I became very angry on Friday due to a client advising me that a CV I’d submitted to him had been sent in the day before by a competitor. I was the only recruiter who has spoken to the candidate and briefed him on the role too. The client sent me the competitor email as evidence of submission with the candidate CV attached. The cheeky competitor had deleted the words “Personal Profile” from the CV’s opening paragraph and substituted “Consultant’s Notes”. As, if!


I take the trouble to speak with the candidates, conduct a telephone interview (as a minimum), take references and assure myself of their suitability for the role and included personal notes on the candidate only to find that another recruiter has taken the CV from a job board and simply submitted it with a note saying “here is my first batch of CVs”. I don’t call that recruiting; I call it throwing spaghetti at a wall!


This is the third time in a year that this has happened and the trouble is that it cuts right across best practise, ethics, morality, etc. Only candidates can change this practise too (by complaining) as clients don’t seem to care too much. They just want the job filled.


One of the times it happened was better for me as my candidate was actually being interviewed by the client when his Blackberry pinged with the CV of the candidate in front of him! A classic failure to impress and a lost client for him!


Anyway, back to Friday. I was so cross that I updated LinkedIn with an angry note about this. You know; an “I know who you are, etc” note and another competitor came back to me saying that it wasn’t him. In the ensuing chat it seems that he has ceased this practise in 2001 when he inadvertently sent in the CV of a dead person. LOL!

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Comment by John Comyn on January 25, 2012 at 1:12am

@Sandra - I guess you could say that I lost the war. I failed to mention that I did call the HR manager and made him aware of the fact. He said according to my opposition the candidate had given his permission. This is why I asked him to sent me an e-mail to that effect. I'm not too bothered as this was not a key account. What I can tell you is the company is now a source company. Thanks and good advice anyway.

Comment by Steve Williams on January 25, 2012 at 6:23am

Sandra, I like your approach very much. I did flag to a candidate that it may happen as he was connected via LinkedIn with the offending networker, (I can't call him a Recruiter if he doesn't talk to candidates, can I?) and he responded vis "I haven't spoken to him about any role Steve and haven't spoken to anyone else about your client, but as you know it does happen. But if you get a response from the client saying I have already been submitted, let me know and I will speak to whomever is responsible". Best to head it off at the pass, so to speak!

Comment by David Brooks on January 29, 2012 at 9:56pm

Steve, we had this happen to us just recently so I had the candidate write an email to us about the fact that he, the candidate, never got a call from or talked to this other "firm's recruiter" or even heard of this firm. I had the candidate add that our firm was the one that called him about the position, explained the details, qualified him, told him about the company, the contacts, etc. I then forwarded his email to the client so the client could see it came directly from the candidate. My client said that we seemed to have done our due diligence so she phone interviewed the candidate, the candidate verified everything we said and the candidate is now scheduled for a final interview as our referral.

There are so many unethical, extremely unprofessional recruiters out there who will take advantage of the weaknesses of  ATS systems. You can't sit back and let these "recruiters" get away with it, especially when one of your own recruiters has truly recruited a good solid candidate. It's really very sad that getting your referral you deserved in the first place has come to this! Pitiful really!

Comment by Steve Williams on January 30, 2012 at 5:10am

Hi David

I think the only thing that is stopping me going further is that my client is not pursuing the candidate anyway so it is somewhat "tilting at windmills" to keep on at him. I think he got the message......

Comment by Linda Ferrante LoCicero on January 30, 2012 at 2:52pm

If I am working on a position that I know other recruiters are also working on, I ask the candidate several questions relating to being double submitted.  I explain to him/her that it looks bad on me, and on them as well.  To that end, I ask for a short note, via email, that I am the recruiter, and no other, that they gave permission to presen them for the position at hand.  I have had managers chew out the other recruiters, but I've also had managers say, 'first in is first in, nothing I can do about it'. 

At the end of the day, however, I know I did what I could, and if they manager/recruiter/candidate told untruths, they are the ones who have to live with it.   Probably saved me a few headaches along the way, too!

Comment by Steve Williams on January 31, 2012 at 1:17pm

Linda, thanks for the comment. I couldn't agree more. I'd like to work on a more retained basis and cut this all out and move towards closer relations all round as this is the problem with contingent working. At the end of the day though it is the client who decided to act this way and we modify our approach to compensate. 

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