Ethical standards & manpower recruiters


The problem of regressive practices in headhunting, recruiters say, assumes the form of a vicious circle. The challenge of acquiring large volumes of employable candidates is so immense that organizations prefer to pass on this task to a recruitment agency. These agencies are faced with their own share of troubles.

Some of the challenges they face are:

1. Most candidates lie to varying degrees on their CVs. When recruiting in large numbers, this leads to a real screening near impossible task. Candidates may consider their CVs to be advertisements of their skills and achievements, and they project all sorts of unbelievable information. This may be acceptable to a marginal extent but not in excess when the information crosses the line to become absolute lying. Databases at educational institutes are also not available which makes it difficult to trace candidates’ academic records. This is especially true of older candidates being considered for higher positions.
2. The rapidly multiplying of job websites is something of a problem. Corporate companies often cut out of costs by pointing out that the resumes received from the Recruiting agency are already available on the websites and are not genuinely compiled data base.

The manpower recruiting consultancies quickly became competitive and the instinct to survive and deliver results much faster led to some unethical Operators indulging in business malpractices. These led to candidates being shown the door by IT majors Wipro, IBM, for manipulating their resumes.

Experts are saying that such incidents are commonplace and sometimes take place with the knowledge, and even the active connivance of the recruitment agency. Confidentiality and respecting the clients’ interests must be the priority of the headhunting organizations. Some of the methods that recruitment agencies are currently using are questionable. The recruitment industry has been coming up in a big way but of late the ethical problems are coming into focus.

Headhunters and search agencies in the West have long been grappling with the malaise of unethical recruitment practices. This has percolated into the Indian recruiting industry. However, there is a growing realization among organizations and industry bodies in India which are confident of coming out with some sort of systematic reforms

Recruiting agencies need to realize that while wrong practices might help in the short-term, flash in the pan operators will not be able to do well in the long term. But recent incidents have created mistrust of reputed organizations in some of the headhunters because of their unreliable work. However the experts refuse to participate and waste time in finding out cunning recruiters. They attribute the current problems to declining standards of ethics concerning three parties namely candidates, the agencies and organizations.

Some CEOs of reputed recruiting organizations expressed the opinion that there needs to be a good system to address complaints strictly. The relevant associations are working some methodology to ensure that all its members are completely ‘above board’ and do not indulge in professional malpractices. Organizations need to be careful about the consultants that they work with and be careful about hard bargaining or going for low cost recruiters.

The realistic reason for the problem is that there is a skilled manpower shortage particularly in a booming economy of some developing countries like India.

Organizations and recruiters must put in fair practices act to eliminate unethical practices which is not going to be possible overnight. However, with a little initiative and a strong commitment to the cause, it is absolutely possible to reduce the recent occurrences to rare occurrences.

Recruiters to maintain ethical standards must follow,
* Maintain high moral standards and deliver full value for money to the clients.
* Candidate’s confidentiality is really kept confidential.
* Avoid cutting service levels to get assignments at cut prices.
* Keep away from corrupting clients’ HR people for more assignments.
* Get assignments from clients by proven track record in recruitments.

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