Would you use an unaccredited lawyer or accountant? The answer is obviously no so why aren’t all recruitment companies accredited?
Recruitment is the world oldest and most important profession. Whether you were Raising an army or constructing a building it started with recruiting the right person for the job. So why isn’t a prerequisite that all recruiters are accredited to a professional body or chartered for that matter.
In recent times REC tried to get chartership but were rejected for undisclosed reasons. The British Institute of Recruiters (BIoR) are actively lobbying to introduce Chartered Status in British Recruitment, in the hope of creating the UK first Chartered Recruiters. With the British Institute of Recruiters being the only Professional Recruitment institute delivering professional recruitment Apprenticeships it seems to have a compelling argument to be the first to be approved.
Most specialisations and industries have professional bodies, normally an association or institute, which people with the appropriate background, experience or qualifications can and must join. As Recruiters, we often focus on the micromanagement: attracting and retaining business, recognising referral sources, negotiating agreements, managing finances, pipelining etc.—factors within our direct control and influence. However, businesses are not islands unto themselves and are affected by multi-layered, external frameworks, such as legal/regulatory, the insurance industry and public relations, and interdependent workings with other professionals. Some jobs are just too big to handle individually, so business owners often turn to professional associations to influence these external variables.
In recruitment, we have 4 main professional bodies. The main professional bodies are:
- Recruitment & Employment Confederation – REC
- The British Institute of Recruiters – BIoR
- Association of Professional Staffing Companies – APSCo
- Association of Recruitment Consultancies – ARC
I have listed the main benefits you would expect from a professional body:
Professional Recognition – Most institutions have an assessment process that applicants must pass before they are granted membership. This means that, once you have demonstrated that you have the requisite experience, qualifications and skills, you may join the institution and add the appropriate letters to your CV and business card. Membership shows that you have reached a certain level of expertise in your profession and adds to your credibility. It also shows that you are serious about your career and professional development.
Information and Advice – Many institutions have websites offering members password-protected access to industry news, surveys, reports, updates, career information, jobs, and details of events. Most Recruitment Bodies offer a comprehensive online research facility, with downloadable documents and publications, and a facility for answering questions you may have.
Networking Opportunities – Institutions may have regional networking and professional development events that you can attend, which can be useful for making new contacts and learning more about what’s happening in the sector. National expos and conferences also offer excellent networking and research opportunities. If you wish to raise your profile you can volunteer to join committees and help organise events. Magazines – There are some excellent monthly or quarterly magazines and newsletters produced by institutions, which are normally included in the cost of your annual subscription. As well as industry news and articles, the magazines often have a vacancies section – ideal for finding jobs relating to your particular industry sector.
Career Development – Continuous professional development is essential if you want to grow and earn more money. Professional Institutions may offer career development programmes, training courses and assessments. There may also be the opportunity to upgrade your membership to Chartered or Fellow level, via further assessment, which gives added professional credibility.
The main disadvantages of being a member of a professional body:
- Fees – Most professional organisations require the payment of annual fees. Plus, potentially, individual membership fees for each employee on top of a corporate membership
- Time – If you belong to an association, you could end up with weekly meetings chewing up your time. Time is also involved reading the monthly newsletter, emails and publications. These associations may have benefits by keeping you on top of what’s happening in your industry, but the downside is you aren’t meeting new potential clients.
- Expenses –In addition to the applications and membership fees, you’ll also be spending money on association breakfasts, lunches and dinners as well as transportation costs or gas expenses.
- Socialising – If the professional meeting is primarily oriented toward socialising, rather than business, it may not be of enough value to attend. Some associations dedicate more meeting time for mixers, nibbling snacks and sipping drinks than they do for business.
- Pressures – Once you join, you may be blissfully left alone. On the other hand, you may receive weekly or monthly reminders to increase your pledge, take a position on a committee or recruit other members. The association may take a stance on a policy that you don’t agree with and assume that all members will support it. A profession includes people with a wide variety of political alignments, religious beliefs and personal values. Sometimes an association forgets that.
- Does it really matter – Am I going to win more work by being accredited or realistically do clients choose me because I am good at what I do?
Given the number of responsibilities that you juggle daily, joining a professional organization may not be one of your top priorities. After all, what businessperson has time for more meetings and activities? But such thinking can cause you to miss out on the numerous benefits that membership of a professional association offers. Whether you join an industry-specific group, a special-focus organisation (for women entrepreneurs or small-business owners, for example), a neighbourhood-based Merchants’ association or the local chapter of a national trade organization, you’ll make valuable professional contacts and gain access to a wealth of useful information.
Quite frankly, without a professional association to support you, your practice is subject to manipulation. Ultimately being accredited validates your business and gives your customer the confidence you represent the highest standard in your industry.
Recruiters love this COMPLETE set of Accredited Recruitment & HR Training – View Training Brochure