In case anyone missed it, Workforce Planning and Employment is a large portion of the Professional in Human Resources Certification exam, so I will be studying the topic over a two week period to hopefully soak it in a little better.
In case you magically appeared at this link without reading the first two pieces of my journey to becoming a certified human resources professional, you might want to turn around and peruse them before continuing.
I didn’t study as well as I should have last week, but I’m back on track now. I am working extra to catch up on all of last week’s information, and it’s going to be tough.
A New Resource
There are so many rules and regulations regarding employment laws in human resources, and remembering all of them is one of the hardest things about the PHR exam. I found a good resource this week that hopefully will help me with remembering all of the laws related to human resources management. They even had a bunch of practice questions grouped by PHR category (compensation/benefits, labor relations, safety, etc.).
Just the Facts, Ma’am
This week I studied Workforce Planning and Employment. Workforce P&E makes up about 26% (more than 1/4!) of the total PHR exam weight. In the Human Resources Certification Institute (HRCI) practice test, I scored a 74% (whew!) on this section.
According to the PHR Study Guide, the Workforce Planning and Employment section tests the HR professional’s knowledge of:
1) Federal/state/local employment laws and regulations for workforce planning and employment (Title VII, ADA, ADEA, EEOC, UGESP, WARN, Internal Revenue Code, IRCA, etc.)
2) Quantitative analyses required to assess past/future staffing effectiveness (cost-benefit analysis, cost per hire, selection rations, adverse impact, etc.)
3) Recruitment sources (internal/external, Internet, agencies, referrals, etc.)
4) Staffing alternatives (temporary/contract, outsourcing, job sharing, part time, etc.)
5) Reliability and validity of tests, tools, and selection methods
6) Interviewing techniques (behavioral, situational, panel, etc.)
7) Impact of total rewards on recruitment
8) Terminations, downsizing, restructuring, and outplacement practices
9) Negotiation skills and techniques
My Take on the Material
First off, my head was spinning trying to remember all of the different HR laws. I think it will get better with repetition, but it is pretty hard to remember which laws affect which portion of a human resource professional’s job. A good bit of the problem is that I am not a human resource professional yet! I am one in spirit, but I have not had the requisite experience to classify myself as a “real” human resources person.
One of the things I was learning was interviewing and selection procedures. Also, the timeline depicting a person’s employment history was neat to compare to my own employment status/history. That is because I’ve always been interested in the process detailing how a person goes from an applicant to an full-time employee to a former employee. I don’t know where my fascination comes from, but I’m willing to bet that it’s one thing that got me interested in HR in the first place!
Next week I will tell about some of the professional in human resources- and senior professional in human resources-certified people that I have had the opportunity to converse with. These people are a valuable resource, and I never let a chance go by without telling them how useful they are to me.
Also, I spoke with my own supervisor about her take on interviews, because she is involved in them every so often. I quizzed her on the things she looks for in an interviewee, and I was able to get a short list of tips for a prospective employee. It was a lot of fun “interviewing” her about that, and I think she enjoyed it as well.
I finished up my study guide chapter pretty much, so I will be starting on my textbook for part two of my Workforce Planning and Employment studies. This human resources stuff is tough, but I really am enjoying it.
As I was on vacation last weekend, I was constantly veering back and forth between elation at being out of my routine and dread of the human resources study time I was missing. I had banished my wife’s papers to be graded, and she had conversely banished my own PHR study materials from the trip. Even trade.
I’m really hoping to be able to study HR for at least thirty minutes a day for the following week. I will be off Thursday for Thanksgiving, so that will put a dent in my free time, but I don’t work Friday, so hopefully it will balance. Workforce Planning and Employment (Part 2 of 2), here I come!