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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The night is young :-)
My dad always told me that two wrongs don't make a right. If that happened to me I would certainly be disappointed and no doubt angry (more at myself for letting it happen than anything) and there's no doubt I'd put that company on my target list, but I would not compromise my principles to "get back" at them.

Dave

Sandra McCartt said:
Consider this - suppose that a company used a ruse call to you pretending to be someone they were not. Listed a job with you , provided an email address and an unlisted phone number. They obtained candidates from you using the ruse (lie). then 30 days later those candidates were interviewed and subsquently one was hired by another company you were working with but of course not through you because they got the first candidates by using a ruse call. Would it be unethical of them to obtain candidates from you by misrepresenting who they were? Hmmmm..so you don't think that could happen because of course you have safeguards in place to keep anyone from playing the game with you. It happens all the time and has for years. Matter of fact one of our hiring managers got so mad about a recruiter calling his key people during work that he had a friend list a position with the recruiter, collect several resumes, cancel the search and forward the resumes to him. He hired all three. When the recruiter threw a fit and demanded to know where he got the resumes the hiring manger told him he got them the same way the recruiter had gotten the resumes of people from his department so the recruiter could figure it out. Turned around it sure does look unethical doesn't it? Nope just a ruse call.

Dave Templeman said:
Without a doubt I've told a lie. I hope my post didn't come across "holier than thou". The original question was does anyone with a Christian background question their morals. The answer to that is if you are using unethical or dishonest means to an end yes you should be questioning your morals. As I've matured I've found other ways to accomplish the same endgame without having to compromise my values.

With regards to Christianity, I consider myself a man of very deep faith. It hasn't always been like that, but that is who I've grown up to be. I love God and I am thankful that He loves me. But I'm still a sinner, just like everyone else reading this. No better, no worse.

Nick Leslie-Miller said:
Dave Templeman said:
As a Christian I don't think you need to lie to a gatekeeper to get past them. I also don't think you need to use unethical methods to research a company. As a matter of fact, the people who make it a habit of using unethical or dishonest methods of advancing their business are usually exposed. Keep these words of Paul in mind next time you are considering doing something less than honest in your efforts to make a buck. Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving(Colossians 3:23-24)

David Templeman
Director of Recruiting

RiverPoint Group LLC

David,

Have you ever told a lie?
Well rather than rusing, I'm proffering happiness to my candidates if that makes you feel better about it.

You pretend that a big fat man dressed in red flies around the world with reindeers and climbs down all the tiny chimneys of all the children in the world even if they don't have a chimney, all in one night to make them happy with presents his elves made.

I sometimes pretend I'm someone else to get access to my candidates to get them a position of more wealth that will improve their lifestyle and buy their children the very presents that supports your ruse about the big fat man dressed in Red.

I did tell my children the same story about Santa of course.

If anyone does use a ruse, they don't ever lie to the candidate because there is no need.

This is a mountain out of a mole hill and very hypocritical really and nothing to do with religion as per the original question.
As a thirty-year veteran recruiter/headhunter/search consultant/choose your title consultant, I have yet to achieve the ability to go to my source company, open the trunk of my BMW, go inside the building, find the candidate of choice, put them in my trunk, drive to my client, open the trunk again and say "here is your new employer"!.

Moreover, I have yet to succeed at placing anyone who lacked a compelling reason to leave their current employer/my source company.

I do no harm. I am an agent of facilitation for others to exercise their, God-Given, free will and improve their life, career and family's lifestyle. We, as recruiters, have always been the essential element whose services availed the most deserving employers of the best talent. From that, great companies produce competitive results, wealth and opportunities.

I feel blessed indeed to be a free agent of commerce in a democratic country whose employers have created some of the best advancements in human history. But like Dennis Miller, "I could be wrong."... not!
Doug, utterly classic response - I loved it :) I also liked another gentlemen here who referenced the 13th ammendment and his responsibility to help people out of indentured servitude! This has been not only fun, but hilariously entertaining!

P.S. When you said "trunk of my BMW", I couldn't help think of when Alec Baldwin says, "Because you drove a Hyundai to get here tonight . . . and I drove an $80,000 BMW. THAT'S my name!"

Doug Beabout said:
As a thirty-year veteran recruiter/headhunter/search consultant/choose your title consultant, I have yet to achieve the ability to go to my source company, open the trunk of my BMW, go inside the building, find the candidate of choice, put them in my trunk, drive to my client, open the trunk again and say "here is your new employer"!.
Consider the source folks.. (no malice intended)

From Paul's profile..

