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Are Career Certifications Worth It?

Lauren Milam

Vice President of West Coast

Hire Up Staffing & Healthcare

September 7, 2022

While we remain in a candidate-driven market, conscientious jobseekers are looking to put their best foot forward with top employers who are offering more in terms of flexibility and overall employee wellbeing. When considering how to best grab a top employer’s attention, or to make the most of their professional development, people often ask if obtaining a career certification is worth it. As a team of professional recruiters who match the skills of candidates with the needs of top employers every single day, we have that answer for you…and that is: MAYBE.

Before spending your time and money to get a career certification, it is best to ask yourself these questions:

1.  Does my job or employer require it?

Chances are, if your current job does require it, it would have been a prerequisite of your employment. Companies who require certifications will most often not even consider a candidate without one. Positions requiring certifications to be obtained before hire often include jobs like Forklift Drivers, positions within IT, and Medical Assistants.

2. Will certification be required for a position I am looking to secure in the future?

As mentioned, many employers will require certifications as a prerequisite to interview for such positions. To know for certain if a job you are interested in requires a certification, review the job description thoroughly. A well-written job description will list the requirements for the role.

3. If a certification is not listed as a requirement, can it still be helpful to me?

Potentially. This depends upon the position and the industry with which you are looking to work. For instance, an HR Generalist position may not require a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) Certification, however, having one could place your resume above others.

Learning any new skill or honing your knowledge of a particular career-focused subject is never a bad idea. The important thing to consider is whether the certification itself is required for the job, and if the time and money required makes sense for your specific situation.

4. How long does it take to get a certification?

Certifications range in hours required and the costs associated. Some certifications require renewals (Certification Renewals (CE)), and some are good for life (GLF). It is important to research certifications thoroughly for the commitment associated, as well as the quality and reputation of the program and the institution by which it is provided.

5. Are there any cost-friendly insider tips you may have to enhance my skillset while improving my resume?

There are many ways to broaden your knowledge on a subject or industry, while also strengthening your resume. You may find benefits in attending a conference, industry workshop, or joining an association or networking group related to your specific area of interest. You might look for paid/unpaid internships or ways to volunteer your time to get closer to others working within your preferred field.

Consider self-study to broaden your knowledge. Read books and publications, watch podcasts, YouTube, and Ted Talks. It is possible you can utilize self-study resources at your local library. Stay on top of industry and local news related to your career of choice; sign up for newsletters and/or online updates. Find industry leaders and companies you admire and follow them on social media to stay alert and virtually connected.

There are also helpful and free courses available through LinkedIn. If you do not yet have an account, visit their website for more information. LinkedIn is another opportunity to connect with others in your preferred field of work. In addition to studies, networking is important to improving your professional tools and resources.

Whenever in doubt, seek assistance from the professionals! Staffing companies like ours are already networked within a variety of industries all over the country. Because of this, we likely have connections within the industry you are looking to work and can work on your behalf to do a bit of the networking for you. In addition, we can assist you with tips to polish up your resume, practice your interview skills, as well as identify ways to best connect you with positions within organizations you most want to work.

When it comes to working with a staffing agency, you might find that it can be your best bet to working smarter and not harder. Give us a call. Let us help!

— Follow the Hire Up Staffing & Healthcare Services Blog to stay connected with a variety of topics aimed to help support you! Whether you are an active job seeker looking for tips and tricks to land your perfect job or an employer looking to fill a challenging position, we are here to help you HIRE UP!

Lauren Milam Vice President of West Coast | September 7, 2022

Meet Lauren Milam, Regional Vice President for Hire Up Staffing Services. Lauren started in the staffing industry 7 years ago as a Recruiter. Finding success in her role quickly, she promoted through the ranks to outside sales, training and development, and then Regional Vice President. She joined Hire Up in November of 2019 as our first Regional Vice President hire for the California Market. Since starting at Hire Up, she has created and implemented new sales campaigns and initiatives to help the company grow. In her first quarter with Hire Up, she helped the recruiters increase their individual gross profit by an average of 28%. She does this by creating plans that focus on the individual needs of each office and person.

Meet Gregory – Recruiting Manager in Visalia!

Gregory Picture

Meet Gregory, your Recruiting Manager in the Visalia branch! Before starting at Hire Up, Gregory was in the U.S Army as a tank mechanic and is continuing to work at his own business doing carpet cleaning. One accomplishment he is proud of while working in the Army was receiving a leadership award. He loved to be a leader and to be recognized for it. One piece of advice that Gregory heard and would give to others is never to get comfortable. Comfort makes you lazy, so you should strive for more. Gregory is excited to work at Hire Up Staffing because it is a new experience for him and can potentially lead to many different positions that will help him grow and learn more tasks. When he is outside the office, you can find Gregory going to the gym, skateboarding, playing video games, and spending time with his children.

