Professional Certification – What it Means in Staffing and Recruitment

ASA-certified professionals are held in high esteem; they have the
knowledge and expertise to provide superior service, win clients and attract talent

At LLoyd Staffing, the pressure is on to earn national certification. Currently, 66.6% of LLoyd’s professional recruitment staff has earned the distinction of Certified Staffing Professional issued by the American Staffing Association. If the current class studying for the CSP exam pass, it will bring the number up to 82%.   The big push for certification comes from the top. President Keith Banks, CSP, is a strong advocate for industry education. Many of the staff members who have held long careers in the employment community realize as soon as they come on board with LLoyd, that this is one firm where certification is a major part of the corporate culture.

“I believe we have a responsibility to our industry to require contingent talent specialists and direct hire professionals to operate at the highest level. Certification represents best in class and demonstrates to our corporate clients and candidate talent that we adhere to an established level of performance and ethics” says Banks who this year will lead the celebration of the firm’s 48th anniversary serving the business community. Just as certified public accountants seek CPA status and HR professionals pursue SHRM certification, CSP credentialing is issued by the American Staffing Association (ASA) and is an assurance of competency; credible, third party validation of skills is a powerful message and validates knowledge to those who work with a staffing firm.

Vice President of Human Resources, Donna Caputo, CSP, leads training sessions for LLoyd employees and provides continuing education options for certified staff members to maintain their CSP status. “We’ve had a 100% passing success rate for the last four exam periods” offers Caputo.

To prepare for the exams, Caputo coaches employees at one hour weekly review sessions for 13 weeks leading up to the exam.

LLoyd absorbs the cost of the exam and also gives a free PTO day to all those sitting for the exam on the day prior to the test for last minute reviews. “The curriculum is pretty intense” says Caputo, “ it covers a wide range of topics from pre-employment to candidate screening to co-employment issues, wage/hour laws, workplace discrimination and more. Right now we do a weekly session with our various locations via a shared screen so we are in one classroom. It’s a good way to study together.”

The test is a timed, two-hour online exam consisting of 100 true or false and multiple choice questions; 80 of the questions are federal and 20 are state-specific for the state selected. Once passed, certification is valid for three years and professionals must maintain their credentials by participating in 30 hours of approved continuing education.

HERE’S A SAMPLE TEST QUESTION*:
A company may inadvertently misclassify an employee as an independent contractor. What 3 factors does the Internal Revenue Service consider which are geared toward the degree of control exercised by the putative employer as compared to the independence with which the worker operates. List 3 factors. (answer below)

Keith Banks acknowledges that the certification designation is a big differentiator when working with clients and candidates. He says it adds value to the relationships and has been helpful in helping clients avoid potentially costly legal missteps and helps protects both candidates and clients from legal liabilities. “Certification is a source of pride for LLoyd as a company, and like the human resources professionals we typically work with, we have tremendous respect for ongoing education and accreditation. We are a culture of certification and it is one of our core values as a company. It sends a strong message that we invest in our biggest asset – our internal employees.”

“We’ve even had support staff inquire about certification” says Donna Caputo. “I think that says something when your front office, accounting staff and other members of the team want to know if they can become certified. We are hoping more and more of our staffing industry colleagues place the same value we do on education and certification. It raises the bar for all of us.”

Long-term CSP Professionals

L to R Seated: Dawn Viergutz, Lori Sin-Rossini, Donna Caputo, Jason Banks, Merrill Banks, Keith Banks, Nancy Schuman, Susan King, Brian Hayes Marlane Perry L to R Standing: Faith Green, Matthew Assael, Crystal James, Joseph Davis, Jeanine Bondi Banks, Barbara Baer, Rick Delin, Krislyn Wenskus, Brian Green, Melissa Matos, Missing: Helaine Bocker

Currently studying for the Exam

L to R: Jared Delin, Christine Lopez, Adam Deutsch, Sharon Nocella, Peter Giglione, Theresa Irizarry, Robert Segro, Jennifer Tripodi

Note:  Two members of the class recently sat for the exam and passed!

Theresa Irizarry, Peter Giglione

*Answer to question above sourced from The Federal Employment Law Workbook for CSP and TSC by the American Staffing Association, 13th edition.

The factors that are considered in determining a working relationship is that of an independent contractor or employee:
Behavioral control – the level of control the putative employer ha over the manner and means with which the worker performs the job. The more control the principal exerts, the less likely an independent contractor relationship be found.
Financial control – the control the putative employer ha over financial aspects of the working relationship, such as how the worker is paid, whether the worker has the potential for profit or loss, whether the worker’s business expenses are reimbursed, and who provides the tools. Again, the greater control the putative employer possesses, the less likely the individual is properly classified as an independent contractor.
Type of relationship – the parties’ perception and definition of the relationship. Example, do the parties have a written agreement specifying they independent to form an independent contractor relationship; how permanent is the relationship; are the services provided by the worker integral to the core business activity or is the worker providing an incidental service?

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