A few months ago I head-hunted a Sr Engineering Manager for a client. He was invited for his first interview and all went well. A few days later the HR Manager called me and asked for my candidate's contact number as she urgently had to speak to him, no explanation....
I thought it odd but provided her with the details as we have a good and longstanding working relationship. A few days later she phoned me back and explained the situation. Somehow another "distinguished and well established recruiter with a PhD" or "Trick-or-Treater", found out my candidate was interviewed by my client and they were quite happy with what they saw.
This "Trick-or-Treater" then firstly contacted my candidate and explained to him that I was actually his secretary! I have been fired as I secretly stole candidates from his database, to which I had access as his secretary, and used a bogus company name to make referrals behind his back! The shocked candidate fell for this and signed a affidavit that he was sourced by the "Trick-or-Treater" and that I obtained his CV by illegal means.
Next the "Trick-or-Treater" phoned the HR Manager and explained that the candidate was actually his candidate, he submitted the CV first and the candidate never gave me permission to submit his CV. Thus he was entitled to any commissions should they extend an offer to the candidate.
Luckily for me the HR Manager smelled a rotten pumpkin after she could not find any emails with regard to this candidate originating from the "Trick-or-Treater" and decided to investigate.
Unfortunately, though the truth came to fore, my client decided that due to the controversy in which they did not want to get involved, they were not interested in my candidate anymore. They could not see their way open to employ a Sr Engineering Manager, who will be in charge of more than 100 subordinates, who falls for a scary story like that without investigating the validity thereof.
Apart from possibly losing a hefty commission, I learned a few hard lessons!
1. I assumed that all professional people work with the same set of morals, values and ethics as I do....obviously not!
2. Although some, or maybe most, candidates have better qualifications than I do (and maybe a higher IQ) they may lack commonsense!
3. And lastly, maybe the most valuable lesson, as I tended to believe in the goodness and honesty of mankind....make all candidates sign an Application Form stating that they give me permission to submit their CV to a specific client AND that they have not applied for this/any other position with my client whether directly or through any other agency.....and submit this as an attachment to the submitted CV!!

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Stephanie, thanks for sharing that tale. The final tip you mentioned is a gem; would you be willing to share the relevant wording from that application/approval form? That's a fantastic idea, and an example of the type of value that comes from this community. Thanks.

Chris

Stephanie,

 

Reading your article, only one thought came to mind about sending Tony Soprano to have a 'word' with the 'Trick-or-Treater' as it is difficult to believe people like this actually exist.

 

What a horror story!

 

Jim

HiChristopher, The wording of the agreement is more or less as follows: (I type in all recruiter details and let the candidate complete his sections by hand!)

SERVICE LEVEL AGREEMENT between ( recruitment acency + address) represented by (recruiter name) and (candidate name + ID Number + Address).

1. DEFINITIONS

In this Agreement the following expressions shall, unless otherwise stated or be inconsistent with the context in which they appear, bear the following meanings and cognate expressions shall bear the corresponding meanings:

1.1. "Agreement" means this agreement together with all annexures;

1.2 “Candidate” means (Candidate Name) that is introduced or is to be introduced to (Client Name) by (Recruitment Agency) for the purpose of filling a vacancy;

1.3 “Client” means (Client Name) to which the candidate is introduced or is to be introduced to by (Recruitment Agency) for the purpose of filling a vacancy;

1.4 "Party/Parties" means (Recruitment Agency) and/or the (Candidate Name), either individually or collectively;

2. INTRODUCTION

2.1 (Recruitment Agency) carries on business, inter alia, as a recruitment services company.

2.2 The Candidate wishes to engage the services of (Recruitment Agency) to render to represent him/her with their client (Client Name) for the following position: _______________________

3. CONFIDENTIALITY

3.1 (Recruitment Agency) shall only communicate and negotiate the placement of the Candidate with authorized representatives of (Client Name).

3.3 (Recruitment Agency) shall not discuss or disclose the remuneration, other than to authorized representatives of (Client Name)

4. CANDIDATE CONFIRMATION

(Candidate Name) confirms that:

4.1. He/She has appointed (Recruitment Agency) as the ONLY representative of him/her for the vacancy referred to in 2.2

4.2 He/She has not applied to the Client referred to in 2.2 for any other vacancy within the last 6 months, whether directly, indirectly or through another agency.

