I was contacted by a recruiter about a job, and my resume was presented to the company. I interviewed but rejected the offer because it was a temp-to-hire position. As much as I like the job and the company, my family needs the benefit that comes with a permanent position.

A few days later I checked the company website and applied to the same job but in a permanent position. I don't mean to cheat on the recruiter, but now I'm a little worried. Have I hurt my chances by applying to the company directly?

  • 1
    So the position the recruiter offered you was a temporary position? And the one you applied for was doing the same work, but as a permanent position?
    – David K
    Oct 2, 2018 at 18:41
  • 1
    if you can't enter through the door, try to enter through the window. I don't see anything wrong there. Your chances seem limited, but you can't win if you don't play.
    – gazzz0x2z
    Oct 3, 2018 at 13:08
  • 3
    Oftentimes recruiters' contracts with firms contain clauses that state that if you apply again to the firm within a certain time period, they are still entitled to their commission. Oct 3, 2018 at 13:47
  • Often you can mention "I am declining this position because it is a temp to hire and I need benefits cauz I'm a parent" or whatever. Sometimes companies will cut you benefits or hire you directly and still pay the recruiter their fee. Oct 3, 2018 at 14:04

3 Answers 3


Its worth mentioning that you have done nothing wrong. You have rejected a role because it doesnt suit your needs or requirements. You then have applied for a job that does. The fact that it is different is fine.

I would mention this to both the recruiter and company that you have independently sought and applied for this position after discovering it on their website a few days later. This will stop the recruiter mistaking the company for offering you a different role to potentially get out of paying them. This clears up any misunderstanding. No doubt they will understand and wish you the best of luck.

If a company is seen to be rejecting candidates but then purposely taking them on for other roles they havnt asked the recruiter to recruit for this could be a potential breech of any agreements they may have. Not to say that this is the case, but i have seen recruiters take companies to court for similar breeches.


Firstly you have done nothing wrong here. If you have already applied for the permanent position and didn’t mention in your application why you’re applying directly for the same role then I’d suggest you contact the firm to explain. They might be a bit confused at first and not make the connection having just offered you the temporary contract.

And don’t worry about the recruiter. They’re only in it for the referral fees so there’s nothing personal about it.

  • 1
    Yes, definitely get in touch with the company and explain that you've already interviewed for one position and were made an offer. It's possible you could bypass the need for a second interview (or maybe just get an informal chat about what's different this time). Worst case, if you don't contact them, they assume the application was a duplicate/mistake and disregard it, so definitely make them aware. As for the recruiter - you've done nothing wrong, it's technically a different role.
    – delinear
    Oct 3, 2018 at 11:34

What to do

Explain the situation in an email to the company (briefly, like you did here) and let them handle the technicalities.


Sending an email will provide transparency on the issue. This achieves at least two following goals:

  1. Removes the feeling of hiding anything,
  2. In case the company has a agreement with the recruiter, the company can take the correct steps to deal with the sitaution. In other words, the company would know the full picture and that allows it to deal with it proactively.

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