My Recruiter Valentine: Why We Won’t Two-Time You

February 14, 2024

As a supplier in the recruitment industry, we often grapple with an ethical question – should we work with talent acquisition teams? This scenario inevitably leads to a conflict of interest that makes us uncomfortable.

On the one hand, taking on talent acquisition groups as clients allows us to grow our business. But on the other hand, we fundamentally believe it is wrong to partner with internal recruitment teams who are effectively competing for candidates with the very external recruiters that are, both directly and indirectly, also our clients.

After all, we love the recruitment industry and got into this business because we wanted to help recruitment agencies succeed. Working to build up talent acquisition teams feels akin to betraying our original mission and undermining the success of recruiters who have become our business partners over the years.

The defence often given when taking on these conflicting talent acquisition accounts is that “Well, you work with lots of different recruitment firms already so what’s the difference?” But to us, that’s a false equivalency. When supporting multiple external recruitment agencies, if anything, our work helps spur competition which is ultimately good for candidates. However, put in opposition to external agencies, internal corporate talent acquisition departments have vast resource advantages, constituting an existential threat rather than healthy competition.

At the end of the day, even if refusing certain business means slower short-term growth potential, we believe sticking firmly to ethical principles will pay off in the long run, both externally in market reputation and internally in the ability to feel proud of the business we are building. The recruitment field faces enough criticism already without suppliers like ourselves further muddying the waters. We are hopeful other vendors likewise see the glaring conflict of interest in supporting both recruiters and their direct competitors simultaneously. Because in our view, in this scenario – you really can’t serve two masters equally. The ethical choice is clear – if we are on the recruiters’ side, then that means not aiding their corporate rivals. No exceptions.

So this Valentine’s Day, we want our recruiter partners to know that our heart belongs to you. We wouldn’t two-time you by working with competing talent acquisition teams. Our loyalty and ethics run too deep to betray you. We remain committed to helping our recruiter valentines achieve success!