There is an increasingly troublesome trend creeping into UK recruitment this month and that is sending in a CV without first talking to the candidate who owns it. Who owns the CV, then? I firmly believe it is the candidate and them alone. It is their life story after all, and I think they’ve lent it to us to advertise their wares but not without limitations.

Twice this last month I have received advice from clients saying that they already had the CV from another agent and yet I had spoken to the candidate and plainly I was the first to highlight the availability and suitability of the role.

This is an unprofessional recruiting practise (even if it drives the bottom line). It’s easier to just submit CVs and more difficult to have a conversation with a business leader. So, a senior person can gain the CV in the first place and a junior office can man the emails?

When I spoke to my second candidate, who lives in the north, he revealed that he wants to move south and will put his house on the market in January. Very recent news, so who knew or was it someone just taking a punt?

Whatever the reasons there is only one justifiable time to do such a thing and that is where the candidate themselves have given a blanket permission to do so as they have faith in our judgement and they need a new role.

Candidates should carefully choose who they work with and poor behaviours generate a picture of the style of the agent/company and therefore the candidate should be warned.

On the other hand, I may have to change my behaviours to keep up but, here’s the thing; I don’t want to lower my standards!

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Comment by Paul S. Gumbinner on December 21, 2011 at 10:44am

I am a single business practitioner in the U.S. - advertising.  And what you describe is fairly common among a few of my competitors.  In fact, when it happens, I can generally guess which of my competition it is.  Unfortunately, many companies simply "log in" the résumé and give credit to whoever sent it.

For years I have been telling my clients that the credit should go to whoever caused the candidate to be interviewed.  All to often CV's or resumes are simply faxed or emailed - and then promptly forgotten about if there is no response.  Here in the U.S., at least among advertising agencies, the recruiter is protected for a period of six months, so that if a résumé is simply emailed, that is the end of it.

It is a terrible thing to do to candidates.  And it hurts honest recruiters like yourself.  Unfortunately, most company recruiters are not professional enough themselves to stop this practice. 

Comment by Steve Williams on December 21, 2011 at 11:13am

I think recruiters from larger agencies send some candidates as quickly as they can in order to look good and claim the placement, whilst I'm doing the job properly and waiting for folks to call me back, etc. Yet still the big market leaders insist on using the larger agencies, closing the door with PSL's to smaller agencies that actually recruit in the correct manner! You're right about the impact on candidates as they often don't know their CVs are in a company and certainly won't get feedback. I think things will change though. 

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