did-you-know? rent-now

Amazon no longer offers textbook rentals. We do!

did-you-know? rent-now

Amazon no longer offers textbook rentals. We do!

We're the #1 textbook rental company. Let us show you why.


PHR/SPHR Exam For Dummies with Online Practice

  • ISBN13:


  • ISBN10:


  • Edition: 2nd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2021-01-27
  • Publisher: For Dummies
  • Purchase Benefits
  • Free Shipping Icon Free Shipping On Orders Over $35!
    Your order must be $35 or more to qualify for free economy shipping. Bulk sales, PO's, Marketplace items, eBooks and apparel do not qualify for this offer.
  • eCampus.com Logo Get Rewarded for Ordering Your Textbooks! Enroll Now
List Price: $29.99 Save up to $9.74
  • Buy New


Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?


Ace those challenging PHR and SPHR exams!  

In the competitive field of Human Resources, measurable demonstrations of credibility and commitment will get you ahead—and there’s no better way to show your dedication than by adding the Professional in Human Resources (PHR) or Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) qualifications to your resume. Fail rates are high, but the right combination of knowledge and practice (and a little grit) will see you a pass with flying colors—which is where PHR/SPHR Exam For Dummies comes in! 

In a friendly, step-by-step style, Sandra M. Reed, owner of the HR consulting firm epocHResources, takes the intimidation out of these challenging tests by letting you in on what to expect—as well as teaching you proven techniques for success. Work through the book’s thorough content and subject review, sample questions, and suggested strategies, and then go online to find additional practice tests and more than 500 flashcards. With these resources, you can approach your exam with confidence.   

  • Take sample tests in the book and online 
  • Follow detailed answers and explanations 
  • Know how the exam is scored 
  • Study with more than 500 flashcards online  

Whether you’re a student or an experienced professional, PHR/SPHR Exam For Dummies will give you the power to pass—and pass well—and go on to achieve the successful HR career of your dreams!  


Author Biography

Sandra M. Reed, SPHR, is the owner of EpocHResources, a consulting firm specializing in the unique HR needs of small businesses. She has authored learning modules and case studies for the Society for Human Resource Management. She is the co-author of PHR/SPHR: Professional in Human Resources Certification Study Guide, 5E, by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

