A Bachelor’s Degree in Recruiting

When will a college or university have a degree program in recruiting?  We have hundreds of universities and colleges that now offer human resources programs.  Two of my good friends, Matt Stollak, and Marcus Stewart are both professors of HR programs.  I have yet to see one program in Recruiting and Talent Acquisition.

For the most part the degree programs that fill recruiting positions are:


Business Administration/Marketing

Liberal Arts degrees – history, art, other things you won’t ever get a job in.

Sports Management

Human Resources

The recruiting industry takes all degree programs where people can’t get a job making enough to live on!  An entry level recruiter can usually make around $40,000 to $50,000 in their first year. The best recruiters make six figures.  Not a bad professional, white collar level compensation for a four-year degree program.  Many professions would love to be in that compensation level.

I think we could easily come up with two years’ worth of undergrad classes. Let’s face it, you only need about 60 credits or 20 classes, to have a complete major in most programs. The rest of the classes are the ‘basics’ we all take when attending university in the first two years.

Here are some of my ideas for classes in my Bachelors of Recruiting program:

Recruiting 101 – History of Recruiting

Recruiting 102 – Recruiting Processes and Procedures

Recruiting 103 – Recruiting Communication and Marketing

Recruiting 104 –  Sourcing

Recruiting 105 – Negotiation, Offers, and Recruiting Finance

Recruiting 106 – 100 ways to connect with people – #1 is the Phone!

Recruiting 107 – Writing Job Descriptions like a Marketer

Recruiting 201 – Employment Branding

Recruiting 202 – Candidate Experience

Recruiting 203 – Recruiting Technology

Recruiting 204 – Advanced Sourcing

Recruiting 205 – Specialty Recruitment

Recruiting 206 – Recruiting Analytics

Recruiting 207 – The Law & Candidates

Recruiting 301 – Senior Project – solving real-life recruiting problems in real-world companies

Not quite a full class load, but I think we could easily build that out with great content.  So, here’s the big question.  If a university offered a degree in Recruiting, would you look to hire those people into your shop?

I would!  I think many of us would.  Any classes you would add to the above list!

7 thoughts on “A Bachelor’s Degree in Recruiting

  1. Hi Tim,
    Some of the best recruiting training I have ever received has come from embedding myself in the departments i am supporting…I spent a few weeks with the IT guys learning the lingo and the difference between a data modeller and a systems architect. A couple of lunches and offsites with the engineers and designers gave me a better perspective on what questions to ask when recruiting a body-in-white specialist…Maybe the ideal undergrad recruiting program would include overviews of typical positions we are trying to find…just my .02. By the way, Lindsey Ross and Todd Briggs are doing a great job supporting us!

  2. This was funny.

    We already have an excellent curriculum in the sales and marketing area, I could absolutely see this as a minor in an HR program or Marketing program.

    So a better question would be, would you hire an undergrad with a degree in HR, with a minor in recruiting?

  3. Awesome Post.

    My first thought was – how long will it take for a stuffy HR person comment about your choice of university “Pimp State”. Which by the way I feel is spot on.

    For what its worth, I had a few more advanced courses to add:

    Advanced: Recruiting as a Corporate Function
    Advanced: High Volume Recruitment

  4. Sacko – there’s a reason why pimpin’ ain’t easy. A degree in recruiting makes as much sense as one in pimping. My degree is in engineering – never figured to go into recruiting but it “found” me. In fact, this has happened to the best recruiters I know (yes, there are a few exceptions).

    But I’ll humor you a bit. Here are a few missing courses:

    Advanced: The Psychology of the Hiring Manager

    Advanced: Recruiting Strategies and Business Life Cycles

    Advanced: Building Functional Expertise

  5. Many of those larger HR programs offer a broad class in recruitment and selection that may touch on some (but probably not most) of the areas that are mentioned. Here are a couple of sample syllabi:




    I do think that many HR professors do not talk about several of the items such as candidate experience, sourcing, HR technology, recruiting finance, negotiation skills of recruiters, etc.

    Further, its rare to find a book that outlines the topics you mention except in passing. You’ll see Staffing Organizations by Heneman and Judge as the primary text for these types of classes. But, it doesn’t cover many of the issues mentioned above.

    One of the main reasons I got into this social media world was to get the knowledge from HR professionals like you that my academic colleagues rarely talk about.

    You should write (or we can collaborate) a new book that focuses on these very issues called “Recruiting in the 21st Century.”

  6. Great post. How about these classes…
    Sales & Business Development

    Cold Calling, Eluding the Gatekeeper, Overcoming Objections

    The Psychology of a No Show No Call

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