Recently I was reading an article by James Witcombe from SMAART Recruitment around his approach to client and candidate care on the agency side of recruitment (you can read it here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/candidates-clients-cant-both-same-company-james-witcombe?trk=hp-feed-article-title-like). It really struck a chord with me. The article centred on the fact that SMAART don’t represent or place any candidates employed by any of their clients – whether they placed them or not. It’s an interesting take on candidate and client care, particularly for an industry that gets labelled as unethical and under handed a lot. Ah, how the few spoil it for the majority.
While I think that the ethics and heart are the right place (which is fantastic) with this approach – how much do you think having this strategy would impact your agency business? Being client side now, that approach gives me two major outcomes:
1. You aren’t going to poach any of my staff (good to me), or help any of them get a job elsewhere – even if there are no opportunities for them to grow in my organisation (neutral to me really).
2. You aren’t going to hunt potential people for roles I have with you from any other client of yours, thus reducing my candidate pool (not so great for me).
When I was in agency, I operated on a no tap policy to placed candidates. I think this is the way to go – if I as a client pay you to place someone, I don’t expect you to pull them out – ever!
If a candidate approaches you for an advertised role then that’s a different story. If a candidate approaches you for a career chat then that’s a slightly grey area and you need to tread carefully. I think it’s always important as an agency recruiter when dealing with people you have placed, or candidates who work for your clients, that you act with integrity. It also pays to get them to talk to their manager before you represent them. Transparency is refreshing for all parties.
Many an agency recruiter has been called a cowboy (or girl) and only after the moo-lah (so many cow jokes here!). However, in 2016 those who operate on a “stick and flick” model or act inappropriately seem to run out of clients to piss off very quickly – you’d be surprised how connected the internal recruitment network is.
Agency recruiters – what’s your policy? Love to have you share it.