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Do Recruiters Need a Degree in Human Resources (HR)?

Updated: Nov 7, 2023

The age-old debate continues, Does a recruiter need an HR degree to be an excellent recruitment professional? This past July, I went to Twitter and asked:

Personally, I can see value in business, communications, or even certificates in project management. Specific certificate programs focused to the industry the recruiters are hiring can be extremely beneficial as well for a career recruitment professional. What you cannot teach is a genuine love for people & culture, personality, empathy, and the desire to meet candidates and hiring managers where they are.

This is simply a challenge to us all. If now isn’t the time to rethink recruitment practices,  then when? Let’s BE INNOVATIVE and create even more value.

Most of the incredible recruitment professionals that I’ve worked with have come from “non-traditional backgrounds” and brought great value to the organization they worked for while becoming subject matter experts in talent acquisition. 

Furthermore, some of the greatest individuals I’ve coached and worked with in business development and talent acquisition, started their careers with high school diplomas. With many eventually taking certificate, workshop, and/or targeted programs of interests throughout the years as they continued hone their skills.

Why limit who you hire to whether they have a specific degree? How many of the managers and leaders that we are filling roles for, have a degree in a function different than their current role? Do they have a degree at all?  

Would your opinion change if you found out that they didn’t possess a  certain degree? In my career, I’ve found that the ability to problem solve and connect with others is a much greater predictor of success in recruitment than one’s academic background.  It's understandable that there are hiring teams and recruiters that disagree with me and other talent acquisition pros.  My ask??? Let us all step outside of our comfortable boxes and evaluate. Examine your "rules for hiring" and cancel any potential biases that are in place. 

Evaluate. Grow. Adapt.  Remove barriers to hiring excellence. Again, if not now, when? 

If you're interest in continuing your education or sharing opportunities with your recruitment / talent acquisition staff, I suggest starting with targeted certificate programs and/or workshops. These certificate programs and workshops can be great for those who want to learn more and have limited time (and lets all be honest, limited resources). They are also helpful for those who are uncertain what direction they'd like to take their learning. I have compiled a list of free, YES FREE, online certificate program(s) that are available right NOW in a recent blog post:     Click here for a free list of Online Certificate Courses compiled by @recruitingSHEro available today!

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