How to spot a good recruitment company
Let’s face the ugly truth – not all recruitment consultancies have the level of professional integrity that invites too much scrutiny. On the face of it they may seem to be a sound operation, but under the slick veneer lurks bad practice.
As an ambitious professional, you can’t afford to hitch your career to an unethical company that could tarnish your personal reputation by association. So it’s in your interests to seek out an employer that can demonstrate core principles, integrity, excellent working practices and ethical methods. But how can you recognise a blue-chip player among the imposters?
Well, here’s how. Check out these recurring methods of working that crop up in reputable, high-flying recruitment companies:
Body of evidence
If a recruitment company doesn’t have anything to hide, it will be registered with a body such as the Information Communications Office, which promotes good practice among organisations that hold personal data.
In addition, Hannah Horler, managing director at hospitality specialist Cartwheel Recruitment, says a good reputable company will always have a Codes of Practice similar to those set by the Recruitment & Employment Confederation.
Pressing the flesh
A good recruitment company respects its candidates and each one as an individual rather than a commodity. There will be a culture of meeting or interviewing candidates face-to-face or over the telephone to assess their suitability rather than just sending them randomly to meet the client.
Doing the paperwork
Everything is done by the book, so there are guidelines in place, for instance, ensuring consultants always take a copy of a candidate’s ID and proof of legality to work in the UK. This is a legal requirement if the candidate is being put forward to a client where they will be working within vulnerable groups such as children, the elderly or infirm.
Rather than shirking the admin, there will be a policy of checking CVs thoroughly and always following up references. Horler notes there should be at least one verbal reference, though by law you need two if the candidate is being sent to a client where they will be working with vulnerable groups.
Communication and transparency
A pukka recruitment company will ensure everything is in writing. After meetings their team will thank clients and candidates and send a written outline of what they propose to do for them. They will also send both parties written confirmation of interviews and meetings and will provide the candidate with written details about the role, company and manager before they go to interview.
Go the extra mile to help the candidate
In a well-run successful recruitment company, the consultants will provide weblinks, information and articles to help their candidate research their potential employer. They will also provide feedback and keep both the candidate and client up to date with developments.
If a job offer is made, the company would send candidates full details of the job, hours of work, start date, salary and benefits and will help broker a fair deal between both the client and the candidate.
It goes without saying that an ethical company will be a stickler for equality, human rights, employment laws and will treat all candidates without prejudice. Professionalism will reign along with privacy of information and fair practice.
Any recruiter with integrity won’t fire off CVs without the candidate’s consent. Nor would they try to hinder a candidate if they were searching through other methods.
A solid recruitment company will promote an open competitive environment. Honesty and transparency will prevail so they will never advertise jobs they have no remit over, will explain all fees and charges to the client before undertaking a contract and will disclose any relevant developments as they crop up.