Five Reasons Companies Should Use SHRM’s HR Specialist Apprenticeship Program to Hire Their Future HR Workforce

Published feb. 18, 2022

JFF is proud to be joining with the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Foundation to support this new and innovative Human Resource Registered Apprenticeship Program (HR RAP).

Funded by the U.S. Department of Labor, the SHRM HR RAP provides employers with a proven talent development solution for onboarding or upskilling human resources specialists. It also provides apprentices with a cost-effective and efficient point of entry into a well-developed career pathway in HR.

Companies should consider using the HR RAP to “build” their HR capabilities with a customized and flexible approach using a combination of real-time on-the-job learning coupled with rigorous coursework that complements the work. Companies are using modern apprenticeship models to recruit, retain, diversify, and grow their HR specialists for many reasons, including these five:

1. Modern apprenticeships are growing as a proven talent development model in nontraditional occupations and industries such as HR, insurance, health care, and IT.

Apprenticeship is a workforce training model that combines paid on-the-job learning and formal classroom or online instruction to help workers master the knowledge, skills, and competencies needed to meet employers’ needs. This training model can be especially helpful in filling talent needs within high-growth industries and occupations such as cybersecurity (a 600 percent increase in apprenticeships over the past nine years), telecommunications (a nine-year increase of 300 percent), as well as health care, IT, and the trades. Apprentices start on the job on Day 1 and are typically provided with on-the-job mentorship, education tied to their jobs, and on-the-job learning to ensure successful acquisition of skills and competencies to be successful on the job.

2. Apprenticeship is built around your needs.

The content of the HR RAP matches SHRM’s nationally recognized criteria for the position of an HR specialist while giving you the ability to tailor the program to your organization. You may also include additional areas of specialization in the apprentice’s training to fill your employment gaps in areas such as benefits, employee relations, HR information systems, recruiting, risk management, and training and development. And, while the SHRM Foundation may assist in finding possible candidates, you, as the employer, have the ultimate say in whom you take on as an apprentice.

3. HR RAP trains and certifies employees to produce at the highest skill levels required for an HR professional.

You can expect your apprentice to understand and apply HR policies, procedures, laws, standards, and regulations; maintain and update HR data systems and documents; conduct background research; coordinate with outside staffing agencies to secure temporary employees; and more. At the end of the program, apprentices are prepared to take the exam for the SHRM-CP, a credential held by more than 69,000 professionals globally.

4. Innovative companies know the benefits of Registered Apprenticeship.

Hypertherm, a New Hampshire-based manufacturer of industrial cutting systems and software, had already had great success using the apprenticeship model, training more than 700 machine operators in 13 years. Adding the HR RAP as a vehicle for training people within its HR function was a clear choice.

“When we were approached to be part of this really visionary and important program, we could have not been more thrilled,” said Jenny Levy, executive vice president of people, community, and environment at Hypertherm, while speaking at the HR RAP signing ceremony. “Apprenticeships are a really important way for Hypertherm to build careers as well as to diversify our workforce and build opportunities for anyone who wants to seek a career. We see this as a really important way to earn and learn and to build skills and a very meaningful career path.”

5. Support and assistance are available.

The team at the SHRM Foundation aims to make this process as easy as possible for employers. They will be your guides and coaches at every step to ensure that the apprenticeship is a successful and streamlined part of your business. The costs of establishing the program are minimized because the on-the-job learning and coursework are defined by the HR RAP standards. The SHRM Foundation will provide materials and training to help set up, manage, and report the progress of the program.

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This workforce product was funded by a grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration. The product was created by the recipient and does not necessarily reflect the official position of the U.S. Department of Labor. The Department of Labor makes no guarantees, warranties, or assurances of any kind, express or implied, with respect to such information, including any information on linked sites and including, but not limited to, accuracy of the information or its completeness, timeliness, usefulness, adequacy, continued availability, or ownership. This product is copyrighted by the institution that created it.