Named and shamed…..

name and shameIs it just me or does there seem to be more and more calls for people to be named and shamed in the recruitment industry? You will have seen the posts on LinkedIn that threaten to expose someone for something ‘wrong’ they have done….and it is followed by a stream of support to ‘name and shame’ the individual. Whilst I am no fan of poor practices or dodgy operators, this seemingly growing vigilante movement to publicly flog anyone who has done wrong is ridiculous.

My main issue with this whole naming and shaming thing, and I have many, is that very few are willing to actually go public with their accusation. Whilst social media has given us all a ready-made soapbox and it is easy to climb on top and start shouting ….few have the gumption to actually follow through. They end up as nothing more than an ideal threat.

If it is that important to you…if you feel so strongly that the world needs to be informed of whatever it is that someone has done, then follow up on your threat. Otherwise it just comes across as a pretty meaningless dummy spat. A bit like a child in the playground who is going to get their dad to beat your dad up if you don’t give them back their football. It’s not a very good look in the playground, let alone in an industry that has aspirations to be seen more professionally.

Apart from being a bad look, it has the potential to be dangerous. I have never been on the receiving end of an angry candidate, or client wanting to publicly name and shame me, but I can imagine it wouldn’t be much fun. I doubt that the trial by social media that would follow would be very fair or do much for my brand or reputation. Start going down this kangaroo court path and who knows where it will lead. An ugly, tit-for-tat, wild west shoot out of ‘he said, she said’ at a guess.

No doubt we work in an industry where emotions run high. When things don’t go the way we want them to it is annoying, frustrating and can leave even the mildest mannered recruiter feeling a little angry and open to revenge. But whilst it might feel cathartic for a moment, the call to ‘name and shame’ really serves no useful purpose.

Maybe one day the recruitment industry will see fit to have some proper regulation and a pathway for grievances to be heard in a professional and formal way. That would be useful.

Luke Collard


13 thoughts on “Named and shamed…..

  1. Greg on Reply

    You will have seen the posts on LinkedIn that threaten to expose someone for something ‘wrong’ they have done

    I’ve not seen these posts. Are you able to link them?

  2. Nicky Dowling on Reply

    Hi there, you may want to check the spelling, paragraph 2, line 2. I think this is supposed to read ‘public’

    1. Luke Collard on Reply

      Gosh…that was an embarrassing typo ! Thanks for saving me from bing named and shamed for poor grammar Nicky.

  3. Andrew McGregpr on Reply


    I would love to start going into war and peace on the less than reputable recruiters in our market but also with the same breath clients and candidates, that being said it will as you put it end up with a trial by social media and a ‘he said, she said’ scenario.

    Only yesterday we had to deal with a situation where a prospective client was less than happy with service they ‘thought’ they had received 18 months ago as a candidate. I called them immediately gathered the facts and then sent through evidence demonstrating that we did everything correctly, that prospective client is now fully informed and will be a client moving forward.

    Make a note of everything, deal with everything in a professional manner and act with the highest integrity and eventually you will reap the rewards. In it for the long term not the short term!



  4. Stephen Moir on Reply

    G’day Luke

    There was quite a passionate blog written by your colleague Craig on 11 December titled: Recruitment Gone Bad, , where he said “So please send me the names and examples of bad recruiters, managers & owners and why they are bad… I’ll do a little research… and stuff it… if they are cowboys I’ll name and shame. Please email me, don’t leave in comments.””

    Your blog and Craig’s blog seem to strongly contradict each other.

    What are your thoughts on this?


    1. Luke Collard on Reply

      Hi Stephen – very possibly they do. I will need to go back and read what my learned colleague wrote, but we often have differing views on things and that may be the case here (that being said I imagine his blog may have been a little tongue in cheek too).

  5. Mark on Reply

    We all know there are heaps of bad recruiters out there, however the industry really is a breeding ground for unscrupulous individuals and I believe if we sort out the recruitment companies first then the staff will follow suit.
    Look at most of the companies in the market at the moment…your Hays, Randstads, Davidsons etc etc, and all they really are is giant KPI factories who employ the unemployable to sit on the phone and bash out 200 sales calls a week. After a weeks second rate sales training they are suddenly market experts .

    For every great recruitment manager there are thousands who only know how to manage people based on outputs and they are quite happy to bend any truth to snapping point to get that next ‘sale’.
    There aren’t many businesses out there who really get true ‘value’ from using a recruitment agency; in a way it’s their own fault as most of the market wants contingent recruitment opposed to retained however I really think the industry needs fixing from the top down, not the bottom up.

  6. Nick Rees on Reply

    I presume you’re referring to the UK, US or Australian markets where most recruiters are poorly educated and “get into sales” from the age of 16.

    Where I work (Russia) we mainly only employ post-grads – the downside of this is they have almost zero sales skills when they join, but the upsides are intelligent behaviour (which helps deliver exceptional client service) and the avoidance of the “car salesman” approach to their clients. Sometimes (quite often actually) I wish they we more sales-savvy but not much is totally perfect.

    I do believe that the “KPI factories” as someone else wrote is going to be a thing of the past as it doesn’t lend itself to creating a good brand image or loyalty. It’s a short-term approach that was great 5-10 years ago, but the more subtle and client-focused recruiters are the ones who will do the best in the long term.

    As to who’s to blame – it is definitely from top down. Managers employ the “used car salesman” instead of the more intelligent client-focused professional because they hit their KPIs. Once management understands what the clients REALLY want, things might change. Unfortunately, not all management gets out to see the clients that refuse to work with them because of their poor practices.

    Just my opinion……

  7. Luke Collard on Reply

    Nick – thanks for your comment and I couldn’t agree more. . Focus on the service and your money will come. Focus only on the money and you will inevitably compromise the service.

  8. Heather Gardiner on Reply

    I agree that there should be a professional body where Individuals can report recruiters who do not follow Best Practice . As a recruiter myself with 10 years experience and currently job searching my experience with recruiters has unfortunately been less than positive. I Have attended interview both interstate ( at my own cost) and locally , only to discover (from my own intuition and reading between the lines ) that the recruiter on each occasion was building their Talent Database Only . I have also had an experience where I attended a scheduled interview with a recruiter who advised me even before our interview commenced that the role had been filled and she would put my details into her talent pool ! I would very much like to name and shame , however I wouldnt do that as I do not believe that is a professional way to behave , however I do understand candidate frustrations.

    1. Luke Collard on Reply

      Thanks Heather. I think your reasons are the typical ones that will drive people to want to name and shame. I agree with you though that the better way to do that is through a professional body, not the Judge Judy trial by social media avenue (although I imagine Judge Judy could give most bad recruiters a run for their money!)

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