Should You Get a Recruitment Certification?

Careers, Employer, Employers, Guides / 10 May 2021

Some people believe that you don’t need formal qualifications to be good at a job, and others believe it’s an essential pre-requisite that shows your competence. There are plenty of real-world cases of both arguments being valid, although the truth is probably somewhere in between. Some professions simply wouldn’t be possible without the associated qualifications (astrophysics or civil engineering for example). On the flip side, there are plenty that simply require drive, passion, and the ability to learn. Recruitment is an interesting space in this regard, because most recruiters come into the industry with wildly different academic knowledge, skills, and experience.
Illustration of two recruiters looking over a vareity of candidate profiles.

 

Ironically perhaps, HR professionals and Recruiters are also  no strangers to dealing with qualifications – sifting through candidates’ education and professional certificates is daily practice. As a recruiter, then, just how important is it to have an official certification or qualification?

 

The British Institute of Recruiters (BIOR) now offers personal certifications for both in house and agency recruiters. These certifications are essentially covering the fundamentals of recruitment, which may make more experienced recruiters wonder – is it worth it? Below are some things to think about if you’re considering signing up for the BIOR course, and the membership that comes along with it.

 

Pros


  • Three of the UK’s employment enforcement bodies, the EAS, HMRC, and NMW/NLW recognise the certificate
  • Good boost for professional credibility, which can be especially important if you’re starting your own agency or business
  • Demonstrates you understand compliant recruitment process and recruitment and employment fundamentals
  • Could improve your overall career options and opportunities if you’re at a more junior level

 

Cons


  • Not an ‘official’ university accredited academic qualification, so you won’t gain the same level of expertise you might from say, a marketing, business or sales degree
  • Credibility and reputation is built on experience and delivery, as well as time, meaning experienced recruiters might not find additional value here
  • The potential costs in time and money

 

Summary


Overall, getting certified is generally going to be more beneficial to up and coming recruiters or those looking to get a foot in the industry. The credibility of the qualification itself, and having access to some of the industry info and support offered by BIOR membership, which comes as part of the course, could be valuable to those starting out in the field.

While the same points can be made in support of taking this course for more established recruiters, it’s likely to have diminishing returns to some extent. If you’ve been in the industry for a few years already, you’ve probably established a network of clients and built up trust. Additionally, you’ll probably already be familiar with a lot of what certification offers.

Having said that, having an extra signal to clients and peers that you’re up to date on the latest fundamentals and a member of a well-respected institution is certainly not a bad thing. Ultimately, of course, no amount of qualifications are a substitute for drive and passion, but they can certainly offer a great boost no matter where you are in your career.

In essence, then, gaining a certificate can be useful for recruiters of all stripes, although the value will probably be more front-loaded for those just setting up their own business or getting started in the industry (and if you are, have a read of our Ultimate Hiring Guide for some helpful fundamentals).

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