4. Managing Labor Recruiters & Monitoring for Ethical Recruitment & Hiring

Once a labor recruiter has been selected, a robust management system should be put in place that includes the setting of performance criteria – elaborated in the contract with the labor recruiter – and regular monitoring to verify compliance.

In formalizing a business relationship with the labor recruiter, the brand or supplier should begin with these considerations:

  • What services do you want the labor recruiter to provide?
  • What are the legal, social and ethical performance requirements that you expect the labor recruiter to meet?

You may have already answered these questions in the process of screening and evaluating labor recruiter candidates. Verité’s benchmarks for good practice also can be used to assist suppliers in developing performance criteria for social compliance. These criteria should be included in the contract with the labor recruiter and can then be used as benchmarks to monitor for compliance and continuous improvement.

In addition to articulating performance criteria in the contract with the labor recruiter, there are many proactive management strategies that companies can employ to best ensure that legal and social compliance requirements are met. See Tool 1 for some examples.

Developing methods to monitor the performance of the labor recruiter is another critical step, and the result will be highly individualized based on the structure and operations of the supplier facility.

As part of any verification scheme, Verité recommends that incoming migrant workers recruited by labor recruiter should be interviewed to determine the conditions under which they were recruited. Verité also recommends beginning any verification process with a self-assessment that allows the recruiter the opportunity to respond directly to a set of questions from the supplier and “self report” on performance. This affords an opportunity for the recruiter to be up-front about any challenges faced and solutions being explored. Such a process can set a positive tone for the assessment, emphasizing the desire not only for compliance but continuous improvement. Verité recommends that the self-assessment be followed by an audit-style verification process, completed by company staff or an independent third party.

See Tool 2 for further guidance on key issues to consider during a performance assessment process. Tools 3, 4, and 5 offer concrete sets of questions that can be adapted by companies in monitoring and evaluating recruiter performance.