Learn how the new HRO Today Association Certified ProviderÂ program is verifying the quality and credibility of HR services.
By D. Zachary Misko
Project management professional (PMP),Â Zagat-rated, five-star hotel, GoodÂ Housekeeping seal of approval,Â FDA approved, certified publicÂ accountant (CPA)âand the listÂ goes on and on. All of theseÂ âbadgesâ are a combinationÂ of seals, approvals, andÂ certificates that can be usefulÂ to consumers, especially thoseÂ new to or unfamiliar with theÂ company, product, or serviceÂ they intend to purchase. AÂ âbadgeâ is usually born inÂ an organization, school, orÂ university that has a responsibilityÂ for continuing education throughÂ learning, best practice sharing, and/or a library of dataÂ and information. It usually requires members to engageÂ and evaluate where they need to invest time toÂ ensure the best return on investment forÂ themselves and/or their organization. SoÂ what about the HR industry?
Enter theÂ HRO Today Association:Â a global group of HR practitioners,Â providers, and analysts all utilizingÂ a community dedicated to learning,Â strengthening networks, sharing bestÂ practices, and creating HR servicesÂ and technology industry tools. HRO TodayÂ Association members haveÂ access to research, best practices,Â industry tools, references, and aÂ network of experts who can helpÂ when there is a question pertaining to HRÂ services and technology needs and how to bestÂ utilize through an outsourcing partnership or purchase.Â This year, it was evident that there was a need in theÂ marketplace for better knowledge and understandingÂ of the products, services, and resources to help HRÂ professionals work smarter and not harder. A solution?
The HRO Today Association Certified Provider program.Â Certification can be one of the most powerful initiativesÂ of an organization or industry, allowing consumers toÂ verify as well as learn several key components, specificÂ deliverables, and information. It is a voluntary processÂ through which an organization, in this case HRO Today,Â grants recognition to a company after verifying that theÂ company has met minimum criteria. The criteria for theÂ HRO Today Association Certified Provider program willÂ include five components:
- an assessment;
- a review of information about the companyÂ (experience and qualifications, financial well-being,Â technology application, and labor commitments andÂ practices, among others);
- information collected on the companyâs approach andÂ methodology as it relates to the services it provides;
- references; and
- an application.
Certification programs over the years have helped toÂ elevate a profession and transform entire industries. ButÂ the extent to which they can accomplish any of theseÂ things depends in part upon the knowledge, skill, andÂ effort in finalizing the program details. At HRO Today,Â the Bakerâs Dozen Customer Satisfaction lists, magazine,Â research, and company and team experienceâcombinedÂ with the Associationâs board of advisors and membersÂ add up to the knowledge and skills needed to build andÂ manage a successful certification program. This is anÂ important industry standard and benchmark.
Those companies who successfully meet the criteria willÂ receive a badge to use on their website,Â in collateral, and in response to request for proposalsÂ (RFPs). The badge very simply states that the companyÂ using it is an HRO Today Certified Provider and overÂ time, this will be something HR practitioners look for andÂ rely on to help select a service or technology providerÂ to partner with. Certified companies will have ongoingÂ requirements annually that will include updating andÂ verifying company information, assessment retesting, andÂ documented current or recent performance via currentÂ customer reference checks. The process for applying forÂ certification and recertifying annually will be managedÂ electronically, and can be completed within a reasonableÂ time frame of four to six hours. This can be a rewardingÂ self-assessment or health check experience for theÂ company and its executives to collaborate and completeÂ the certification process together.
Certification can be one of the most powerful initiativesÂ of an organization and industry. It will be a key strategyÂ for helping organizations better position themselves inÂ a competitive marketplace. It will help to protect theÂ health, safety, or welfare of consumers. It will ensureÂ customers have access to qualified service providers.Â It will help create standards of performance withinÂ the industry. It will elevate the HR profession and canÂ transform the industry.
Editor’s note: Click here for more information about the HRO Today Certified Provider program.