Ireland’s launch of the world’s only degree-level course for recruiters has seen Geraldine King, CEO of the Employment & Recruitment Federation (ERF), included in this year’s prestigious SIA 2022 European Staffing 100 listing.
The Irish recruitment industry representative helped develop the first ever degree-level qualification for recruiters, which is delivered by the IFSC-based National College of Ireland. The first 2020 graduates will successfully complete the college programme in May 2023, which was facilitated largely online, during the pandemic.
The course involves blended learning and adopts an apprenticeship model, with hands-on recruitment work interspersed with study. It is Government-funded, and recruitment agencies or companies pay a registration fee for each apprentice enrolled.
A recognised degree qualification is hugely significant for standards in recruitment, for career development, and for confidence in the sector, according to Geraldine King, who was honoured by the Staffing Industry Analysts body.
“Ireland’s initiative drew huge global interest across the recruitment sector, and, on behalf of the ERF team, I am honoured the SIA acknowledged our achievement on their Staffing 100 list.
“It is important for uniform industry standards, and is a qualification that gives a competitive edge and reassures clients of the professionalism of recruitment professionals”, King says.
A Masters qualification is also now on the cards for Ireland’s recruiters, developed and overseen by the ERF too.
Geraldine King runs the Employment & Recruitment Federation, having joined it in 2009. As CEO, she has continued to facilitate services and expand the federation’s education and upskilling offering.
Regarded as a catalyst for change in recruitment, King introduced an accredited Certificate in Recruitment Practice initially, as well as the degree level programme. She introduced upskilling courses that are delivered via Skillnet and, during the pandemic, facilitated the ERF ‘Keep Ireland Working’ helpline, connecting agencies to candidates who had lost jobs, and supporting rapid recruitment in sectors under pressure.
An executive board member at the World Employment Confederation, King has lobbied Government on labour market issues like barriers to women’s participation, investment in education and skills, and inequitable contracts.
Having been on the MBA interview panel at DCU (Dublin City University), a member of Fingal Chamber of Commerce board of management and an adjudicator for industry awards across Europe, Geraldine King was awarded Ireland’s James Kilbane Award for outstanding contribution to the recruitment industry in 2018. She has an MSc in Human Resource Management.
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