HTS Integrity

The integrity of a hospitality executive search firm should be critical to the decision of both employers and candidates before they engage in a relationship with a search firm. HTS President and Founder Frank Speranza explains why both employers and candidates should be concerned with this critical issue.

For the Employer . . .

When you contract with a recruiting company, you are essentially hiring them to act as your agent and represent your company. Often the search you may be engaging them in is of a confidential nature, meaning you may have a current employee you are looking to replace. A casual recruiter that does not use great discretion can very easily create an embarrassing situation for both the employer and employee being replaced, not to mention the potential legal repercussions for the employer from such a situation. Therefore, you should contract with a skillful recruiter with a reputation in the industry for a high degree of integrity and finesse, one that can accurately explain your needs to candidates without exposing your identity, while gaining the confidence of a qualified candidate to get their permission to share their resume with an undisclosed client. This then gives you the employer a chance to view the potential candidate anonymously. Only recruiting companies with the highest level and reputation of integrity and trust are capable of gaining the confidence of a gainfully employed candidate to give their permission for their resume to be released to an unknown employer. That takes reliance and certitude on the part of a candidate, and we at Hospitality Talent Scouts have that trust and are able to do this every single day.

Even for non-Confidential Searches, we still are very selective about revealing our clients' names unless candidates have gone through our basic qualification process and we feel there is an indication of some interest from the candidate. We feel it is very important that our clients are not bombarded with direct inquiries, as well as made to look bad because we did not feel someone was not the exact match for their particular specifications, even though the candidates might have excellent backgrounds. A candidate's background just may not be the particular background required for a specific employer's position. Handling these situations with honesty and directness in a professional manner by the recruiter can be interpreted to say something positive about the organization that contracted with the recruiting company. So once again, honesty and directness communicated in the right manner should be of paramount importance to an employer, as well as how it translates into the selection of the right recruitment company.

We again are one of the few recruiting firms that tell our candidates right up front that the only references that we will accept are past direct reports, as we believe that no one can tell about an individual's past performance, which is a forecast of their future performance in most cases. We have been know to unendorse a candidate and remove them from our recommended list and even wave a fee rather than pass on a candidate that does not represent us well. We are interested in building long-term relationships based on the quality of work we produce, which is based on the quality of candidates we present.

We believe a training process begins in the recruiting process. How you and your recruiter represent your organization sets the tone for how a candidate will perceive their potential employer.

For the Candidate . . .

Knowing that you are dealing with a recruiter of the highest ethics and integrity is singularly important when working with a recruiting company. If you are gainfully employed, the last thing you need is for your current employer to question your commitment because he has learned that you are window shopping other career opportunities. Yet much too often, we hear about employers and executive search firms that unprofessionally expose potential candidates to this risk.

We have often been teased about how tight lipped we are, and I joke that we are like a priest in a confessional! It is, however, very true, as we have the privilege of being involved in the careers of outstanding professionals, and we view it as an honor when candidates confide in us. We take that trust very seriously, and we hold ourselves to a level of confidentiality that is unparalleled with anyone else in our industry. We actually challenge you to contact anyone in the industry to find anyone who can give an example of how we breach confidentiality. We guarantee that you will not find one single person to tell you anything other than what you have read on this website.

Moreover, to whom would you rather be conveying the type of position that you are looking for? Someone who has never done what you have done or has never held a senior management position, such as a GM or VP of Operations? We believe that people who have been where you have are best able to relate to your situation and comprehend the types of employers that you would most like to be associated with and to advise you of what is realistic or not, based on our experience with a wide variety of employers.

The clients we represent are some of the finest names in hospitality, and that is for a reason. That is the only type of clients we will work with. There are companies out there that have horrible reputations as to how they treat their most valuable assets their people. We simply do not recruit for such organizations, as we would not want to associate our fine name and reputation with anyone that is not of the reputation, integrity, and professionalism that we represent on a daily basis.