Building a Reputation for Professionalism in the Staffing Industry: What You Need to Know 

Building a Reputation for Professionalism in the Staffing Industry: What You Need to Know 

Table of Contents

  • Jane
  • June 23, 2023

As job markets shift from traditional to candidate-centric, the experiences of applicants have become highly influential to the reputation of a company. Through the use of the Internet, many candidates freely share their thoughts with the public about dealing with hiring managers and recruiters from different organizations.

You may be wondering how you can prevent your company from getting a bad reputation. How exactly can you make the candidate’s experience positive?

The answer is simple—you need to look at professionalism in all levels of your organization.

Common Red Flags for Candidates 

Complaints that candidates typically talk about are called “red flags” in their posts. This phrase is used as a warning sign for something that they find problematic or toxic.

Just like how a red traffic light tells drivers to stop driving and proceed with caution, red flags also serve as signals for candidates to slow down and be attentive to any issues a company may have.

Even simple statements and concepts can be considered red flags due to the underlying meaning behind them.

The following are some examples of red flags for potential employees and why they are considered as such.


The company is a “Family”

Although there are many great values that come with the sense of family such as belongingness and trust, there are even more downsides for your employees in the long run.

According to a study mentioned in Harvard Business Review, an organization that uses the metaphor of “family” as part of its branding can create a culture where employees treat each other as siblings.¹ This can help in boosting morale, but it also creates unnecessary attachment of employees to one another.

Read More: Branding Guide Dos and Don’ts 2023 Checklist 

When a sibling is in need, people will usually do whatever they can to help. Some would even sacrifice their time and money just so they can be part of the solution to their siblings’ problems.

If this mindset is taken into the office, employees would feel duty-bound to help their workmates in any way they can. This would result in unpaid work, additional stress, and pressure on the person helping.

Even when they fight the urge to help, they would most likely feel guilt caused either by their own values or the company’s assertion of the metaphor “The Company is a Family”.


Being a Team Player But You’re Asked to Work Solo

Teamwork is an important aspect that companies need to ensure a smooth workflow. This is especially true in industries that require a lot of people working on one project.

But when employers ask their people to be “team players” a little too often, it could lead to unintentional exploitation of employees.

For example, a deadline for the project is coming up and you’ve already finished your workload. Meanwhile, some of your teammates are behind on their individual tasks. Your leader demands that you stay after work to help everyone as a “show of camaraderie”.

This term can also be used by leaders and managers to undermine the worth of employees. Imagine there is a budget cut, and a leader asks to meet with you. He asks you to “take one for the team” and explains his reasons why he thinks your pay should be deducted and not his.

Although that example is an explicit display of exploitation, the ideology of being a team player can still be abused unintentionally by employees too. Take for example the dialogue “Hey, can you be a team player and take my Saturday shift so I can celebrate my daughter’s birthday? Thanks.


Definition of “Top Work Ethic”

When you go look at job posts, you can sometimes see “Have Top Work Ethic” under the requirements of a position you’re eyeing.

Now, don’t get us wrong. A good work ethic is a trait all employees should have. It greatly influences the productivity and performance of employees.

When exactly does it become a red flag? It’s when companies attach the term to unconnected descriptions and unfair expectations.

Some may experience a culture wherein calling in sick is frowned upon by management and the officemates.

This is an example of an unfair expectation of employers for their employees. Companies that expect their people to do impossible feats such as controlling whether they’ll get sick or not is a huge red flag.

Expectations such as sacrificing their time off for the sake of productivity or prioritizing their work over their health are other examples of unreasonable definitions of “top work ethic”.


Professionalism as the Solution

With all of these red flags circulating among the perception of potential candidates, how can you make sure you’re not unintentionally doing them in your company?

It all boils down to the professionalism of leaders, hiring managers, and employers. By having professionals who act like professionals, you can attract candidates with green flags and a positive reputation in the industry.

Read More: Your 2023 Guide to Creating a Candidate Experience that Makes Your Competitors Jealous 


Professionalism Dyeing the Red to Green

Do you have doubts that this is the solution for most issues in recruitment? Let’s take a look back at the red flags and understand how professionalism can shed a positive light on them.

  • The Company is a Family – Being professional means having barriers that separate personal life from work. To avoid any unnecessary emotions or complications, companies should advocate for a healthy balance between professional and personal lives rather than pushing them to merge two big chunks of their life together.
  • Being a Team Player – Aside from clearly identifying the limits of a transactional relationship between you and your people, you also need to show professionalism by respecting the roles of employees. This means understanding their responsibilities and valuing their time and effort. All work done outside of their hours or job descriptions should be rewarded with proper compensation.
  • Definition of “Top Work Ethic” – As mentioned, professionalism is all about establishing clear lines and barriers. When creating requirements and expectations for your employees and candidates, make sure the descriptions are well within the bounds of the job description.  When creating goals, create a habit of collaborating for SMART ones which stand for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goals.


Do’s and Don’ts for Hiring Managers

Once the hiring process begins, everything the hiring manager or recruiting agent does will reflect your company. The following are simple do’s and don’ts during the interview process.



  • Prepare for all interview schedules – As a hiring manager, it is your responsibility to learn about the candidates. You also must create questions that would elicit the responses you need to judge them fairly. These should all be done even before you’re face-to-face with your potential hire.
  • Practice being transparent about the role – Be honest about what the job entails. Inform them of what their responsibilities could be once hired and be upfront about the compensation they’ll be entitled to. Remember to always be honest and transparent.
  • Respect the candidate’s time – A recruit’s time is just as important as yours so respect it by being in the assigned location at the agreed-upon schedule. Also, control the flow of the interview so that it will finish on time as well.



  • Ask sensitive or personal questions – Making small talk to make candidates comfortable is okay as long as the questions don’t stray too far from the topic. Avoid questions that may elicit negative emotions. Don’t ask about anything sensitive as well such as their nation of origin, religion, and disabilities unless they are clearly related to the role they want to fill.
  • Interrupt candidates when speaking – Abruptly cutting off someone’s speech in the middle of a sentence is rude and unprofessional behavior, especially for a hiring manager. Remember that your task is to find out if candidates are a good fit for the company. This will be difficult to do if you’re the one dominating the conversation.
  • Treat candidates differently – Throw any biases or perceived thoughts you have about candidates out of the window. You are representing your company so your opinions about someone’s gender or past experiences do not matter. Avoid judging potential employees even before they open their mouths.


Be the Go-to Industry Leader in the Staffing Industry

Once you check all the items off of the professional company list, make sure everyone knows about it. Allied Insight is here to help you with your professional full-stack marketing needs to spread your message.

Contact us today to learn more.



  1. Luna, Joshua A. “The Toxic Effects of Branding Your Workplace a “Family”.” Harvard Business Review, 27 Oct 2021, Accessed 10 Jun. 2023.


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