Meet Fidelina – Recruiting Manager in Visalia!

Meet Fidelina, the Recruiting Manager in the Visalia branch! Fidelina has seven years in the staffing industry with 6 years of recruiting. She was recently a Staffing Consultant at another agency so she is no stranger to speaking to clients and candidates. One of Fidelina’s proudest moments in her working career is placing her first direct-hire and helping that person find a career.

Fidelina is excited to work at Hire Up Staffing because the work atmosphere is positive and the staff is very welcoming. When Fidelina is outside of the office, you can find her being with her parents and siblings as well as her in-laws. When she isn’t with her family she is doing makeup videos or trying new makeup trends. Fidelina also likes to read books and go to the gym.

Meet Trevor – Recruiting Manager in San Diego!

Meet Trevor, the Recruiting Manager in the San Diego branch. Before starting at Hire Up Staffing, Trevor started his career as a Manager Trainee for a rent-a-car company, then moved on to manage a brewing company, and recently worked for a tech company working in direct sales. One work-related accomplishment that Trevor is proud of occurred when he made the top 15 on the matrix for employees. One professional goal he has is to grow within the company and as a person. He wants to soak in all the skills that Hire Up offers.

Trevor is excited to work at Hire Up Staffing because it gives him a new opportunity to learn but also a chance to grow. When Trevor is outside of the office, you can find him playing hockey, camping, and going on hikes.

Meet Francisco – Recruiting Manager in Bakersfield

Meet Francisco, your Recruiting Manager in the Bakersfield office. Before starting at Hire Up Staffing, Francisco worked in many fields ranging from warehouse to security and sales and property management. One work-related accomplishment that he is proud of occurred while in his previous position. Francisco was recognized for being the top person in the store with the most customer compliments for the month! Now, one of his career goals is to become one of the top performers in the Bakersfield branch.

Francisco is excited to work at Hire Up Staffing because he feels he is an excellent fit for the company with his positive attitude and personality. Outside of the office, you can find Francisco playing video games, watching movies, and self-teaching graphic design.

Interview Tips for Managers New to the Hiring Process

Lauren Milam

Vice President of West Coast

Hire Up Staffing

Most people can relate to the nerves often associated with an upcoming interview. However, not all have experienced the nerves that can come from being the one responsible for conducting one. If you are new to the process of interviewing or are interested in comparing your current skills with those of long-time experts, follow along for some helpful tips and tricks.

  1. Prepare. Review the resume and application, as well as the job description. Create meaningful questions by customizing them beforehand to fit the needs of the job AND the candidate. Ensure the job description is an accurate depiction of the position ,and then build some of your questions upon those requirements.

Review the candidate’s resume and create questions around their experience. See a project they worked on that intrigues you? Jot that down. Notice they have experience with a particular software that your company has been considering? Make a note to yourself to ask them about their experience. By preparing for your interview in this manner, you set yourself up for success, as well as show the candidate that you value them, their experience, and their time.

2. When creating your interview questions, be sure to understand the differences between the four types:

Close-ended Questions: These questions are such that require the candidate to answer in a limiting manner. They could be yes or no questions or other questions that require succinct answers, such as, “How many years have you been with your current job?”

Open-Ended Questions: These questions are great for interviews because they allow the person an opportunity to share more detail about themselves or their experience. For example, “Can you describe a challenging customer request and how you worked to make it happen?”

Hypothetical Question:A hypothetical question allows the candidate an opportunity to create their version of an ideal response. For example, “How would you deal with an irate customer?”

Off the Wall: The intent of asking an off-the-wall question is most often to lighten the mood, as well as provide insight into the candidate’s creativity and ability to think on the fly. However, use your best discretion when selecting one to ask and use these types of questions sparingly. An example of an off-the-wall question is, “If you could be any animal, which would you be and why?”

3. Ask colleagues for advice. If you are new to interviewing, it is important to get a second opinion on your prepared interview questions before you use them. You may find that a member of your Human Resources team is a good place to start.

Once your questions have been given the green light, ask a colleague or mentor to do a practice run with you. This will provide an opportunity to ask your questions as well as practice answering questions a candidate may ask you during the interview process.

If ,even after some practice, you are feeling uneasy about conducting an interview on your own, ask a colleague to interview with you for the first few.

4. Be personable. Set the tone for the interview early with a genuine, warm greeting and use of their name. This demonstrates that you are expecting them, and it can help the candidate feel welcome and more at ease.

