In looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy. And if they don't have the first, the other two will kill you." 

— Warren Buffet

(CEO, Berkshire Hathaway)


Recruitment isn’t an easy lark. As a recruitment consultant I am often on the phone to candidates of an evening, arranging interviews and hearing feedback. There is an argument to be made that some processes are just a matter of common sense, however the problem with common sense is that it isn’t actually that common. Neither, it would seem is integrity. Recruitment is a time-consuming job, but at the end of the day the value I bring to both candidates and clients is measured by my successes, and the chances are that if I act with integrity towards them, then I am going to have a higher chance of being successful.

For me, and for Lipton Fleming, our success isn’t just about bashing the phones and meeting as many candidates as possible, it’s about the integrity with which we approach our work. Without integrity, a business can be short-lived. When it is part of the ethos of a company it becomes an important part of the company culture and drives success where others may falter.

Integrity isn’t a necessity to make money and be successful. But it makes the world of difference to your clients, helps you build strong relationships and keeps them coming back for more. Laying this kind of solid foundation in a changing world and job market will ensure your message resonates long after the big, empty promises and dancing girls have left the stage.

People buy people, and they want to do business with people that they trust, especially when it comes to a life-changing decision like getting a new job. In recruitment, your reputation is key. I have touched on this before in previous blogs, but I cannot emphasize it enough; reputation is built on the way you treat other people. And if you are synonymous with integrity - you’re onto a winner.

One of the toughest parts of the job for me is giving feedback when it’s not too positive. This is because I’m probably a little too soft, but I was given a very important piece of advice a while back that sticks in my head whenever dealing with candidates (or life in general for that matter) “Speak the truth, even if your voice shakes” – Would you rather hear the honest feedback, warts and all, from your interview or your CV, or would you rather we sugar coated it?  You might not like having your weaknesses highlighted, but if you don’t know what you need to work on, how are you ever going to improve?

At the end of the day, you might not like what I have to say, but you can guarantee that what I am saying, or the questions I am asking are designed to ensure you get the right person for the right role. Integrity is fundamentally about being brave enough to do the right thing regardless of whether someone recognises it or not. It’s also about making sure your behaviour speaks for you, not just your beliefs. For me, integrity isn’t just a buzz word, it’s about walking your talk. If you do what you say, and say what you do, then you’re going to be successful, whatever industry you work in.


Written by,

Clare Puttick

Digital Consultant @LiptonFleming

Views: 303

Comment by Christopher Perez on July 19, 2012 at 9:52am

Well said, Clare. I loved the quote "Speak the truth, even if your voice shakes." It's impossible to achieve closure on anything until the truth has been spoken. We might *think* we've achieved it, but it is not a satisfying feeling until that happens. If we gloss things over, we know instinctively that we have only salved our own anxieties, and temporarily at that. Thanks.

Comment by Vaughn Welches on July 20, 2012 at 8:53am

Clare - very good, and very significant for the staffing industry today . . . thank you!

And, Christopher, your statement, "It's impossible to achieve closure on anything until the truth has been spoken." is also very good.   Because the residue of deception lingers much too long.

Comment by Harris Keillar on July 23, 2012 at 8:27am

Integrity should be integral to everything that we do.  Many people give lip-service to it though.  I had to sack my top producer for what at heart, was operating with a total lack of integrity.  Despite the cost in legal fees, opportunity cost and his lost production it was worth it, even when he decided to fight it as he actually said the tribunal 'would cost him nothing though would cost us thousands!' - unfortunately, about the only thing he was correct about!  [We won on all counts] Christopher's statement as highlighted by Vaughan is spot on. 

Comment by Clare Puttick on July 25, 2012 at 5:45am

Thanks so much for the feedback guys! It's great to know that there are those out there that share my views. Please keep them coming, I'm always keen to hear your thoughts! 


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