Money Vs Morals

Posted by Lawrence Bond March 19, 2020

“Do you think that I should start my new role on Monday?”

This is the question that an experienced Financial Director/CFO asked me recently just three days before starting their new role.

Our answer surprised the candidate but it was honest. I said that we felt it would be completely the wrong decision to start this role.

What you would have done?

Let me explain the background as there are certainly lessons to be learnt from other recruiters’ mistakes.

The recruiting client had not been entirely open with the candidate. They had carried out three interviews at their very smart Head Office and to say that the flow of information following these meetings was poor, is an understatement. The process certainly wasn’t engaging for the candidate and we struggled to gain any feedback for them after every stage of this process, however we finally reached an offer and consequently an acceptance.

Following this, the candidate met the owner on-site at one of the group businesses. He was then informed that the first 9 months would be based in this rather ‘challenging’, far from glamourous, environment. This ‘may’ have been acceptable however it was very strange for a potentially new Group CFO to be informed of this at this late stage.

The meeting wasn’t remotely private as many employees were walking in and out as it was taking place in the only spare room which doubled up as a staff room.

Despite this, the key areas of concern related to the questionable processes within the business and the disparaging manner that was used when referring to some of the staff. Being on call 24/7 was an expectation and all things considered, the candidate had serious concerns about the longevity of this move.

That said, he didn’t want to be jobless the following week and the “Group CFO” title, salary and a potential opportunity were still luring.

He faced a dilemma!

Knowing the candidate well, I knew that I could have a bearing on his decision and having worked in the sector for over 20 years, I’ve seen candidates start on the wrong foot previously. In these situations, it never works out well for anyone concerned. My normal approach would be to encourage the candidate and client to have a final, open and honest conversation and let them decide, however throughout the process, the candidate had mentioned reservations, we had also been aware of ‘challenges’ with the recruiting client and as a result, I followed my mantra that a ‘consultancy’ should…’consult’!

There are a number of other factors that lead to the advice we provided but after informing the CEO of his feelings and decision, the candidate had a good night’s sleep for the first time in ages and so did I! . Whilst we’re a commercial business whose revenue comes from candidates starting roles, I knew that we had provided a valuable service, treated the candidate in question as an individual and not a commodity and we had done the right thing.

It’s not all about the money!

Whether you’re a recruiter or a job seeker get in touch for honest advice and consultancy.