Doing the right thing even when no one is watching

The dictionary definition for integrity is the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles that you refuse to change

But, why is ‘integrity’ important to us?

It is well known that the recruitment industry has a stigma attached. That recruiters are just “salespeople chasing targets.” That they get “a fat commission for just sending out a few CVs.” That they are “arrogant, brace-wearing, hard-drinking extroverts“. It is perceived that individuals in the industry lack empathy and do not recognise the bigger picture of what they are involved in – essentially people’s livelihoods.

Because of all those misconceptions, integrity is important to us and is one of our core values.

For us, integrity is embodied by honesty. Being honest with the construction professionals we work with; being honest with our clients; being honest with our colleagues. And somewhat most importantly, being honest with ourselves.

The act of moving jobs or adding talent to teams is a big decision. It can be risky and have implications if the wrong move is made. For construction professionals, a wrong decision could put their career back a few years. For our clients, hiring the wrong person could disrupt the fine balance in a high-performing team. We are conscious that careers and livelihoods, and therefore futures, are at our disposal. Therefore, we act accordingly.

We use our knowledge of the industry (read our blog: Be smart, be intelligent, and be informed to find out how we stay informed), to only present opportunities that will be mutually beneficial to both parties. A job opportunity that will truly help a professional’s career grow. Or a candidate that is of the right calibre and will, in turn, help grow our client’s business. We don’t send out candidates that we don’t believe are right for our clients, and we don’t try and sell an opportunity that we don’t believe will enhance a professional’s career, just for an easy fee and a commission cheque. Quality recruitment (more about that soon!) is about the long game and identifying placements that last.

It gives us great pleasure seeing a client we have worked with for a long time evolve, grow and become successful. This is especially the case when we have provided them with a large proportion of their workforce who have, in turn, played a big part in the evolution of the business. This is by far the most enjoyable and fulfilling factor of our job. As such, it is important to us to go the extra mile for our clients, providing help outside of pure recruitment. Be that providing a market analysis from a different perspective or an overview of their current teams’ background and experience. We also look to work with a client to help them increase their staff retention rate as well as provide them with new talent. This would be alien to many of our competitors and, perhaps, doesn’t make commercial sense. However, when collaboration (Alone we are smart, together we are brilliant) is a core part of your business, you prioritise long-term partnerships. Helping to nurture a client’s team in this way strengthens relationships.

We’ve talked previously about how collaborative our team is. This teamwork along with the removal of in-house competition shifts the focus to simply delivering a good service. And when good service is the main aim, it makes sense for our team to be open and honest with each other about any professionals and opportunities they may have. Sharing this knowledge ensures that our professionals or clients get exposed to more options. And, importantly, this will hopefully result in the best outcome for them, not for us as individuals.

Finally, when we are being honest with ourselves, we can recognise the areas of our job that needs development. Looking inwards helps us to constantly review and constantly strive for improvement. And if we’re always striving for improvement, it will help us to constantly improve the results for our professionals and clients.

So Yes, we have targets, but we do not have a highly pressurised sales environment. We are rewarded for quality over quantity. Yes, we get commission cheques and yes we “send” out CVs, but how we do it is more akin to a presentation. The CVs we choose to present to our clients are only for professionals who we have met. (Thankfully, this is now more in person than over the last two years!). They are all accompanied by a detailed summary of the candidate and fact-checked with references. And, most importantly, a rationale as to why we believe their skills meet their wants and needs. Yes, we have a lot of extroverts in our team, but arrogance is not a trait that is tolerated, and I don’t think any of them own a pair of braces – well, not as part of their office attire, anyway!

We are, thankfully, a financially stable business. We have a stable staff base that is small enough to be adaptable to market forces and have mature systems in place. Therefore, when there are many factors creating uncertainty in the market, like now, (spiralling inflation rates, cost of living and the Ukraine crisis) we do not need to panic. Uncertainty often tempts companies to drop their integrity in desperation to generate revenue as revenue becomes harder to produce. We saw this through the pandemic; time will only tell if 2022 causes the same response. We have been through periods of uncertainty before and have confidence that we can trade through this year without having to change the integrity of how we operate. We have no need to become desperate and react by dramatically changing our process. We can continue working, adapting to the market requirements and maintaining confidence that we will work through any periods of uncertainty with success. We intend to never drop our standards although our clients can provide the best judgement of this…

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