Recruiting, Where’s the Love?

In a previous post, I concluded by mentioning that while SHRM/HRCI offer Generalist certifications (PHR, SPHR), the


“…so, tell me about yourself.”

movement to also have certifications in specialty areas was abandoned. That’s not to say there isn’t a voluminous amount of information to edify your studies in any one functional area; you can get lost down the wormhole if you start researching SHRM.org for any significant amount of time. I’m referring specifically to the little letters we, as self-evident beings, love to attach to our business cards. MBA, CPA, PHR, SPHR, CPM, PE, PhD, MD, etc., etc.

Outside of SHRM, there are different programs individuals can pursue in many of the HR disciplines. Compensation, for example, has a robust offering for professional and academic validation. There is a glaring exception, however, that vexes me. Where is the Recruiting certification?

How can we say that the “people” are the most important asset of the company (going so far as to rename people “Human Capital,” in a ill-sounding Soylent Green type misnomer), yet consistently short-shrift the professionals who are tasked with screening, sourcing, interviewing, on-boarding, and hiring new talent?

Hmmmmmm? Made you think, didn’t I? My wife is a saint, I assure you, because this is the kind of stuff I throw at her in the middle of the night.

Recruiting (or Staffing, or Talent Acquisition, or Human Capital Acquisition and Free-Range Development) is still the entry point to Human Resources. Phone jockeys, computer humps, resume Rangers. Companies consistently bring in contract recruiters to handle peak hiring periods; hourly mercenaries to plow through the stacks of resumes received. Most companies also have contingency recruiters (“Headhunters,” now that is a name I can sink my teeth into) to focus on the most critical or highly-salaried positions. What the hell? Every touchpoint is a potential customer as well as potential candidate. HR should have it’s best face forward in the recruiting position, these are the people selling DTC.

Maybe I’m wrong, but it seems ass-backwards to me to profess employees as the life-blood of an organization while designating the function as a back-seat rider. Is it me?

Physician, heal thyself.

John “Whit” Whitaker is Founder and OH (Original Hardballer); like this post? Try this one, this one, or even this one….go ahead, don’t be a weenie.


Talent Acquisition Executive, team-builder, and full-time dreamweaver. Creative Director, Content Designer, Writer, Speaker, Entrepreneur, terrible golfer, lover of The Art of War & Texas Hold 'Em.

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  • Lisa Chase
    July 27, 2012, 5:51 pm

    You’re right, it’s a great blog! Another item I might’ve included is the “So tell me about yourself?” question That would be great if you could give actual accurate answers instead of tailoring them to the position. But don’t mind me; the only actual honest feedback I ever got from an interviewer was that “I ramble” ;).