Hi !

I found this at another site .. from about 1 year ago ...

Same has happened to us too occasionally .....add to this multiple CV submissions via different TPRs ( even when fully informed re the Client Company by both the TPRs...)

If this has happened to you a TPR, what are the lessons learnt ?

And if you are a Candidate what has your experience been - was it worthwhile to bypass the Agency ?

Look forward to all comments and experiences from my more experienced colleagues here.




I have just been contacted by a “senior consultant” with a vacancy at a major engineering corporation I wasn’t aware of, I agreed to his consultancy. I have found the company and the vacancy within 5 minutes of his call, and uploaded my profile to the corporate e-recruitment website, made it searchable (without any application to the actual vacancy in question). The company dropped my agency controlled application within 2 days with trivial, and arbitrary excuses (almost as if they wanted to make it very clear that it was a message, which I did get, by the way), the consultant cited this. A further two days later, I got a direct email form the company with regard to the exact same vacancy stating that they have found my CV in their database, and would like to invite for an interview, when would it be suitable for me, etc. So much about companies taking agencies seriously, eh? Don’t believe recruitment agents for second, and don’t try to moralise around their business, it is their trick against the naive. If they lose their fee, fine, better for the company, and better for you, as it increases likeliness to employ you, with the additional benefit that you have just shown you OWN business-mindedness and a general sense of understanding of basic common interests with your prospective employer. Never a bad thing to show.

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I have to say the candidate seems very unethical in the first place.  He didn't know about the opportunity, gets contacted by the agency and then applies direct!

I'm not quite clear on what stance you have taken and what part of this you would like opinion on Hardeep?

Thanks much Sarah for reading and caring to reply.

Yes of course the candidate is " unethical " .... but it seems to be an accepted behavior since not only is he doing it but recommending it to others...

What I wanted to know was if other Third Party Recruiters are also facing such behavior more and more often - as information becomes much more readily available. If so, what do they do about it ? Is it an " occupational risk " of being a TPR ? How do the Clients view these " multiple " submissions ? Can anything be done about such Candidates ? Is there a case law somewhere on similar situations ? What can be put into your agreement with a Client to minimize this and are such agreements being accepted by them ?

Appreciate much all inputs and opinions !




This is most certainly NOT an accepted behavior. Fortunately, it's very rare. Most people understand that if they are contacted by a recruiter about an opening that it's better for them and the recruiter to honor the introduction by the recruiter and to go via them rather than around. Not really sure why they'd ever think going around the recruiter would be a good idea? First of all they wouldn't have heard about the opening if not for the recruiter, secondly, in many instances the recruiter is working directly with the hiring manager so can get the inside scoop and get an interview within a day, sometimes within minutes. If they choose to apply directly they run the risk of getting lost in the black hole of the company ATS system....which often happens. There's really no benefit to trying to go around the recruiter.

All best,


I recently had a situation where a candidate somewhat reluctantly agreed to have me represent him to an employer who he knew about but had not yet applied to...later, after I informed this candidate, another candidate filled the job, he wanted to drop me entirely...he believes companies really strongly prefer not to use recruiting companies.

Occasionally we are reminded that not all candidates are savvy to  the nuances of the candidate-client-recruiter dynamic, or even to customary courtesies related to it.

I had a candidate who, after hearing about an opportunity from me, started contacting former colleagues at the client company to do some due diligence even before I had a chance to submit her.  The concern of course was that this could allow the client to make a legitimate claim that I was not responsible for this introduction. This occurred even after I explained the many benefits of being represented by their friendly neighborhood executive recruiter. In this case it was an honest misunderstanding and it was tough to get annoyed with the candidate. Everything worked out OK in the end. But it reminded me to not take anything for granted and to look for signs that a particular candidate might decide to go "off-road" on me out of ignorance.

The person in Hardeep's story seems to be proud of his cleverness and obviously doesn't understand how the relationship is supposed to work and how it can benefit him. There's probably only so much that a recruiter can do when a candidate (or a client for that matter) decides to act in bad faith.

This is plain and simple, WRONG, on the part of the candidate.  I cannot believe they are unaware that this is not playing the game fairly.  I think the employer will be getting someone with questionable ethics if this candidate get hired.  The lack of ethics will show up some place else in the near future.  And remember, "what goes around, comes around".  Be mindful and you will see it happen every time.

I would drop the candidate faster than I can blink. If he/she would do this to me, he/she would do the same to his prospective employer.  Who would want an employee as unethical as this?

This has happened in the past (for a LARGE automotive company), actually, it was the norm when positions were posted with different contract houses (not always with the company directly).  With other contract houses, whoever gets the resume in first wins.  If he candidate talks to more than one contract house, then s/he would often not own up to it. The theory behind this one is that many candidates think different contract houses have different 'ins' within the company.   Playing all angles will yield them a better chance.  Most managers didn't mind it.  As a matter of fact, most manager would reply with something like 'Maybe you should have a better handle on new candidates then'.  Bottom line, whoever entered them into the system first, wins.  This was back in the late 90's when the market was scarce with 'good' employees.

