9 Fresh Recruiting Ideas For 2020 + 10 Best Practices

9 Fresh Recruiting Ideas For 2020 + 10 Best Practices

Surpass your hiring targets in 2020 with fresh recruiting ideas. Add new tricks to your repertoire.

9 Fresh Recruiting Ideas for 2020 + 10 Tried and True

The techniques presented here worked for the companies that used them. Some may work for your organization. Or use them as inspiration to come up with your own.

1. Target Employees Recently Laid Off

A Mumbai-based firm took advantage of huge layoffs at competing start-ups. They bought Facebook and Twitter ads with messages like ‘Got Laid Off & Having Sleepless Nights? We are Hiring!’ (Source)

2. Offer Free Training to the First 10 Ad Responders

Mike Surikov needed three people with advanced MS Office and VBA skills. He posted an ad offering the first ten people free, fast-paced training.

Within a day I had enough people respond. A week later, I started the training both remote and occasionally meeting in a classroom. After three months I had an idea of who learns how, their personalities, if they’re easy to work with and how their attendance is. I also knew their exact skill level. At the last day, I asked the ones that I thought would be a good fit if they wanted a job. Three said yes. Hired them and it’s been going really well. (Source)

3. Use a Recruiting Chatbot

Intel created an informational chatbot for website visitors. (In other words, potential hires.) The response thread was customized with information according to the users’ questions. (Source)

4. Use Your ATS Tools for Career Counselors

Establish relationships with career counselors at applicable schools. The tools in your ATS can help. Connect frequently. They will start referring promising grads.

5. Employee Video Competition

Set up an employee video competition. Individual employees (or teams) create a short video using their cell phones. The purpose of the video is to highlight your company culture in creative ways. Give prizes to the winners. Post the best videos on your careers page, LinkedIn, and social media.

6. Host a Poker Tournament

Caesars Entertainment in Las Vegas invited top-tier MBA students to a poker competition/meet-and-greet. (Source)

7. Use a Wrapped RV as a Mobile Hiring Center

REES Capital founder Amy Rees Anderson bought a large RV and wrapped it with a company job ad. Then she parked it in public lots next to companies where she wanted to poach employees. Impressive chutzpah! (Source)

8. Internships for People Returning to the Workforce

GoldmanSachs helps fill its talent needs by welcoming non-traditional candidates with resume gaps. The internship program is aimed at parents who took a break from work to raise children. And veterans who didn’t return immediately to work after deployment. (Source)

9. Movie Theater Video Ads

Pitch to a captive local audience waiting for the show to start.

We asked employees to create their own 6-second video at home of them performing their dumbest talent ever. We told them to be as silly and random as possible. Then I had my graphics person create an intro slide for the video that showed our company logo and then flashed the words ‘Featuring the Elite Talent of [Company Name].’ We also created a closing slide that asked “What is Your Elite Talent? Apply now” with our recruiting web address displayed on screen. (Source)

10 Best Practices You May Not Be Using

Let’s talk about recruiting methods that aren’t necessarily ingenious. But they will take your basic best practices to the next level.

  1. Create a 2020 hiring plan. We give you step-by-step instructions here.
  2. Write an Employment Value Proposition (EVP) and include it in your job descriptions and on your careers page.
  3. Conduct ‘stay’ interviews. Ask engaged employees why they enjoy working at your company. Use their responses to flesh out your EVP.
  4. For hard-to-fill positions, where possible, loosen education requirements if the candidate has the necessary on-the-job experience.
  5. Turn job descriptions upside-down. Lead with what your company can provide the candidate. Instead of tacking it on the end as an afterthought.
  6. Tout your humanitarian initiatives in job descriptions. If your company is eco-responsible, make sure that is included as well.
  7. Make a company career paths infographic. Post on your careers page and social media sites.
  8. Ask your vendors and business partners for resumes.
  9. Consider moving some onsite job roles to remote positions. Your hiring pool will expand exponentially.
  10. Use EVERYTHING your ATS does. As an ATS provider, we see some clients fail to take advantage of everything our robust platform does. We list several underutilized features here.

If you try some of these recruiting ideas, let us know how it goes. Good luck!

By Liz Strikwerda

20 Ways to Prevent a Data Breach [Urgent Data Protection For Businesses]

20 Ways to Prevent a Data Breach [Urgent Data Protection For Businesses]

Prevent a data breach at your business.

