I have worked with some clients who have "bad reputations" for varying reasons, and I do generally be upfront in addressing the issue(s) with candidates. Most of the time it's something they are aware of pretty early in the process anyway so I get it resolved before I move forward. I do make sure the client knows where the "bad rep" comes from, and I talk to current and former employees to determine what is deserved, what is sour grapes, etc., and find candidates who can mesh into the company.
If this is legal or ethical allegations, and you mentioned in the media already, then the candidate will be aware most likely. So I think a recruiter would have a in-depth discussion with the client and use their judgement as to how and when this will be addressed.
I would not work with a client who had serious and legitimate legal, ethical, or bad business practices.
Recruiters are needed when a company is facing something like this, and they all face something negative at some time. It's where we are needed.Of course inform the candidate. This is a situation where a good recruiter can help. Opportunities exist where few people look for them. Be honest. Companies turn around, and things change. And, there is a tremendous opportunity for change agents.
Transparency is your best bet in this instance. Sell the candidate on the job; inform them of the issue, what's being said, the actual story, and what's being done to fix it. Letting them know upfront makes both the recruiter and the company look above board and like good partners. This will make a big difference when having those tough conversations with your candidates.
So he's working for JP Morgan Chase? :p
You have to be transparent and authentic in a situation like this. You will build credibility instantly. Let the candidate decide if the company's reputation is a dealbreaker.
To safeguard your own reputation, I would disclose to your candidates what they will eventually learn.
Otherwise the take-away will be that you're not honest / hiding something. What's the upside doing that?
"The client shared they are currently managing an internal scandal that has put them in a negative light via the media."
The follow up (for me) would be "So what are you doing to solve / address this reputation issue?" If they cant sell you, do you expect them to sell to viable, (probably) employed candidates?
I'd also tell them to expect to pay a salary premium for new hires until the scandal is behind them. Unless there's some other incentive for candidates to step inside a hornet's nest?
Full disclosure. Here is the good news.....Here is the bad news. Here is the challenge..if the challenge is not something you want to mess with then this one is not for you. Understand that there are always two sides to every story so if you want to interview and see how you feel about it after being inside the Kimono, i will certainly understand and i will give them the bad news so you don't have to.
Don't make the scandal the focus of the discussion or the identity of the company. I'm sure the company has a history of doing great work and plans to do other more interesting stuff. The scandal is a scandal. The company is like a person. What person who has lived long enough doesn't have a skeleton or two in the closet?
I agree with the others of course, full disclosure but only as a carefully crafted interjection in an otherwise uplifting description of the company.