Recruitment consultants spend a great deal of time sifting through other people’s personal details. It is a necessary part of their job. Fortunately, there are laws and regulations in place which prevent this highly confidential data from falling into the wrong hands. However, occasionally, recruiters come across information puts them in an awkward moral dilemma. In situations like this, can you be sure you can trust a recruitment consultant to do the right thing?
Putting a Recruitment Consultant’s Trust to the Test
Put yourself in the position of a recruiter and consider this scenario: A client you have an excellent long-standing relationship with asks you to fill a vacancy. As you are searching the job boards for suitable candidates, you find the CVs of several members of their team. What do you do with that information?
In situations like this, recruiters need to consider their actions carefully, to ensure that they abide by the law, look after their client’s best interests and protect their reputation.
Legally, the identities of those concerned can not be disclosed but is keeping quiet the right thing to do morally? Such a discovery presents an unscrupulous recruiter with the ultimate win-win situation:
- The opportunity to earn fees by placing those candidates in new roles with other clients
- Creating several new vacancies with the existing client, which the consultant could potentially receive payment for filling
A less honest recruitment consultant who sees motivation in financial gains might keep such information to themselves. Let’s consider the long term implications of this for the candidate, the client and the recruiter.
In this situation, we imagine there has been a chain of events leading to so many employees wanting to leave at the same time. If this were your business, you would, without doubt, want the opportunity to turn things around.
Let’s imagine that our client remains unaware and therefore does nothing about the situation. Their seeming ignorance could send several unwanted messages to the outside world:
- Unpopular decisions made by the business have upset its workforce
- The company does not care to fix the problem
- Management within the business are so unapproachable that their employees would instead leave than discuss the issue with them
If the client remains unaware they have any unresolved internal issues, they will likely make the same mistakes in future. Long term, this could be detrimental to their staff retention and reputation within the wider business community.
Leaving a job when something upsetting happens at work is hardly beneficial for anyone’s career. The disgruntled employees may believe they are taking the easy way out but have they considered the bigger picture? Recruiters pay attention to the same names appearing repeatedly on job boards. If a candidate has a history of being a ‘job hopper’, recruitment consultants are usually reluctant to work with them.
Strong connections within the recruitment world enable any news, good or bad, to travel fast. If word got around that a rogue recruiter was privy to such information and didn’t give the client a chance to rectify the problem; it could seriously damage their reputation.
Doing the Right Thing
A reputable consultant who has a good relationship with their client would have a discreet conversation with the hiring manager. Of course, they can convey their concern without disclosing the identity of the individuals concerned.
Of course, there is a possibility that everything is fine within the business and no further action needs taking. The individuals concerned may have independent reasons for seeking alternative employment. Maybe it’s a pure coincidence they chose to conduct their job search at the same time. Or perhaps, the consultant has indeed highlighted a significant issue that the business needs to address.
In the digital age we now live in, employees don’t just blow off steam around the water cooler. What starts as the tiniest niggle in the office can become blown entirely out of proportion via instant messaging and chat groups. What may have started as a minor upset, can quickly escalate.
Either way, the client will likely be most grateful for the opportunity to investigate and find out for themselves.
All Good Relationships Are Built on Trust
It’s no secret that the recruitment industry has a reputation for being ruthless. It’s understandable, therefore, that the outside world might assume that recruiters are only concerned with earning a fee. As the above example demonstrates, recruiters need to think strategically if they are to establish a good reputation in the long term. Being able to trust a recruitment consultant is of paramount importance to clients and candidates alike.
Our directors have been in the recruitment business since 2004, and the majority of our clients come from repeat business or word of mouth recommendations. We like to think that this is mostly attributable to our ability to consider the bigger picture.
If you have any questions about the recruitment services we provide, we would love to hear from you. Please, don’t hesitate to get in touch.