This is critical. Businesses of all sizes have experienced devastating security lapses.

Equifax, Marriott, and Target are just a few of the well-known companies.

20 Ways to Prevent a Data Breach at Your Business

Online Security

1. Use best practices for passwords
2. Use anti-virus software and encryption and keep it up to date
3. Secure mobile devices employees use for work
4. Change the name of your router (SSID) from the default
5. Change the router’s default password
6. Keep router software up to date (you can register it with the manufacturer and receive update notifications)
7. Disable router remote management features
8. After setting up a new router, log out as administrator
9. Make frequent backups
10. Protect your Wi-Fi network with WPA2
11. Restrict employees from using insecure Wi-Fi hotspots
12. Only use encrypted websites for business information (look for https)
13. Enable two-factor authentication

Protect Your Payroll and Wire Transfers

14. Prevent employees from requesting EFT changes in an email or text
15. Regulate how wire transfers are initiated and approved

Prevent Email Hacks

16. Instruct employees how to verify if an email is legitimate
17. Instruct employees not to open suspicious emails or click unknown links

General Security

18. Restrict who has access to sensitive data
19. Use security cameras and monitor feeds frequently
20. Get rid of information you don’t need anymore and dispose of it properly

Pay Attention to FLSA Recordkeeping Laws

Before you do a mass purge of sensitive documents, make sure you remain compliant. HR software has compliance tools that can help.

If You Suspect a Data Breach, Act Fast

Your data protection policy should outline what to do if you discover or suspect you’ve been hacked. The most important thing is to act ASAP.

Review the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guide for data breach response.

Do a Data Audit

Take inventory of the sensitive information in your organization. Audit every department. The data will be on paper and in electronic form. Don’t forget connected devices.

Go through file cabinets. Have employees check their drawers, files, thumb drives, and any devices they have at home. Don’t forget external hard drives.

Examine your office copiers. Learn how to erase data collected by the copiers and scanners. Creative thieves have extracted sensitive data from used office copiers.

Talk to businesses you work with. Determine how you share information in the course of doing business. Find out what their security protocols are. Tighten policies if necessary.

Document where sensitive information is located and in what forms. Determine who has access to the information.

Don’t Keep Information You Don’t Need

When you’ve finished your audit, determine what you must keep and for how long. Get rid of everything you can.

Be a Better Shredder

Cross shredders are better than strip shredders. Though it’s tedious, thieves have re-assembled cross-shredded documents. Pulverizing paper is even better. It turns it into pulp.

What Information is Sensitive?

The following items can be used to commit identity theft. Your company probably stores information in many forms: paper documents, photocopies, and digital records.

  • Address
  • Date of birth
  • Social security number
  • Birth certificate
  • Death certificate
  • Passport number
  • Bank and credit card account numbers
  • Password/PIN/mother’s maiden name
  • Driver’s license number
  • Telephone number
  • Biometric information (iris/palm scans, fingerprints, and other biologic identifiers)
  • Medical records and related health information

Identity theft isn’t your only risk. Make sure you safeguard your intellectual property as well.

Appoint a Security Manager

Designate a person in charge of data security. Choose someone who knows the applicable laws. They should also have a thorough understanding of your business processes.

If you have a large organization, you need a security team. Include senior IT, HR, legal, and accounting personnel. If you have the resources, consider adding a white collar crimes specialist to your organization.

Your security manager is responsible for training managers and employees. They must hold managers accountable for their teams. Review policies frequently. Stay apprised of best practices by consulting a cyber security expert. Check the FTC and FBI websites regularly for additional guidance. They post new threats as they become aware of them along with recommendations for prevention.

Create Formal Security Policies

Outline exactly who has access to sensitive data. Establish protocols for using the information.

Purchase additional security software if necessary. Train employees thoroughly on both the policies and how to use the software.

Control access to software and files. You can use a biometric time clock to restrict access to server and file rooms.

Consider Cloud-Based Software

SaaS providers help keep sensitive information safe. There are many advantages to keeping business data secured in the cloud. Human Resources and outside recruiters handle extremely sensitive information. Consider using cloud-based HR software. This includes applicant tracking systems, time and attendance solutions, employee scheduling products, and general HR management.

If you already use SaaS products, request a copy of your vendors’ policies. Make sure they follow best practices for cloud security.

