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!

Views: 482

Comment by Tim Spagnola on January 23, 2012 at 10:00am

Well at least you did not try to resubmit that individual. Steve - I share in your frustration. We encounter this often in the healthcare arena where a number of firms just send in CVs to clear name with never even having spoke with the candidate. It is indeed frustrating and sometimes worth the fight, but other times better to walk away. The last thing you want to do is get the client in the middle of these squabbles. The times that it has worked for us have been when the relationship with candidate was strong enough that they went to bat for us and informed client that they wanted to be represented by us. Still not always perfect, but my advice would be to keep doing what you know is the right thing to do and you will ultimately win out. Sure these things sting a bit, but maintaining your integrity at your desk is worth it's weight in gold.

Comment by Steve Williams on January 23, 2012 at 10:41am

I agree with you Tim. I have just gone back to the client with a "No surprise, but the candidate has never heard of that guy" statement and will leave it there. I know the currency here is the CV but I was thinking of sending in a simple list of names or better yet initials to secure the work then I can find some candidates to match! 

Comment by Bill Schultz on January 23, 2012 at 2:28pm

Frustrating as hell, Steve.  The client has to take responsibility for this.  They can easily do it by requiring a candidate presentation, including a few words from the candidate his or herself concerning their relevance.  

these jobvite submissions are fertile grounds for this kind of BS.  I will definitely get the client in the middle if they create this environment.

Comment by Stephanie on January 23, 2012 at 2:50pm

We see this VERY often in South Africa and call it CV-pushing. I have overcome this problem by attaching a signed declaration by the candidate to each CV I submit basically stating that I am the ONLY recruiter who interviewed/informed them about the said position and the only recruiter with permission to represent them for this specific position with this specific client. This way I always have the candidate batting for me in advance

Comment by Suzanne Levison on January 23, 2012 at 3:02pm

Yes, with this sort of frustration it's almost imperative to obtain an agreement with candidate for client company presentation.

Comment by Simon Wilkins on January 23, 2012 at 3:23pm

Steve, I used to encounter this sort of rubbish. Now I only work with clients on a 1 to 1 basis and other agencies don't get a look in. If you build a great rapport with a client, the client will often work with you and reject CV's from other recruiters. I know how annoying it can be. Good luck... 

Comment by Sandra McCartt on January 23, 2012 at 6:29pm

I book in a name the minute i get it with a client pending interview to head off the board scrapers.  If i have to submit through an ATS.  I enter the candidate name and email with a note instead of a resume that says:  Interview with this candidate scheduled this afternoon.  Will submit full information after interview.  I have never had a client fuss if i just even send the HM an email that says.  "Book this name in for me, back at you as soon as i do some more checking on him/her."  If a client has anything to stand on they will honor your referral without making a federal case out of it.

Comment by John Comyn on January 24, 2012 at 2:03am

Thanks Stephanie & Sandra both ideas make a lot of sense. I guess if the truth be told candidates and clients who have a mercenary approach are not worth the trouble anyway. They clearly are deviod of ethos. I got screwed by an HR manager and his preferred supplier. I got an e-mail from the candidate stating he did not give the recruiter permission to submit his CV & he is working with me. I passed this onto the CEO (cc'd the HR manager) and questioned his company's integrity. The HR guy got a severe reprimand and was instructed to end contact with the recruiter with immediate effect. I, of course, don't get any business from them but it was worth the effort.

Comment by Steve Williams on January 24, 2012 at 4:17am

All. Thank you for your input. It's very interesting to see the world wide issue that this behaviour causes. The UK FM property market is a difficult recruiting ground at present and certainly some changes are warranted. I don't often get the opportunity to work 1 on 1 (but sometimes do and it's less painful, for sure).

Comment by Sandra McCartt on January 24, 2012 at 1:27pm

@John, sounds like you won the battle and lost the war.  Sometimes it's worth it over one candidate.  Sometimes it's not.  Might have been better to have had the candidate refuse to accept the interview through the other recruiter, then send a note that said, "We seem to have some confusion, this candidate was contacted for an interview through a recuriter he does not know and did not give permission for his resume to be sent.  He is very interested in your company.  Here is his note to me.  Please advise what we need to do. 


When it does happen to me i try to give the HR or internal a way out so they don't get in hot water and have the opportunity to clean it up.  If they don't then take it up a notch.  Anytime we get somebody in trouble we can write off that client so i decide if it is worth it to throw a fit.  If not i go find another candidate, tell my candidate that HR will not honor my referral and let the candidate decide what they want to do.  If the candidate does move forward through the other recruiter, they normally let the hiring manager know what happened so i don't have to do it.


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