How to standardise the recruitment agency

The recruitment industry is booming, with recent figures showing it hitting a record turnover of £31.5billion in 2014. However, since the end of government licensing in 1994, the recruitment industry has been without a binding standard. The government has ruled out any return to licensing, and it supports self-regulation. This is where Standards in Recruitment come in. “I believe that hirers and candidates should be entitled to the reassurance that the recruitment companies they choose to work with operate fairly, ethically and compliantly”, says Adrian Marlowe, Director of Standards in Recruitment. “It’s time we embraced a truly independent and universal set of standards that defines a quality benchmark of best practice and one that has been developed by industry stakeholders. “Not only would this allow hirers and candidates to distinguish between trusted providers and less reputable companies, it would have commercial value for accredited recruitment businesses and agencies over non-accredited ones.” Marlowe calls on larger hiring organisations to lead the change: “If we fail to adopt consistent standards of practices that bind the industry together, there could be dire consequences both for recruitment businesses and agencies, particularly in those sectors that have a duty of care for the vulnerable, and for the industry as a whole. “It’s fair to say that public perceptions of the recruitment industry are already less than we’d like them to be and, to be blunt, not tackling poor HR practices could put businesses at risk. Some may question the time and effort it would take to adopt a set of universal standards in recruitment but it needn’t be complicated or costly. We just need consensus, collaboration and the will to adopt and implement them.”   This article first appeared in Recruitment Grapevine – 10th December 2015

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