April 26, 2012
Western Australia’s resources boom has boosted the demand for recruitment agencies, with the lucrative market attracting young professionals and raising ethical dilemmas.
The fly-in-fly-out industry in WA provides high incomes for people willing to work away.
According to Perth recruitment consultant Kate (who wished her surname to be withheld), young people now see recruitment as a way into the resources industry without having to relocate.
“It provides an opportunity to enter the booming mining and oil and gas industry without having to work fly-in-fly-out and there is no need for a degree or trade,” Kate said.
Recruiter Roisin Kelly says that one ethical issue in the booming recruitment business is the practice of forwarding resumes to companies without telling potential candidates.
“The main issue is where is your CV going?” Ms Kelly said.
“Some agencies might present a company upfront with a CV that they might not have requested, or a CV that is sitting in a database, without telling the potential candidate.
“It isn’t illegal but it is an immoral practice to use a candidate’s CV to give to a company to try and gain business.”
Just how long a recruitment company would retain a resume on file after the applicant has been placed is unclear.
“People don’t tend to think about where their details are on any given day and those resumes will be sitting there for years,” Ms Kelly said.
Consultants usually receive a base salary plus commission, which Kate said could range from 15 to 30 per cent of the successful candidate’s first year salary.
She said it was not uncommon for agencies to request a commission rate above 30 per cent.
Kate said that large agencies often require consultants to meet targets and send out many resumes instead of focusing on a small number of candidates for specific roles.
“Those agencies are the ones that tend to encourage [the] sending [of] CVs without talking to people correctly or screening them properly because it’s all about the numbers for them,” she added.
Ms Kelly believes ethical issues affect the recruitment industry as a whole, as some people have an image of recruiters as unethical people that are only interested in money.
“Some of them are, so it’s going to be very difficult to change that perception especially now as we rely heavily on recruitment agencies,” she said.