5. Let the candidate do most of the talking. Ideally, 70% or more of the interview should involve the candidate sharing specific experiences to answer your questions. If you feel the candidate is not sharing enough, or you are doing too much of the talking during your interviews, consider a few things:

Strengthen your questions. As previously mentioned, question preparation is important. You are setting the candidate up for success when your questions are intentional and can pull from their prior experiences. You will get the most from the candidate when you put effort into your question preparation.

Challenge yourself to become comfortable with silence as the candidate gathers their thoughts. Do not feel the need to fill the silence with more words. Some people need time to think about an answer that best fits the question posed. When you fill the silence rather than await their response, you could potentially create an environment in which the candidate feels rushed or unable to properly process what is being asked of them.

Consider sharing interview questions with candidates beforehand. You may find that sharing even a few of the questions beforehand allows your candidates to provide you with stronger responses because they have been able to give the questions more thought.

6. Take good notes during the interview. Notes during an interview are particularly important because once the interview is over and other work-related activity occurs, it can be easy to forget some of the things mentioned during your time with that candidate.

7. Act quickly if you want to move forward. It would not be unusual for your candidate to be interviewing with other employers. If you feel good about the interview and are unable to make a hiring decision on the spot, set the expectation for follow-up contact with the candidate. Let them know your timeline, and be sure you stay on task with your internal post-interview processes so you can keep to those timelines.

Interviewing is a key skill for leaders. With practice and preparation, your interview skills can become second nature, and your ability to connect with candidates can begin to feel more natural. Improving your interviewing technique is not only important for your skillset, but it will also impact how candidates view the job and your company. As an interviewer, the candidates you meet see you as an extension of your organization. While an interview is most often thought of as an employer’s decision, it is important to remember that an interview is also an opportunity for the candidate to make a decision about the company as well.

While interviewing is an especially important skill, we have found that many of our best clients just do not have the time it takes to recruit in-house. That is where we come in. We have a team of highly experienced recruiters ready to support you with your every hiring need. If you are finding less and less time to interview, or if you have been frustrated recently by hiring decisions that have not worked out as planned, call us. We can assist you in creating a strong recruitment plan and find you qualified applicants as early as the same day. We have offices all over to serve you, yet in a virtual world, we are simply a click away!

— Follow the Hire Up Staffing & Healthcare Services Blog to stay connected with a variety of topics aimed to help support you! Whether you are an active job seeker looking for tips and tricks to land your perfect job or an employer looking to fill a challenging position, we are here to help you HIRE UP!

Lauren Milam Vice President of West Coast

Meet Lauren Milam, Regional Vice President for Hire Up Staffing Services. Lauren started in the staffing industry 7 years ago as a Recruiter. Finding success in her role quickly, she promoted through the ranks to outside sales, training and development, and then Regional Vice President. She joined Hire Up in November of 2019 as our first Regional Vice President hire for the California Market. Since starting at Hire Up, she has created and implemented new sales campaigns and initiatives to help the company grow. In her first quarter with Hire Up, she helped the recruiters increase their individual gross profit by an average of 28%. She does this by creating plans that focus on the individual needs of each office and person.

Meet Sloan – Recruiting Manager in Dallas!

Meet Sloan, your Recruiting Manager in the Dallas/Fort Worth Branch! Before starting at Hire Up, Sloan worked in the medical field as a chiropractic assistant, a massage therapist to motor vehicle accident patients, taught K-3rd grade special education, and worked in retail management. One of the work-related accomplishments that she is most proud of is when she landed a direct-hire contract within the first week and a half of its posting! Now, Sloan has a new goal of meeting her monthly quotas for the next six months. Sloan is excited to work at Hire Up Staffing because she knows the company has a great work culture! She enjoys the amount of trust instilled in everyone to work independently on goals while also being a part of a team. While outside of the office, you can find Sloan painting, walking in the park, traveling, listening to audiobooks, and taking photos for Instagram.

Meet Gabriela – Recruiting Manager in Visalia!

Meet Gabriela, your Recruiting Manager in the Visalia branch. Before making her way to Hire Up, Gabriela worked as a Legal Assistant for the disability office with the Social Security Administration and the IRS. She has experience with customer service working as a Front Desk Supervisor, and has banking experience. One work-related accomplishment that Gabriela is proud of was when she was invited to be part of an interview panel to determine the best Spanish-speaking candidate and interview them. The best part is that the candidate she chose was the person hired for the position.

