Being in search and recruitment for a while now I have met and spoken to different strange people here and there but there are some interactions that will stay with me for the rest of my life.


About a year ago we had a candidate that we were representing to one of our clients at the time. Let's call the candidate John.


After several interviews John decided not to proceed with the role (or the client decided not to proceed, I can't exactly remember).


Not wanting to let a good candidate go to waste I had picked up another similar job with one of my new clients and thought John may be suitable for the role. I spoke to John for a while to screen him and ensure he is suitable and spent even longer to describe the role to him and entice him to proceed (it really was a good role). Given we already knew John and had previously interviewed him it really was extraordinary that I spent all that time with him but John being picky, I gave him the benefit of the doubt.


I had asked John if he had already been represented to our client (I had given him the company name etc) and he told me since he is a passive candidate he has only ever spoken to our agency and that he has not been represented. So at the end of our discussion I sent John an email with the job description asking him to write me a written consent to represent him.


Low and behold John goes home and writes back that he now remembers that another agency (lets call them commission R us) had called John 2 weeks ago. In a quick conversation (talk about the quality of the call) they had told him that company XYZ (my client) had a role in his area and asked if he is interested. John had promptly replied no and the conevrsation ended there.


Now get ready for the bomb. John wrote to me that since commission R us had contacted him 2 weeks ago it is the right thing to apply through them and that he was going to call their agent tomorrow to ask the agent to represent him.


I wrote to John explaining that first of all I had mentioned the name of the company to him so I was honest to begin with and secondly, and more importantly, I understood the role, ensured he was suitable, explained the role to him in details and made him interested, and also knew how to best represent him. Commission R us had not done any of those.


John replied he has made his mind and asked me not to contact him. I later found out that the role was filled and John was the candidate they picked.


I think I was reasonable in the way I dealt with John but I am interested to know how differently other people may have reacted to this situation.



Views: 203

Comment by Navid Sabetian on February 24, 2011 at 6:44pm

Well we had John's most updated resume and prior to representation I asked him verbally whether he has been represented to XYZ and when he said no I sent him an email so he can write to me that he wants me to represent him.


I don't think the other recruiter was at fault in this, other than he or she was a cowboy recruiter. What I did not understand was that how is it "doing the right thing" when the other recruiter spent less than a minute with John and I spent all that time but he wanted to go ahead with commission R us merely because they had called him at some point prior to me even though he had already said no to them.


Had I sent his details based on his verbal permission, may have either resulted in a placement that was worth a good $16 k AUD or it would have damaged his reputation (if the other agency represented him as well) so that I could have place another candidate, since comission R us had already given up on the role. Ah well.

Comment by Travis Yeager on February 24, 2011 at 6:50pm
I don't think the other recruiter was at fault in this,......... Okay, I'm putting the ski mask back int he drawer. :)
Comment by Suzanne Levison on February 25, 2011 at 1:04pm

You must have felt a reasonable sense of trust with "John" or You wouldn't have shared company name/etc..

I would have been PO'd with John, explained the situation to my client company immediately.

Seems as though "Karma" comes into play in these situations...perhaps John will not turn out to be the right fit, client comes back to you with this on an "exclusive" arrangement plus others~ Could happen.


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