Q & A with ATAP: Launching a New Talent Acquisition Certifications Database

Imagine if all certifications in talent acquisition were in one place. No Googling, no asking around, no scouring the depths of the Internet.  

The Association of Talent Acquisition and Professionals (ATAP) made that vision a reality. On November 7, the association officially launched its Talent Acquisition Certification Resource Center, a database of nearly all known talent acquisition (TA) certifications. exaqueo, a proud sponsor of ATAP, helped to design and develop this revolutionary database and their website. Our team believes in their mission to advance the profession of talent acquisition by providing greater access to information and education. For anyone interested in recruiting, talent acquisition, or HR, this resource is an exciting opportunity for ATAP members to expand their knowledge, gain critical skills, and grow as a professional.

We recently spoke with ATAP’s Executive Director, Ben Gotkin, and Senior Advisor, Gerry Crispin, to learn more about the Talent Acquisition Certification Resource Center.

What is the Talent Acquisition Certification Resource Center?

The Talent Acquisition Certification Resource Center is a database of 56 TA certifications — all the existing certification programs in the world that ATAP could identify. The database provides information about each certification, including the cost and process of becoming certified. Members can search and filter the collection, and they can also provide a rating and review of any certification they have completed. Ben Gotkin explains, “it’s kind of like Yelp or TripAdvisor [for TA]. You can get a sense of what people’s experiences were with these programs. And any opportunity to help our peers and fellow members advance their skills makes the entire community better.”

How was it created?

People frequently ask ATAP: do you provide a certification? They don’t yet, but the question got them thinking. There’s a demand out there for certification programs in talent acquisition. “There’s a lot available, but there’s no one place anybody can go to find all of that information,” says Gotkin. Gerry Crispin took notice of this gap in the market as well. “People want to be acknowledged,” he says, “That’s what a certification does. It acknowledges your skills, knowledge, or experience in a particular area in talent acquisition.” So this past summer, he organized an ATAP member committee to research and identify all existing certifications in talent acquisition.

According to Crispin, all of the committee members have been in recruiting for many years and are highly skilled in sourcing. He adds that, “they weren’t actually evaluating the quality of the certification; their job was to find all existing certifications by searching the internet and utilizing their network, looking at who claims to certify skills, knowledge, and experience in talent acquisition.” The team collected as much information as they could about each certification: who provides it, who the target audience is, the cost, and what’s involved in getting the certification. Overall, approximately 60 organizations were identified that offered certifications for skills including employment branding, sourcing, assessment, and running a third-party company.

Who can access it?

The database is only available to ATAP Members. ATAP is constantly looking for opportunities to give its members more and more exclusive member value. To learn more about becoming an ATAP member click here.

What value does the database offer?

Obtaining certification in an area of talent acquisition is greatly beneficial to advancing your professional growth and expanding career options. “I hope that members who look over these certifications will find areas of interest that they want to be certified in, or maybe they have skills that they want to be acknowledged for. Either way, it adds value for them in how they get a job, or the extent to which they have demonstrated these skills to themselves,” Crispin claims. It also saves time and energy. “A lot of people probably Google or ask their network to find certifications, which takes a lot of time and effort to gather this information.” Now, it’s been consolidated into a comprehensive database for ATAP members.

Ultimately, there is a lot of education available out there, particularly for those who are interested in a credential or certification. “Very often, I see many people in the profession that have never had formal training to become certified. We’ve made it pretty easy to see what’s available now,” says Gotkin.

As far as what the future holds for ATAP and the Talent Acquisition Certification Resource Center, Crispin tells us that the database can point out where gaps are: “If there are areas in which there is a need for training or certification, this will help us identify some of those areas. We will be able to crowdsource it in a way, too, where better certifications will be recognized and the certifications that don’t offer real value will fade away.” Both Gotkin and Crispin agree that this is still the beginning of what they are able to provide ATAP members in terms of value.  “We are always looking for opportunities to learn and grow,” says Gotkin.

The Association of Talent Acquisition Professionals (ATAP) is a member-driven non-profit designed to bring the profession and members of talent acquisition together. exaqueo is a sponsor of ATAP; CEO, Susan LaMotte, served on the founding review board, and our team built both the initial launch page and the ATAP website. Learn more and join ATAP today.

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