Share these critical data protection tips with your network.

By Liz Strikwerda


ApplicantStack: Why Is It The Best Choice For Hire By Google Customers?

ApplicantStack: Why Is It The Best Choice For Hire By Google Customers?

Are you a Hire by Google user? You’ve probably heard the news and need a new recruiting and applicant tracking solution.

ApplicantStack is our top-rated applicant tracking system. It enables you to post your next job, find the best candidate and hire them before your competition. Quickly and easily. ApplicantStack includes everything you love in your Google solution and more. It’s the perfect upgrade at the right time. Try ApplicantStack FREE for 15 days!

Switch to ApplicantStack today and make the most of this unexpected situation.

How Does ApplicantStack Help You Hire The Ideal Candidate?

If you haven’t heard: Google is discontinuing Hire by Google. This means a lot of employers are looking for a better way to find quality candidates and track applicants efficiently.

ApplicantStack provides a comprehensive applicant tracking solution to help you hire candidates faster and with less effort.

ApplicantStack can help you:

  1. Create a job description and save it as a template for faster posting next time.
  2. Post to all the leading job boards with the ease of a single dashboard.
  3. Collect and screen applications automatically to save you time and effort.
  4. Communicate with candidates via text messaging for faster response times.
  5. Schedule and organize team interviews with selected candidates without all the hassle.
  6. Choose the best candidate based on standardized team input and screening questionaires.
  7. Hire your next employee with less effort.

Plus, ApplicantStack is integrated with optional onboarding solutions that make hiring and onboarding efficient and easy.

Let’s discuss how ApplicantStack simplifies and automates each step in the hiring process…

Job Descriptions

ApplicantStack has customizable templates for job descriptions. Simply enter the information in the corresponding fields. Templates allow you to maintain a consistent layout for all of your job descriptions.

Next, select the job owner and hiring manager. By assigning tasks, everyone stays organized. When your job description is ready, save it to your job description library. It’ll be on hand the next time you need it. Use the quick search tool to access any job description, regardless of the size of your database.

Custom Prescreening Questionnaires

Before you post the job, prepare your prescreening questionnaire. Job candidates will complete the questionnaire when they apply. A prescreening questionnaire filters out those who aren’t qualified. It quickly isolates a pool of top applicants.

In the questionnaire form, write a question and answer for each requirement. The question should reveal whether a candidate meets the requirement. We provide several ways to structure the questions. You choose the scoring criteria. Include knockout questions that eliminate unqualified candidates.

Easy Job Posting

Time to post your job. ApplicantStack posts to Indeed, Glassdoor, LinkedIn Limited Postings, CareerBuilder, Monster, Dice, and ZipRecruiter. You can also email a job posting from the software. Plus, candidates can apply from Indeed or LinkedIn.

ApplicantStack manages your logins so you don’t have to log in and out every time. Single signon is a huge timesaver when posting jobs to job boards.

Resume Upload Options

When a candidate applies, they are prompted to upload their resume via a local drive, Google Drive, or Dropbox.

Many job candidates will view your posting on a mobile device. The resume upload options make this quick and easy on any smartphone or tablet.

Contact Information Parsing

ApplicantStack parses contact details from the resumes. The information is input into contact data fields. You won’t ever need to manually input contact information again.

Auto Notifications

Upon application, the candidate receives an email acknowledging receipt of the application. The software also notifies the internal team that a new candidate is ready for review.

Centralized Applicant Management

All applications—regardless of the source—flow into ApplicantStack for centralized management. As explained previously, candidates complete the prescreening questionnaire when they apply. ApplicantStack scores the questionnaire immediately.

No more printing and sorting. Everything is digital and accessible wherever you and your hiring team are working.

You won’t lose track of any applicants. You won’t waste time on unqualified candidates. With workflow checklists, you won’t duplicate processes among your hiring team.

Automated Candidate Scoring

Next, sort the applicants by score. The highest scoring candidates will appear at the top. The knockout candidates will appear at the bottom. Select the top candidate to review their summary, resume, and which site they applied from. You can also see how their score was calculated.

If the candidate is a fit for the job, send them to Manager Review. If not qualified, mark the candidate as Do Not Pursue. A candidate can also be fast tracked. Continue through the list to process all candidates. At any time, you can see exactly where a candidate is in the process.