About This Book 1

Foolish Assumptions 2

Icons Used in This Book 2

Beyond This Book 3

Where to Go from Here 3

Part 1: Getting Started with the PHR/SPHR Exam 5

Chapter 1: Introducing the PHR/SPHR Exam: Just the Basics, Please 7

Summarizing the Certification Process 8

PHR or SPHR: Which Exam is Right for You 8

Exam eligibility 8

Comparing the two exams 9

Making your decision: Certification is a journey, not an event 10

Still undecided? 11

Applying for Your Exam 11

Completing your application online 11

Scheduling the exam online 12

Knowing What to Expect on the Exams 12

Looking at the exams’ structure and types of questions 13

Grasping how the exams are scored 13

Preparing to Tackle the Exam 14

Tackling the 24 Hours before, during, and after the Exam 14

Examining the Core Subject Areas on the Exam 15

PHR 15


Remembering the Core Knowledge Requirements 17

Understanding That You Can’t Be Taught the Exam 18

Chapter 2: Preparing for the Exam 21

Considering Exam Weights by Functional Area 21

Practicing for Results 23

Reaping the benefits from practice exams 24

Making the right selection 25

Building a Study Plan Strategy 25

Being organized keeps you focused 25

Writing a study plan: The how-to 26

Employing the Principles: Going Deeper 27

HRCI’s suggested authors 27

Online business sites 28

Techniques 29

Considering a Study Group: Yes or No? 30

Noting the benefits of a study group 31

Identifying the challenges of a study group 32

Selecting the right group or exam prep class 32

Keeping your group on task 32

Asking Your Employer to Pay for Certification 33

Using the Internet for Additional Resources 34

Functional Area 01 34

Functional Area 02 35

Functional Area 03 36

Functional Area 04 37

Functional Area 05 39

Applying Core Knowledge 40

Sharing the value of diversity and inclusiveness 41

Applying human relations 43

Using theories of motivation 43

Managing enterprise risk 44

Complying with safety standards in the workplace 45

Navigating labor union implications 50

Chapter 3: Identifying the Question Types and Strategizing to Answer Them 55

Having a Plan to Answer the Questions 55

Interpreting the Content While Conquering the Form 56

Understanding how the questions are formed 56

Spotting the target: The correct answer 58

Navigating the answer distractors 59

Recognizing Special Circumstances 60

Maneuvering through the “best” pitfall 60

Working with extremes — always, never, most, least 61

Dealing with the unknown 62

Chapter 4: Surviving Test Day 65

Leading Up: The Days before the Test 65

Cramming: Yes or no? 66

Eyeing the lay of the land: The testing facilities 66

Familiarizing yourself with the testing environment 67

The Time is Here: Exam Day 67

Remembering the ABCs of Exam Day 68

Attitude: Believe that you can succeed 68

Breathing: It matters more than you may think 69

Confidence: Expect success 69

After the Test: What to Expect 70

Completing the survey 70

Getting your results 71

Part 2: Managing the Basics: Pre-Test Fundamentals 73

Chapter 5: Career Day: Life of a Certified HR Professional 75

Tracking Trends in Human Resources 76

Understanding educational trends 76

Clarifying the role of HR 77

Using the Statistics 78

Identifying who is certified and why this information is important 78

Leveraging the impact of certification on salary 79

Applying Your Knowledge on the Job 80

Focusing on staying relevant: Continuing your education 80

Demonstrating knowledge: Positively impacting your employer 81

Constructively criticizing: What to do when you disagree 82

Chapter 6: Examining HRCI’s Glossary of Terms 85

Deciding How to Study 85

The Terms 86

Part 3: The Ins and Outs of the PHR Exam 117

Chapter 7: The Key to Success: PHR 01 Business Management 119

Eyeing the Exam Objectives 119

Responsibilities 119

Knowledge 120

Focusing on What You Need to Know about Business Management 120

The playing field 121

Working with other business functions 122

Establishing internal and external relationships 124

HRCI’s Code of Ethical and Professional Responsibility 125

Risk Management 127

Applying U.S labor law 128

Tackling executive orders 129

Managing Data 130

Chapter 8: Finding Resources: PHR 02 Talent Planning and Acquisition 133

Noting What’s Important about Talent Planning and Acquisition 133

Responsibilities 134

Knowledge 134

Recognizing What Subjects to Study 134

Looking at the Life Cycle of the Employee 135

Creating a Recruiting Process 136

Selecting the Right Employees 137

Using pre-employment tests 138

Conducting interviews 139

Employment offers 140

The use of background checks 140

Comparing Orientation to Onboarding 141

Recognizing Common Reports and Tools 141

EEO-1 reporting 141

Form I-9 142

Recruiting analysis 142

Chapter 9: Sharpening Your Tools: PHR 03 Learning and Development 143

Identifying What’s Essential About Learning and Development 143

Responsibilities 143

Knowledge 144

Examining What You Need to Know for the Exam Regarding Learning and Development 144

