Recruitment ethics
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Recruitment ethics

Recruitment ethics

Posted on 25th March 2018

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Recruitment has, in many people’s eyes, an image problem.  While the majority of recruitment firms do, in varying degrees, try hard to provide a professional and honest service, there certainly are some cowboys who just send out CVs on the off chance that one will stick and a fee will result. 

Let’s not pretend: this is a sales business, not a benevolent society.  We sell our services to our customers, they buy them and we charge accordingly.  The difference between what we do and what other sales organisations do is that while others seek to create a need, a lot of our work comes under the “distress purchase” umbrella: that is, someone has resigned and needs to be replaced.  Of course, a lot of recruitment is also planned as part of a strategic campaign to grow a business, but whether it’s planned or “quick, call the agency and get some CVs,” recruiters have an obligation to act professionally and ethically. 

To that end, it’s interesting to see that the Recruitment & Employment Confederation has a new qualification which it claims is equivalent to “degree standard learning.”  It costs a cool £4,500, which is not bad for a degree-level course, but that price means it will be out of reach of most SME recruitment companies.  At Be-IT, we invest a considerably larger amount in a number of training courses, in particular Social Talent, but these are for the entire team, not just one person.  However, the fact that the REC is going down this course is interesting, reflecting as it does a desire by the industry’s professional bodies to make recruitment more professional and better able to deny any charges of being a get-rich quick business that cares more about its fees than its customers.

Specifically, the REC Level 5 Diploma in Recruitment Leadership is aimed at senior recruitment managers and directors and offers them a range of modules, including “client and stakeholder relationship,” “leading people and teams in recruitment,” and “principles of legal and ethical requirements in recruitment.” 

That last one is important.  When Be-IT was established, back in the summer of 2013, it was based on a set of principles, namely, honesty, respect, ethical behaviour, accountability, flexibility and knowledge.  If you can’t sell then you’re not going to make a career with us, but if you can sell and don’t live up to these values then you’re not going to last here either.   That’s a crucial differentiator and one which we apply consistently. As a result, our turnover of staff is far lower than most recruitment agencies. In the last year we’ve lost only 15% of our staff, which is about half the rate of many other recruitment firms.  With several new vacancies coming up soon that’s something to bear in mind if you’re looking for a new job in recruitment – of which more tomorrow.

Nikola Kelly, MD, Be-IT


Posted in Recruitment News

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