Having been a Recruiter for the past eight years, I can honestly say Recruitment is the most ethical profession out there… well… sometimes. The truth is we’re no better or worse than most other industries, but it hits home because changing jobs is one of the biggest decisions anyone can make, and when it goes wrong… you can always blame the recruiter!
I’m in the middle of training for the London Marathon and to get me through those long runs, I’ve been listening to audiobooks. The latest one is What it Takes by Stephen Schwarzman who is the Chairman and CEO of Blackstone. For those of you who don’t know (including me until about a week ago), Blackstone is one of the world largest private equity firms and Schwarzman started it back in the mid-1980s. Schwarzman’s rise has been meteoric and you could easily put him in the same class as Branson or Buffett when it comes to growing companies. So does this mean that Schwarzman and the rest of this lot are so far beyond our understanding? Maybe. Or maybe they do a couple of things differently? When asked what he does differently, Schwarzman said that he always puts someone ELSE’S needs before his own. Well, he’s worth $13billion, so he must have a point.
Sounds simple, right? It’s easier said than done, and this is meant to be about recruitment so let’s segue into… recruiting ethically. One of my old managers very wisely taught me that there are three players when every vacancy is filled:
- The Candidate
- The Client
- The Recruiter
I’ve lost count of the number of hiring managers I’ve spoken to who genuinely hate recruiters. Why, you ask? Because it only takes one bad experience (probably years ago with someone who missed target every month) to cancel out all the GREAT experiences we as a group of AWESOME people provide.
Greg Savage talks about ethical recruitment and the need to grow STRONG and LONG-TERM relationships with candidates, and the problems start when the recruiter puts their own interests before the candidate’s or the client’s. Whether it’s inflating the salary of the candidate, or not being 100% honest and sending half a job spec to a candidate (I’ve heard of this happening more than once!), the process falls apart and ultimately the candidate loses out on what could have been their dream job. Now that’s bad karma!
I’ll be going into this in much more detail in the weeks to come… I can smell a Part II in the oven!
In the meantime, let me say this. Recruiters do a fantastic job for which they deserve to be well rewarded, and those with a long-term VISION and the right ETHICS will be the ones who carve out a career in this punishing but brilliant industry.