Compliance, don’t overlook the obvious

 In News

Whatever the size of your recruitment business it’s important that you operate within the relevant legislation.  Compliance management is about sound business practice and makes good commercial sense, as it reflects the rules of engagement that your clients and candidates expect.

Do you know who you are dealing with?

Sometimes however, it’s easy to overlook obvious yet important processes. For example, when entering into business relationship with a third party, are you sure you know who you are dealing with?

Failing to identify the correct contractual party can be fatal to the enforcement of contractual terms and can create real problems further down the line. For example, a contract with company A may not protect you if your introduction of a candidate has been made to company B.

Checking the name can be particularly important when dealing with large company groups that often use trading names across different company lines or use the word ‘group’ to cover any company within the group. Once a dispute arises, for example where a fee is due and not paid or there is a breach of some contract term, it doesn’t help if the name shown is not a real legal entity or that no name has been entered into the documentation, maybe just the words “to be confirmed” have been used. This not only can cause serious difficulties when trying to enforce but also result in regulatory problems that can come back and bite you.

To address this: always check the actual name of the company you are dealing with at Companies House, or if the word “limited” does not appear in the name you are given check the full name and whether it is a business that is not a company, e.g. a partnership or sole trader. Check credit ratings and links to other companies. Train your staff on the importance of establishing identity, so you do not lose out.

Compliance good practice

The above is just one example in a free compliance tips guide, produced by the accreditation organisation Standards in Recruitment (SiR).  The guide, Six of the most commonly overlooked compliance procedures, provides examples that recruitment businesses will recognise and for each, outlines a typical scenario and concludes with how they can be addressed. Other topics include:

  • putting contractual terms in place with clients
  • how to make a company opt out valid
  • registering with the Information Commissioner’s Office
  • checking a candidate’s right to work, and
  • including correct company information on your website.

Achieving compliance 

Whether or not accreditation is seen as important, every managing director and investor wants their recruitment business to be successful, and will be aware that compliance is relevant. The ultimate goal, full compliance, may seem to be out of reach or be unnecessary or be just regarded as an administrative burden. However, the most successful companies have always recognised the role that compliance plays across the board.

The Standards in Recruitment (SiR) programme is all about helping recruitment businesses achieve good business practice as painlessly and cost effectively as possible. As well as addressing the regulatory aspects of recruitment the Standards themselves reflect the rules of engagement that your clients and candidates expect, effectively working as a blueprint for you to use to your advantage.

How does it work?

On application you receive the Standards and accompanying guidance notes, so you can see the pathway to improvement, even if that only involves minor adjustments. As the Standards have been collated by hirers and agencies to reflect good business practice, capturing expectations, this is the blue print for you to follow.

The next stage is a gap analysis, an onsite pre ‘MoT’ undertaken by an independent recruitment business auditor. The outcome will help towards any further fine tuning and hopefully give you the thumbs up that you are ready for the final legal and onsite accreditation audit. Following a successful final audit you will be awarded a certification and given use of the SiR “kitemark” logo, a well-deserved flag to fly.

Stand out from the competition 

SiR is the only global independent compliance programme developed just for recruitment businesses, entirely suited to the new compliance era that now exists within the context of agency introduction, worker supply and supply chain compliance. It brings a whole host of benefits to recruitment businesses that follow the programme:

  • Blueprint to improvement and business success
  • Independent assessment and accreditation
  • Right to use the logo on your website and in your marketing collateral
  • Improve market awareness of your credentials

Next generation accreditation 

SiR moves away from any reliance upon trade association membership, embraces independent audit principles, audits the business rather than an individual and is applicable to any recruitment business whatever size or sector that has suitable evidence available.

Steven Watson, compliance manager at Campion Willcocks, who were early adopters of  the SiR programme says “To any recruitment business serious about wanting to improve … SiR’s accreditation programme goes the extra mile and will give them a very real differentiator from their competitors by seeking SiR accreditation.“

For your free copy of our compliance tips guide


Phone 0845 450 4415 (quoting GR April16)

This article first appeared in The Global Recruiter on 27 April 2016


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