Unveiling the Truth: A Four-Part Series on Transparency in Talent Acquisition, Part I

By Chris Hoyt (he/him) posted 24 days ago


Welcome to the first post in our latest series that tackles the need for transparency and disclosure within the talent acquisition industry. Over the course of this series, which will culminate in a comprehensive research report, we'll explore insights from dozens of industry leaders and experts and hundreds of our CareerXroads community members. Alongside @Alex Murphy, CEO of JobSync, I’m leading these discussions, focusing on how critical clarity and openness are to the integrity and effectiveness of our field.

The Importance of Full Disclosure

Our panel discussions began with a strong consensus on the importance of fully disclosing financial relationships.  @Joanna Clark, Head of International Talent Acquisition & Global TA Transformation at Wells Fargo, made a compelling case, arguing that consultants who have financial ties with providers must be transparent about these relationships, and failure to disclose such information should be considered a breach of contract.

Echoing her sentiments on the other side of the vendor/practitioner equation, Kara Yarnot, Vice President of Strategic Consulting Services at HireClix, advocated for complete transparency to prevent conflicts of interest and ensure clients receive unbiased, tailored recommendations. As she aptly put it, "Employers should require consultants to fully disclose partnerships, referral fees, commissions, advisory roles, and board seats with solution providers before engagements."

Broader Need for Transparency

The discussion also emphasized that the need for transparency extends beyond individual consultants. Our own @Gerry Crispin, co-founder of CareerXroads, pointed out that it’s crucial for solution providers to be open about their connections with agencies, consultants, and analysts. This transparency is vital not only for building trust but also for ensuring the integrity of the processes from the initial problem assessment to the solution implementation.

A Call for Industry-wide Transparency

All panelists agreed that there needs to be an industry-wide standard for transparency, particularly to tackle issues like hidden markups and commissions that could skew decision-making and disadvantage smaller suppliers. This shift towards greater transparency will help ensure that all parties involved in talent acquisition can make informed, equitable decisions that foster trust and uphold the integrity of business relationships.

Moreover, enhancing transparency isn’t just about avoiding conflicts; it’s also about fostering innovation by leveling the playing field for all suppliers, including emerging startups and smaller firms. By demystifying the financial underpinnings of partnerships and transactions, we can encourage a more vibrant and competitive industry landscape.

Our full panel of participants aligned on these points: 

  1. Endorse industry-wide transparency to address hidden costs affecting employers and small suppliers.
  2. Highlight the importance of transparency in complex supplier ecosystems for better decision-making.
  3. Advocate for clear disclosures on advisor compensation to maintain trust and prevent conflicts.

While the panelists offered a range of views, they all agreed on one critical point: There is a glaring need for increased transparency and full disclosure in talent acquisition. As these initial conversations have shown, promoting transparency not only prevents conflicts of interest but also empowers clients to make better decisions, fosters innovation, and upholds the integrity of business relationships.

What’s next

This collaborative effort, supported by the industry experience and insight of CXR Community member JobSync, aims to further explore relationships such as those between an employer and their employees as well as the ties between industry event organizers, speakers and attendees. The greater TA community is invited to participate in our weekly polls for this research here on the CareerXroads website.

It is worth noting that the full CXR Community - over 5,000 leaders, practitioners, and experts in the recruiting industry, are also weighing in on these topics during the course of the research panel. It is just one example of the conversations happening regularly in our Community.

Follow along, and express your interest in future panels, at

Our Own Disclosure: As co-facilitators of this panel, I, along with Alex Murphy of JobSync, guide discussions, shape questions, construct polls, and offer feedback on responses and the resulting publications. Please note that Alex has sponsored this role and we aim to provide an open and transparent environment for all participants.


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