An employer perspective: how do we view professional qualifications and certifications?

By J&C Team

From an employer perspective how do we view professional qualifications and certifications?

  1. Professional qualifications/certs – what do we mean by this? What does this cover?
  2. Why are they important to us as an employer?
  3. How do we support people in developing these?

The UK is an increasingly service based economy across a broad range of sectors, within this Attenda is a knowledge based information technology services business. The success of the company depends totally on our people; their knowledge, skills, experience and attitudes are all clearly focused on meeting and exceeding our clients’ business needs.

There are a myriad of ways our employees and potential employees can demonstrate their capability and competence in the roles that they are currently performing or to highlight their potential to perform in a new role. One of these ways is through the attainment of relevant qualifications; to Attenda the attainment of these provides a clear illustration of a person’s capability.

What do we mean by professional qualifications and certifications? Our business is staffed by a large number of specialist technical professionals with experience in a range of leading edge technologies. We are constantly striving to develop and hire the brightest talent from across a range of technology areas and looking for people who can demonstrate that they have achieved high levels of certification from the likes of Microsoft, Cisco, VMware, SAP, Oracle, HP, Unix, Amazon Wed Services, ITIL Service Management, Prince II, etc. This culture of professional development also permeates across our supporting functions where we expect people to be developing through professional accreditation in areas such as HR (CIPD), finance (ACCA, CIMA), purchasing (CIPS), management (CMI). We hire from across the spectrum with apprentices, graduates and fully qualified and experienced people as likely to be appointed, with a view to developing their capability further.

When meeting and interviewing people (internally and externally) it is important that they have a clear understanding of what qualifications they have achieved, from which institutions, when and why. This may appear to be common sense but it is often the case that people we interview are unable to give clear and concise answers to these questions. This is all part of having a well thought-out career plan and understanding what professional development would benefit you in your chosen role and career. Not all people will have progressed through professional qualifications & certifications but if you can demonstrate that you have the equivalent experience and are aware of the pros and cons of experience verses qualifications you will impress employers.

It is a fair question to ask why these are certifications are important to Attenda? We are a strongly process driven business and have a multitude of certifications that demonstrate to our clients that we are the right company to use to manage their Business Critical IT solutions (ISO9001, ISO20000, ISO22301 and ISO27001 accreditations, with a raft of industry specific certifications from organisations including, HP, Microsoft, SAP and VMware). We are audited regularly by our clients and the regulatory authorities and these accreditations all have a significant people element, we have to be able to demonstrate that employees are progressing and developing capabilities and have the correct qualifications to perform theirs roles effectively.

As well as looking to hire talented and qualified people into our business we also invest a great deal of time and money into ensuring our people have the correct depth and breadth in the right qualifications, for example all of our Service Delivery Managers have completed the ITIL Service Management qualifications to Practitioner and Manager levels, our accountants are ACCA/CIMA and our technical people have the relevant technical certifications. We want people to plan their careers and develop with us professionally and our growth and success provides opportunities to do this.

The ‘war for talent’ will continue over the coming years and in the technology space this is a fact that all employers will have to face. The Attenda business is a place where talent can grow and develop, we look for people with a cultural fit, the right attitude and the potential to progress.