The Importance of Being Earnest…the Roles of Sincerity and Integrity in the Recruitment and Job Search Process

No, I’m not referring to the farcical play by Oscar Wilde. Rather, I would like to explore the roles of sincerity and integrity in the relationship and responsibilities between recruiter and candidate in the recruitment process.


Earnestness? Honesty? Integrity? In the recruiting and job search industry? Yes! It is the sad truth that the relationship between the recruiter and the candidate suffered negatively over the past few decades from the oftentimes poor treatment dished out by the stereotypical “headhunter” of the ‘80s and early ‘90s. (Think “Jerry Maguire,” or better, “GlenGarry, GlenRoss,” or better still, “The Wolf of Wall Street” and you’ll get the picture. The industries might differ, but the atmosphere was the same). That is exactly what the recruitment industry was like at the time; but that isn’t how it has to be now or in the future. Yes, as a recruiter, you are dealing with the only commodity in the world market that can say, “No”, and that commodity is people.


That being said, it’s also time that the job hunters in this equation respect the sincere efforts of those of us who work hard to bring job opportunities to them – all while coaching them throughout the recruitment process. Respect and integrity are double-edged swords; the responsibility cuts both ways. Both the recruiter and the candidate are equally responsible for ensuring the success of the mutually-beneficial recruitment process. Let’s explore this novel and intriguing concept in a bit more detail.


I’d been putting a good deal of thought into my blog for this week exploring various posts on social and networking sites. Just this morning, I came across a post on a LinkedIn site, Canada Recruitment, which specifically detailed how the members have been “used and abused” by recruiters who have failed to find them jobs, have posted jobs that were not real, were busily filling their databases, and have “done absolutely nothing” for the candidate. Wow. Not to mention that the majority of the members are looking to enter into the North American market and the huge challenge presented by their lack of a work permit. And let’s not overlook the fact that posting non-existent jobs in order to attract talent is completely unethical on the part of the recruiter and agency, and begs the question of why anyone would want to be represented by an unethical individual. The fact is there are several influences at play here that affect the outcome of a recruiter’s interaction with an offshore candidate. There are laws requiring employers to complete certain (and sometimes quite costly) processes to import offshore talent. Employers are understandably reluctant to invest their time and money in these scenarios. There are also certain obligations on the candidate side that have to be completed before their talent can be considered in this particular scenario.


But what about candidates who are available here and now? Certainly, needing a job doesn’t necessarily entitle you to one. Selling yourself to a new employer (and make no mistake, “selling” is what you are doing) who may be in need of your talent or similar talent, isn’t as straightforward as it sounds, especially when you have to get through “gatekeepers”, such as recruiters, before meeting with the Hiring Manager. But what are your responsibilities as the candidate in this scenario? Here are a few things you’ll want to consider while searching for that perfect job:

  1. You must represent yourself honestly in your resume and to your recruiter.
  2. You must be clear about your skills, your needs, and your wants. What are your buy doxycycline usa criteria for the role you are seeking?
  3. You must be clear on salary expectations – after all, only you know what your salary requirements are in terms of living expenses, and what your bottom line is. Often individuals do not want to share this information with the recruiter; limiting what the recruiter can do on your behalf.
  4. If you present a range for your salary expectations, remember this: you automatically think of yourself at the high-end of the range; the hiring manager automatically thinks of you at the lower-end of the range. Never present a low end that you are not comfortable accepting.
  5. Other than salary, what else are key items for you? Career growth, opportunity, location, training, benefits… the list goes on. Communicate this clearly with the recruiter.
  6. Remember, the recruiter can present your salary expectations; however, it is up to you to ensure that the hiring manager feels that you merit the salary.
  7. Ensure that the recruiter knows what other opportunities you are investigating or interviewing for.
  8. You are responsible for your career. Once you accept a verbal offer or a written offer, you are an employee. It will reflect negatively on your integrity and reputation if you don’t show up for work or accept a counter-offer.
  9. Remember, this is a relationship. If you don’t like the recruiter, get out. If you don’t like the opportunity as presented, be honest. If the role isn’t for you, you can work on building your relationship with the recruiter for your own long-term gain. Recruiters can help. Having a good relationship with them is a good long-term career strategy.
  10. Be courteous at all times. You never know when the person you are speaking to will be in a hiring position or influence a hiring decision.
  11. Don’t forget your own personal networking efforts: social sites, Facebook, Twitter etc. Oftentimes social media referrals are a top source of hires.


Relationships are two-way streets. What about recruiters? What is their responsibility to you as your recruiter in this scenario? Your recruiter should:


  1. Be honest, respectful, and show integrity at all times in their dealings with you. Be aware of manipulative “headhunter” types. The job, salary, skills and future progression should all be presented to you before you interview for the role.
  2. Ask what you require from a position to make you happy and ensure longevity in your next role. The criteria that you present to them should be what they use to evaluate your suitability for a role. If you run into someone who gives no thought to you as an individual, evaluate if this is the representation you want.
  3. Never encourage you to accept a role and then turn around and talk you into another role, OR talk you into leaving a new role with a new company. This is unethical of them to say the least, but can and will negatively impact your reputation and career.
  4. Provide career consulting and advice to you as part of their service to you.
  5. Never encourage you to lie or be deceitful in any manner.


Remember that the recruiter also manages and balances the client relationship, manages timelines, and often is serving two or three masters behind the scenes. All interaction between yourself and your recruiter should be honest, sincere, transparent, and above-board. Dealing with one another earnestly will ensure long-term continued success for you, your career, and your recruiter.



By |2018-08-24T13:06:35+00:00July 15th, 2016|Categories: Before the Interview|0 Comments

About the Author:

Isabel has been with PeopleScout since 2011. Her career with has encompassed full desk recruitment and sourcing with her major focus being in Technology, Wealth Technology, and Enterprise Infrastructure. Her previous experience includes over 25 years’ experience as a Recruitment Manager and running her own agency specialized in Segment Strategy recruiting, as well as a boutique agency specialized in technology. This experience, in conjunction with her Corporate experience as the Director HR Canada for one of the largest US retailers, allowed her to have a weekly radio call-in show to answer Employment questions. Employment verticals have included Finance, Insurance (Property & Casualty), Life Sciences and Pharmaceutical recruiting.

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