Benefits of Hiring Trained and Certified Personnel
Industry research indicates that individuals who complete training and earn certification from Cisco, CompTIA, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Microsoft or a comparable industry leader offer their employers substantial benefits. (A broad range of research is available at www.comptia.org/research/default.asp.) Relevant data shows that, overall, trained and certified individuals demonstrate higher productivity, make fewer errors and possess more of the skills valued by customers than do those who simply go through training.
Sometimes these benefits are not enough to sway a prospective employer to make a job offer. In the day-to-day world of business operations and human resources, the hiring decision-maker may think, “Surely certified personnel will cost our department more,” or “Why do we need certified individuals, when experience is the key?” or “They went through training, and that should be sufficient for the IT department.”
These statements are reflective of individuals who do not understand the training and certification process and its benefits. In addition to productivity, quality and range of best practices, there are some additional significant benefits of hiring trained and certified personnel:
- Internal as well as external customers perceive value in certification. Internal and external consumers of technology products and services want to be assured that they are obtaining credible advice, support, insight and quality work from IT personnel. Customers want to be able to describe their needs as best they are able, and in return receive solutions that meet their budget, performance and operational requirements the first time and every time. Managers who hire certified personnel have done everything possible to put qualified people at the service of customers. After all, these individuals have demonstrated that they have mastery of industry standards and best practices. Satisfied internal and external customers build long-term business success and word-of-mouth endorsement.
- Clear differentiation of your organization from the competition. Certification differentiates a department or an entire company. A certified staff can be a tremendous bonus when a firm is engaged in sales and marketing negotiations. As computing technology becomes more mission-critical and central to every aspect of business operations, customers will welcome the feeling of security they receive when working with certified personnel. This is as true for internal customers as it is for external ones. Certification positions departments and organizations as a cut above—more professional, knowledgeable, capable and effective.
- Establishment of a quality culture. High-quality men and women tend to hire people like themselves. They tend to attract bright and motivated candidates. Over time, organizations that have consistently invested in training and certification will establish a culture of excellence. These organizations will have the best people, and everyone—customers, competitors and suppliers—will know that is so.
- Keep the momentum building. It is not enough to put a premium on hiring certified personnel; organizations must keep the momentum building through long-term investments in training and certification for all of the preceding reasons as well as the ones expressed below.
Investing in training and certification is an effective morale builder. It shows personnel that the organization is investing in their future as well as its own. Employees see value in staying with a progressive organization. The vast majority of workers in IT want to stay abreast of technology change, and when their employers help them do that, they strive for even higher effectiveness.
Readers of this publication have a strong investment in certification. They have a clear sense of how their certifications support their career goals. The facts about certification need to be spread further afield than the IT professional and the training community. An understanding of the organizational benefits needs to be conveyed to management at all levels of the organization.
Use the ideas expressed in this column as a means of starting this discussion. Look for stories from your own and others’ experiences that will generate awareness and interest from your employer in hiring certified professionals and in investing in ongoing training and certification. Do what you can to spread the word—it pays to hire trained and certified personnel.
John A. Venator is president and CEO of CompTIA, the Computing Technology Industry Association, the largest global trade association supporting the IT industry. CompTIA has more than 15,000 corporate members.