Ethics and Morals...Does it matter when starting an Agency?

After working years for an employment agency I realized that there is no personal connections between the client and agency. It just seemed to me that many times a client will give the agency a list of the qualities they need in a new worker and an agency just sorts through their file and pretty much "picks a name out of the hat" sort of say. Seeing many failures and no communication and personal connections I was not satisfied and decided to start an Agency of my own.

I have this great idea (it seems to me anyways and no one else) that during this recession a that I can help people and play a part in helping this economy. I have gone through great lengths to plan out my ideas. Then I realized that in a time such as these on of America's problems is that many people no longer has transportation to get to work and decided that I can provide people transportation to work as part of my agency agreement. This way it will elimate the "transportation" issue.

Currently I am finding out that many hiring managers do not even want to give me the time of day to let them know what services I can provide them. It makes me wonder did I begin this agency for the wrong reason. Have we gotten to a point where ethics, morals and beliefs are no longer valued in the recruiting field. How can I reach out to hiring managers and have them become interested and give me the time of day to at least let them know what I can do to help them?

Views: 203

Comment by Zahra Sandberg on December 2, 2009 at 12:18pm
Linda, I don't think you started the agency for the wrong reasons. You have a novel idea - and you are putting it to work - bravo! The sales process is a long one - you need to keep in touch with potential clients until they give you the time to explain how they can benefit from your service. I read somewhere that it takes a client five voicemail messages to remember (however vaguely) your agency name. I don't recommend leaving voicemails weekly, but monthly is a good start. Good luck!
Comment by William G Morgan on December 2, 2009 at 12:26pm
Linda, I think our industry needs more of us doing this same thing. I have gotten involved with my church in their transition teams. I am talking to clients of mine to provide me people that are looking for work so I can help them. Yes, it affects revenue in the short term but long-term if we all pitch in it'll come together.

As to getting to hiring managers, many don't pick up a phone anymore. You need to find a reason for them to want to speak with you. Zahra is correct but the number is more like they need to hear you/see you about 7 times and in different ways as you are one of 10-20 recruiters that may call them in any given week so be unique.

A kind heart will go far. A strategy with that kind heart will get your people employed and you can make money which is why we are in this business.

Bill Morgan
The Job Swami Career Site
Branch Manager, Segula Technologies
Comment by Slouch on December 2, 2009 at 12:32pm
I always found that the creative unique things offered to potential clients often fell on deaf ears. I think what they really want is the right candidate. That is what they are paying you for and everyone in the business knows what that will cost.
Comment by Sue Kemper on December 2, 2009 at 3:32pm

You have a good idea, but, I would suggest that you separate your transportation assistance from your recruiting company. Form a second company that provides transportation & can deal with all the laws related to transporting people and supplies. Keep your recruiting business tied to candidates and client companies employment needs - there are plenty.
Good luck, you have a caring attitude that can carry you far.
Sue Kemper, CPC
W.H. Meanor & Associates
Comment by Linda Kong on December 2, 2009 at 4:37pm
Thank you all so much for your responses. I have read and taken every bit of information in. I believe that you are right Sue, about the transportation issue. Zahra my issue is managers not showing any interest. The main response I am getting is "we already have an agency" "we do not use agencies". I am not on the phone long enough with a single manager who is willing to meet with me. Thank you Zahra, Bill and Slouch also for the feedback! I hope you all have a safe holiday season!
Comment by Michael Arueste on December 3, 2009 at 2:15am
Hi Linda,
I have been in the staffing business for 30 years. I started working in an "agency" that focused on quality but in time moved into the beginnings of the type of "agency" you describe. I have experience in both perm and IT & Engineering contract staffing in senior management roles and as a consultant to staffing firms. Over the past 10 years, the industry has become more of a commodity....and I believe this does a dis-service to many professionals that would prefer to be in a quality environment. I have seen what you describe in many companies over the past 17 years of providing consulting services to staffing firms. Those firms were in trouble and that is why they hired me. That being said....

