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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I couldn't agree with you more!

Sharonah
Is NOT telling the truth ever ethical should be the question. And the answer is easy. No. Plain and simple, it's a no answer. I also agree with those of you who pointed out that gatekeepers are less of an issue today because of how we use technology to get around it. It's fairly simple to find anyone that you want to potentially pry away from their current employer. And at the end of the day it's always up to them if they are interested in talking to us or not. We have an opportunity, we heard they are "good" and perhaps they might be interested. If they are happy, they won't return your call or be interested in listening to our schpeel. If we happen to catch them on a bad day and they are hating their boss, their current company, etc., or the company's business is in the toilet with not light at the end of the tunnel, then they are more likely to either listen to us or return our call. We don't control any of that. We are one sided in this operation. And it's not called headhunting. It's called sourcing. We all do it because even if we have the best employment brand in the world, we never have enough "fantastic" candidates, now do we! But leaving a message for someone or attempting to get past a gatekeeper in order to leave a message should in no way invoke any of us to "lie" in order to do so. I've never had to hurdle that "lie or no lie" balance beam before.
Headhunting is ethical. The secret is to never lie. I simply ask for the person and say that it's personal. If I still can't get through, I'll try early in the morning, or at lunchtime. The best is inmail at Linkedin.
There's a way of telling a candidate everything about the impending future of their "new" job because if you don't they're in your office in about 2 to 3 weeks kicking your ass for NOT telling them. So yes, I do. However, where I have worked over the past many decades, I've not had to "sell" someone into a crappy job because I haven't ever worked for crappy companies with no growth potential. Why would I do something like that. I've interviewed at crappy companies in the past and they are fairly easy to smell out. But bad bosses, yes. Been there. Done that. Don't we all have to contend with those rather "difficult" people? Yes we do. They're everywhere now aren't they! So I steer away the timid and the wall flowers who will be eaten for lunch and present the "tougher" candidates who can handle the difficult boss. That's about the only thing we can do and with a warning.
Nick Leslie-Miller said:
So are you saying Peter that we should always tell the truth? do you therefore in the full knowledge that your job is not very well paid and lacking promotion possibilities, tell candidates the truth? That it is a grotty , poorly paid job and the manager you will be working for is a complete arse?

Peter Ceccarelli said:
Is NOT telling the truth ever ethical should be the question. And the answer is easy. No. Plain and simple, it's a no answer. I also agree with those of you who pointed out that gatekeepers are less of an issue today because of how we use technology to get around it. It's fairly simple to find anyone that you want to potentially pry away from their current employer. And at the end of the day it's always up to them if they are interested in talking to us or not. We have an opportunity, we heard they are "good" and perhaps they might be interested. If they are happy, they won't return your call or be interested in listening to our schpeel. If we happen to catch them on a bad day and they are hating their boss, their current company, etc., or the company's business is in the toilet with not light at the end of the tunnel, then they are more likely to either listen to us or return our call. We don't control any of that. We are one sided in this operation. And it's not called headhunting. It's called sourcing. We all do it because even if we have the best employment brand in the world, we never have enough "fantastic" candidates, now do we! But leaving a message for someone or attempting to get past a gatekeeper in order to leave a message should in no way invoke any of us to "lie" in order to do so. I've never had to hurdle that "lie or no lie" balance beam before.
They already know that they are fat. Why would I have to tell them! What's your point? You incite an argument for the sake of inciting an argument. And your overall point would be what? I'm not seeing much value in your point!


Nick Leslie-Miller said:
So if you bump into a fat person on the street do you tell them the "truth" that they are fat?

KarenM said:
My name isn't Peter, but I will like to answer this... to all your questions.. YES, I will ALWAYS tell the truth - and no, not just because I am Legally obligated, and Yeah, boring talk again, but we are legally obligated to disclose all adverse information about the job to the candidates..

The Major reason I tell the truth, is because it is important to do so. Why take someone from a good position to put them in Hell? Especially when they depend on what we tell them to be true? It is our obligation.

Anyways, tell Mgmt candidates how shoddy a position is, they tend to want it more.. as they see it as a challenge..

Another reason, it helps create solid placements.. solid placement create client and candidate loyalty.. Yeah, there really is such a thing as client loyalty.. but that is another topic.. Putting the Right Fit candidate in the Right fit position, allows for low turnover, and clients remember that....

I have continued to ask this ONE question.. WHY LIE when there is NO NEED to lie? -- Still haven't received an answer on that one Nick.. It isn't just about ethics, it isn't just about the law.. fact is, one doesn't Need to Lie to do this job and to do it well, and be successful.. So WHY?

We wouldn't want or expect it from any other industry, so what makes US so special that we think it is just Part of business?


