Maybe it’s because my hair and beard have gradually changed to a whitish-grey or possibly because I’m receiving more retirement notices than I can remember in my 20 years as a NAPS consultant. The trend I’m witnessing is that a significant number of “boomers” have exited or are in the process of exiting the search and staffing professions. These “boomers” represent the generation that first committed to the NAPS professional certification program---those who first recognized the importance of learning the legal and ethical concepts associated with employment transitions and sought the Certified Personnel Consultant (CPC) and Certified Temporary Staffing-Specialist (CTS) credentials.
What did the “boomer” generation say and do that must be replicated by the current and next generation of professionals to engage in direct-hire or temporary staffing work? First, their commitment to earning the oldest, most established credential in the industry put them and all who followed into a “league of their own.” They recognized that candidates and clients alike would appreciate their adherence to professional and ethical behaviors, as well as their desire to practice their craft in compliance with relevant employment laws.
As I have traveled the country conducting more than 70 Certification Immersion Classes and participating in nearly 20 NAPS National Conferences, I’ve had the opportunity to interface with hundreds of CPCs and CTSs. When asked to state how they value their certification, they have said that it has:
- Created a self-assurance that hadn’t existed before certification was achieved. That confidence, in turn, generated a certain “swagger” that many believe resulted in enhanced earning potential.
- Opened doors that allowed them to experience both growth and mobility in their personal careers.
- Established the professional, ethical and legal underpinnings that served as foundation for their service to candidates and clients.
- Placed continuing education and professional development high among their personal goals and within their firm.
- Connected them to a network of professional peers, as well as the highly respected credentialing and education mission of the National Association of Personnel Services.
The boomers were certification trailblazers. They saw the CPC and CTS credential as an investment in themselves and in the firms they represented. Owners and managers saw it as a “good business,” something to be appreciated by candidates and clients. Hopefully, these “values lessons” are ones that will be learned and practiced by the Gen Xers, Gen Yers, and Millennials that follow.