Now that you’ve quickly isolated your top candidates, it’s time to schedule interviews.

Interview Scheduling

Manual interview scheduling is a logistical headache. It is also a bottleneck in the hiring process for many companies.

How do you get all of your managers and applicants scheduled for an interview without all the back-and-forth?

ApplicantStack Schedules Interviews Brilliantly

ApplicantStack integrates with Google Calendar and Office 365. You have two ways to schedule: you can choose a time or allow the applicant to select an interview time from pre-cleared calendar slots.

It’s getting tougher to find quality employees in today’s labor market. To be competitive, you need to provide an exceptional applicant journey. Confusing interview scheduling downgrades the applicant journey quickly.

Automated interview scheduling with ApplicantStack strengthens your company brand. You are less likely to lose an applicant due to a clunky interview scheduling process.

Collecting Hiring Team Feedback

Time to collect feedback from your hiring team. ApplicantStack sends each team member an evaluation form. In the form, there are links to the candidate’s resume and completed questionnaire.

Each team member completes the form during or after the interview. Then—voila!—ApplicantStack combines the forms and calculates an average rating.

When each applicant has a consolidated rating, it’s easy to compare candidates. The process is also less likely to be influenced by unconscious bias.

Make Your Hiring Selection With Confidence

The time has come to make a selection. You want to be careful, but you risk losing applicants if this stage takes too long.

You have candidates at every point in the hiring workflow. You can’t afford bottlenecks anywhere along the applicant journey.

Reference Checks and Background Screening

Don’t let background and reference checks slow you down. Trigger reference and background checks at any stage in the hiring process. The candidate provides references on the questionnaire during the application process. The system sends emails to the references. All feedback is imported into the candidate profile.

ApplicantStack integrates with several background screening companies and we’re adding more all the time. Our current background screening partners are Accurate Now, Amerisearch, CareerBuilder Employment Screening, DISA, and Trak-1.

Based on the feedback during the previous steps, you can now make your selection. When this stage is finished, you are ready to offer the job to your top candidate!

Offer Letter Templates

Creating an offer letter template is easy with merge fields. A merge field imports information you have recorded elsewhere.

Create offer letter templates for each position—you will always be ready to extend an offer. Brand your offer letter with your company logo and colors to reflect your brand. Electronic signature allows your candidate to accept the offer upon receipt of the email.

The bottom line?

With ApplicantStack, you can find higher quality candidates, in less time, and at a lower cost.

Why Choose ApplicantStack?

Our numbers tell our story…

We’ve been a top ATS for 10 years! 20,169 hiring managers use our solution in 235 industries. Over 427,129 jobs have been posted with our software and ApplicantStack has managed over 22,481,504 applicants.

Attention Hire by Google Users

Here are 3 important things for Hire by Google users to know:

1. Hire By Google Won’t Be Adding Functionality

ApplicantStack is continually adding features to stay ahead of the industry. One of our latest additions is texting—and our customers are loving it!

2. Google Will Turn Off Beta Features

If you are using any beta features of Google Hire, they will be turned off in the next few weeks.

3. You Can Switch to ApplicantStack Without Paying Double

After your next Google Hire bill, there will be no additional charges for standard usage. You can switch to ApplicantStack without paying for two ATSs while you wait for your Google contract to expire. (By the way, ApplicantStack doesn’t require a contract.)

About ApplicantStack

We’ve been at the forefront of recruiting technology since launching our innovative software in 2009. We’re proud of our stellar reputation.

ApplicantStack is not a two-year experiment. It’s our core business. Our cloud-based applicant tracking system was built by recruiting professionals. And just as importantly, it is supported and continually updated by recruiting professionals.

Don’t Lose Recruiting Momentum—Try ApplicantStack For Free

Choosing software can be stressful, especially when a vendor discontinues a product unexpectedly. Take the stress out of researching new software with our no-pressure 15-day free trial.

By Liz Strikwerda

Stay Compliant With Hiring Laws As Your Workforce Grows

Stay Compliant With Hiring Laws As Your Workforce Grows

$10.5 million.

That’s what it cost Bass Pro Outdoor World to settle an EEOC case in 2017. Bass agreed to pay a class of Hispanic and African-American applicants who claimed they weren’t hired based on their race. The EEOC agreed.

