Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Is recruitment really like Facebook?

I have heard it said that the business models of recruitment and Facebook have many parallels, most of them not very complimentary.
For example, both service two clients, but only one pays. In recruitment it's the candidate and the client and with facebook it's the user and the advertiser. In both instances it seems to be the objective to gather as much information about the non - paying party in order to secure business from the paying party. In recruitment the client pays and with facebook it's the advertiser. That is why facebook wants to know everything about its users, even when they are not on- line - they pass this information to the advertisers who use it to target specific audiences. In the recruitment industry much of the personal information gathered is used to "sell" the candidate to their clients.

In both cases this can harm the reputation of the brand, because the sharing of information often takes place without the candidate's or user's knowledge. This throws up some ethical questions and while both businesses may deal with well-known brands, it places a question mark over their own.

I can't speak for facebook, but I believe that some recruitment agencies need to take a good, long hard look at how they conduct their business. There is a watchdog organisation, APSO (Federation of African Professional Staffing Organisations), which has prescribed a code of ethics that govern their members' business practice. It specifically states, for example, that agencies may not send clients unsolicited CVs or send CVs without first obtaining the candidate's express permission to do so, by divulging the name of the client and details of the vacancy.

It has become more apparent in recent years that many clients insist that their recruitment suppliers are members of APSO before they will engage with them. It provides a measure of confidence that the recruitment agency they are dealing with subscribes to a regulated code of ethics and that they have some recourse should there be such a need.

Deal with an accredited APSO member and you will be more likely to "Like" their service.

For more information about APSO, their code of ethics and whether your recruitment supplier is a member, go to: www.apso.co.za

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