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« BLOGS will change your business | Main | Sir Alan Sugar's PR machine »

May 03, 2005

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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Morgan McLintic Googles Headhunting Ethics:

» Ethical Headhunters? No such thing. from Helzerman's Odd Bits
I haven't tried this yet, but Morgan McLintic did a google search on "headhunting ethics" and came up with no results - nada. He has a funny screenshot of it on his blog. Thanks to Drew B for posting the link. [Read More]

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In practice, I'm sure there are dos and don'ts in headhunting. My further research has found that conducting background reference checks without the knowledge of the candidate is considered unethical. What surprises me is, given the prevalence of headhunting, and given the range of perhaps dubious practices which could be deployed, that there are no guidelines and little debate in that industry.

For instance, some headhunters will use false names when they approach a candidate. That's probably fairly common. But then to get around reception staff they may claim a call is personal or to be a friend of the candidate, when in fact they are not. Is that ethical? What if you pretend you are from the candidate's bank or another company? Murkier still I feel.

And perhaps agency heads don't know this is going on under their name? Some may feel the ends justify the means, but certainly I think candidates should be able to expect that recruiters aren't calling up prior work colleagues and snooping on them without their agreement. [Lord knows what they'd say in my case...]

Interesting point, but it kind of gets to the basics of public relations as a principle just at the end there. What prospective client wouldn't ask around about a PR firm and get a feel for reputation before engaging a firm? Would they be daft enough to go on pitch alone or standard references alone? I'm not sure. Nor would a PR firm just take on a client on the basis of its RFP or its previous coverage or their balance sheet. So why, if the communications channels are there, shouldn't they be exploited? If you are prepared to work in PR, surely you need to be aware that your own reputation as a PR professional is always under scrutiny, no matter who you work for or who you talk to. This is the public relations business and who you have working for you matters. You wouldn't hire someone on the strength of their CV and interview alone if you could help it.

Hi,
Well Headhunting could be phrased as "interest in capable employees of other associations"...n there is nothing unethical about it until you end up breaching the privacy of the spotlighted candidate, researching his background and trying to unofficialy contact him cannot be declared as unethical. Afterall if you are ready to satisfy the person in a better way there is nothing murky if you attract him in any way you could.
Infact in my view every capable institution should mandatorily have a "headhunting cell".

thank you

Hi,
Well Headhunting could be phrased as "interest in capable employees of other associations"...n there is nothing unethical about it until you end up breaching the privacy of the spotlighted candidate, researching his background and trying to unofficialy contact him cannot be declared as unethical. Afterall if you are ready to satisfy the person in a better way there is nothing murky if you attract him in any way you could.
Infact in my view every capable institution should mandatorily have a "headhunting cell".

thank you

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