As part of the settlement, the EEOC ordered Bass to proactively increase diversity hiring. The chain of sporting goods stores agreed to recruit at minority colleges/trade schools and post jobs in publications popular with underrepresented groups. (Note that Bass didn’t admit wrongdoing.)

Hiring laws should be taken as seriously as, well…a $10 million check.

Why Do Business Owners Violate Hiring Laws?

It’s hard to imagine that a business owner would willfully violate a hiring law. But plenty of employers are penalized every year. Are they ignorant of the laws? Do they just not care?

If you fall into either of these categories, you are on thin ice when it comes to compliance.

But we get it.

Compliance is complicated. Requirements change as your workforce increases. You are busy running your business.

Let’s look at your legal requirements per size of workforce.

Keep in mind that we are focusing on laws that affect hiring. Some regulations have a hiring component as well as many other implications.

How Large is Your Workforce?

As your company grows, there are milestones along the way. Your compliance burden increases as you add employees.

We recommend that you retain competent counsel. Employment law experts can help you navigate the byzantine layers of regulation.

But it’s important to be familiar with the hiring laws that affect you.

Here is a listing of the main hiring laws that apply to all employers. Keep in mind that your state may have additional ones. Union and government contracts may have special requirements as well.

Cumulative Hiring Laws

Your compliance burden never decreases. You are responsible for all the regulations that apply to one employee. When you hire your 15th worker, you are subject to additional laws. And so on.

1. Employers With At Least 1 Employee

  • FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act)
  • Immigration Reform & Control Act (IRCA)
    • Don’t hire employees who aren’t legally permitted to work in the U.S.
    • Keep I-9 forms for all workers on the payroll.
  • EPA (Equal Pay Act)
    • Male and female employees must be compensated equally for the same job role.
    • The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (passed in 2009) expanded the EPA significantly.
  • Uniform Guidelines for Employment Selection Procedures (under EEOC)
    • You cannot discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
  • EPPA (Employee Polygraph Protection Act)
    • You cannot use lie detector tests in pre-hire screening or while the worker is employed. There are some exceptions for incidents when an employee is suspected of fraud. Consult your legal counsel if you have such a scenario at your company.

2. Employers With 15 or More Employees

3. Employers With 20 or More Employees

4. Employers With 50 or More Employees

  • AAP (Affirmative Action Program)
    • You must take active measures to recruit persons in designated classes: women, minorities, disabled, covered veterans. You must keep records of AAP hiring programs.

5. Employers With 100 or More Employees (May Apply to Government Contractors With 50+ Employees)


Remember that you have many other compliance requirements. FMLA, ACA, OSHA, and COBRA are some of them. As mentioned, these are the laws that affect recruiting directly.

If you contract with the federal government, you are subject to another layer of laws. They are similar to the laws mentioned previously but may kick in at earlier thresholds. Consult the DOL Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs.

The following states have additional hiring requirements.

  1. New York—marital status can’t be a factor in hiring
  2. Washington D.C.—political affiliation can’t be a factor in hiring

Ban the Box

These laws are named for the ‘box’ on job applications that indicates a criminal history. Each of the following states have a law related to hiring applicants with a criminal history. If you live in one of the following states, consult your state department of labor for the details. Additional states have ban the box provisions for public employers.

  • California
  • Colorado
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • New Jersey
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
  • Washington

Protect Your Company

Are your processes compliant with hiring laws? We recommend that you:

  • Provide compliance training for hiring managers and all members of your recruiting team.
  • Use structured interviews with scripted questions.
  • Consult your legal counsel when creating employment contracts.
  • Stay on top of local and state laws.
  • Maintain comprehensive records.
  • Verify eligibility to work.
    • Ensure applicants fill out I-9 completely, including signature, within 3 days of hire.
    • Require supporting documentation for applicants with a temporary work visa.
    • Review eligibility status frequently.

If You’re Serious About Compliance, Use An Applicant Tracking System

An applicant tracking system (ATS) makes it easier to comply with multiple layers of hiring laws. It helps you create compliant workflows with checklists to track progress and assign tasks. Manage structured interviews. Create compliant screening applications. Don’t sweat the recordkeeping requirements with powerful ATS databases and search functions.

An ATS protects your company from compliance violations as your workforce grows.



