Having worked in this industry for over 20 years, I have seen and heard most of the situations described in the article 'Just doing their jobs?' (NCE last week). However, the truth is that candidates today are constantly looking for new opportunities.
The ACE investigation is from an employer's perspective and as a managing director I encounter the same issues.
However, it is incumbent upon the employer to offer appropriate remuneration, loyalty, opportunity and quality of management. Recruitment consultants are often an easy target to blame for staff turnover.
At Hays, it is a disciplinary offence for a consultant to undertake the unscrupulous behaviour referred to in the article. If it does happen, it is almost always a result of the individual contacting the agency again, with legitimate reasons for a move.
If we compare the recruitment profession to estate agencies, I know that I would rather have a number of bidders for my house to ensure that I got maximum value. It follows that if I am recruiting staff, I would rather have a choice of employees than settle for second best. By securing the best available person, any fees incurred quickly pale into insignicance relative to the value of getting it wrong!
At Hays, the customer has to be first.
Tim Cook, managing director, Hays Consulting Engineering, Lower Ground Floor, Charter House, 13-15 Carteret St, London SW1H 9DJ