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I was recommended to an interview by a recruitment company. Due to issues with their communication platform, they forwarded my personal contact details to their customer. They asked for permission and were given one by me beforehand.

What's weird though is that now they are querying ME if there was an interview set up, and what's the result. There is no result yet, which is what I told them today, when they called me.

Is it normal and acceptable for a recruitment company to monitor the recruitment status of their customer (the company that might hire me) through me, by calling my phone?

I don't feel comfortable being called like this, but I also do not feel comfortable withdrawing the information from them since they probably need it for their business. I always thought recruitment company is supposed to get this info from their customers.

What is an appropriate way to ask them to monitor hiring status with their customers and not me?

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In an ideal world absolutely yes they should be getting that information from their customer but in this instance I can see plausible reasons why they might have called you like this:

  1. Now that the client has been put in touch with you directly they may be nervous that the client will try and take advantage of the opportunity to circumvent them in the hiring process and deprive them of their fee!

  2. They may be concerned about looking incompetant in front of the client - after all their communication failure lead to the situation of having to get the company to call you and they may want to look more "on top of things" by getting the info from you

  3. They may have tried to call their contact at the client and not gotten hold of them - and hence called you as an alternative way of getting an update.

  4. The client may have ghosted them and if that were the case it would seem reasonable to contact you to see if you had heard from them.

Personally I consider #1 to be the most likely explanation, like any business a recruitment agency needs to get paid to function and if this is an unusual scenario they might be getting nervous. It's not nice but some companies do take advantage of situations like this.

As for the future I think if this turns out to be a one-off situation then it's probably not worth doing or saying anything about it to them - if it recurs however I'd be asking them (perhaps a little pointedly) why they are unable to get an update from the client?

  • Then again, if I do tell them something their client didn't, my potential employer might think I'm "snitching on them". I feel like I found myself in between of two parties interest. – Tomáš Zato Oct 2 '18 at 16:41
  • @TomášZato possible.. but unlikely IMO, if a potential employer wasn't happy with you giving the recruiter they have engaged on the process simple information such as "how the interview went" that would be a pretty big alarm bell for me – motosubatsu Oct 2 '18 at 16:44
  • Don't overthink this. The status of who's ready for what next step would ideally be instantly clear to company, candidate, and recruiters; there's no reason to keep that secret. But decisions, and communicating those decisions, can happen slowly. From a recruiter's perspective, gathering this info is a constant chore, and they'll do it in whatever way is expedient. – Shimon Rura Oct 2 '18 at 20:45
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It's absolutely normal.

The recruitment agency will usually have a call with both parties to see how it went, and depending on timing they might have called you first.

The nefarious scenario is that they don't actually have an agreement with the company, but that's none of your concern.

  • If they don't have an agreement with the company or the candidate by this point, there is no way they're getting paid. – Shimon Rura Oct 2 '18 at 20:43
  • @ShimonRura True, but they might try. I would't be surprised by this; in any case the OP shouldn't be worried about it cause there's nothing they did or can do. – rath Oct 3 '18 at 8:59

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