Innovative Talent Sourcing Meets Today’s Hiring Needs

Innovative Talent Sourcing Meets Today’s Hiring Needs

The modern workplace has experienced a two-fold transformation that affects talent sourcing. Namely, a sharp increase in both non-traditional employees and non-traditional working arrangements

It’s not surprising that technology is at the heart of this shift. It has both driven the sea change while adapting to its effects.

There are no losers here. Companies grow faster and make more money. Employees are happier. Society as a whole benefits when employers support work/life balance.

What types of employees and work arrangements are we talking about?

  • Virtual positions and telecommuting
  • Global hiring
  • Flexible schedules
  • Freelancers and independent contractors
  • Job-hopping
  • Post-retirement part-time working
  • Non-linear career paths

Those who don’t embrace these trends will struggle to find workers. Unemployment is at a 17-year low. There are simply not enough talented employees to go around.

To leverage these trends, you must adapt. Our focus today is how to adapt your talent sourcing.

Let’s discuss how.

How To Adapt Talent Sourcing For Non-Traditional Employees

Create a Talent Pipeline

Without a passive candidate pool, you are always playing catch-up. A reactionary approach doesn’t result in quality hires.

If you start from scratch every time you need to hire, you are at a disadvantage. Companies who have developed relationships with potential candidates have the upper hand.

Hiring software with CRM-like tools allow you to cultivate a talent pipeline. The software makes it easy to engage with your passive candidates. Build relationships. They will be more likely to join your team if given the chance.

An applicant tracking system (ATS) lets you create and store detailed candidate profiles. Track schedule and work environment preferences. Plus unconventional skills, experience, and career paths.

Non-Traditional Job Descriptions For Non-Traditional Employees

Your job description is the first hiring touchpoint. If it isn’t written to attract non-traditional applicants, they won’t apply. You can’t hire a diverse workforce if you don’t bring them into the hiring funnel in the first place.

Rethink Job Requirements In Your Talent Sourcing

Traditional job requirements may filter out candidates who could succeed if given the chance. For example, applicants with resume gaps. Those who need a flexible schedule. Candidates who want to work offsite.

A good ATS can help you screen non-traditional candidates. Soften must-have qualifications. Adapt criteria to let more candidates advance to interviews. Create structured interviews that measure a wider range of soft skills. Consider candidates with unconventional career paths.

Adapt Your Culture To The Modern Employee

Take ‘cultural fit’ out of your recruiting lexicon. Non-traditional employees may not fit the mold. Hiring managers who make this subjective judgment are inserting bias into the process. More on that below.

Improve your employee experience by adapting your corporate culture to your workforce. Not the other way around. Today’s employee blurs the line between personal and work activities. Provide the technology and policies to support this style of working. They will be more productive and loyal. It will strengthen your employer brand which will improve hiring outcomes.

Update Candidate Filtering

It’s an ongoing battle to keep bias out of your processes. ATS’ allow you to hide unnecessary identifiers from applications. We’ve already mentioned screening questionnaires and structured interviews. Design these specifically to prevent unconscious bias.

Create An Inclusive Employer Brand

Non-traditional applicants need to understand that you are welcoming to all types of employees. Advertise work/life balance perks in your recruitment marketing. ATSs manage recruitment communications and help you reflect inclusivity.

Update Onboarding Programs

Adapt your onboarding practices to help all new hires succeed. Regardless of employee type, work schedule, or work environment. Teach both onsite and offsite employees how to collaborate with geographically-dispersed teams.

Provide An Innovative Candidate Experience

Trying to attract highly-skilled freelancers or independent contractors? If you don’t use modern hiring software, these candidates will never apply in the first place.

Make your websites mobile-friendly. Make sure your ATS has texting capability. Use video interviewing for job applicants outside of your geographic area. Use software that supports interview self-service scheduling. And, of course, you want e-sign for all paperwork that requires a signature.

By Liz Strikwerda

Want To Work In Recruitment? Do You Need A Recruiting/HR Certification?

Want To Work In Recruitment? Do You Need A Recruiting/HR Certification?

Preparing for a career in recruitment? Trying to make sense of recruitment certifications?

Recruiting and Human Resources professionals take surprisingly divergent routes. There really isn’t a recognized ‘right way’ to do it.

Some enter the profession from a business management background. Others transfer from sales or even sociology.

But if you’re starting out—as opposed to moving into recruiting mid-career—what’s the best way to get there?


