(Editor’s Note: There are A LOT of detail in this post about SHRM’s new talent acquisition specialty credential. You might want to consider bookmarking it for future reference.)
A couple of month ago, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) announced a new specialty credential in talent acquisition that is launching this month.
During this year’s SHRM Annual Conference, I learned a few details about the process of earning the credential that you might find interesting. I know it can be tempting to compare the Talent Acquisition Specialty Credential to other certifications like the SHRM-SCP and SHRM-CP, but this isn’t the same and therefore, the process isn’t going to be either.
To earn the credential, individuals must satisfactorily complete the following three activities:
- SHRM’s Talent Acquisition: Creating Your Organization’s Strategy seminar (available in-person or online);
- Six (6) SHRM eLearning courses on talent acquisition-specific topics including recruiting, analytics and hiring trends; and,
- An online 50-question knowledge-based assessment.
It’s not a requirement to be SHRM-SCP or SHRM-CP certified to pursue the TA Specialty Credential. However, if you are, the above activities are eligible for Professional Development Credits (PDCs).
So, pursuing this credential can earn you up to 25 PDCs (total). And you would receive those PDCs as you complete each element of the learning plan. The PDCs are automatically uploaded into your certification portal, just like other SHRM seminars and eLearning.
Finally, the PDCs associated with the assessment are received upon completion of the assessment regardless of receiving a passing score. They’re automatically uploaded into the certification portal just like everything else.
Let’s Talk More About the Assessment
Obviously, if you don’t pass the assessment then you won’t receive the Talent Acquisition Specialty Credential, the certificate of achievement, or the digital badge. But that doesn’t have to signal the end of this journey. According to SHRM, individuals will have two attempts to receive a passing score on the assessment. If they’re unsuccessful after two attempts, then they must complete the learning events again and earn a passing score on the assessment. Here are five additional details about the assessment you might like to know.
- All 50 questions on the assessment are multiple choice with 4 answer choices. Of the 50 questions, 80 percent are knowledge items and 20 percent are scenario-based items.
- Individuals will have 100 minutes to complete the 50-question assessment. The assessment cannot be paused, exited and resumed, or restarted later once it has been started.
- The online assessment is computer-based and can be accessed from any computer that has a secure internet connection (i.e. your home or work computer). The assessment is be delivered through the same platform as the 6 eLearning modules.
- For security purposes, you will use the same single sign on login information and password that you use when accessing the SHRM website and any eLearning content. This is the unique identifier that will note when the assessment and any of the eLearning modules have been accessed and completed.
- Upon completion of the assessment, you will immediately receive a ‘pass’ or ‘not pass’ notification in the SHRM eLearning platform. If a passing score is achieved, you will receive your digital badge within five business days and your certificate will arrive within two weeks.
Why You Should Consider SHRM’s Talent Acquisition Specialty Credential
In my quest to find out as much detail as possible, I chatted with Tony Lee, SHRM’s vice president of editorial, who played the lead role in the introduction of this new credential. I’m thrilled that he graciously agreed to share some insights behind the development of the credential.
Tony, let’s start at the beginning. Why did SHRM decide to offer a Talent Acquisition Specialty Credential?
[Lee] The talent acquisition field has changed significantly in recent years and recruiters need new skills and strategies to compete for talent. SHRM wants to be at the forefront of addressing these needs. As a result, SHRM is launching the Talent Acquisition Specialty Credential to provide recruiters with the opportunity to gain new skills, distinguish their expertise and build their credibility.
I assume that when I earn the TA Specialty Credential, I don’t get to add letters to my name. So, how does someone tell the world that they’ve earned it?
[Lee] After passing the assessment, you can add your specialty credential to your resume, e-mail signatures, and social media profiles, proving your talent acquisition expertise to your employer and your network.
We’ve spent quite a bit of time talking about how to earn the credential. But, once I earn the specialty credential, what happens next? Meaning, is there a renewal or recertification process?
[Lee] A SHRM Specialty Credential educates individuals on specific learning objectives. This is done by participating in a series of learning events and passing an assessment to demonstrate comprehension of program learning objectives. You cannot recertify a specialty credential. After three years, you must complete the learning events and pass the assessment to earn a new credential.
You and I both know people with “lifetime” certifications. Can you share with readers the thought process behind making the specialty credential valid for three years?
[Lee] The world of the recruiter is in constant flux. SHRM is committed to reviewing the materials, content, and assessment items annually in order ensure that it is focused on the latest trends, strategies and practices. By taking the credential again after three years, you distinguish yourself as an accomplished talent acquisition professional committed to the continuous improvement of your skills and knowledge.
One last question. Is there a recommended time frame to start/finish earning the specialty credential? And where can someone learn more?
[Lee] After they purchase it, each individual has one full calendar year to complete the three activities of the specialty credential (i.e. the seminar, 6 eLearning modules and the assessment). SHRM realizes each individual has different learning preferences and rates, so it will take some people much less than a year to complete, but they have a full year to accommodate any schedule challenges that may arise.
To learn more, please go to http://l.shrm.org/Seminars/TalentSpecialtyCredential
My thanks to Tony and the SHRM team for sharing all of this detailed information with me. We all know that any time something new is introduced, there are lots of questions. I hope this helps answer some of them. And I hope you’re interested in learning more about the credential by checking out the website.
Talent acquisition professionals play a huge role in the company’s success. They’re responsible for finding and hiring the talent that will help the organization meet its goals. Being able to tell the company and candidates that you’re a skilled, committed recruiter could give you a competitive advantage.
P.S. Tony Lee and I will be conducting a short webcast about the challenges in today’s job market and the essential role that talent acquisition professionals play in helping the organization meet its talent needs. Mark your calendars for Tuesday, August 7, 2018 at 2p Eastern. Registration details will be available soon on the SHRM website. And if you can’t make it…sign up anyway and get the recording.12