How many years have you been in the business?
Less than 1 year


Happy Hunting...
Brian-
Sandra, candidates lying about their background or situation is an entirely different argument. But as we are on the subject, if a candidate lies about their past and my client employs them and then finds out about it, why would I lose street cred or my reputation. I didn't lie did I? The candidate did and obviosuly they would have lied to me as well. And yes providing they sacked them within the first 90 days I would be happy to replace the candidate free of charge. I don't see your point on that one or the relevance.

I never said whatever it takes to win win win. I was merely pointing out that by me getting through to the candidate who turns out to be the one offered the position is a win win win.

I think you will find that Karen changed your situational ethics argument to situational lying and I was following the argument with her.

Like I said to Karen, its all a bit hypocritical really because even you say its okay to lie to a candidate about the reason they didn't get hired, even though the very reason they didn't get the job is probably more illegal than the ruse in the first place with the gatekeeper.

Not given candidates true feedback is not only lying but it is cowardly because the recruiter is avoiding telling the truth to save their own embarrassment rather than the candidates. If this example were true and legal and the person really did have a problem that was preventing them getting employment, then it is the recruiters professional duty to be honest with them so they can address the problem.

See how hypocritical this all sounds? You have highlighted several areas where bigger lies are told but seem acceptable which is situational everything.

Rusing is not about desperation. It's about finding the best way to get to a candidate. Thats all.
Help me out here. Do you mean to say you call up a direct competitor company you're recruiting from, announce you're a recruiter including your name and company, ask to speak with people about another opportunity, and they accommodatingly share the names of people employed there with you? You're not joking? Cause this is sounding more like 'La La Land' than any recruiting scenario I experience.

Bill
As happens in these debates sometimes more questions are raised than answered...

1) If it is against the law to ruse can someone cite a case in which there has been a prosecution? What was the outcome?

2) Has anyone told their four-year old that Santa, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny not only exist but reward good children for being good. Technically, is that or is that not, lying?

3) Confucius said: "It is better to tell a lie and create harmony in the world than to tell the truth and create discord. As it applies in business, as to life in general, true or false?

4) Is being a politician unethical?
Ami, super questions - I don't have children yet, so I haven't told the Santa lie :) However, you're a deep thinker . . . so I have question you may enjoy:

a. Who was more likely to be a "Big-Biller": Niccolo Machiavelli or Mother Theresa?

Hoping not to indict my own beliefs in any way (i.e. become a human pinata!), I say Machiavelli. I suggest him in this scenario because he held held that public success and private morality are mutually exclusive, at least for a Prince. His question was not "What makes a good human being", but rather, "What makes a good prince."

P.S. In answering, consider my question . . . not your own morals, but rather the question itself. Who was more likely to be a "Big Biller": Machiavelli or Mother Theresa?

Amitai Givertz said:
As happens in these debates sometimes more questions are raised than answered...

1) If it is against the law to ruse can someone cite a case in which there has been a prosecution? What was the outcome?

2) Has anyone told their four-year old that Santa, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny not only exist but reward good children for being good. Technically, is that or is that not, lying?

3) Confucius said: "It is better to tell a lie and create harmony in the world than to tell the truth and create discord. As it applies in business, as to life in general, true or false?

4) Is being a politician unethical?
Josh:

"The poor do not need our sympathy and our pity. The poor need our love and compassion." While true, I find it hard to imagine these sentiments being expressed by a Big Biller, don't you? "It is better to be feared than loved, more prudent to be cruel than compassionate," that's more like it, while untrue in recruiting, generally speaking, I think.

Josh, I defer the answer to your question to someone better qualified than I. Being neither a Saint or Big Biller I can only speculate.

Any Saints in the house?

Joshua Letourneau said:
Ami, super questions - I don't have children yet, so I haven't told the Santa lie :) However, you're a deep thinker . . . so I have question you may enjoy:
a. Who was more likely to be a "Big-Biller": Niccolo Machiavelli or Mother Theresa? Hoping not to indict my own beliefs in any way (i.e. become a human pinata!), I say Machiavelli. I suggest him in this scenario because he held held that public success and private morality are mutually exclusive, at least for a Prince. His question was not "What makes a good human being", but rather, "What makes a good prince." P.S. In answering, consider my question . . . not your own morals, but rather the question itself. Who was more likely to be a "Big Biller": Machiavelli or Mother Theresa?
Such common sense is so uncommon these days. Thank you.

Heather Bussing said:
This is an answer to Ami's question about whether there is a legal case where someone created a ruse to get through to a candidate and what was the outcome.

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