Are You a Certified Recruiter? Why not?

Let start one step back from Recruiter Certification.  I view recruiter certification as the culmination of a commitment to your profession as a recruiter.  So maybe we should start at the beginning.

Where does the commitment to the profession begin?  To me it is connecting with and getting connected to others that are working in the same profession as you, a recruiting industry trade association or group.  You are a member of RecruitingBlogs, that is a sign you get it!  There are many professions that are legitimized by a governing body or an association that ensures professionalism and standards.  I want my lawyer to pass the Bar Exam, I want my doctor to be a member of the appropriate medical association and I want my pilot to be a member of the trade association or governing body that pilots belong to.  I expect professionals to be connected to other professionals so that I don’t get bad medical advice or a pilot that doesn’t understand the dangers of wind shear.

So for me…

STEP 1.  Join a recruiting industry trade association or recruiter association like the National Association of Personnel Services (NAPS) in the US.  There are other groups in Canada like ACCESS or in Australia like RCSA.  As a point of reference only, our organization so believe in this that we have joined NAPS and make NAPS membership available to our members for just $100 annually.  We are committed and walking the talk.

STEP 2.  Study the manuals necessary to become an expert on issues and legal requirements of performing to the highest and most ethical standards of your profession.  Look for a certification class and take it.  Finally once you are confident, take the recruiting association’s exam to become a certified recruiter. 

If you expect to be treated like a professional and want your clients to view you as committed to the profession, do these two things.  Join your industry’s trade association and get your professional certification.  It does cost much or require much time but it will set you apart from the crowd.

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Comment by Jamie Schwartz on October 3, 2012 at 12:54pm

I still contend that a mastery of the body of content encompassed within these certifications is essential.  Certification is but one way to achieve that mastery (and I would would argue a very efficient way).

While I acknowledge that it is very rare for a client to explicitly state that certification matters, I do know that most clients care very much about making sure their "agents" understand and comply with the law.  Have any doubts?  Next time you speak to a client, ask them if they'd prefer that you stay abreast of the latest employment laws pertaining to recruiting, pre-screening and hiring, and if so, do they expect you to comply with that legislation?  Obviously, they expect you fact, I bet they assume you are and often enough it is stated in the fee agreement or other contracts we enter into!

Comment by Raphael Fang on October 3, 2012 at 1:42pm

I can see how an agency recruiter benefit from having a CPC, but  would a in house recruiter benefit from having a CPC?

Comment by Jamie Schwartz on October 3, 2012 at 3:07pm


The content covered in the CPC (and CTS for that matter) is certainly germaine to the in-house recruiter.  Anti-discrimination legislation (EEOC, ADA, etc.) and the FCRA are two examples.  That said, the certifications were designed from a third party recruiter's perspective, so there may be equally (if not more) effective certifications for corporate recruiters through other organizations (for instance, SHRM).


Again, I want to reiterate that the value of the CPC or CTS is based on the importance of the content covered, not the three letters themselves.

Comment by Mark Phillips on March 27, 2013 at 12:29pm

I've been researching CPC as a sales tool and as a way to protect my firm when new hires come in.  Two things bug me about NAPS.  One, their website is atrocious.  If CPC is supposed to convey credibility and I use it in my sales presentations, I assume some of my prospective clients will look it up to figure out how much value it offers them.  I think that if they go to the site, they will not assign much value to the CPC.

Second, the "commitment to free trade" or whatever seems nutty to me.  Organizations like the Chamber of Commerce and Club for Growth regularly support legislation and policies that I abhor.

I'm going to look up HCI and the RPO org someone mentioned.  I hope there are some other options out there.

Comment by Dave Nerz on March 27, 2013 at 1:19pm


I agree with your assessment of the current site.  It will be completely redone in the next few it will be more effective. 

I also understand looking for other options particularly since politics seems to be a significant concern for you.  NAPS looks for firms and owners that are involved in supporting the foundations of small business and these organizations do that.  Having said that many people are religious and don't support organized religion, I understand.  If you object to membership in organizations that support small business, like the chamber of commerce, NAPS is not a good fit.  If you do recruiting in North America, and can get beyond that, the CPC is a great choice. 

Comment by Mark Phillips on March 27, 2013 at 1:36pm

I actually think those organizations undermine small businesses, especially small businesses with consciences.  My local Chamber supports small business, of course, but the national organization supports policies that decrease competition and discourage good employee relationships.  We are actively evaluating a B corp designation because we believe work is universally central to human dignity and because we believe that our recruitment work is directly tied to improving lives by encouraging meaningful, profitable work.  Unfortunately, "free enterprise" is usually code for right wing politics, environmental devastation, a winner-take-all mentality, and a race to the bottom in terms of human and workers' rights.  

If your support is truly for small businesses, then I would encourage you to tweak your message and that requirement in your certification program. 

Comment by Mark Phillips on March 27, 2013 at 1:39pm
Comment by Dave Nerz on March 27, 2013 at 1:48pm

Thanks Mark.  Good idea.  I am just a member but I will try to influence from within.  I've always found this keeps my passion from turning into frustration.

Keep up your efforts...maybe you can change the world one post at a time!!!

Comment by Mark Phillips on March 27, 2013 at 1:50pm


Comment by Jamie Schwartz on March 27, 2013 at 2:10pm

Mark,  In your initial post you referenced that NAPS stating "a commitment to free trade" or whatever as a concern (unless I am misundertanding)...can you provide the specific link to where NAPS makes that reference?  I'd like to review it.  Thanks.


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