4.3 All information supplied to (Recruiter Name) or (Recruitment Agency) whether written or verbally, as CV content, per electronic mail, sms or any other means are truthful, honest and complete.

5. ENTIRE AGREEMENT

This Agreement constitutes the entire contract between the Parties with regard to (Candidate Name) enlisting the services of (Recruitment Agency) represented by (Recruiter Name) to represent him/her as his/her sole agent with regards to applying for (Vacancy) with (Client Name).

Signed at ____(Candidate Signature)_________on this ________ day of _______________________ 20____

Candidate Signature:                                                           Witness for the Candidate:                               

……………………………………………..                                           ……………………………………………..

Recruiter Signature:

……………………………………………..

 

Thanks Stephanie! With our trusting hearts, we tend to believe first and get upset later if someone does not abide by ethics. Although I'm new to this search business, I have crafted my own questions to find out if a candidate has applied to the company that I represented or been approached by another recruiter. I am very blessed that those questions have helped me tremendously so far despite the short stint. It would be embarassing if I had not checked with the candidates first.  Tip #3 is good!

Hi Ellen, unfortunately candidates sometimes lie out of desperation and then there is the agencies that does CV pushing - sending CV's without the knowledge or permission of the candidate in hopes of a hit. With my Application Form attached to a CV the candidate is less likely to lie as this will definitely spoil their chances with the client and I can prove to the hiring manager (if I get a "sorry received this CV from another agency first") that I'm the only recruiter with permission to submit this CV. It also provides the candidate with the security that I will not submit their CV to any company or for any position they did not want to apply for as they have to complete a from for every client I submit the CV to. Since starting this practice 6 months ago, I have had 0% "sorry received this CV from another agency first" or "candidate already on our database from a previous application". My % of candidates invited for interviews are now also up 9 out of every 10 submitted.

Ellen Cheong said:

Thanks Stephanie! With our trusting hearts, we tend to believe first and get upset later if someone does not abide by ethics. Although I'm new to this search business, I have crafted my own questions to find out if a candidate has applied to the company that I represented or been approached by another recruiter. I am very blessed that those questions have helped me tremendously so far despite the short stint. It would be embarassing if I had not checked with the candidates first.  Tip #3 is good!

Hi Stephanie, in my years of recruitment experience, I see many of them do not have the intention to lie in the first place. They just do not know the implication or consequence of their non disclosure. It is up to us recruiters (as the first gate of interview) to draw out certain undisclosed details that are integral to their successful employment and a trusting relationship later with a potential employer. Nevertheless, if a candidate chose to lie out of desperation, I certainly hope to have the sharp eyes (& ears) to notice that...

The Recruiting Horror Story sharing is an excellent resource to follow. We simply cannot pre-empt everything but to learn from others' experience. Thanks to you and fellow members here who unselfishly share their horror stories. I really appreciate them very much.  Thank you all indeed!



Stephanie said:

Hi Ellen, unfortunately candidates sometimes lie out of desperation and then there is the agencies that does CV pushing - sending CV's without the knowledge or permission of the candidate in hopes of a hit. With my Application Form attached to a CV the candidate is less likely to lie as this will definitely spoil their chances with the client and I can prove to the hiring manager (if I get a "sorry received this CV from another agency first") that I'm the only recruiter with permission to submit this CV. It also provides the candidate with the security that I will not submit their CV to any company or for any position they did not want to apply for as they have to complete a from for every client I submit the CV to. Since starting this practice 6 months ago, I have had 0% "sorry received this CV from another agency first" or "candidate already on our database from a previous application". My % of candidates invited for interviews are now also up 9 out of every 10 submitted.

Ellen Cheong said:

Thanks Stephanie! With our trusting hearts, we tend to believe first and get upset later if someone does not abide by ethics. Although I'm new to this search business, I have crafted my own questions to find out if a candidate has applied to the company that I represented or been approached by another recruiter. I am very blessed that those questions have helped me tremendously so far despite the short stint. It would be embarassing if I had not checked with the candidates first.  Tip #3 is good!

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