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Beware of recruitment agencies sending out your CV without telling you

11/02/2014

Best practice dictates that recruitment agencies tell candidates which company they are sending their CV to. In reality this often doesn’t happen, sometimes leading to the situation where a company has received the candidate’s CV twice, once direct from the candidate and once via an agency. At the extreme this can lead to a CV being sent to a company of which the candidate is currently employed – ouch!

Some companies will have a logging system for CV’s and so if a CV comes in direct from a candidate it will be given preference before an agency CV.  How companies deal with unsolicited CV’s really differs depending on the market conditions. Where there is a really high demand for a specific candidate (specialist IT skills for example) then companies may take CV’s from agencies who don’t have a relationship with them (e.g. are not on their preferred supplier list) but where there is good demand for candidates e.g. graduates then it is very likely that agency CV’s will be ignored if the agency is not retained by the company to recruit for the position. This is why you sometimes see ‘Strictly No Agencies’ on job postings from companies.

Most companies want to reduce their hiring costs and cut out recruitment agencies where possible. The last few years has seen companies use social media more to actively engage with candidates and advertise jobs direct.

The good news is the more professional recruitment agencies do tell candidates where they are sending their CV as they want to avoid annoying their clients e.g. when a candidate the company wants to interview doesn’t want to go to the interview because its too far to commute or another reason.

Recruitment agencies are obviously a route to market you don’t want to ignore but you might want to bear in mind the following:

  1. Ask the recruitment agency to let you know which companies they are sending your CV to.
  2. Understand by looking at job ads for roles you are interested in who are the major established recruitment agency players in your market and who their clients are. New recruitment agencies may spec in CV’s to try and get in with a client.
  3. Some companies have incentive schemes where staff get a bonus if they introduce a candidate to the company. Use LinkedIn to make contact with a potential hiring manager at a firm you are targeting.
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