There are two organizations you need to know about; SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) and HRCI (Human Resources Certification Institute).


HRCI used to be part of SHRM. In 2014, SHRM quit offering PHR certification. SHRM started offering its own certifications.

There isn’t a consensus in the HR industry on which certification is better. Ask a roomful of HR pros and you will spark a heated discussion. There are strong opinions in both camps. I’m not going to recommend one over the other. Suffice to say, if you want to be a professional recruiter, get either your PHR or SHRM. Note that you need a Bachelor’s Degree first. A Master’s is even better. Also, to be eligible to take the exams, you need some HR experience. The requirements vary depending on the certification.

HRCI offers the PHR (Professional in Human Resources) and related certifications. HRCI has designed the PHR to ‘demonstrate your mastery of the technical and operational aspects of HR management, including U.S. laws and regulations.’

The topics covered and their respective weighting is as follows:

  • Workforce planning and employment (25%)
  • Employee and labor relations (20%)
  • Compensation and benefits (19%)
  • HR development (18%)
  • Business management and strategy (11%)
  • Risk management (8%)

HRCI offers several related credentials:

  • aPHR Associate Professional in Human Resources
  • PHRca Professional in Human Resources — California
  • PHRi Professional in Human Resources International
  • SPHR Senior Professional in Human Resources
  • SPHRi Senior Professional in Human Resources International
  • GPHR Global Professional in Human Resources


Let’s talk about the SHRM credentials.

  • SHRM-CP Society for Human Resource Management Certified Professional
  • SHRM-SCP Society for Human Resource Management Senior Certified Professional

SHRM organizes eight behavioral competencies into three areas as follows:

  1. Leadership (Leadership & Navigation, Ethical Practice)
  2. Interpersonal (Relationship Management, Communication, Global and Cultural Effectiveness)
  3. Business (Business Acumen, Consultation, Critical Evaluation)

According to SHRM, their certifications are designed to measure practical application of HR knowledge with questions based on ‘on-the-job scenarios and realistic work situations.’

When you have your general HR certification, you can consider recruiting-specific training. There are many good options, depending on your career goals.

Recruiting Certifications

AIRS Alliance of Information and Referral Systems

  • CIR Certified Internet Recruiter
  • ACIR Advanced Certified Internet Recruiter
  • CDR Certified Diversity and Inclusion Recruiter
  • CSSR Certified Social Sourcing Recruiter
  • PRC Professional Recruiter Certification
  • CSMR Certified Social Media Recruiter
  • CMVR Certified Military Veteran Recruiter
  • ECRE Elite Certified Recruitment Expert

NAPS National Association of Personnel Services

  • CPC Certified Personnel Consultant
  • CTS Certified Temporary Staffing-Specialist

CPSP The People Sourcing Certification

  • CPSP-1, CPSP-2 Certified People Sourcing Professional

The Sourcing Institute

  • TSI Levels: Member, Specialist, Professional, Leadership, Leadership Only

Social Talent: Social Talent Internet Recruitment Certifications

Learn from their short 2-3 minute videos at your own pace.

  • Social Talent Internet Recruitment Certifications: Orange Belt, Blue Belt, Brown Belt, Black Belt

What Are The Benefits of Recruiting Certifications?

Gaining more career knowledge is always good. When choosing which certification to pursue, identify your primary goal. Do you want to get a promotion at your current company? If the recruiting positions are in high demand, a certification can give you an edge. A certification is helpful if you want to transfer from general HR to a recruiting position. Or perhaps you simply want additional skills to perform your job better.

Another thing to consider is the type of recruiting position you are seeking. Each recruiting certification has a specific area of focus. Here are the most common recruiting positions:

  • Talent Acquisition Manager
  • External Recruiter
  • Executive Recruiter
  • Internal, Inhouse, or Corporate Recruiter

Emerging Careers in Recruitment

  • Diversity Hiring
  • Recruitment Analytics
  • Candidate Experience Specialist
  • Online Recruiting Specialist

Are you currently an HR generalist (or working in another field) and want to transfer to a recruiting position? Your experience may line up with one of the newest positions in the recruitment industry. For example, if you are currently working in digital marketing, you could apply your experience as an Online Recruiting Specialist. If you are a Data Analyst, you could move into a Recruitment Analytics position.

By Liz Strikwerda