Dilemma: Sourcing efforts by 3rd party, AFTER candidate was contacted by employer's recruiter

I recently proposed this very real hypothetical to a few recruiters within my network.  The results were somewhat varied.  The hypothetic would go something like this:

 

Employer's internal recruiter contacts candidate directly via Linkedin whereby a job description. is shared. 

Upon review candidate elects to stay put and pass on the opportunity.  Via email the correspondence ends with a "best of luck in your search" and passive call to action from the company recruiter, "...should circumstances change, please let me know."

 

Fast forward 2 weeks.  An agency reaches out to the same candidate.  Candidate informs agency recruiter that he has already been contacted by the employer.  However through the power of pursuasion the recruiter convinces the same candidate to apply through the agency.  

 

*Candidate was never entered into the ATS and was submitted via the hiring manager.

What say you?

 

  • With whom does candidate ownership belong?
  • Are there ethical concerns raised after agency recruiter was told by the candidate of previous correspondence with employer?

 

 

 

 

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If the agency recruiter submits the resume directly into the client company's ATS, and it takes the resume, then the agency recruiter wins.. if the agency recruiter sends the resume to their HR contact, I guess that's when the agency recruiter learns whether or not all the effort spent relationship building means a crap. Personally, I can't see an outcome other than "sorry, we have that candidate".

 

 

 

Something is not clear to me. . . hypothetically the candidate was contacted by the employer's internal recruiter for a position.  The candidate passes on the position.   An agency recruiter convinces candidate to apply for the exact same position through the agency or has another opportunity developed in those two weeks?  

 


Exactly correct. Agency convinces candidate to apply for the exact same position.   This is a little more than a hypothetical.  :)   
Tracey Logan said:

Something is not clear to me. . . hypothetically the candidate was contacted by the employer's internal recruiter for a position.  The candidate passes on the position.   An agency recruiter convinces candidate to apply for the exact same position through the agency or has another opportunity developed in those two weeks?  

 

Hi Thomas, thanks for the response. Actually the resume is sent via the hiring manager and never entered into the ATS.  Agency recruiter claims ownership b/c of the power of his relationship with candidate that resulted in convincing that candidate to "apply." 

Thomas Patrick Chuna said:

 

If the agency recruiter submits the resume directly into the client company's ATS, and it takes the resume, then the agency recruiter wins.. if the agency recruiter sends the resume to their HR contact, I guess that's when the agency recruiter learns whether or not all the effort spent relationship building means a crap. Personally, I can't see an outcome other than "sorry, we have that candidate".

 

 

 

 

I am an IT Recruiter for a government sub-contractor (mainly USAF) which means the contracts we are on involve many other sub-contractors and this situation comes up often.   But there is already a teaming agreement established making it clear on handling these types of situations.  

My answer to your dilemma - It is the candidates choice.  No one owns the candidate, not in my world anyway.   And the way I handle it when I find out a candidate has been previously submitted for a position and/or is currently talking to another sub-contractor is to give the candidate all the facts to make an informed decision.   I tell my candidates that only one sub-contractor can represent them on the contract and it is ultimately their decision as to what company they decide will represent them.   I also make it very clear the benefits and salary flexibility we offer as well as our longstanding relationship we have with the prime contractor.  9 times out of 10 they choose my company.

That makes sense. But was if USAF hired an internal recruiter and this played out as an agency vs. employer decision?

Tracey Logan said:

 

I am an IT Recruiter for a government sub-contractor (mainly USAF) which means the contracts we are on involve many other sub-contractors and this situation comes up often.   But there is already a teaming agreement established making it clear on handling these types of situations.  

My answer to your dilemma - It is the candidates choice.  No one owns the candidate, not in my world anyway.   And the way I handle it when I find out a candidate has been previously submitted for a position and/or is currently talking to another sub-contractor is to give the candidate all the facts to make an informed decision.   I tell my candidates that only one sub-contractor can represent them on the contract and it is ultimately their decision as to what company they decide will represent them.   I also make it very clear the benefits and salary flexibility we offer as well as our longstanding relationship we have with the prime contractor.  9 times out of 10 they choose my company.

Did the candidate respond to the failed HR contact by sending a resume?  If he did - then it would indicate the candidate wanted to be considered.  If he didn't - then I'd say the agency should present him and expect to be considered as the referring party.
Well, the outcome is still the same even if we are talking sub-contractor internal recruiter vs. employer (prime) internal recruiter.  It's still the candidate's decision.    The candidate needs to be informed that they actually have a choice.

Jason Lau said:
That makes sense. But was if USAF hired an internal recruiter and this played out as an agency vs. employer decision?

Tracey Logan said:

 

I am an IT Recruiter for a government sub-contractor (mainly USAF) which means the contracts we are on involve many other sub-contractors and this situation comes up often.   But there is already a teaming agreement established making it clear on handling these types of situations.  

My answer to your dilemma - It is the candidates choice.  No one owns the candidate, not in my world anyway.   And the way I handle it when I find out a candidate has been previously submitted for a position and/or is currently talking to another sub-contractor is to give the candidate all the facts to make an informed decision.   I tell my candidates that only one sub-contractor can represent them on the contract and it is ultimately their decision as to what company they decide will represent them.   I also make it very clear the benefits and salary flexibility we offer as well as our longstanding relationship we have with the prime contractor.  9 times out of 10 they choose my company.

