Ethical Recruiting

O’Leary is the principal of Loss Prevention Recruiters, a leading Retail Loss Prevention Recruiting Solutions Provider. He is a former Loss Prevention Executive who has provided Loss Prevention Career Guidance for more than 20 years. He can be reached at 440-210-1867 or

Published in LP Magazine May/June 2008

After being approached about contributing an article to LossPrevention magazine, I immediately felt honored – but then quickly had to ask myself, what would be the best topic or subject that I could possibly write about from a Career Development standpoint that hasn’t already been written. Being that this is my first article for the magazine, I really felt that it had to be something special; something that would add value and substance to the Loss Prevention community. I seriously doubt that this has ever been written about before.

Ethics obviously do not only apply just to those that we serve in our industry, but it must also apply to those of us who serve it. Working with a Search Firm should be a positive experience that is beneficial both to the candidate and for the hiring company. A reputable Search Firm will provide you with sound and productive advice that can help you with your career decisions and choices.

Unfortunately, unethical recruiting practices can occur. However, you can avoid being taken advantage of by having a better understanding of how some of the basics in the recruitment process should work and more importantly how they should not work.

Let’s say that you call the Search Firm that placed you in your current position or they represent your company and you inquire about new career opportunities posted on their website. A reputable Search Firm will provide you with sound career advice but also tell you straight up that they cannot recruit you at this time because they placed you or that they represent your company. A reputable Search Firm will advise you to apply directly with a hiring company or to contact a different Search Firm all together, as much as that may cause them pain and discomfort. Remember this is about you not them and they should be here to help you.

But let’s say that they don’t give you the straight up ethical advice and they recruit you for a position anyway. Why would they do that you ask? Well, chances are they are probably doing it to manipulate the search process by never intending to submit your resume to the hiring company. But you say again why would they do that? By not submitting your resume they are in effect taking you out of contention for the potential career opportunity because you are probably viewed as competition to those candidates that they already have in the process. But of course, you will not know this and even if another Search Firm calls you to recruit you for the same position, you will most likely tell them no thanks because you believe that you are already involved, but in reality you are not because your resume never even got close to the hiring manager’s desk! This would also probably keep the Recruiter out of trouble with their client (your boss) because they never sent in your resume.

Remember, the best Career Advisors thrive and build their reputations based upon candidate success through sound advice and ethical behavior. They are truly concerned with providing all candidates with accurate and truthful advice. Reputable Search Firms do not manipulate a search process for personal gain. As a strong advocate of the Kiss Principal (Keep it simple stupid) it is rather simple. By helping candidates with their careers everyone wins. The candidate takes on a new and exciting career challenge. The company hires a candidate that is motivated to be successful and the Recruiter gains the credit for doing what is right.


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