The design of training 145

Developing employees 147

Making the most of data management 149

Chapter 10: Paying Your Dues: PHR 04 Total Rewards 155

Identifying the Exam Objectives for Total Rewards 155

Responsibilities 155

Knowledge 156

Tackling the Key Points about Total Rewards 156

Structuring pay systems 156

Processing payroll 159

Selecting and Communicating Employee Benefits 159

Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) 160

Employee Retirement Income and Security Act (ERISA) 160

The Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (OWBPA) 161

Social Security & Medicare 161

Workers’ compensation 162

Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) 162

Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act 162

Taking Advantage of Common Reports and Tools 163

Hidden paychecks 163

Benefits surveys 163

Exempt checklists 164

Chapter 11: Connecting the Dots: PHR 05 Employee and Labor Relations 165

Navigating Employee & Labor Relations 165

Responsibilities 166

Knowledge 166

Focusing on What the Exam Covers in ELR 167

Defining company culture and climate 167

Early engagement techniques 169

Building engagement through performance management 169

Applying discipline and conducting separations 171

Using Policies and Procedures to Communicate 172

Employee handbooks and policy reviews 172

Common reports and tools 173

Part 4: Digging into the SPHR Exam 175

Chapter 12: Building the Frame: SPHR 01 Leadership and Strategy 177

Leadership & Strategy Exam Objectives 177

Responsibilities 178

Knowledge 178

Directing Leadership and Strategy Initiatives 179

The Essence of Strategy 179

Becoming a strategic partner 180

Interpreting strategic planning objectives 181

Understanding the stages of planning 181

Managing Risk 184

Designing Interventions 185

Managing Change Strategies 185

The three-stage model 185

The eight-stage model 186

The five-stage model 186

Delivering through Technology 187

Following trends in HR information systems 187

Managing the impact of data analytics 187

Avoiding the pitfalls of social media 188

Building a virtual workplace 189

Selecting and implementing project management software 189

Analyzing with metrics 190

Forecasting 191

Using scorecards 192

Chapter 13: Bridging the Gap: SPHR 02 Talent Planning and Acquisition 193

Preparing for Talent Planning and Acquisition 193

Responsibilities 194

Knowledge 194

Digging Deeper into the Exam Objectives 194

Workforce Planning 195

Analyzing the labor market population 195

Conducting wage surveys 196

Succession and replacement plans 196

Overseeing the Staffing Function 197

Employer branding 197

Recruiting and selection 197

Selection 198

Integrating New Talent 199

Engaging Employees 200

Termination in the Context of Talent Planning 201

Corporate restructures 201

Mergers and acquisitions 202

Divestitures 202

Chapter 14: Shaping the Resources: SPHR 03 Learning and Development 205

Examining What You Need to Know for the Exam 205

Responsibilities 206

Knowledge of 206

Analyzing Business Needs 206

Activating Training Systems 207

Instructional design 207

Using Learning and Development for Retention 209

Assessing talent 209

Creating career paths 210

Allocating resources 211

Chapter 15: Harnessing the Value: SPHR 04 Total Rewards 213

Total Rewards Exam Objectives 213

Responsibilities 214

Knowledge 214

Breaking Down the Content 214

Categorizing Total Rewards 214

Building compensation strategies 215

Creating the Framework 217

Job analysis 217

Job evaluation and pricing 218

Benchmarking 218

Legal issues 218

Shaping executive compensation 220

Building benefits systems 221

Chapter 16: Building Relationships: SPHR 05 Employee Relations and Engagement 225

Charting Exam Content 225

Responsibilities 226

Knowledge 226

Making the Case for Engagement 227

Job attitudes 229

Performance feedback and recognition 230

The importance of trust at work 232

Separations as an experience point 233

Human resource leadership development 233

Part 5: Employing Your Knowledge: Practice Exams 235

Chapter 17: Facing the Challenge: PHR Practice Exam 237

Answer Sheet for PHR Practice Exam 239

Chapter 18: Answers and Explanations to PHR Practice Exam 267

Answer Key for Practice Exam I 287

Chapter 19: Using Your Skill Set: SPHR Practice Exam 289

Answer Sheet for SPHR Practice Exam 291

Chapter 20: Answers and Explanations to SPHR Practice Exam 319

Answer Key for Practice Exam I 341

Part 6: The Part of Tens 343

Chapter 21: Ten PHR/SPHR Exam Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them 345

Sitting for the Wrong Exam 345

Underestimating Exam Preparation Time 346

Unlearning State-Specific Applications 347

Getting Tripped Up: The Perils of Overthinking 348

Playing the Guessing Game 348

Trusting Your Instinct 348

Changing Answers 349

Focusing Too Much on the Clock 349

Managing Distractions 350

Avoiding Mind Tricks 351

Chapter 22: Ten (or So) Study Tips for the Exam Bodies of Knowledge 353

Being Organized and Planning 354

Using Outlines 355

Going Online 356

Interviewing Subject-Matter Experts 356

Presenting Unfamiliar Exam Objectives 357

Comparing HR Best Practices to Your Work Experience 357

Discerning Action Objectives from Knowledge Objectives 357

Spacing Practice for Success 358

Knowing Where to Focus When Studying Labor Laws 358

Appendix: Federal Employment Law 361

Index 369

Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

The Used, Rental and eBook copies of this book are not guaranteed to include any supplemental materials. Typically, only the book itself is included. This is true even if the title states it includes any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

Rewards Program