Weeding out the “Recruitment Cowboys”…… Can it be done?

By on 07 June 2017

You know who they are. You have dealt with their antics for years. The individuals that continue to drag down the good name of the recruitment industry with their unethical and underhanded behaviour. The ones in it for a smash and grab quick buck in a busy market. I’m sure your list is already in your head after this first sentence.

Those competitors that you respect, that follow the same unwritten professional code as you, also know who they are. In fact, you’ve probably discussed them many times with one another.

My question to anyone reading is; what can we do about it? I’m struggling for the answer and whether we just should accept it?

I’ve been very fortunate to work for a business that values, trains and encourages developing long standing business relationships, candidate trust and general high levels of integrity when recruiting. I genuinely feel proud to have worked in recruitment for the last 9 years and feel the profession still has many good operators, certainly more than a small emerging crop of companies and individuals valuing a quick dollar over reputation.

But the point is, how are these agencies able to continue operating? Should there be more of a regulatory system in which clients and candidates alike can report underhanded practices by the companies they have engaged with to develop their career or find a staff member for their business?

I feel a huge sense of disappointment when I speak to a client/candidate that has been disheartened and frankly scarred for life following poor service. In my case the same culprits are always identified after further questioning with the aggrieved party or parties. The uphill battle to win back their trust in our industry is of course a challenge, but when you restore their confidence, it’s a real win! But should it have to be like this? Should we be constantly on a firefighting mission to save the reputation of the industry we feel so passionate about?

As I continue to come across some of the underhanded tactics currently being practised such as;

  • Refusing to tell candidates where they will be sending their details
  • Sending candidate details to companies without even speaking to the candidate at all after finding their details on certain forums/databases
  • Posing as other recruitment agencies when approaching staff in businesses when headhunting

And trust me, many more. I’m sure you could list many others.

I ask myself; how we can put a stop to them? Is this a losing battle?

I don’t want to bad mouth others, name and shame with clients and candidates. Frankly I don’t want to stoop to their levels, but I would love to hear suggestions on how we can still uphold the good name of the recruitment industry and banish these bad eggs forever?

Any insight/ideas/anecdotes would be greatly appreciated and thanks for reading.