Ethical recruitment for recruitment agencies

Training on the Business Case for Ethical Recruitment for Recruitment Agencies (In the Philippines)

A two-day training programme on the principles of and business case for ethical recruitment practices for recruitment agencies catering to international migrants and health professionals in particular for Philippines, India and Viet Nam recruitment agencies.

International migration is an increasingly pressing issue in a globalized world. Growing international trade, increasingly accessible information and communication technologies, lowering of the cost of transportation, increasing development gaps between developed and developing countries are among factors that can explain the growth of the migration phenomenon.

In particular, the global shortage and inequitable distribution of health professionals in many developed countries, driven by demographic and epidemiologic changes, as well as newer technologies in service delivery, intensifies the need for health workers. Further, difficult working conditions, lack of professional advancement and heavy workload are equally important causes of emigration for many source countries. Wage differentials between sending and receiving countries account for an important pull factor. Additionally, health professional migration is a very particular type of migration because there are:
  • Inequalities in distribution of health professionals around the world.
  • Challenges with regard to the attainment of the health related MDGs.
  • Significant fiscal burden on the public systems of sending countries.
  • Evidences of a “brain drain” impacting the development of sending countries.
The migration of workers and that of health care workers in particular between developing and developed countries has drawn a lot of attention mainly due to the economic, ethical and social effects it has been raising. While migrant health care workers from developing countries are contributing to the health care sector of developed countries, the migration of professionals and skilled workers from developing countries is perceived to negatively affect the development potentials of the countries of origin. This phenomenon has been referred to as the “brain drain”.

If in the past, an important portion of the international recruitment was in the hand of governments. Over the years, private recruitment intermediaries have taken a prominent role. Both government and private agents play critical roles in the successful management of migration flows, health professionals and other migrants equally.

A growing recognition of the possible positive role that can be played by recruitment agencies has gradually led to a reconsideration of their interventions. This is observable by the evolution of the ILO standards and conventions with regard to private recruitment agents since 1919. Private agents can facilitate the process of migrants through the myriad of immigration policies, difficulties of transit, match employers and skills, provide information about living and working conditions in foreign locations.

Governments play a key role in ensuring that recruitment agencies perform according to the highest ethical normative standards. However in supporting recruitment agencies in their quest to deliver ethical recruitment, there is a need to enhance the positive market incentives for recruitment services providers to perform and deliver quality services. As such, providing recruitment agencies with the business model for ethical behavior will incentivize those actors to perform ethically.

More specifically, the training for recruitment agencies will:
  • Present and discuss the definition of ethical recruitment and a proposed operational model, including the ILO relevant standards.
  • Provide an overview of the main challenges in formal recruitment and the ethical aspects associated with the mobility of health professionals.
  • Present and discuss a detailed analysis of an ethical recruitment case studies, highlighting the business case behind ethical recruitment practices, looking at the internal business processes of recruitment agencies as a way to improve productivity and efficiency.
  • Provide concrete how-to guidelines on how to move toward ethical recruitment.