The rise of ethical recruitment of healthcare professionals started in the late 1990’s during a period in which many healthcare professionals recognised the benefits of working abroad with many thousands leaving developing countries to seek a better life overseas. These opportunities changed the lives for these professionals, their families and the local communities for the better, however a minority group of recruitment agencies were exploiting healthcare professionals by charging job seekers large fees. Some agents were also not being entirely truthful to jobs seekers, deploying them into unsuitable working and living conditions, putting many healthcare professionals and patients at risk. Many professionals were left with debts and abuse from their overseas employer. Whilst these are documented a minority of cases, it is essential we learn from the past to ensure healthcare professionals, patients and the communities they serve are protected.
The World Health Organisation has established a code of conduct for International Recruitment of Healthcare Professionals, providing a list of guiding principles for employers and recruitment agents to ensure the safe and ethical recruitment of professionals to minimise any negative impact on local communities.
Recruitment agencies have had to become less focused on the financial and transactional side of recruitment to succeed, and those with a strong grasp on ethical practices emerged from the downturn, focused on job seeker experience, strong client relationships, and the future.
Ethical recruitment agents are honest, transparent and respectful to their clients and job seekers. They are agents who understand the positive impact they have toward the lives of the healthcare professionals they deploy, their families and communities they impact. They are agents who are proactive in the community they resource from and the communities they deploy staff.
Some recruiters chose to put job seekers forward for a role that doesn’t suit them just to fill a role quickly, placing healthcare professionals into clinical roles they had no experience, therefore putting patient care at risk. Honest recruitment agencies believe getting to know the needs of the clients and the desires of the job seeker means they can focus more on relationships, rather than targets.
Valued candidates are happy candidates and happy candidate provide good patient care. Being honest about job seekers options, and fully preparing them for suitable roles, will make them feel more confident in an interview and allow recruitment agents to match the best candidates for the best roles. Being ethical comes hand in hand with daily practices, and why job seekers and employers will continue to interact with you, growing your business for the future.
Employing ethical processes is a benefit for both employers and recruitment agencies. Transparency in the way recruitment agents operate means you know what’s happening and when, and it also means employers can carry out their normal roles with confidence that you have their recruitment needs in capable hands.
Honest processes mean ethical recruitment agents are often highly sought after by Job seekers and employers, therefore you will most likely win more business. This will allow agents to work with some of the best employers available and attract and deploy the best candidates to ensure they are both on the right path for a sustainable future.
You are more likely to have employers turn to you for further business due to your ethical processes than those who are not clear about their values and ethical practices. Even if you were not able to fulfil positions, employers will most like return to your agency if they know you will be open and honest in regard to fulfilling their vacancies.
The better informed and prepared a candidate is for a job, the most likely the they will gain a positive interview outcome and will stay in that job for the expected contractual period. Ethical recruitment agents who can provide job seekers with transparent and honest information about opportunities; be able to answer questions and provide detailed information about the employer the role and staff benefits, will most likely attract the right candidate with the required level of knowledge, skills and attitude expected by the employer. Job seekers are also most likely to contact ethical agents again in the future to support their next career move.
It’s about being honest with employers and their options and being honest with job seekers at every stage of their job search. If recruitment agents weren’t, they would be leading people on and making false promises. Ethical recruitment agents ensure promises to employers can be fulfilled and would rather place candidates in the best role, not just the only role right now.
This might be the first you’ve heard about ethical recruitment, but it’s set to increase in demand over the next decade as the global migration of healthcare professionals increases. Not just an expectation from businesses like yours, but from job seekers searching for a transparent recruitment agency, and clients needing to keep their reputation and credibility intact.
Ethical practices can ensure brand reputation is preserved for years to come, not only your agency’s brand, but the brand of your clients. You should always believe in an honest and transparent approach towards both employers and job seekers. Ensure you practice what we preach.
CSR and ethical processes will work closely together, and shape other business processes. Being a caring recruitment agent means looking after your business, and the community – something that will only increase in importance in years to come. Ensure you understand the health industry in your local community and any shortages, understand why health professionals are looking to work abroad or wish to work in your community and the positive and negative impacts this may have.
Tracking and reviewing the effectiveness of ethics is essential. As more healthcare institutions participate in ethical processes and begin to track their effectiveness. Recruitment agents should follow suit. A good starting point is to ensure business practices reflect the ethical guiding principles set out by agency affiliations, government licensed bodies and how these impact on the success in business. Ensure you celebrate your successes.
Job seekers and employers will focus their search for recruiters they can build relationships with. It won’t just be about finding a stop-gap job, but finding a lasting career, with a business they can trust.
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