I always wondered if a Headhunter with a christian or any other faith background find themselves questioning their morals when pursuing a high profile candidate using unethical headhunting techniques like 'lying through their teeth' when getting past the gatekeeper and then subsequently probing the company until you find your target?

What are your thoughts...is headhunting ethical?

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Bravo! I read many of the comments and I think yours is the most on target, in my opinion. Just one question, how are you getting through gatekeepers? Perhaps that is a training session you could package and sell to a very willing audience.

Matt Denney

KarenM / Hirecentrix.com said:
My thoughts
1 - first to recognize that Ethics and religion well, they don't go hand in hand. Ethics as we know them today were derived even before there was the "founding" of religion.. via the greek pholosiphers (socrates is considered one of the father of ethics)

2 - ruse calling is Lying, and should not be part of any business function, and despite the number of Arguments that I have heard to try to support it.. I can NEVER understand the need to Ruse call or lie to do this job.. It Isn't necessary! The ruse call isn't just unethical due to the misrepresentation.. but it is also ILLEGAL (as per the FTC and state trade laws) which is why Ethics and Law go hand in hand in this industry - though many may fight the good fight with this argument..

we must always remember 'Ethics ultimately is self-regulation,' Imposed regulation is law, (so) in our industry, (when) we don't self-regulate, we create laws.

again why? what is the need to every consider supporting or defending the need to for SHODDY, unethical recruiting..

What confuses me, is why do we believe that Ruse Calling to be the fundamentals of Recruiting? I can state with a straight face, and look in the mirror as well.. and many who know me, will know this to be true.. that I NEVER have had to Lie as a recruiter to do this job.. and do it well.. extremely well actually.. in ALL the MANY years I have been a recruiter.

My comments To the ones who don’t care please remember - “If you do wrong, you damage our whole industry. You’ve done Us all wrong

We really need to consider presenting a better position as a whole industry, this includes Corporate, TPR, and Staffing Recruiting. We really want to consider doing this now, before someone else WILL do it for US.

My thoughts
karen mattonen
Exactly Karen. Well said!
If you think you're harming a company, no.
If you think you're providing a valuable service to people giving them the right to consider other opportunities which you get paid for should it materialize, yes.
It's all in how the individual perceives their role.

Eric Haber said:
Nicely said Bill,

Recruiting is a very difficult sales job, it's not for everyone.

bill josephson said:
I've been recruiting for 29 years. The reason companies utilize me is I only recruit passive candidates over the phone adding value to their own efforts giving them access to candidates they wouldn't have readily gained access to on their own.

Anyone thinking headhunting is unethical shouldn't be in the profession. If you believe soliciting company employees about career advancing opportunities are unethical/off limits, recruiting is not for you. It's true no company wants to be recruited from, all will try in their own manner nicely or otherwise to get us to cease and desist, and will make it as tough as possible for us to succeed specially when feeling our headhunting presence.

Bottom line, this is not a profession for everyone. Every one of us still in the business is doing something right and should be commended with the dearth of paying clients and candidate reticence changing jobs in an economic recession. I place pressure on myself to be sharp, upbeat, short hard hitting and interesting with recruit pitches, and at all times professional in every single call I make. Making tons of cold calls we suffer every indignity one can possibly suffer on a telephone yet always come back. The unprofessional recruiters you refer to won't last......even most of my respected hard fought competitors from the 1980's are gone from the business as the last 2001 recession killed them with our corporate "jobless recovery."

The reality is my role is the most personal touch a candidate and company have in the process as I'm actually talking with both on the phone instead of email black-holedom. I would hate to be a rookie today.

I concur with Bill. It's our responsibility and charter to find and attract the best candidates for our clients. What's the differnce if we cold call a candiate or they see an ad on Monster/website. They are being attracted by another company.
To represent our client truthfully to the candidate, and to present a full and honest presentation of our candidate to the client.
We are a conduit/a source of information for all/and our services are utlized by both sides.
The only thing that makes a recruiter unethical is lying to either side. It's about trust= earned by acting responsibly for both sides.
ups/downs in the market weed our the faint of heart.
Of course headhunting (I prefer to call it recruiting, but that's me) is ethical, as long as it's done ethically.

We present opportunities to potential candidates and they have the opportunity to pursue it, make a referral or do nothing. It's our job to present the opportunity honestly and respect the candidates privacy. If there is a match we bring the parties together and if they click we have a win/win/win. The client wins because they have recruited what they hope will be a star, the candidate wins because they hopefully have bettered themselves (or they wouldn't be moving) and we win.

I guess if there is a loser it would be the firm losing the employee. But why are they losing him or her? If they provide a good environment, pay a fair wage, treat their people with respect and hopefully offer some growth the candidate possibly would not have been recruitable. Hopefully this provides them with a learning experience too.
I am a big fan of both Peter Leffkowitz and Danny Cahill. I am also a 20 year recruiter. The skills I use every day are classical "Christian" skills. I spend my days trying to help and change other peoples lives. The way I do that, as the way I do everything else, can be ethical or unethical. Ruse calls and all the elaborate story that some dream up to get in the door can be tools but they are tools that you don't have to use. You can get in as many doors by asking for help and asking strategically placed questions and by working referrals and networks as ruse calls. Both Danny and Peter teach technigues to accomplish that (so do I, by the way). I would never tell anyone to do something they considered "wrong" whether that was Christian or not. I will tell people the opportunity we have to really touch others and to change the thing they spend more of their life doing than any other is a very cool gift. Very few have that chance. Many that I know do it well and do it without the added stress of questioniong their morla ability or right.
I face the same question as a newbie....how do you get past the gatekeepers without lying.

All the recruiting veterans out there, would appreciate your input.
Any links to resources for strategically placed questions would be good, too.

Here's one article on gatekeepers. And another. And one more. If you truly want to learn more about how to talk to gatekeeepers without lying, consider investing in my MagicMethod course - it's the only online course on telephone names sourcing that I know of!
1. please Dont mix religion with headhunting
2. If they are already high profile targets - its technically not headhunting
3. When you get past the gatekeeper, remember to pat yourself on the back
4. Lying is a grey area, as long as your not lying to the candidate your headhunting.
5. How much probing are you talking about?

yes headhunting is ethical and fun - when done right!
Thankfully I represent an ethical firm. My CEO is a former seminarian who wears his faith on his sleeve, yet only by example not prosthelytizing. I remember him saying 10 years ago when I first got into this business something that I hold near to my heart: "Use money to help people rather than using people to make money". Once I understood this message, my career and my personal life really took off. It's up to us as individuals to create the "grandest version of the grandest vision we have for ourselves". Personally, I've had a difficult time using ruses the first few times, and I've not gone back to them. It's easier, cleaner and more fulfilling to be direct.
This post jumbles a number of ideas. Because it involves faith, it got a bunch of responses. It suckered me, too.

Lying is considered unethical by virtually all people. Believers and non-believers alike. (exceptions such as Thugges, Satanists, etc. exist).

There are instances where many people will argue that lying is ethical. For the record, recruiting is not one of them.

Also, for the record, headhunting does not by definition involve lying.

With the last question, Paul questions is headhunting ethical? The paragraph before colors the question. Let's try to ignore it.

The simple question "Is Headhunting Ethical" without the preamble is easy to answer....Some people seem to think recruiting someone away from their current employer is stealing. If that were true, want ads would be advertising your intention to steal. They would be the same as saying cocaine for sale.

Connecting a worker with a better opportunity is neither fair or unfair. It isn't unethical. The employer doesn't like it. But, the new company, the employee and the recruiter do.

Paul...You seem to infer that headhunting is unethical. What is your opinion???

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