WORKER VOICE-DRIVEN ETHICAL RECRUITMENT
Issara brings employers and recruitment agencies together to identify the strengths and weaknesses of their current labour recruitment practices, and develop improvement plans to get their recruitment channels on a more ethical track. Issara then brings Inclusive Labour Monitoring (ILM) and Golden Dreams into the process, allowing workers to educate themselves about their rights and options, browse and apply for fair jobs, and verify and validate recruitment costs and conditions, starting from the first mile in the origin country.
A range of capacity building trainings and other technical support is provided to both recruitment agencies and suppliers, connected to these broader systems, to help strengthen their own recruitment procedures and grievance mechanisms.
OPERATIONALIZING ETHICAL RECRUITMENT
Yes, it can be done. But from our experience it cannot be achieved in any scalable or sustainable way through recruitment agency certification schemes, audits, or pilot programs centered on "picking winners" that disregard the larger market. Training and capacity building can help when tied to more ethical, transparent systems for labour recruitment - but when they are not, they run the risk of being less impactful than they could be.
With more and more brands and retailers adopting ethical recruitment policies and taking more seriously the risks that exploitative recruitment pose to US Tariff Act compliance, it's a good time to deconstruct some of the key components of systems to identify, validate, and then eliminate exploitative recruitment fees and conduct, down to the first mile in the origin country of the worker. The main component is empowered worker voice, down to the first mile, for two reasons:
From a remediation standpoint, the true breadth of illegal recruitment fees consistently evade auditors and social compliance consultancies, and are only shared by workers with trusted partners that can protect them from retaliation; and,
From a prevention standpoint, empowered jobseekers and workers connected to information (and even choices of jobs with responsible employers!) can make better choices on their own, and actively identify and avoid exploitative recruitment.