Earl Rice

I couldn’t help but throw in 2 cents here on certifications. With the exception of a very few fields, i.e. like the Medical Fields, were you really want someone that has been not only educated, but also gone through a vetting process as to their skills (a very very critical peer review…and they don’t have to pay for this either), the certifications are of questionable value. As was stated, it is only a part of the decision process, and quite often a small part. Let’s take a drop back to reality here. Behind most certification programs you will find someone(s) with pockets, that wants to put money in them. And, as part of the process, they will spin and hype their programs as part of the salesmanship. In cases where the people that have completed their programs do great, they will shout from the heavens that it was the certification that made it happen. But, they don’t mention the ones that have completed the certification and failed miserably. Beware of the hype and spin. Also, beware of any certification program that is not Government run or legally required (they have no pockets there). So, certification alone is NOT a deciding factor.

So, when you are hiring someone, you must look at the whole, and I do mean whole person (the old whole person concept, if the old timers can remember this before it was hyped and spinned). And, the omnipotent question is, can this person do the job I want!!! [Not, do they have the right certifications.] I have seen PhD’s, with certifications miles long (list covered 2 pages), published articles list even longer, and they flop because they are just not made to manage a project and lead people. And I have seen people with a BS or a MS that reach the highest levels of Project Management without any certifications, because of their people skills coupled with intelligence.

Thus, I question if we are confusing certifications with intelligence and the ability to manage and lead? But, that is what the interviews are all about. If you structure your interviews to ask the right questions (difficult questions), you will be able to tell who to select. And naturally, someone will counter that anyone can bluff their way through an interview. Which I must counter, not if you ask the right questions. If they are able to bluff their way through, one of two things have occured: 1. The interviewers are incompetant. or 2. You are asking the wrong questions.

So, I must agree that certifications are only a part of the decision making process, a very small part of the process. The person may (and very well could) have the skills that you are looking for already without having gone through the certification training.