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Responsible Recruitment

For more information about responsible recruitment, see our concept note.

Recruitment: A Brief Background

Recruitment is often the first entry point in the labour migration process. Therefore, companies recruiting abroad, as well as recruitment agencies supporting their clients to find the right talent, should ensure transparency in their labour supply chain and ensure that all recruitment activities are performed in accordance with ethical recruitment principles and local legislation. In this way, recruitment agencies and companies should be better able to mitigate the potential risks of unforeseen links to forced labour, child labour, human trafficking and other human/labour rights violations.

The Business Case for Responsible Recruitment

There is a clear business case for responsible agencies and companies to uphold fair recruitment practices, where the safety and dignity of the workers are at the centre of the recruitment process. Firstly, non-compliance risks involve huge administrative and legal costs, as well as reputational damage that can result in business-destroying impacts. Ethical, fair and compliant recruitment also brings market incentives and advantages. It can also ensure that vacancies are filled by candidates chosen through a competency-based or merit-based practice. Workers recruited in an ethical and transparent way with fair wages and safe working conditions are clearly more engaged and therefore productive.

Recommendations from the Private Sector

  1. Compliance with the law is a primary duty of all enterprises.
  2. Embrace the principles of the World Employment Confederation Code of Conduct, or joining one of the many voluntary initiatives that promote fair and ethical recruitment.
  3. Government adoption and enforcement of existing legal and regulatory frameworks, such as ILO Convention 181 for Private Employment Agencies.
  4. Participating in multi-stakeholder initiatives, to advocate for appropriate national legislation and regulation.

Business Best Practices

It is important to recognize and share best practices in order to improve recruitment practices and reduce human and labour rights abuses. For helpful information on best practices, see the following presentations:


The Business Case for Responsible Recruitment


Strengthening Public-Private Dialogue in the GCM

World Employment Confederation:

Recruitment Practices