Ethical Recruitment: What Is ‘Ethical Hiring’?

4 minute read

Over the past year, we’ve seen vast changes to the practices of the business world. From Zoom meetings to online collaboration, it’s no secret that remote working has brought both challenges and innovations to businesses. But how does this affect hiring practices - for both businesses and experts? 

We’ve all heard of the phrase ‘doing good is good for business’, but how do you know you’re ‘doing good’? One place to start would be ensuring you have a commitment to ethical recruitment practices. This article will give a run-through of all you need to know about ethical hiring, why it’s necessary for both businesses and professionals, and how 360WORK commits itself to ethical processes. 

What is ethical hiring and why is it important?

Simply put, ethical hiring is a series of recruitment practices that prioritises mutual respect between the business and candidate. This respect is formed through honesty, integrity, and mutual understanding; especially when clarifying the terms of work, such as when and how experts should complete tasks. Over the past year, there has been an increased need for ethical hiring to establish trust between businesses and remote workers - freelancers, contractors, or permanent staff.  


Why businesses have a responsibility to hire ethically. 

At a time when businesses cannot meet their new hires face-to-face, it is important to use ethical hiring practices to establish a strong foundation of trust. This is mutually beneficial; providing a trusted, secure environment for team members cements their commitment to delivering your brand’s vision. Whilst there is an obvious moral duty to ethical hiring, best practice truly does harken back to the old phrase, ‘doing good is good for business’. As Verizon and the Campbell Soup Company have found, a commitment to ‘doing good’ via ethical practice and commitment to staff welfare increases productivity by nearly 15%.

The 4 hallmarks of ethical hiring 

 Now, you know what ethical hiring is, you know why it’s important - but what does it look like in practice? This can be explained with four key values: unbiased hiring, fair payment, respecting boundaries, and communication. 

Unbiased hiring

Clearly you want to ensure you get the best fit for your business’ needs. However, there needs to be a dedication to hiring based on skill, experience, and suitability - rather than factors of unconscious bias. Whether we like it or not, unconscious bias commonly filters into hiring practices. This may take shape by discriminating against gender, disability, sexuality, race, or religion. 

An ethical recruitment process will look to eliminate these factors where possible. For example, many employers are moving towards introducing skills challenges rather than heavily relying on CVs and resumés. Moreover, the most innovative businesses also look to reduce gendered wording where possible; in line with research that suggests that women are less likely to apply for projects with ‘masculine-coded’ job descriptions, such as “confident” or “driven”. 

Fair payment

A vital aspect of ethical recruitment, and business practices more generally, is ensuring a reasonable, timely, and agreed-upon fee for work. When initial recruitment discussions are taking place, businesses have a responsibility to agree a fair fee for the expert’s work.

This promotes fair payment for services and cements the value and respect that the business has for the hired expert. This extends to payment, too: an ethical recruitment process will include a statement of when experts should invoice for completed work (in the case of project-based experts), and how soon after this the payment can be expected.

Whilst this promotes a fair payment and value for the expert’s work, this level of respect should also go both ways; the expert should recognise that they are being paid for a service that they have promised to deliver. This ensures that businesses and staff mutually benefit from a partnership as fairly and fully as possible. 

A partnership of trust

This tenet filters into every level of the process between business and hired experts, and begins with the recruitment process. An establishment of trust must be made early on; which allows experts to feel enabled and capable of delivering their best work to suit a brand. 

This partnership must include the setting of boundaries, such as agreed work hours, lines of communication and responsibility, and exact job roles and remits. The more clarity there is in the hiring process, the better the experience is likely to be for both sides.


Like trust, communication is a key ingredient to the success of ethical hiring. If businesses communicate their expectations openly and honestly, experts will feel enabled and comfortable to do the same. In this way, both sides can communicate exactly what they wish to bring to, and receive from, this business partnership - resulting in promising outcomes.


360WORK's commitment to ethical hiring

360WORK is committed to providing a service that hires freelancers, contractors and permanent staff ethically - connecting real people with real opportunities. We understand that remote working makes it a little more challenging to ensure open trust and communication and therefore ethical hiring, but our handy relationship manager service navigates this with ease. 360WORK matches businesses with experts (freelancers, permanent jobs and contractors) suited specifically to their needs and demonstrates ethical hiring by:

  • Providing a hassle-free process of finding the right expert for you. We take away the pain of finding resources (individual or teams) by combining smart algorithms with dedicated relationship managers, ensuring you find the right expert for your project. We have a ‘No Hire, No Fee’ policy for your peace of mind. 
  • Employing a ‘fair fee for fair work policy’ to ensure needs are met and work is valued of the expected standard. To reflect this, work is paid for fairly and securely using our escrow account service
  • Ensuring frequent, honest and open communication to keep your work on track. This is facilitated using our ProToolkit, which includes built-in project management tools that allow you to create tasks and milestones for ease of communication.
  • Having core values of equality, diversity and inclusion. We are only interested in the skills and abilities of an expert, not gender, race or disability. We expect tolerance from all 360WORK users to others.

If you’re dedicated to ethical hiring in the most convenient way possible, hire your next candidate via 360WORK! 

11 months ago

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