5 Secrets From LinkedIn’s Recruiter Certification Test

A few weeks back, LinkedIn (LI) made a big splash at their annual Talent Connect conference when they launched their new LinkedIn Recruiter Certification. Immediately, everyone in the recruiting industry wanted to know what this “certification” was.  The high interest comes from the huge void in the recruiting industry for a legitimate certification that rivals HRCI’s PHR, SPHR and GPHR for HR Pros. While there are a few recruiter certifications out there, LinkedIn could bring brand recognition to an industry certification that has been sorely lacking.

Fistful of Talent is known to have a very active backchannel; let ‘s face it, we are primarily commentators on what is currently going on in HR and Recruiting. This news about LI’s recruiter certification got a few of us talking offline, and I even wrote about it (Is LI’s Recruiter Certification a Scam?) over at the aptly named Tim Sackett Project (my binding endorsement contract stipulates I mention it in each post that uses the blog title, because Kris Dunn was the originator of the blog title The Tim Sackett Project, LLC).  I don’t want to get anyone in trouble, but let’s say for argument’s sake we know of guy who may, or may not have, taken the LI Recruiter Certification, and passed it.  So, yeah, we’ve got sources!

From this inside, back-channel tip, we found out a few secrets from LinkedIn’s Recruiter Certification exam (even though he may, or may not have, been forced to sign a document saying he would not share these secrets) that we want to share with you here, the great FOT nation. We’ll give you 5 Secrets, but please do not share these secrets or use them for professional gain. Here is what you’ll learn from taking this highly sought after certification:

1. If you enter the title of a type of candidate you are searching for into the search bar and click “search,” results of that search will appear!

2. Send Inmail to candidates you have interest talking to. Don’t call them – LI doesn’t make any money from that form of communication.

3. Pay extra to have a great LI corporate page, because it really matters that other recruiters see this and do this for their corporate page as well.

4. Make sure you encourage all of your employees to get profiles on LI; that way our other paying clients can steal them from you.

5. If you pay $199 you’ll get certified on a product you already pay for, and the certification has at least a 57  point margin spread.

Okay, you caught us, these aren’t real secrets – some aren’t even real facts. Well, #1-4 are probably factual, and most of #5, but you get the point. We were having fun with something we found funny.  We know great recruiting pros who have gotten the certification and feel proud to have it.  They got a cool little title and badge to put next to their name.  Heck, I know a bunch of people who would pay a lot more for a cool little title and badge!

I’m not a hater, I just crush a lot…

FOT Background Check

Tim Sackett
Tim Sackett SPHR, is the ultimate Mama’s Boy!  After 15+ years of successfully leading HR and Talent Acquisition departments for Fortune 500s and smaller technical firms, Tim took over running the contingent staffing firm HRU Technical Resources in Lansing, MI. Serving as the Executive Vice President, Tim runs the company his mother started over 30 years ago, and don’t tell Mom, but he thinks he does a better job at it than she did!  Check out his blog at www.timsackett.com. Because he's got A LOT to say, and FOT just isn't enough for him.


  1. Hi Tim–

    I believe this LI Certification is going to become a “thing”. I recruit recruiters–lots of clients want candidates who have experience using LinkedIn Recruiter. What’s wrong with a certification? People should take pride in their profession. If they were smart—they would have signed up early—it’s free.

    I heart LI and I do drink the Kool-Aid.


  2. Tim Sackett says:


    There is absolutely nothing wrong with LinkedIn. I don’t think I could find someone who doesn’t feel it’s a good tool. The certification as it’s presented can cause confusion, as it doesn’t really measure if a recruiter is good or not, just that they know how to use a system. As a recruiter of recruiters, do you really feel knowing how to use one system over another makes one recruiter better than another?

    I don’t drink Kool-aid, I drink gin and tonic, but I also really like LI.


  3. kd says:


    I got nothing. Nice Blog name, though…


    • Ben Martinez says:

      Tim- which in-house recruiter would you hire…A, B, C or D.

      A-One who cares so much about recruiting they paid to take the SPHR test and can know tell you what the Norris La-Guardia Act is/does.
      B-One who spends a big part of their life on LinkedIn hiring people and tries to save on 3rd party recruiter costs…so they take the free Li Recruiter test and learn more about the tool.
      C-One w/ a pretty Li profile pic, a few famous endorsements and recommendations and thousands of connections.
      D- One who drinks the 3rd party Kool Aid from their agency recruiter. Ya know that Kool-Aid that says “everyone is top talent” who they put in front of them.

      What Would Tim Sackett Do? #WWTSD

      • Tim Sackett says:

        Ben –

        I’d hire “C” – I always hire pretty. It’s a winning strategy for all hires.


      • kd says:

        Ben Martinez…. REPRESENT!!!

        So there’s just this little problem with the SPHR analogy…. The SPHR is actually a body of knowledge that, while it won’t help you really do anything specific, certainly is a body of knowledge that prepares you in some way for stuff you’ll deal with in a career.

        The LinkedIn Recruiter Cert, I’m guessing from Tim’s post, is how to use the tool. You know a recruiting cert that I’d be impressed with? How bout one that sets a standard for how recruiters pre-qualify candidates on money on the first call to make sure they don’t get surprised in the offer process?

        Call that “E”. Of course, that’s just my opinion, I could be wrong.

        Signed – My LI endorsements include “high fives” and “kicking ass”. Look it up.

  4. RJ says:

    LinkedIn, like many sites in other industries that have come before it, intends to eliminate the middleman (recruiter) through the process of disintermediation. That is a great development for those who pay the freight, not so great for agency recruiters. It is not without precedent, as it has already happened in travel, books, music and a whole host of other industries. Recruiters may choose to recognize the threat or not, but ignoring it does not make it go away.

  5. Tim Sackett says:

    Bob –

    You’re funny! I’m quite the sky-is-falling as you are on the recruiting/agency recruiter profession. Here’s one thing I know for fact – Corporate recruiters for the most part hate making phone calls. While we like to think computers and LinkedIn can do everything for recruiting – someone still has to make that call and talk a person into the company and the job. It’s the reason agency recruiting is a $9B industry. Is it changing? It is. Does LI want some of the pot of cash? Yes they do. Are most people realizing LI is becoming just a big job board? Yes. I don’t see LI taking over, I think the bigger risk for Agency recruiters is when Facebook decides to get a piece of this pie!


  6. Satish says:

    Some really interesting conversation folks, as for LI, they are going strong with their certification. LI not only will but has become the job-board. Statistics speaks for itself and we can see an interesting competition if Facebook also jumps in. Rest for the certification if there are more adapters then followers, LI will be a hit or as always people value the work recruiter’s do not the certifications in long run (Obvious), but LI is also good.

  7. Steph says:

    So, I’m just reading through FOT and stumbled on this conversation. I will admit, at one time, I had been SPHR certified. But I have a freakin’ master’s degree in Industrial/Labor Relations. So I’ve resisted going back. I know my sh*t, don’t need a cert to prove it, even if it makes me less marketable (cause that’s really what it’s about anyway). Then this LI thing comes along. And my colleagues are doing it-drinking the kool-aid, as they say. And I, again, resist. Just can’t find the energy to take this test. I am perhaps overly zealous about my skills as a strategic contributor and as a talent sourcer. I’ll sit on the sidelines and wait to see on this one.

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