What is ethical recruitment and why does it matter?

Everyone recognises the importance of dealing with companies and people who are open, honest, transparent, and professional. In the world of recruitment the importance of those qualities can have a major impact on lives of individuals and companies.

Sloppy practice, poor service and ‘filling a role at any cost’ can lead to untold issues for both candidates and clients – so getting it right and adopting an ethical approach to recruitment is not just a ‘nice to have’ but an essential element of running a successful agency.

Ethical processes and ISO accreditations

Here at Anne Corder Recruitment we have worked very hard over our 20 years in business to test our systems and processes to ensure they are robust, efficient and professional – which is why we have just received ISO accreditation for the 19th year running. Everything we do is validated by ISO inspectors – throughout the customer journey, and our back office systems and procedures.

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation – the industry body for recruitment agencies, sets out the basic ethical principles it expects members to follow as a minimum requirement.

Respect for laws and compliance – the legislation in our sector is hefty and there are statutory and non-statutory requirements to meet.

Respect, honesty and transparency

Being open and honest in everything we do is perhaps our top priority at ACR. That includes our PR and marketing, the way we deal with clients and candidates, our fee structures, and the ‘extra mile’ we travel with everyone to ensure we get the right match and a successful outcome. For instance we would never put a candidate forward to a client unless they had been interviewed, either by phone or face to face. There can be no short cuts in our profession.

Respect for work relationships – the best interests of our clients and candidates are always our number one priority. If we do not think the match is quite right, we would not promote it simply to secure a fee – it’s just not the way we work.

Other REC principles cover diversity, health and safety, professional knowledge, certainty of engagement, prompt and accurate payment, ethical international recruitment and of course confidentiality and privacy. Check out their 10-point ethics code:


Most businesses nowadays have environmental policies and corporate social responsibility strategies as part of their ethical credentials. Here at ACR we pride ourselves on running a paperless environment and have won national awards for our commitment to this approach; and we support a range of local charities and work hard to provide careers guidance and mentoring to groups of young people around Greater Peterborough, working closely with the Peterborough Skills Service.

At ACR we meet all the compliance requirements set by the Recruitment and Employment Federation and we are closely involved with professional bodies like the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

So why test the ethics of a recruitment agency?

Recruitment is a very personal thing. It is about you. The last thing you want is someone using you to simply ‘make a sale’. And neither does the company on the other end of the transaction, so recruitment ethics are critical.

Over the last 20 years we have strived to deliver an ethical recruitment service to local businesses and to local jobseekers – it is essential to build long-term relationships and a reputation for setting and maintaining high professional standards.

Being ethical isn’t a ‘wishy washy’ concept – it should be fundamental to all reputable recruitment agencies.