Qualifications vs. Practical Experience
Amanda Underhill, HR Recruitment Business Manager at Ashley Kate, recently asked her LinkedIn audience the following question, ‘Is the CIPD qualification or practical experience favoured when recruiting HR professionals?’ Conflicting opinions emerged from the poll, providing insight into how employers might evaluate candidates.
Over 250 HR professionals voted on the poll, with 71% supporting practical experience: 19% supporting the CIPD qualification, and 11% supporting “other”. They believe that both practical experience and the CIPD certification work together, with one person quoting “…you have to be willing to continue to learn, keep up to date on employment law and the changing landscape of the organisation to be successful.”
A CIPD surveyed over 2000 senior decision makers on skills and found that:
- Only 24% of employers disregard specific qualifications when recruiting – the remainder being in favour of qualifications.
- 57% of employers recruiting look for degrees or post-degree qualifications to filter large volumes of applicants, leaving those with relevant experience but no qualifications at a disadvantage.
Many respondents favoured practical experience, winning by a landslide, which is a strong indication of the direction HR recruitment could be heading.
This raises the question of how to gain experience to be a competitive candidate in the application process. As a respondent rightly stated, “Can someone explain how a person with no experience will get any experience, if they will never get hired, due to lack of experience?”
The CIPD survey indicated a majority favouring the qualification, the opposite of Amanda’s poll. These conflicting views perfectly reflect that not one size fits all when it comes to recruiting HR professionals.
Nevertheless, one question remains unanswered: Can someone with no qualifications, but practical experience, succeed in their role? This is something employers may not be aware of when they disregard these candidates.
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