I believe that you opened your own agency for all the Right reasons. It sounds to me that you care about your clients & candidates and want to provide the best level of service to them that you can. Good for you! Keep it up!

In today's economic environment, as you know, many companies are laying off. The companies that are hiring are looking for high qualifications from candidates. Many hiring managers may not have the budget to pay fees or hire expensive contractors/consultants; have been contacted by many available candidates directly; have a good internal reference network; or prefer to conduct their own recruiting. They have also been contacted by many recruiters or sales people that have a similar business approach to the "agency" that you describe.

Stay positive and recognize that when the hiring manager does not respond, it is a Business Refusal for Now. This will change when hiring needs become greater.

I have been through 3 recessions with the now "great recession" being the 4th and the longest. There is plenty of business out there. If you maintain a focus of the giving the absolute best service, then the profits will follow. Most businesses that focus only on profits or instant business miss the big picture and will always be scurrying for business instead of having clients chase them.

It sounds to me that you are focused on the big picture. Good for you!

In your situation, I would highly recommend that you take a consultative approach seeking information from a potential client, building value and creating trust instead of providing a sales presentation of your services. Talk to the potential client professionally but as you would talk to a friend. When that potential client has business they will remember you and call you with business.

Persistence wins when all else fails....stay your course, operate with honesty, integrity and ethics and you will build a quality, successful business!

Best Wishes and Happy Holidays!

Mike Arueste
Comment by Eric on December 3, 2009 at 12:41pm
Very well said, Mike!

Linda, follow your dream - come what may....Good luck to all.
Comment by Linda Kong on December 3, 2009 at 9:28pm
Thank you all for your support. It is such a blessing to have come across people who are willing to share and give advice. I wish you and all your families a wonderful and safe holiday!
Comment by Siong Hee Chua on December 14, 2009 at 2:27am
Hi Linda, I am a Independent Recruitment Consultant based in Singapore where after working in recruitment agency firms for 5 years, I had decided to go on as Independent Recruitment Consultant. Therefore I started as sole person in my business.

You have a good reason to start the recruitment business and as long as you have enough of cash flow to continue the business, you should endure and BELIEVE in yourself. Believe that you are the best and you are the greatest.

In your last para, you mentioned facing difficulities in getting attention from hiring managers from prospect clienteles as well as the difficulities in getting appointments. I share the same experience with you in Singapore, however, knowing that 2009 is a touch and rouch year for employees and employers, so it is expected.

When it is employers market, we will have to focus more on business development. When I started in Feb 2009, in the first few months, I mainly focus on business development activiates. With my 9 years of IT experience in Singapore market, I identify the technologies firms in Singapore, then using Linkedin to find out Who is Who in the company. I write to the HR Director/Manager, IT Managers, etc. I follow-up with phone call and email.

As I am focusing on business development, I also go out to look for potential candidates. Upon interview them, on forenight basis, I put together a couple of good candidates where their skill sets are relevent to the potential clienteles and email out to them.

By doing this, I managed to give those HR and hiring managers mind fresh about me and the services I am providing, and it also give me a good reason for call them ocassionally to follow-up on those candidates.

A long the way, I managed to get appointment to walk through the door and speak with them about the services that I can provide to them. Well, it is a long way and it takes time and presistent.

Honestly, only in July onwards then I managed to build my sales pipes, as those companies started to give me requirements.

Having said all the above, the market in Singapore is still touch, as there is a lot of recruitment firms already exist in the market; Furthermore, companies are still very careful about hiring staffs and even if they have to do it, they will do it themselves. Cost is the major factor in this case.

I wish you every success in your business. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2010.

Siong Hee @ Singapore
Recruitment Consultant, IT
OnCircus SAP Portal:
Visit Singapore:
Comment by Siong Hee Chua on December 14, 2009 at 2:35am
Remember, "No for NOW, Does not mean No for future"

Have you heard of Mark Whitby? I have benefit from Mark's training and I like to share here.

Mark Whitby - The Recruitment Coach
Tel: 0800 019 8899
International: +44 (0)131 664 8064
Fax: +44 (0)131 664 8062


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