Do you have a hand in deciding how your recruiters, talent marketers, and TA team leads spend their workday? Have you subscribed to the Phenom Talent Experience Management (TXM) platform to increase productivity and streamline workflows? And are your employees looking for new ways to improve their knowledge of the Phenom TXM platform?
If you answered yes to all of those questions, then this article is for you. Let’s talk about software certification, and what it can do for your organization.
Exploring a phenomenal certification...
If you didn’t know already, Phenom People offers three software certifications for our Talent Experience Management (TXM) platform within the Phenom Explorer Training Academy. After your employees log in and select their relevant certification learning path, the Training Academy presents a curated list of courses that were carefully selected to prepare them for the corresponding certification exam and continued success with the Phenom TXM platform.
Not only do they learn the functionality of the Phenom TXM platform, but your employees are also introduced to best practices and helpful tips and tricks to maximize their usage of the platform’s tools and features.
But, as you may have guessed, taking all these courses and preparing for the exam takes time. For example, the Phenom Power User learning path alone may take over 750 minutes to complete—that’s just shy of 13 hours of work. And, for those in leadership roles, the idea of taking employees away from their daily tasks to dedicate their time to a certification program may be intimidating. Many recruiters already lament that they don’t have enough time to fill their requisitions and critical roles. So why should you invest your employees’ time in a certification program when time is already a finite resource?
As the common saying goes, that’s the sixty-four thousand dollar question. Since I lack immediate access to sixty-four thousand dollars, I turned to our Phenom leadership for their insights and expertise.
Think outside of the training box.
“The common perception of technology training is that the best outcome is for employees to understand how to use a product. But knowledge alone doesn’t lead to success.” –Christine Kensey, Senior Director of Training at Phenom People
Christine Kensey, Senior Director of Training at Phenom People, is my manager (and, to be completely honest, my favorite manager I’ve ever had in my career) and she has an M.Ed. in Organizational Leadership and Learning. So, in short, she knows her stuff, and she understands leadership’s concerns. “We know one of the challenges of learning and development, in general, is that the outcomes usually aren’t immediate. Learning outcomes are delayed—but investing in your employees’ learning experience and professional development has documented long-term benefits.”
But how do you ensure that there will be long-term benefits? According to Christine, by moving the learning experience past basic comprehension.
“The common perception of technology training is that the best outcome is for employees to understand how to use a product. But knowledge alone doesn’t lead to success. Leadership should keep one word in mind: value.” Christine suggests leaders think about:
How will the software make employees more productive?
How will training and learning help drive innovation across the organization?
Most importantly, how will certification improve the employee experience and support their growth and development?
By asking these questions and thinking critically about employee learning and development, you’ll move their learning experience from a functional perspective (click here, type this, etc.) to an abstract, innovative one. How will clicking that box improve their day-to-day work? Why is the functionality valuable to them?
So how does all this relate to certification?
Certification programs motivate users to think abstractly about what they’re doing with the product and come up with out-of-the-box ways to use the functionality to do their jobs better. It gives employees the feedback they’re looking for while leadership starts to get the measured results they’re expecting.
And, to put it simply, why invest in robust training if you don’t assess the learning experience and measure the outcomes?
Identify a valuable certification program.
"Is the certification program comprehensive enough to not just educate employees on the product, but raise the skill level of employees across the organization?" –Mark MacDonald, Vice President of Client Services at Phenom People
When anyone in leadership is considering a software certification program, they should look at three different points, according to Mark MacDonald, Vice President of Client Services at Phenom People.
“First, a good certification program must be applicable to what employees are doing. It has to be relevant to their day-to-day responsibilities. Second—and this is something that tends to be overlooked—will it inspire them? Will it encourage employees to think in a different way? And third, is it comprehensive enough to not just educate employees on the product, but raise the skill level of employees across the organization?”
Giving employees the opportunity to become certified also adds a layer of excitement to using the product, and drives a spirit of community throughout the user base, leading to increased camaraderie and brainstorming between users.
This community aspect is something Mark believes is central to a certification program. “The most important thing leaders should strive for is a sense of community. Certification creates a new group of people who want to invest their time and energy into not just using the platform efficiently, but making it better. Feedback from certified users is especially valuable since they’re the ones who have been identified as using the software to the fullest. They don’t just influence change across their organization—they can actually help improve the product.”
Drive SaaS adoption at your organization.
One of the biggest concerns for employers is the adoption of the various technologies they leverage for their employees to use. Nothing is worse than spending hundreds of thousands— or even worse, millions—of dollars implementing a new SaaS product only for your employees to turn their backs on it.
Software certification can increase adoption in your organization. Here’s how Christine breaks it down:
“Adoption is a hot talking point these days when it comes to technology—but how do you influence it and ensure continued success? It comes down to two primary drivers: perceived value and effort. Simply said, what’s in it for the user, and how much effort will it take to see that value? Our Phenom TXM certification is rooted in this idea. It doesn’t just help employees feel knowledgeable; its persona-based approach contextualizes their learning within their day-to-day work, increasing their perception of its value. Leaders can rest assured their team will learn best practices and elevate their usage of the platform.”
Invest in your technology champions.
Employees who seek out a software certification are those who want to invest their time and energy into understanding the product the best they can and generally produce the greatest ROI. In fact, these champions can also affect the rest of your organization by training, guiding, and influencing new users.
Certification also builds a talent ecosystem within an industry or product area. For example, let’s say your organization currently leverages the Phenom TXM Platform, and you’re looking to fill a requisition for a recruitment team lead. While reviewing resumes and credentials, you pinpoint a candidate that is already Phenom certified from a previous role. You can hire this candidate with the confidence in knowing they already have a mastery of the Phenom platform and will arrive at your organization as a champion.
Don’t just take our word for it…
“I’ve worked with similar software in the past, and I can safely say that this is one of the most comprehensive training tools I’ve ever used.” –Annie Cutler, Talent Acquisition Specialist at Cloudreach
Since the Phenom TXM certification program was launched, many of our clients have invested their team’s time into the program, and are seeing benefits from having certified employees. Annie Cutler, a Talent Acquisition Specialist at Cloudreach, had the entire Cloudreach recruiting team obtain certifications before they went live. Here’s what she had to say:
“When we started going through implementation with Phenom, I began taking courses in the Training Academy. I immediately saw the learning content’s value, and we decided to not only have our recruiters get certified in one certification track, but all three. We wanted to make sure they have a well-rounded understanding of the tool, and not a narrow vision of the Phenom platform’s capabilities. There was a need to emphasize to our team how Phenom transforms the candidate and recruiter experiences, and to give them an idea of what to expect from the platform before we went live. I’ve worked with similar software in the past, and I can safely say that this is one of the most comprehensive training tools I’ve ever used.”
If you’re interested in creating your own certification success stories like Cloudreach, please reach out to your Success Manager today to learn more about the Phenom Talent Experience Management Certification program.