Can a HR qualification make you a better recruiter…?

November 23, 2017

In a word yes! Recruitment is an essential tool within any business and attracting and retaining talent is key to making sure you have the people with the right skills to do the job. This doesn’t start or stop at the interview stage; this is a full recruitment lifecycle that needs to be fair and consistent with how you want your organisation to be viewed. The CIPD qualification not only evidences the laws around best practise with recruitment; it highlights the importance of Diversity and Inclusion in the selection process, the absolute must of a positive and thought out Induction plan, and being clear from the job evaluation and Job description development stages that the business knows what it needs. Recruitment onboarding costs can be anything from £2000 – £10000 per employee as highlighted in the CIPD Resourcing and Talent Planning Survey 2017 (CIPD 2017 The importance of getting recruitment right the first time is obvious!

My story

My reason for embarking on this educational journey stemmed from three places: personal achievement (having not been to University); an interest in a career in HR; and to develop my skills as a recruiter. HR is a career that’s as closely aligned to all the elements of my job that I love. Through research and guidance, I saw that completing my CIPD would best position me to map out a career in HR!  However, after deciding to self-fund it, which added more working hours to my day, I panicked! Anyone who works and studies will understand the pressure of losing that blessed free time and inability to work on a hangover – especially those in recruitment and those over the age of 30! But I have found that not only did it broaden my knowledge of HR as a profession, it gave me a better understanding of the necessity of having a people strategy within a business. The qualification itself took 18 months to complete, workshop filled weekends and Sunday cramming sessions on top of a strong 10-12-hour day at work… and I would do it again in a heartbeat. Working in recruitment for over 12 years I have a strong understanding of recruitment best practise, but after completing the CIPD diploma I felt armed with new information, better resources and a unique understanding of HR. Every assignment I completed and passed built my confidence not only in the work place but personally. Every workshop I attended meant making new connections, learning new skills and throwing me ungraciously in the deep end – some very questionable ice breaker tasks! But with each module it continued to build my enthusiasm for HR and equally highlighted how much it would support my role as a recruiter.

Work Experience 

Whilst studying for my CIPD I was introduced to Frazer Jones and was immediately impressed. This is where I needed to be! Recruitment and HR all rolled into a professional and successful environment. Perfect! However, before I tried my luck at getting a job here, I had to complete this course and prove my ability. Now, distance learning is known for two things: opportunity to learn in your own time and a lesson in time management! Both of which took me about 2 months to really negotiate and understand my learning style. It was stressful and when it came to my first assignment and the mention of Harvard referencing I looked at the course contract to find a way out! (there was one but of course I didn’t take it!) This is when I decided that I needed good old-fashioned work experience. As all consultants know, it’s always about connections – I contacted one of mine and secured a week of work experience in a HR team based in a large regulator. There, I sat with HRBPs, the L&D team, the Graduate Recruitment Manager and – to my luck! – a one to one with the HR Director! From this experience my love for HR grew significantly and the support they offered through my studies was invaluable.

I’m qualified!

I passed! High fives all around! I became an Associate Member of the CIPD and was now ready for the next step in my career! I got in touch with a consultant at Frazer Jones and he paved the way for me to be sitting nervously in front of two Partners – both of which were very influential and experienced recruiters within Frazer Jones. Having my CIPD proved to them I had the skill and credibility to recruit in the HR sector and the fact that I had embarked on distance learning and self-funded the qualification further highlighted a level of commitment to my career, demonstrating an ability to work hard in the process. This was something both Partners commented on as a real achievement and I believe was one of the reasons I got the job! As a HR specialist recruiter having my CIPD gives me credibility with clients and candidates, as I understand what they do from a fundamental level. It’s also helped me relate to their career aspirations because I have personal experience of the world they work in. Equally, when working with clients, I have been able to offer advice, guiding them through a recruitment process best suited to the needs of their team and organisation. I truly believe that whether you work in HR, recruitment, or any other sector having your CIPD will boost your credibility within an organisation. HR is ultimately about people and people run organisations. The more we know about HR, the better we can support people, resulting in a happy and successful workforce! It’s never too late to start learning!