The candidate and HR contact exchanged emails and linkedin. No resume was submitted by candidate.  But the candidate and HR rep ended their email chat with - lets stay connected should you change your mind/have circumstances change.

 

When I worked with an agency and encounter the same situation, I would always defer to the client (in the interest of building THAT relationship).  Typically I would say "great.  thats a wonderful place to work.  I'll give them a call and put in a good word. Please keep me updated on your progress."  And leave it at that. 


Jerry Albright said:

Did the candidate respond to the failed HR contact by sending a resume?  If he did - then it would indicate the candidate wanted to be considered.  If he didn't - then I'd say the agency should present him and expect to be considered as the referring party.

Why would a candidate prefer to be represented by an agency vs working with an interested employer?  A fee alone could make the different between two equally qualified candidates.  I agree - it is the candidate's decision (as it's also the employer's decision on who they want to engage with).  That is ultimately the answer. 

But the extended issue becomes whether agencies should pursue candidates already contacted by an internal recruiter.  I mentioned it with another responded.  When I was with an agency and knew that my internal contact at "hiring company" had corresponded with the candidate, I would let the candidate know it's a great place and put a good word in with my my internal contact. Not sure I would try to use the power of salesmanship and persuasion to entice that person to change their mind.

Tracey Logan said:

Well, the outcome is still the same even if we are talking sub-contractor internal recruiter vs. employer (prime) internal recruiter.  It's still the candidate's decision.    The candidate needs to be informed that they actually have a choice.

Jason Lau said:
That makes sense. But was if USAF hired an internal recruiter and this played out as an agency vs. employer decision?

Tracey Logan said:

 

I am an IT Recruiter for a government sub-contractor (mainly USAF) which means the contracts we are on involve many other sub-contractors and this situation comes up often.   But there is already a teaming agreement established making it clear on handling these types of situations.  

My answer to your dilemma - It is the candidates choice.  No one owns the candidate, not in my world anyway.   And the way I handle it when I find out a candidate has been previously submitted for a position and/or is currently talking to another sub-contractor is to give the candidate all the facts to make an informed decision.   I tell my candidates that only one sub-contractor can represent them on the contract and it is ultimately their decision as to what company they decide will represent them.   I also make it very clear the benefits and salary flexibility we offer as well as our longstanding relationship we have with the prime contractor.  9 times out of 10 they choose my company.

This is where you find out if you have a client interested in working with you. 

 

Granted - the timing is a little short here - but they did not get his resume, he was not interviewed, etc.

 

One of my clients has (several times) overlooked candidates who had seen their job posting, replied and then never heard from them.  Their policy is that if they are not interviewing them - then for whatever reason they were overlooked and are happy I have identified them.

 

Does the client want to hire a qualified person?  Or are they just wanting to make sure they don't pay you a fee?

 

These are the clues we are given as we decide where to spend our time.


Good luck Jason!

I am in total agreement with your point on the extended issue. If I were the agency recruiter attempting to strengthen a relationship with the "hiring company" and ran acrossed this issue, I would do exactly as you stated below.  It seems counter intuitive to me to handle it any other way on the side of the agency recruiter.  And I have had similar situations with other partners I work with and I did exactly as you have stated below.  

I know the USAF contract I mentioned earlier is a different scenario.   The teaming agreement allows a different approach.

 

"When I was with an agency and knew that my internal contact at "hiring company" had corresponded with the candidate, I would let the candidate know it's a great place and put a good word in with my my internal contact. Not sure I would try to use the power of salesmanship and persuasion to entice that person to change their mind."

Jason Lau said:

Why would a candidate prefer to be represented by an agency vs working with an interested employer?  A fee alone could make the different between two equally qualified candidates.  I agree - it is the candidate's decision (as it's also the employer's decision on who they want to engage with).  That is ultimately the answer. 

But the extended issue becomes whether agencies should pursue candidates already contacted by an internal recruiter.  I mentioned it with another responded.  When I was with an agency and knew that my internal contact at "hiring company" had corresponded with the candidate, I would let the candidate know it's a great place and put a good word in with my my internal contact. Not sure I would try to use the power of salesmanship and persuasion to entice that person to change their mind.

Tracey Logan said:

Well, the outcome is still the same even if we are talking sub-contractor internal recruiter vs. employer (prime) internal recruiter.  It's still the candidate's decision.    The candidate needs to be informed that they actually have a choice.

Jason Lau said:
That makes sense. But was if USAF hired an internal recruiter and this played out as an agency vs. employer decision?

Tracey Logan said:

 

I am an IT Recruiter for a government sub-contractor (mainly USAF) which means the contracts we are on involve many other sub-contractors and this situation comes up often.   But there is already a teaming agreement established making it clear on handling these types of situations.  

My answer to your dilemma - It is the candidates choice.  No one owns the candidate, not in my world anyway.   And the way I handle it when I find out a candidate has been previously submitted for a position and/or is currently talking to another sub-contractor is to give the candidate all the facts to make an informed decision.   I tell my candidates that only one sub-contractor can represent them on the contract and it is ultimately their decision as to what company they decide will represent them.   I also make it very clear the benefits and salary flexibility we offer as well as our longstanding relationship we have with the prime contractor.  9 times out of 10 they choose my company.

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