powerful initiatives of an organization and industry. It will be a key strategy for helping organizations better position themselves in a competitive marketplace. It will help to protect the health, safety, or welfare of consumers. It will ensure customers have access to qualified service providers. It will help create standards of performance within the industry. It will elevate the HR profession and can transform the industry.
Editor’s note: Click here for more information about the HRO Today Certified Provider program.