Gabriela is excited to work at Hire Up Staffing because recruiting is a brand new field in her career. She believes Hire Up will teach her how to sell and recruit, which is very important for Gabriela’s future goals. You can find Gabriela enjoying physical activities like hiking, biking, and weight training outside of the office. She likes to cook, sing, and is currently learning to play the piano.

Meet Lydia – Clinical Travel Recruiter in Major Accounts!

Meet Lydia, our Clinical Travel Recruiter in the Major Accounts branch! Before starting at Hire Up Staffing, Lydia worked as a Recruiter at a different agency. She knows the ins and outs of the recruiting world! A work-related accomplishment that she is proud of was moving up in two different departments in a previous company. Now, Lydia’s professional goal is to be part of a great team.

Lydia is excited to work at Hire Up Staffing because she wants to be part of a successful company and give her best back to it. The people at the company are motivated individuals who all strive as a team to accomplish goals. When Lydia is outside of the office, you can find her with family and friends, traveling, shopping, and going to the beach!

Hire Up’s Very Own Founder & CEO, Rebecca Kirkman, Featured on Podcast Series

Rebecca Kirkman


Hire Up Staffing & Healthcare

May 4, 2022

Working for Hire Up offers endless reasons to be both proud and grateful! Here are just a few of our favorite boasting points:

  • A fun and active work environment with a team that works hard to support each other and our clients alike
  • A company culture focused on providing an unsurpassed service experience while creating and maintaining valuable relationships
  • Leaders show flexibility and care for the needs of others through a generous heart and kind spirit
  • Hire Up has been recognized by The Business Journal as the #1 Woman-Owned Business in California’s Central Valley

Our very own founder and CEO, Rebecca Kirkman participated in a two-part podcast series, hosted by Extremely Valid Points, a California-based production. In this conversation, Rebecca shared personal insights, and tips for job seekers, employers, and business owners. To listen and/or view the recordings in their entirety, please visit: 

Extremely Valid Points Podcast | Episode 23

Extremely Valid Points Podcast | Episode 24

For a summary of our favorite parts in the series, read along for more…

Rebecca’s Background:

Rebecca Kirkman found her way into staffing by way of a position in accounting for a credit bureau. While there, she remained open to opportunities within the organization as they presented themselves. The company needed a supervisor, she stepped up. The company needed a salesperson, she stepped up. Then one day a recruiter contacted her about an open position they had for a client. While speaking with the recruiter, Rebecca discovered that this opportunity was not the right fit for her and politely declined. However, during this conversation, the recruiter decided Rebecca was someone she needed to meet. The recruiter hired Rebecca upon their first meeting, and she became one of their top representatives year after year until she decided to branch out and start her very own staffing agency.

Hire Up has been in business now for 12 years with offices and representation in various states around the country. This organization focuses on serving mid to large-scale companies and this team serves as experts in the people business. Rebecca shared, “It takes human intuition, which is something a computer cannot do. I think that is what our customers value (most) from us. We can get to know people and bring those connections to the market.”

Common Core Values and Personal Attributes:

When it comes to hiring and finding the right fit, Rebecca shares what has worked best for her. Early on with Hire Up, she identified her top ten core values and incorporated them into the foundational framework of her organization. These values have been instrumental in creating and maintaining a positive and dynamic company culture. The values are so important, Hire Up leaders have built interview questions centered around them, geared to identify similar values and characteristics in candidates interested in working for their team. Rebecca finds importance in hiring like-minded and goal-oriented professionals because if the candidate has their own personal goals and internal motivation to achieve them, that same drive can translate over to assisting with meeting the goals of the organization.

Another core value of Hire Up is a giving heart. Candidates who can share their experience in volunteer work or their otherwise demonstrate an awareness to those in need around them, check important boxes for Rebecca. She shared, “Looking for attributes that show they care about others is how I figure out how to pick members of my team.” A baseline knowledge and understanding of the importance of goals and showing a genuine care for others are two principal factors in identifying a successful candidate that will be able to help support and drive the mission of Hire Up.

Tips for Job Seekers:

Rebecca shared her top three tips for job seekers.

  1. Research: Know about the company. Use your resources, online or otherwise, and learn all that you can about the business, its history, its vision.

Learn about the person who is most likely to interview you. Check the company out on LinkedIn and see if you can identify who you may meet. Understand their background, identify questions you may want to ask them during your interview.

  • Get Comfortable: Nerves can happen before an interview but find confidence in yourself. You know yourself best and you serve as the expert for the jobs you have had. Prepare yourself and go in with confidence. Rebecca recommends not overdoing it on coffee beforehand and listening to music on your way in, it can help calm you.
  • Be Respectful and Treat Others as a Friend: Many companies will ask the receptionist about your behavior while waiting. Were you kind, impatient, rude to them or others? Be calm. Be yourself. Be kind.

