Are you qualified?
As a recruiter, your options for certification are wide and varied, however, none of these options appears to be recognised by businesses in the same way as a CIPD qualification. If you have CIPD after your name, your value is quantifiable and the implied assurance of courses, certification and theory, elevate you to a known entity within a business. For a recruiter, your path to credibility through recognised qualifications might be more challenging?
For example, Reed.co.uk guides you to a Recruitment Consultant Course provided by Oplex Careers – I’ve never heard of the latter – have you? The Institute of Recruitment Professionals (IRP) offers a range of Certificates and Diplomas covering sourcing, recruitment best practice and recruitment leadership. What I am curious to know is how many Hiring Managers know about the IRP or the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC), and whether they consider these certificates or diplomas as evidence of a level of competency. I mean, have you ever been asked in an interview for a Recruiter opportunity whether you are REC or IRP certified?
Within the recruitment industry, platforms such as Social Talent offer Recruiters (both in-house and agency-side) the opportunity to access a breadth of training across the full 360 lifecycle and also modules on specific areas of interest such as D&I. A powerful platform and training facility, again, have you ever been told that – should you be successful and secure the recruiter role – you’ll be able to access Social Talent to support your training and career path?
This all leads back to an opinion that if solidifying in my mind, whilst there are options to recruiters, there isn’t a recognised ‘gold standard’ similar to or equivalent to that of a CIPD.
Qualifications = trust?
One of the other catalysts behind my research into recruitment qualifications was the question: why is HR trusted more than talent acquisition/recruitment?
After all, HR has perhaps been criticised and called out as the Department of No, a function that reacts to business and people needs and fails to innovate, and if this negative perception of HR is true, why do companies take so much assurance from having an HR function?
I personally keep coming back to one potential answer, recruitment lacks a credible and widely–recognised certification that reassures business it is on par with functions such as HR (CIPD), Legal (LLB), Compliance (ICA) and Commercial (ICM).
Interestingly, recruitment professionals have experience and exposure to all of these areas to differing degrees in their day-to-day job through contract and commercial negotiations (T&C’s), pre-employment screening (employment and financial checks), delivering candidate experience (every part of the candidate journey), employment law (Right to Work, Work Visas and Permits) and regulatory compliance (GDPR).
Perhaps, with the varied nature of a recruitment professional’s day-to-day responsibilities, is it actually a matter of how much would need to be considered to create a modern-day version of a Degree or CIPD-equivalent for Recruitment and Talent Acquisition? – is the role of a Recruiter too broad? Too varied!
Progressive versus a traditional mindset
As a freelance TA and Recruitment PM for over 2-years now, I have partnered with companies that have a very positive view of recruitment and understand the value that a professional can bring to their business, project or team. However, now and again I experience a more traditional mindset and I am left surprised and reflective on this question of qualifications.
Recently, I had a very open and candid conversation with a Hiring Manager recently and they told me it took them time to trust recruiters, and when they did, they used them consistently; I thought this was quite a peculiar conversation as I didn’t understand what reason she had not to trust me in the first place. Whilst I appreciated their openness, it did reinvigorate my thinking about recruitment qualifications (hence this blog post), and how, if I was an HR professional, would I have to earn that trust?
Call to Action
I’d like to issue a call to action to fellow in-house and agency-recruiters to help me answer this question regarding qualifications and share with me their experiences, opinions and thoughts on the subject. If you’d like to contribute to this conversation, please connect with me on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram or via my website.
Fundamentally, I’d like us to answer the following questions:
- Do you think it would enhance the Recruitment and Talent Acquisition industry credibility, and the professionals working in it, to have an equivalent or similarly recognised Certification or Degree? (like HR has CIPD)
- Have you ever been asked at interview whether you have any REC or IRP certification or diplomas?
- Have you been offered training that has enhanced your career as a Recruitment or Talent Acquisition professional?
In addition, at the time of posting this blog, I have also started a Twitter Poll that you might like to engage with, it will inform the next blog post. The question is Should Hiring Managers immediately trust their in-house recruiter or should the in-house recruiter earn the Hiring Managers trust?