Is It Time to Round Up the Recruitment Cowboys?

December 8th, 2016 Posted by Agencies No Comment yet

Is it time we round up the recruitment cowboys (and girls)? Has the time come to tame the wild, wild, west, to tighten the lasso, and make the cowboys and girls of the recruitment industry more accountable?

When I see some of the unrestricted antics, the reckless handling of candidate’s personal information, and the total disregard for their livelihood, I shudder at what some of these recruitment cowgirls and boys are trying to pass off as professional recruitment.

Is it time to introduce mandatory certification for those who choose to work in the recruitment industry? Or, are we okay with fact that it’s just as easy for any outlaw or maverick as it is for the professional, polished recruiter to hang up his or her shingle and brand themselves as a recruitment consultant?

I, for one, am not.

Perhaps now is the right time for the recruitment industry to embrace mandatory regulation and certification, in addition to our currently available accreditation opportunities, before all the consultant cowboys go riding off into the sunset, clutching the gold, leaving behind unhappy clients, candidates and a tarnished reputation for the industry in addition to their smug faces on wanted posters.

The real estate industry has taken major steps in heavily regulating the industry so, why don’t we?

To me it just doesn’t make sense that people with little to no recruitment experience can waltz in off the street, call themselves a recruiter, jump on the phone, share people’s sensitive information and keep spruiking it around to whoever will listen in the hope of making a commission.

There are several agencies and recruiters who simply don’t value a candidate’s privacy or confidentiality and sadly this number continues to grow.

Here’s an example from just last week. A candidate did not know he had been represented to a client, yet the recruiter had sent this candidate’s details to the client unbeknownst to him. So, instead of Binary People representing him, the candidate just up and pulled out because of the confusion created by the other agency. I have my suspicions as to the backstory, but suffice it to say, the recruiter wasn’t being above board and certainly wasn’t looking out for the best interests of the candidate.

We have no industry if we have no candidates. Yet, these are the cowboy antics we see from consultants who clearly have their own back pocket as their guiding agenda and not genuine care for the candidate, the industry or morals or ethics for that matter.

We deal with people’s livelihoods. We deal with sensitive information.  We are in a position where the misuse of that information could cause someone to lose their job, so why isn’t more care taken by recruiters with the use of it?  Why isn’t there more regulation around how that information is being used and why are there no penalties for the misuse of it?

To go back to the real estate industry example, they have come down hard on sales people who manipulate and misuse buyer and seller information, on those who circumvent the established process.  I use real estate as the example because of the similar business models we share – we have the opportunity to represent both buyer and seller and we need to balance the needs of both.

As an industry, recruitment, and those who work in it, need to be better than we are. We need to be trusted advisors, we need to be professional and we need to treat our clients, our candidates and the information they entrust to us, with the respect it deserves.

We need to value the importance of candidates as people and as part of our business. And we need to be professional in dealing with them

If we can do that, maybe, just maybe, we’ll get that same respect in return.

I for one am tired of the stigma created by the cowboys of this industry and I aim to change it, one by one, candidate by candidate, placement by placement, interaction, by interaction.

It is time to round up the cow boys and girls. Their time has passed. It’s time to, “Drive them the hell out of Dodge”.


What are your ideas for making recruitment great again? Or, if you’re a candidate, what would you like to see recruiters do?


Are you and RCSA Member? Are you Accredited? There are some fabulous resources here for the Recruitment Professional – check them out!


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