Respectful Recruitment; The Ethics Behind Recruitment (Part 1)

16th January 2015 · Kevin Howes

Ethics [eth-iks]: NOUN: moral principles that administer a person’s behaviour or the conducting of an activity.

Our governing body, APSCO, has announced an innovative programme of new services for 2015, subsequently causing us to reflect upon the ethical framework we uphold with them; a connective framework in which sets us apart from many contending recruitment services.

The ethics of a business spans across many aspects, including the way in which procedures and protocols run, upholding the utmost respect for honesty and confidentiality, and accurate payment, regardless of individual characteristics (ie. age, sexuality, gender). Indeed, APSCO in their new proposal for services address the way in which women are fed practical support within the industry, for example.

Recruitment is undoubtedly a ruthless and fiercely competitive industry, given that the interest is costly and retaining personnel is the forefront of any profiting business. Be under no disillusion that we as Recruitment Consultants are imperatively ambitious and driven people, but there is a stale misapprehension amongst many recruitment companies that to turn a large magnitude of money quickly, you must bully people around and treat people poorly. Moreover, there is a spoken misconception that the recruitment business is a profession whereby consultants only act in self – interest in regards to prospective candidates and promise what they cannot deliver. This is wholly false. In fact, being respectful to both clients and candidates and qualifying for a positive experience runs parallel to client success.

Ethics play a very important role during the selection process of new employees, whether hiring internally or externally. Indeed, law and regulations dictate that we have to maintain a moral compass in such a process. However, ethical hiring practice has to go far beyond what is already statutorily stipulated. Ethical due diligence in recruitment involves assessing potential employees in terms of their fit within the ethical culture and values of the organisation at hand.

A moral approach to recruitment allows us as a recruitment agency to become trusted partners and to form long – lasting, significant relationships, which especially contributes genuine business benefits to our clients and candidates during tough economic times. This is fundamental in a market place where often clients have choice as to what agencies they use. Adopting a moral stance is not just about being nice to your clients or always interviewing candidates before submitting their details. It’s a holistic approach that cuts right across recruitment organisations, is embedded into the culture and feeds into every aspect of work. After all, a starting point for any organisation is to seek to establish an ethical culture where there’s a clearly defined, collective aim of the type of behaviour that is deemed to be acceptable and reasonable.

We operate using core values in which are embedded into every working individual here; honesty, integrity, communication, fairness, respect and professionalism. Such an ethical foundation benchmarks a frame of reference for expectation and allows for us to eliminate neighbouring choice; it is why our clients remain faithful to us, subsequently enabling us to get the right person for the right job each and every time.

For instance, and in its most diluted synopsis, we strive to keep candidates informed of the outcome of their application in a timely manner, alongside aiming to best – match organisation and the individual; meaning that recruitment is carried out by merit and candidates are put forward according to a scoring system, as opposed to just their personality. Furthermore, it is important to give the client a fair and true view of the candidate, and vice versa, meaning that our job advertisements are truthful and encapsulate the exact occupation at hand. Additionally, we examine our own internal processes to ensure transparency and fairness as well as collecting feedback from our clients and candidates on how we’re doing, accommodating for any suggestions on how we could improve our services.

Ethics and profit are not mutually exclusive. It would be naive to suggest that there are no spurious agencies out there but whilst many agencies have disappeared in the bad times, the ones that survive often have very strong ethical practices. Conclusively, ethical recruitment won’t always be the easiest option, but, it will always be the right option, and is inevitably the central ingredients to our accumulating professional reputation.

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– Shonagh Phillips, Communications Manager