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Last night we were one of the first groups of people to sit and pass the new CIPD Irish Recruiters Certiied Internet Recruiters (IR CIR) course.
After nearly 7 hours of study across 2 nights, a 25 question multiple choice exam, numerous cups of tea and choccy biscuits, we made it.
So, what is the IR CIR qualification all about? Essentially the course is the first step to empowering Irish Recruitment Professionals with the skills they need to compete nationally and internationally in an increasingly on-line sourcing marketplace.
I have been sourcing candidates on-line for over two years now and unfortunately I have had to learn the hard (and long) way as there is only one other recognised sourcing qualification in the world, AIRS, which is run out of the US and costs in excess of US$1,500. We have painstakingly researched and discovered numerous tools that have enabled us to be successful as internet recruiters so when I first signed up for the IR CIR course, I expected that I would pretty much know everything in this first course (the first of three courses). How wrong was I?
In short, the course gives you an overview of internet sourcing methodologies before diving into how to conduct targetted searches using Boolean strings and other tricks. This continues into the second day with lots of examples and practical exercises to get your boolean juices flowing and to apply your newly learned skills. The class is really interactive with students encouraged to participate in discussions and offer suggestions and questions alike. Several of the first batch of students were virgin Boolean searchers and I was really impressed by their level of ability by the middle of the second day.
Boolean searching is only the beginning though and the course offered great practical tips and insights on how to be more productive through the use of various web tools in addition to providing some “old school” structured guides on how to prepare your search and contact passive candidates.
The course was spread over two evenings, with a day in between allowing you to catch up on your notes, practice what you have learned and check out some further reading. To be honest, there is so much to learn that it really is important to come prepared, having done some cursory research on web sourcing and boolean logic. The course treats you like a newbie, but if you come expecting to be spoon-fed your information, this isn’t the course for you (nor might recruitment be the career for you!). The content is streets ahead of anything else out there (believe me, I have looked and wasted good money on webinars and downloads!) and the style of delivery is relaxed yet maintains a brisk pace.
At the end of the second day came the dreaded exam!!! I wasn’t sure what to expect although we all knew in advance that there would be 25 multiple choice questions that we would have 35 minutes to answer. The test is tough and focuses on real-life, practical search quizzes and exercise which is the best way to really test your recruitment skills. Most importantly, you are free to refer to your notes and search the web, after all it is trying to simulate real-life and a good recruiter doesnt need to remember every single thing, they just need to know where to get the info and how to apply it. Most of us needed the whole 35 minutes but I was thrilled to pass although I still want to know which 2 questions I got wrong!!!
I cannot recommend this course enough for any in-house or agency recruiter in Ireland. This is now the base standard for finding high quality staff in our industry; if you choose one course or training programme this year, you should make it the CIPD IR CIR.
Brng on the Advanced Courses!