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ASA Search and Placement Code of Ethics and Good Practices

One of the principal missions of the American Staffing Association is to encourage high standards of ethical conduct in dealings with employees, clients, and competitors. To further that mission, the ASA board of directors has adopted the following code of ethics. Also available is a general code and a one that covers construction and other types of day labor services.

As a condition of membership in the American Staffing Association, each member pledges its support of, and adherence to, the principles and practices set forth below. ASA members agree to always strive to

  • Comply with all laws and regulations applicable to their business, and to maintain high standards of ethical conduct in the operation of that business and in their dealings with employees, job candidates, clients, and competitors.
  • Treat all candidates, clients, and employees with dignity, honesty, candor, and respect, and provide equal employment opportunities, based on bona fide job qualifications, without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, or any basis prohibited by applicable law.
  • Maintain high standards of integrity in all advertising, recruitment, and placement efforts and activities.
  • Determine the experience and qualifications of candidates as appropriate to the circumstances or as required by law and honestly communicate such experience and qualifications to clients.
  • Inform candidates and clients of all information relevant to the hiring process, including whether to extend and accept an offer of employment.
  • Give proper consideration of the following prevalent issues:
    • Candidate Confidentiality: the extent to which candidate information shall remain confidential and the circumstances under which candidate information may be shared with clients.
    • Client Confidentiality: maintaining confidentiality regarding clients’ staffing needs, internal operations, business plans, and other client information.
    • Placed Candidate Solicitation: whether and when it may be acceptable to solicit for employment opportunities for candidates previously placed by the search and placement firm with a client(s).
    • Client Employee Solicitation: whether and when it may be acceptable to solicit clients’ employees for employment opportunities.
    • Define Services: so that there is no misunderstanding between the parties, informing clients clearly and conspicuously, through contracts or otherwise, regarding the specific services to be rendered by the search and placement firm, e.g., candidate screening methods, the extent to which reference and background checks will be conducted, etc.
  • When engaging in cooperative or split-fee arrangements with other search and placement firms, communicate honestly and discuss and agree upon, through contracts or otherwise, all conditions that shall govern the parties’ relationship, including but not limited to
    • Fee amounts, entitlement, collection, and disbursement
    • Confidentiality
    • Client and candidate solicitation
    • Client guarantees and refunds, if any, and their effect on the search and placement firms’ respective fees

These guidelines are subject to enforceable contracts between search and placement firms and their clients, candidates, and other parties, and are not intended to prohibit or discourage any other provisions or arrangements. ASA members are encouraged, whenever feasible, to specifically address the terms and conditions relating to the placement of candidates in written agreements with their clients.


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