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If I Can't Talk to You in Confidence, Why Should I Talk to You at All?

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by Lisa Johnson

over 2 years ago

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At people2people, we are focused on protecting our candidates' privacy at all times.  We will never send your resume to someone without your permission, and we don't call your referees without your say so.  So it is incredibly disappointing when candidates do not treat us with the same respect. If we talk to you about a specific vacancy, where we outline in detail the client, the manager, the job and, as a result, we obtain your permission to represent you, we expect you to respect our right to represent you.  If another agency calls you about the same role and you give them permission to represent you, then things are going to get very awkward. I am not even going to talk about the awkwardness clients feel when two agencies are fighting over the right to represent one candidate.  

That has been covered in other posts.  What I want to tell you now is that you will damage your relationship with your consultant when you do this.  And like elephants, recruiters NEVER forget someone who has done wrong by them. Giving another agency permission to represent you when you have already given your permission is doing us wrong.  You have broken trust with us.  Once trust like that is broken, it's very hard to get it back.  You might not care.  You might just shrug it off with the thought that we don't offer you much anyway.  You might just find out you are wrong. 

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A resourceful recruitment consultant will find another candidate to represent to the client.  Someone they know can compete against you for the role.  Sometimes this won't make a difference, because you really are the best person for the role.  

But sometimes, yes, sometimes it works.  They find someone they can trust implicitly, and they work hard to present them in the best light possible. They will push hard to get the candidate an interview, to offer a comparison to other candidates. The client will never know that we know that you have already been represented for the role.  Your name will never come up in conversation. We will not bad mouth you or run you down.  It's just that we won't mention you at all. 

But a consultant who has been wronged by a candidate will do everything they can to ensure that they fill the job with someone else.  They will work harder than the agency representing you.  They will spend more time preparing their candidate for interview, talking with the client, and negotiating a result.  And more times than you know, this will pay off. So never, ever think that there are no consequences when you give two agencies permission to represent.  Do not think you are doubling your chances of success.  

You have damaged your reputation with the agency (if not both of them), and you will find that agencies become reluctant to represent people they cannot trust.  We stop calling you about opportunities. Maybe this time you will be lucky and get the job.  Maybe you won't.  But if you don't get the job, please understand there may some bridges to be rebuilt.

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