Putting recruitment agency compliance into practice

Once again, a recruiter’s questionable tax arrangements are in the news, and the government continues to see agencies simply as vehicles for the avoidance of tax and employment rights. Now, more than ever, recruitment agencies need to offer assurance to hirers and candidates that they provide a high quality service.

Proving that your business practices are fully compliant also makes good commercial sense; it builds brand reputation which in itself could improve the top and bottom line of your P&L.

Senior management buy-in

So how can a recruitment agency ensure compliance is at the heart of its business practices and demonstrate to hirers and candidates that this is the case?

First, senior management needs to buy into the principles of good practice, continuous business improvement and established management systems and processes to support these.

Second, an agency that claims adherence to compliance must, at the very least, ensure that the practices of all its consultants are consistent with all the legal requirements that affect recruitment agencies.

Proving your compliance credentials

Third, recruitment agency compliance needs to reflect the reasonable expectations of hirers and candidates. If an agency wants to publicly prove its compliance credentials, it must have the evidence to demonstrate that its management and operational processes are consistent, transparent and effective. These would include, complying with legal, regulatory and contractual requirements, confidentiality, data protection and various other specific areas.

Sadly, as we have all recently seen, trade association membership on its own cannot not establish this. It can only be verified through an independent external audit.

Reassurance for clients and investors

Standards in Recruitment (SiR), is the only independent compliance accreditation programme developed specifically for recruitment agencies. The SiR programme is about helping recruitment agencies not only to improve their business practices, as painlessly and cost effectively as possible, but also to enhance their brand credentials. As well as addressing the regulatory aspects of the recruitment process, the Standards themselves reflect the rules of engagement that clients and candidates expect, and accreditation under SiR provides assurance to investors, particularly at a time of uncertainty.

Clear business value-add

Julie Welford, compliance manager for aerospace specialist Aeropeople, states “SiR goes further; into more depth and because it is specifically for the recruitment sector, the accreditation programme reinforces that we are providing the best service to our clients and our organisation. It’s a clear value-add to our business to complete the SiR programme. To any recruitment business serious about wanting to improve the way it operates, SiR’s accreditation programme is an excellent management and compliance tool”.

Genuine quality

The SiR programme is designed to promote excellence in a very practical way. In today’s challenging world, capturing the right standards and establishing independent verification is critical. Having created this platform, SiR accreditation highlights genuine quality businesses.

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