3. Screening & Evaluating Labor Recruiters

If your company is outsourcing the recruitment, hiring, or management of migrant workers to a labor recruiter, there are a number of proactive measures you can take to make sure that things proceed smoothly, safely, and legally.

The most important step in this process is to select the right recruiter at the outset. There are many ethical, efficient, and legal labor recruiters that can meet your business needs operating in the market. The challenge is in finding and engaging them, while avoiding engagement with unethical agencies or individuals.

To help with this process, companies seeking to hire labor recruiters should conduct a pre-selection review in both the sending and receiving countries. Such a review will help to prioritize and select labor recruiters that are able to demonstrate that they:

  • operate in compliance with the law;
  • identify, screen out, and manage risks of forced labor (and other legal and social compliance violations) in their business processes; and
  • observe the “employers pay” principle of not charging any fee or cost for recruitment to workers, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part.

Tool 1 offers some sample questions and a rating system to assist companies in designing a screening process for labor recruiter candidates, and deciding which labor recruiter to hire. Tool 2 provides more detail on key areas of concern in the screening process.

There are also other measures that companies can take to proactively address these issues. For example, companies can work with other stakeholders such as governments, non-profit organizations, or labor unions to support the development of a robust system of regulation and enforcement of recruiter activity.

Companies should also seek to support voluntary accreditation programs, where such programs set standards for labor recruiters that encourage them to adopt good practice.

Once a labor recruiter is hired, companies should put in place clear procedures to manage and monitor the labor recruiter’s operations. See the following section, on Managing Labor Brokers and Monitoring for Ethical Recruitment and Hiring, for more information.