Recruitment Agencies from the Quality Viewpoint: Independent Certification

Possibility of Certification by the Third, Independent and Unbiased Side

For conducting external inspections some branch standards shall be available. The necessity of their establishment and development is mentioned frequently and in quantity [9, 11, 13, 15, 23, 30, 40, 47, 51, 66, 67, 77, 85, 87 and 117]. Two classes of standards may be distinguished: the standards of professional community and internal standards. At addressing to the community member the consumer reckons on reduction of his risks and certain level of the service, he insures himself against cheating and low-quality work.  The internal standards may be stricter [61, 76 and 102]; a non-member of community may render an exclusive service going beyond the scope of the branch standard. The main thing is, according to [85] recommendations, to define in advance that the "non-member of community” is a position, individual opinion, professional standard, but not weakness, randomness, incompetence. 

An absence of recognized norms is replaced somewhat by various ratings of agencies. Unfortunately, the "research” methodologies are characterized by insufficiency of scientific approach, to say the least, with the result that the first positions of ratings are occupied by agencies conducting these ratings (the references are not presented in this review because of ethical reasons, but the list of literature includes them). The Russian Association of Consultants on Recruitment (AKPP/АКПП) has proposed the following conceptual approaches to the ratings forming [116]:  

1.      Assess only quality of the agency’s work and decline the "objective rating” (balance etc.).The assessment criteria should be: compliance of nominees with requirements; capability of the agency to solve non-standard tasks; interaction with an employer. Take into account responses of employers, number of recommendations and mentioning of an agency.

2    Decline the "integral” index of agency work assessment on the basis of qualitative criteria, since this index is   non-objective and unjust.   

3        Decline the system of ratings and push the customers to independent analysis and selection of agencies on the basis of "qualitative” analysis and "informative” blocks.

Unfortunately, by no means all the agencies are ready to follow the standards in practice and especially to tolerate independent experts [12, 37 and 116], while it is an old and usual norm for the Western associations.  Thus, in 1978 the USA Commission on equal job opportunities, Justice Department and Labor Department had adopted Uniform Guidelines on recruiting [98]. According to this legal document any procedure, standardized or non-standardized, which serves as a basis for making decision on hiring is considered as a test. Even habitual and preferred by many employers interview falls under the Uniform Guidelines.     

Though the professional standards of Association of Executive Search Consultants, Inc. [117] has declaratory nature, they designate rights and expectations of both consumers and nominees intelligibly enough, as well as restrict allowable work methods of its members.     

to be continued...

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