Even It Up!

Shifting the balance for jobseekers

RCSA accepts theEven It Up! challenge

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A couple of weeks ago, we sent an email to Julie Mills, CEO of RCSA.  We wanted to give Julie right of reply to a post wrote about the RCSA.  Here is our email, and her response.

Our email:

Dear Julie,

I am the founder of Even It Up! which is a website dedicated to providing free information to jobseekers about the recruitment practices of direct employers and recruitment companies.  We are like Choice magazine, but for jobseekers.

I have blogged about the RCSA and would like to have your comments on the record. My readers are very interested in finding out:

  • why most of the recruitment companies that are listed on our website as providing jobseekers with less than satisfactory experiences are RCSA members; and
  • what the RCSA plans to do about it.

Looking forward to your earliest response,

Diane Lee

The RCSA’s response

Thanks for your email and the opportunity to respond.  In answer to your questions:

Question 1

Given that most recruitment companies are part of the RCSA, it’s no surprise that a large number of job seekers would have come into contact with them at some time. And like any industry where there is an essential personal involvement element there will always be those who are dissatisfied  – this does not excuse the issues – it is the way it is.

However because they have been identified as RCSA Members, if jobseekers are unhappy they have an avenue to register their concern which will be actioned by the Ethics Registrar and investigated.

It’s important to be clear about what the Code for Professional Conduct does, and doesn’t, set out to do. It is focused on addressing unethical and unprofessional conduct – it is not a charter for service delivery (although there is an RCSA Service Delivery Standard which companies can undertake to meet).
If your treatment as a candidate breaches equal opportunity laws, privacy laws, or is dishonest, then you have recourse to the Code and the disciplinary procedures behind it. As a candidate, you should expect honest dealings – for example, the Code does not permit recruiters to advertise for positions that don’t exist; demands that advertisements ‘accurately describe what, if any, jobs are available’; and only allows them to advertise ‘for positions which they have permission to recruit’.

However, it’s up to candidates to take this action – RCSA can’t address what it doesn’t hear about. If you believe you have been treated in a way that breaches the Code, please report it as per the RCSA Disciplinary and Dispute Resolution Procedures.

One of the things most complained about is a lack of response from recruiters; however this isn’t a simple issue. Unfortunately, many job ads receive an enormous response. Often, many applicants are clearly not suitable for the role and don’t meet the requirements stated in the advertisement.

This makes it difficult to respond personally to each individual – although we do encourage our Members to use software that automatically confirms an application is received. Those who are well-suited to the role will hear back – it’s just not in the interests of the recruiter or their client to ignore a good candidate for a job. The best approach for candidates is to be realistic in their expectations and provide as much of the information requested.

Candidates should also form relationships with recruiters that they trust. They also need to be aware where they are releasing their resume material: job board resume portals,  multiple agencies and resume centres can all create confusion when the call for an appointment comes.

Question 2

The RCSA works hard to ensure that the recruitment sector is professional and ethical. Some of the initiatives to achieve this are:

  • The Code for Professional Conduct – this was recently reviewed and re-authorised by the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission. It is backed by disciplinary procedures that include fines and expulsion from the Association. All Corporate Members and their staff are expected to complete training on the Code annually.
  • Professional Development – the RCSA has a full program of education that teaches consultants how to deal professionally and effectively with candidates. Topics include privacy and Equal Opportunity laws, through to interview techniques. RCSA also offers an accredited Certificate IV program and a University Diploma that focuses on all aspects of recruitment.
  • The Accredited Professional Recruiter (APR) program  recognises individuals committed to ongoing learning and best practice.
  • Connecting with candidates – the RCSA often features in media and has a dedicated section on its website, talking about what to expect when job hunting, and how to go about it effectively.

In terms of the particular post you cite, I would like to clarify this issue as well. There is a difference between RCSA Membership and companies certified with the RCSA’s voluntary Service Delivery Standard. There is a difference between the two. programs.

RCSA Membership denotes that:

  • The company is formally registered with an Australian Business Number
  • It has a Recruitment Agents Licence if applicable in their state or territory
  • It has a Payroll Tax number if applicable
  • It has Australian Workers Compensation insurance
  • It has taken out professional indemnity insurance
  • It has taken out public liability insurance
  • It has an Occupational Health and Safety Policy in place
  • It has a formal collection statement and privacy policy
  • It has a formal equal employment opportunity policy
  • It has superannuation systems in place
  • Agree to be bound by the RCSA Code for Professional Conduct

As can be seen by this list, Membership requires a company to show that they have the legal and business structures in place to ensure that they will provide at least a safety-net level of legal and ethical service to their clients, the employers. Companies without RCSA Membership may not have these in place and are not bound by the RCSA Code for Professional Conduct.

The RCSA Service Delivery Standard is an additional, voluntary certification to improve the customer service delivery by a Member who undertakes the certification.

Certification denotes that the certified company has policies and procedures in place to identify service delivery requirements; provide that service as required in all cases, monitor and control that the service requirements are being undertaken as committed to, evaluation procedures and complaints resolution procedures. The Service Delivery Standard was introduced by the RCSA to assist companies that were displaying such high customer service values to be able to show that, and in addition the RCSA is challenging all recruitment agencies to achieve this certifications as part of its mission to increase the profile and professionalism of the sector.

The ad referred to will be amended to make the voluntarism of the Standard clearer, as well as direct enquiries to the Service Delivery Standard page.

In an industry sector with over 3 000 companies, and 10 000 plus candidate facing consultants, issues and concerns are always going to occur – particularly when something as core as your employment is the key reason you are in dialogue.

The RCSA continues to strive to improve best practice, counsel consultants and address complaints to take corrective and disciplinary action when it is determined this is required.

The best advice to those who use Even It Up to discuss their issues is to email their concerns to ethics@rcsa.com.au to action an investigation and to also take the time to share with each other the recruiters who have impressed them as a way of helping each other.

Regards

Julie Mills
RCSA CEO

There you have it, jobseekers!  Straight from the horses’ mouth as it were!

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Written by evenitup

May 7, 2009 at 10:37 am

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