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This follows on from this question: Two recruiters have contacted me about the same position. One suggests the other is unreliable. How do I handle this?

I contacted the company in question and was told that both recruiters do in fact work for them. It also seems that the unprofessional one was the first to send my CV to the company, and as a result the company would only accept to see me through that recruiter.

In any case, I do not want to work with that recruiter due to their behaviour. If the company would agree to see me through the professional one I'd still apply, however.

To be clear, this question has two parts:

  1. I've already told the recruiter that I don't wish to work with them. Would it be acceptable to explain to the company why, for ethical reasons?
  2. Regardless of the above, is there anything I could do to still apply for that position without involving the unprofessional recruiter, or shall I mark it as a failure and move on?
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    i hate it when people ask "why do you care" for question i post - but help me out here, why do you care which recruiter gets the credit for placing you? You are not - i assume - managining the recruiters, so what is your interest? – bharal Jul 16 '18 at 9:12
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    @bharal, I care only for the obvious reasons, that I'd prefer not to work with a rude person when there may be an alternative. The linked question also had the same advice. The currently posted answer makes a good point however so this comment is mainly redundant. – George T Jul 16 '18 at 9:19
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It also seems that the unprofessional one was the first to send my CV to the company

The short of it is, if you don't want to work with that recruiter, it's not unlikely that you will lose that opportunity.


The dodgy recruiter knew you were in contact with his competitor for the same role and decided to submit your CV without your permission. That's a foul.

The company will probably appreciate to know one of their recruiting partners is costing them candidates.

Unfortunately for you, the graceful thing to do is to remove yourself from the process and let the company know why. This will preserve your sense of integrity and reputation.

The company is not likely to want to get involved in a dispute with either agency; but if you did authorise the other agent in writing before all this happened, they might side with you after all.

Regardless, you should contact Dodgy Recruiter's boss to let them know what just happened. They cost you an opportunity.

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(I misread and wrote this from the assumption you were still interested in the role. IMHO, the advice still applies because burning a bridge is rarely a good idea, especially over something as silly as a recruiter)

Yes, you can do whatever you want.

Is it a good idea? Almost certainly no. You'll potentially be marking yourself as a troublemaker before you even start - why would an employer continue with your application when they could simply discard it and move on to the next candidate who isn't causing a scene.

By attempting to switch recruiters, you're getting the company involved in all sorts of potential contractual obligations. Again, it's vaguely plausible they might but much more likely they'll take the easy route. This is a common dilemma in my industry (More often, accidentally getting submitted to the same role twice) and OFTEN results in the candidate losing out as it's safer and easier for the company to move on, rather than risk a protracted argument about who deserves the commission.

Your relationship with the recruiter will be brief - my advice, if you want the job, is to put up with it and jump through the hoops. If you're eventually successful, then you can feel free to pass on the feedback to your new manager.

Remember, at this stage in the process you're little more than a name on a piece of paper. You may be an absolute Rock Star, but it's likely the company have other good CV's and all you're doing is highlighting a negative. In short, you've little to gain but a lot to lose.

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