Here is a tricky situation I have found myself in.....what would you do?


I am working with a client to recruit a new Consultant for them. A candidate (Candidate A)  that I put forward and secure an interview for subsequnently tells me that she had already applied directly to this company, was already meeting them later that week and it had slipped her mind to tell me. I obviouisly had no choice but to back off and went in search of a new candidate. I managed to find someone else quickly (Candidate B) who I consider a better candiadte that Candidate A. As such I put her forward to the client with that feedback and he was happy to see her.


Seperate to this I had a meeting at a new client, which purely by coincidence happened to be the previous employer of Candidate A....(hope you are all still with me !). During that meeting her name cropped up and the individual I was meeting, who had been her direct line manager, told me some very concerning things about her.


So here is the dilema.....


Do I have a duty to tell my client this worrying feedback about Candidate A considering that I am no longer representing her and obviously have a vested interest in Candidate B securing the role ?







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No you have no duty to repeat anything about a candidate you do not represent. You might be tempted to do so but the fact that you are asking the question indicates to me that you already know the answer. :)

However, if the concern is that you submitted her without knowing her reference let's assume that your client would check the reference if they like her. If they get the same disturbing report that you got the client may ask you if you checked it. At that point you can explain that after you had the strange interaction with her of no full disclosure you did more in depth checking and got the same report they got which was part of your reason for indicating that candidate B was not only a better fit but overall a better candidate.
You represent Candidate B. Your responsibility is to verify and report Candidate B's references. It's unprofessional, and unkind to pass along gossip.
I'd let it ride.  You'll only sound like a recruiter bad-mouthing a candidate - which would be even worse since you felt good enough to give her the thumbs up just a few days ago.....

The outcome of this, I am happy to say, is that I received an offer for my candidate (Candidate B) on Friday which was accepted.


In the end I did tell the client about the concerns I had found out about Candidate A, not to help my chances of getting a placement but because as a loyal client I felt duty bound to. Becuase I gave the negative feedback in a  professional and honest manner there were no concerns form my client that he was being dupped.


The lesson i took out form this is that a loyal client is a loyal client at all times.


Thanks for all your comments.

Let me understand the gist of your comment—did you recommend Candidate “A” in writing to your new client so that they have her resume with your recommendation that she be considered for a consulting role? 
If the answer is, “YES”, then I’m afraid you are technically associated with her on the record—the client’s record--even if your official relationship was later nullified due to her belated confirmation to you that she’s already on your client’s radar for an interview.  Your linkage to Candidate “A” is hanging out there, and now with your new negative information regarding Candidate “A”--I suggest you distance yourself from her ASAP.
My recommendation is that you disassociate yourself from Candidate “A” by stating the facts--in writing.  Doing it verbally can be lost, vaguely remembered, or worse--misinterpreted.  So, in writing, you say, “Dear Client, Please disregard my recommendation of Candidate “A” for employment consideration due to the fact that she later informed me that she was already under consideration for employment with you and actually has interviews scheduled.  I was informed after the fact and apologize for any confusion in the matter.  I therefore withdraw my recommendation of Candidate “A” and, for the record, have no affiliation with Candidate “A” as a candidate I would recommend for employment consideration due to the circumstances."…or some such phraseology.  
In this way you are clarifying, in writing, why you are disconnecting with Candidate "A" in a statement that even Candidate "A" would agree are the facts of the case.  And now, your only concern is the status of Candidate "B" whom you are highly recommending for employment consideration.  The lesson learned here is that fate was smiling on you and gave you safe passage way from a potential problem.

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