As for the third party recruiter to company directly, there should be a different dynamic altogether.  I ALWAYS ask if the candidate has submitted themselves for a position as I've described.  If they hesitate, I move on.  Their response dictates the conversation at that point.  If they give up, I move on, too.  If they stop me and insist they hadn't applied for a position, then they at least have some understanding of the value recruiters could bring to the situation.  Many know they will be OUT for the position if they are double submitted.  

On the off chance a candidate submits themselves to the position AFTER I've talked to them about it, I always tell the client what's been going on.  ALWAYS.  It's up to them what they do with it, but I think it's fair that I tell them the sequence of events.  

One more thing, We had a similar situation but the candidate had submitted themselves almost ten years ago (and they were still 'active' in the system!).  The company said that since the candidate was in their system they wouldn't be paying our fees (even though they only discovered it when they were extending the offer).  They said even a paper trail wouldn't have helped that there was NO WAY they were going to pay our fee.  Signed contracts be damned, their policy states if the candidate is in their system, they have first dibs.  

I notified the candidate of the situation and the candidate turned down the offer.  He said he didn't want to work for a company that showed themselves to be unethical from the start.  Good for him.  In a twist of fate, that HR Director contacted me about six months ago asking for my help in finding her a job.  Obviously, I recounted our previous interactions and told her no way would I be working with her!

the way that is written and the way it unfolded it occurs to me that a snakey company got themselves a snakey employee.  May they all hiss in their pit happily together.

I sometimes send a note to a candidate after i have submitted them letting them know that they have been submitted, who the hiring manager is or HR contact and i copy the hiring manager/HR contact on my note to the candidate.

My note may read:  Dear John, based upon our phone interview and a review of your qualifications i have submitted your resume for the position of team lead in the paper shuffling department at Oxford Pendeflex, Inc. As per our discussion i have indicated that you have not applied with their company in the past on your own or through any other recruiter.

 Mr. Smith,head paper pusher will be the hiring authority.  The process will be for review of your resume by J. J. Myopic in the HR department.  If J. J. feels you will be of interest to Mr. Smith he will forward your resume for review. etc. etc. etc.

I copy both Smith and Myopic on my email to the candidate so the candidate knows and they know that i have described the process and i have a paper trail.  If HR comes back and says they have my candidate i forward their email to the candidate asking them to clarify and again copy HR.  It can get interesting and sometimes fun to get everybody in the email loop.


When I'm wearing my Career Consultant hat, several of my clients don't understand nor care about working with a TPR or the company directly. They simply want a job. They want a contact at the company. They want an interview. They weren't worried about who submits who first and fees, etc. They want an interview and job. There are many applicants who have NEVER worked with TPR and plenty who distrust them. I don't think folks should be too harsh.

We must admit that there some TPR who in their quest to submit "first" they don't fully explain the relationship to the candidate. Especially if they didn't meet with the applicant. I think speaking to the candidate and finding out what occurred is a great step before writing someone off as "unethical."


Hi all !

Thanks much for all the insights and opinions !

Linda you had a " good " candidate who went to the extent of turning down an offer for what was clearly not correct behavior on the Client's part. I wonder how many such candidates there are ....

Also,I take note of the " note"  you sometimes send out Sandra :-)

- we have a similar one which invariably goes out to the Candidate reminding him again the Client his CV is being forwarded to. Earlier, in our screening ( invariably via phone ) , we ask the Candidate if has EVER applied or interviewed at the Client Company. Many recall at least the interview part and in case there was none, or more than a year ago, our submission to the Client clearly carries a statement to that effect. This due diligence takes time.

However, generally whoever presents the Candidate first gets the chance to present him for the interview. So, this is becoming a " fastest fingers first " game where TPRs who are doing due diligence have anyway a strong chance of loosing out to those who are not, particularly if all that the candidate wants is a job as pointed out by Tiffany.

Add to this the tacit approval to multiple submissions  by a Candidate and direct submission by him to the Client. Then, IMHO, one is heading towards a situation where the TPR who is doing a thorough job is  just making the way easier for Candidate / Client without being rewarded for it ! Even if it is one of the 10 candidates you submit - and that one gets the job - all your efforts have come to naught !

While I can understand the keenness of anyone to get a better Career opportunity, people who have never worked with a TPR and / or distrust them should simply make their stance clear at the outset rather than getting all the information and then trying to cut out the very person who provided it to them in good faith. To my mind, that is unethical behavior. Later explanations do not cut - in fact sometimes the TPR may not be even aware of such happenings and come to know of them much later, and then too when one fine day he finds the "updated" CV of the Candidate at some website showing him working in a company he proposed him for, and never heard again from either the Client or the Candidate !!

So, to come back, how do we avoid/ minimize this behavior ? And try to make a Client also see our viewpoint ?


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