What Candidates Want from Employers:

“Anyone can offer good benefits anyone can pay a dollar more…but what makes it different is something they (your employees) can brag about.”- Rebecca Kirkman

Employers looking to attract talent to their business should think beyond the basics of compensation. These days, employees can be selective when it comes to which job they want to take. This candidate market makes things a little more challenging for businesses. The best way to market YOUR organization to be an employer of choice is to ensure your company culture is something worth celebrating and then do just that- celebrate it!

Rebecca shared a few examples of how Hire Up makes the most of a new employee’s first 90 days. She explained that while every day can seem like a party in their offices, Hire Up leadership makes an intentional effort to ensure an employee’s first 90 days feel that way. Rebecca explained, “Their first 90 days is like a party! We throw them a welcome box with tee shirts and mugs and fun stuff…” This helps to welcome them and keeps new members of the team excited and engaged.

Small gestures can mean the most and help others to feel welcomed, included, and valued. Hire Up also is sure to share their fun on social media. Sharing pictures of their fun work environment not only helps their current team to feel connected, but it also serves as a beacon for potential employees too.

Tips for Business Owners:

Rebecca shared two tips for business owners to ensure their business is in a positive position for growth.

  1. Live within Your Means. Be ready to reinvest in your business. “It can be easy to raise your personal bills to match your level of income, however, that is a formula for a 5-year fallout,” Rebecca warns. Be practical and be prepared to take less than you are giving the business. It is important for business growth. Try to run your business debt-free.
  2. Invest in Your Staff. Rebecca shares that your team is your #1 marketer and therefore should be your highest line item on your profit and loss statement. Make sure your team feels valued and they will return in kind with a passion for your business.

Challenges of a Pandemic: Power of a Fast Pivot and Rally:

Covid created havoc in the workplace and Rebecca shared more about that with the hosts of Extremely Valid Points podcast. She explained that “in a matter of 5 days, 60% of the people working for us lost their jobs,” due to many industries shutting down and sheltering in place. She shared that no one knew what was going to happen next and that thought was extremely stressful for her. “I have always prided myself on being someone who rallies,” Rebecca explained. She allowed herself a pity party and within 24 hours was rallying, collaborating with her team on how to best position themselves for what might happen next.

She remembers asking, “Where is the need?” She and her team identified two key groups.

  1. A large majority of the workforce was home on their phones
  2. The Healthcare industry was in desperate need of support

Using these two groups as their guide, Rebecca’s team started creating and pumping out online content. They uploaded stories, created social media posts, and made sure that Hire Up was front and center to those at home and on their phones. This was a valuable strategy, allowing those not working to see them as a resource for finding work now and or in the future.

It was during this time of worldwide uncertainty that Rebecca’s team landed their largest employer, a healthcare organization. Rebecca and her team worked round the clock to help keep this client staffed. She said, “One of the hardest struggles in business ended up being one of the best things to happen for our business. It has been a struggle, but we knew we needed to pivot and think our way through it. Some people get defeated, and that alone can create more obstacles than the world does.”

Hire Up is led by a passionate and genuine leader, one who has learned valuable lessons along the way and has made people and relationships the center of her work. As a business leader, she is conscientious about doing the right thing for her clients. She sees the role of her company as an advocate for both the job seeker and the organization looking for candidates. This delicate balance can be a challenge, however, by putting people first, Rebecca Kirkman has made a name for herself and for the organization with which she leads.

If you are looking for a new opportunity, are a leader or business owner looking for support from the experts in staffing, the team at Hire Up is ready to serve. Call them today to find out how they can help. Hire Up has teams around the country waiting to support you and your specific needs.


Follow the Hire Up Staffing & Healthcare Services Blog to stay connected with a variety of topics aimed to help support you! Whether you are an active job seeker looking for tips and tricks to land your perfect job or an employer looking to fill a challenging position, we are here to help you HIRE UP!

“Attracting the Right Employees for Your Business with Rebecca Kirkman.” Extremely Valid Points Podcast,

Rebecca Kirkman, President | May 4, 2022

Rebecca Kirkman is the President and Founder of Hire Up Staffing & Healthcare Services. Rebecca’s mission is as simple today as it was when she started Hire Up over 10 years ago: Connecting great Employers with great Employees. Hire Up leads job seekers to their dream careers and employers to their dream team. The true belief in the human connection and that people hire people is a passion for every Hire Up employee. Rebecca was proudly named the #1 Woman-Owned Business by The Business Journal.