Ethical recruitment – The only real way to build a long-term relationship
You see the word ethical used a lot when a business is talking about the way it will deal with the world, and the recruitment industry is no different than in this. What does it actually mean, though? When it comes right down to it when you say ‘we are an ethical recruiter’ what exactly are you saying? Candidates have multiple choice when it comes to a recruitment partner, and clients are constantly receiving calls and other contact from agencies looking to take on their business. How do they know from that first contact if a recruiter is going to behave in an ethical way?
The answer is they probably don’t because ethical, honest and transparent relationships don’t happen from one contact – they happen over time. That approach promised at the first contact needs to be still there on the hundredth contact.
What does Ethical mean?
In one of our regular reviews here at Jobwise, this topic of ethics came up and started quite a debate. In fact, to the point the whole thing got quite philosophical, but in the end, we decided in a practical, day to day way, ethical means constantly doing what is right over any other consideration. Deciding what ‘right’ meant was a much simpler discussion because we have clearly stated what that means to us in our literature. Our mission statement actually lists ethics, honesty, and trust as part of what drives our ethos.
We also adhere to the principles laid out in the charter of recruitment excellence produced by industry association TEAM. These guidelines exemplify our approach to recruitment and expand on the methods we use here to ensure we are known as an ethical recruiter.
Throughout these statements there is repeated use of trust, fair practice, standards, professional and other similar words that seem to carry meaning but, as is true of all grand statements, actually can mean very little in the real world. They are good words, but unless the recruiter takes their meaning and places it into the way they go about business dealings, they are just words. Which is sometimes where the problem can come in for a recruiter. At times in this profession, you have the opportunity to make money over adhering to your ethical standards. In fact, I would go as far as to say that in many ways it is easier to simply fill a job and ‘take the money’ than it is to provide a high standard of service. We are a business, and that means we should be making a profit, the test of whether you are actually operating ethically comes when you are in a position to make profit over service.
You have a lot of influence as a recruiter because, at the point where someone engages your services to either find them the right team member or find them the right work role, they are placing trust in you. For a business that means financial investment and the continued success of their company because the workforce is the lifeblood of any business.
For the candidate that means something that we feel is more important than money, it is their livelihoods, the well-being of their family, their career, and in many cases their long-term future. If you are a recruiter and that level of responsibility does not make you pause for thought about how important your ethical approach is then you are probably in the wrong job yourself. With a business and a career at stake when the decision comes to either doing the right thing or taking the fast buck, your business ethics should be guiding you to the right decision.
Do things ethically and you will succeed
There is nothing wrong with making a profit, and there is nothing wrong with doing your job, and it is our firm belief that if you do these things ethically, you will succeed. We believe this because after edging towards four decades of trade, we are still here. Work ethically, and it will pay dividends in the long run because being able to go back time after time and repeat that ethical service is what counts.
Recruitment is about relationships, and those are built on trust, competence, and above all else agreed ethical practice.
Click here to see our mission statement.