Nick Leslie-Miller said:
So are you saying Peter that we should always tell the truth? do you therefore in the full knowledge that your job is not very well paid and lacking promotion possibilities, tell candidates the truth? That it is a grotty , poorly paid job and the manager you will be working for is a complete arse?
Peter Ceccarelli said:
Is NOT telling the truth ever ethical should be the question. And the answer is easy. No. Plain and simple, it's a no answer. I also agree with those of you who pointed out that gatekeepers are less of an issue today because of how we use technology to get around it. It's fairly simple to find anyone that you want to potentially pry away from their current employer. And at the end of the day it's always up to them if they are interested in talking to us or not. We have an opportunity, we heard they are "good" and perhaps they might be interested. If they are happy, they won't return your call or be interested in listening to our schpeel. If we happen to catch them on a bad day and they are hating their boss, their current company, etc., or the company's business is in the toilet with not light at the end of the tunnel, then they are more likely to either listen to us or return our call. We don't control any of that. We are one sided in this operation. And it's not called headhunting. It's called sourcing. We all do it because even if we have the best employment brand in the world, we never have enough "fantastic" candidates, now do we! But leaving a message for someone or attempting to get past a gatekeeper in order to leave a message should in no way invoke any of us to "lie" in order to do so. I've never had to hurdle that "lie or no lie" balance beam before.
I think what Nick was saying is more along the "do you say everything you know?" about a situation.

Let's face some facts here. We are not always recruiting on the most glamorous of positions. Some of my income is earned by filling some of the harder/more challenging openings. Not that the work is challenging - but finding the right person is.

So what do we do?

To read Karen's reply you would think she feels it her duty to hunt down every piece of bad news she can find and make sure her candidate is made fully aware of all of it. Well sorry. I disagree. You give me a company name and I can dig up a dozen people whose opinion of them would embarass a sailor. Bottom line is - there is always more than enough dirt to be found about everyone/everyplace in our world.

Where am I going with this....hmmm......well...........I don't know.

Let's just sum up my opinion this way - just because I have heard something doesn't mean I am obligated to repeat it.
Karen in no way did I ” attempt to speak for you ”. I was only stating my impression of your post. Feel free to read
my reply again.
Please keep religion out of the topic. Remember God said those who live in glass houses should not throw stones.

I know unethical corporate recruiters and agency folks, they are on both sides of the table and I imagine many different faiths.. Getting through the receptionist is not unethical. Might be a good topic but lousy example..
Memo to self: Paul you know better than to get into this. Paul do not....do....it.....

Dang, here goes...

While the client is paying the fee I do believe it is my duty to explain to a candidate the good and bad parts of the opportunity. Some jobs have more bad and I am willing to walk away from a search. I have told clients I will not work on a placement because the manager sucks.

I have to be willing to do this in order to look myself in the mirror and this is about my reputation within the community I live and work.

More than that, we are talking about people. Not cars, iPods or other widgets.

We are asking people who likely have families and responsibilities to take care of to look at a new gig. For many this is a life altering change we are asking them to explore. They are not the means to a fee. If I do my job right everyone is happy. Not one or two parties but all three.

I long ago adopted the philosophy of playing with my cards face up. Clients and candidates know everything I do.

Regarding ethics, for me working IT in Minneapolis I can for the most part find a way to everyone without doing a song and dance.

I think the issue in this thread is that the “classic” headhunter definition has changed for some and not others.
Kimberly, you suggest we keep religion out of the thread and then invoke the word of God.

I think you must be a practical cat.

Kimberly Linford said:
Please keep religion out of the topic. Remember God said those who live in glass houses should not throw stones.

I know unethical corporate recruiters and agency folks, they are on both sides of the table and I imagine many different faiths.. Getting through the receptionist is not unethical. Might be a good topic but lousy example..
Tina Huckabay said:
Is all fair in love and war? Are we all held accountable for our actions in the end? Did everyone read Craig Silverman's post "The Man In The Mirror"? here is is for those that did not.......I printed it and put it in my middle schoolers homework binder, to me it was like a prayer for him.
http://www.recruitingblogs.com/profiles/blogs/502551:BlogPost:252356

Being ethical and moral isn't about religion, can you live with what you see in the mirror at the end of the day. Everyone has their own idea of right and wrong, is it a sin if you don't truly believe it is a sin? You could go back and forth all day, at the end of it, you must like what you see in the mirror or you are in trouble.
Lying is never a best practice."

"Best practice" is to tell the truth. Offering job candidates realistic previews on work expectations, corporate culture, compensation, and the potential for future development opportunities is the best way to select and retain employees who will succeed and find satisfaction in their work.

Superior recruiters use creative sourcing methods, establish trust and credibility with job candidates, and market the benefits of a career with their client. Resorting to deceptive and unethical recruiting tactics has less to do with a "war on talent" and everything to do with having little to offer prospective employees.

Keep telling the truth and doing great work! You're right on target

"Ethics may be defined as the actions an individual takes on himself to ensure his continued survival across the dynamics. It is a personal thing. When one is ethical, it is something he does himself by his own choice."

Regards
Anand

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