Importance of Staffing Agency Ethics
Guest Post by Adrian Weber
Last month, Courtney Meyer spoke about her path to becoming a recruiter. In today’s post, she speaks about Menlo Partners Staffing—its beginning, what distinguishes it from other staffing services, and its commitment to ethics.
1. How did Menlo Partners get started? In 2009, my children were of an age that I could return to work full-time. Unfortunately, that was also during the Great Recession and unemployment was very high. Nevertheless, I began interviewing in the marketplace. I targeted recruiting because that is where my expertise, passion, and aptitude are. Recruiting is what I do best, and it didn’t make sense for me to switch careers. As I interviewed with large firms throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, I was dismayed by their focus on profit at the expense of helping job seekers. To be fair, economic conditions at that time were very challenging, especially for recruiters, but the practices I saw felt like bad business to me. The prevailing attitude seemed to be, “Make the placement at all costs—even if it’s not a good fit for the candidate or for the client company.” The firms I interviewed with were so focused on generating new business (new client company accounts) that no time was left to spend with candidates, even those who found themselves unemployed for the first time in their careers. Ultimately I realized that the practices of these firms were out of alignment with my own values, and I decided to open Menlo Partners.
2. What makes Menlo Partners different from other recruiting firms? Our motivation is to help people in whatever way we can and to treat them ethically at all times. This sounds insignificant, but it’s not. There are a lot of agencies that use questionable tactics to gain applicant flow. When you operate a business based on misrepresentations, you are always afraid that the truth will come out. At Menlo Partners, we follow best practices that give us peace of mind in all that we do. That being said, our approach doesn’t work for everyone. For example, we thoroughly interview all of our candidates, and some job seekers aren’t interested in that. That’s okay—we’re not the right partner for them.
3. Can you speak a little more about misrepresentation and its consequences? It’s amazing, and also really sad, how often people misrepresent themselves in the Silicon Valley job market. One of the things that causes me heartache is when a person loses an opportunity to better his or her life because of dishonesty. I have seen job offers rescinded when candidates presented themselves as having degrees when they were actually one or two courses shy of graduation. One person had extended vacation plans and did not reveal them during the interview process. Another candidate used a friend as a fake reference and thought we wouldn’t find out about it. It’s foolish to assume that you can make up a lie and hide the truth forever. Thanks in part to social media, people are connected via fewer degrees of separation than ever before. Sooner or later you will run into someone who knows you or knows about you. False information always comes to light, and if it occurs after hiring, it is grounds for instant dismissal. Unfortunately, it seems that a certain degree of dishonesty is acceptable in our society. People are encouraged to stretch the dates on their resume, to cover up the gaps. Being caught in an untruth can have brutal consequences, and that saddens me. When I work with candidates, I fully expect that all the information presented to me is verifiable and correct. And that our relationship is built on honesty. We are very thorough in our interview and background checking process and these issues always show themselves. It would just be more efficient and less emotional not to go through the steps to end in a bad place. If we discover any dishonesty it is instantly presented to our clients and hiring authorities.
If you or someone you know is looking for a trustworthy, experienced partner in the recruiting process, contact Menlo Partners today!