I was appalled to hear from an employed candidate recently that another agency recruiter he had been speaking with, submitted his information and resume before obtaining permission from him. In addition, the recruiter set up an interview without prior discussion and the candidate was notified by the company a day prior. If this wasn’t bad enough, the candidate, who graciously accepted the interview, was then made an offer significantly LESS than his current compensation. This, by the way, is a senior level candidate earning well over six figures. For any recruiters reading this, please take heed!
It is hard to believe that the same bad tactics employed by unsophisticated agencies 30 years ago, are still being practiced today. That agency owner/managers allow this type of behavior to continue is a terrible reflection on the agency itself and our profession in general. And we wonder why companies complain about fees and being burned. That an inexperienced recruiter – and if not the case, then this is really a travesty – should be working at this level without guidance, is doing an even greater injustice to the client and the candidate.
It is incumbent upon the recruiter, at any level, to conduct oneself with the utmost discretion and confidentiality. When representing employed candidates, we are tasked with the responsibility of ensuring the candidate’s confidentiality by every possible means. If you represent companies and clients in a localized market it becomes even more imperative. The candidate’s confidentiality goes hand in hand with trust; the cornerstone of any good recruiter/candidate/client relationship. Without trust between parties, the chances of a search and placement going awry are practically guaranteed.
The damage is exacerbated when a client is either led to believe a candidate will consider less compensation (and when pray tell does this happen with an employed candidate?), that there is no other company competing for the candidate, or worse, the recruiter is not forthcoming in regards to a candidate’s’ actual compensation package. You have not only squandered trust, but valuable time for the client, whose sense of urgency bought him to the point of paying your fee in the first place. The candidate, who will be disappointed in you and in your client’s offer, will lose respect and trust in you, the process, future recruiters and the employer. Oh and by the way, you won’t get paid.
If ever a recruiter finds him/herself in the position where a client looks to makes an unreasonable offer that the recruiter knows will not be accepted by the candidate, the offer should never be extended to the candidate. The recruiter’s role is not just to source and present talent, but to advise the client of what a candidate will or will not accept. This is called working in the client’s best interest. This includes being honest, which sometimes means telling the client what they don’t want to hear. Ultimately, it saves face, turn downs & bad will. Move on, recruit a candidate better suited to the compensation range or convince your client to step up to the plate and compensate commensurate with the experience level they are pursuing.
Most of all, play like a professional. If you want respect and fees and long term clientele, act the part. Conduct yourself like a business partner, not a sales person just looking to close the next deal. Take seriously the part you play in effecting people’s careers and influencing their decisions. Never underestimate the impact you have on individual lives and the consequences. The rewards, both professionally and monetarily, will come and will be well & honestly earned.