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I'm at a stage when I have to deal with recruiters for the first time ever and I am realising I have no idea how the system actually works. The filed is programming.

I found myself in an awkward situation. I've spoken to recruiter R1 this morning about company C. R1 was very helpful and I expressed that I would be more than happy to be represented by them, giving them a green light to introduce me to the company. However, several hours later I got a call from another recruiter R2 saying that they've already shown my CV to the company C and secured me an interview. I've spoken with R2 previously in the context of another company, but don't remember giving them an in blanco permission to represent me with everybody.

In the phone call, R2 said that because they got to C first with my CV, any commission due belongs to them and not R1 and proceeded to ask me for availability for the interview. I was kinda still confused about what happened so I believed that and expressed my vague availability. Still, I feel really shitty towards R1 as I promised them being able to represent me and I would prefer them to do it, after the careful explanation of the company they offered me, as well as the fact that they are based right in my geographical area of interest.

Is R2 allowed to represent me without my explicit consent? Is there still a way for me to get R1 to represent me instead of R2?

CAVEAT: I just found an email in my inbox from R2 mentioning company C from before I've spoken to R1. So technically they've presented me with the name of C first, but R1 has introduced me to the idea of the role in more detail so I'd still prefer to go with them.

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R2 said that because they got to C first with my CV, any commission due belongs to them and not R1

That's their problem and has nothing to do with you.

R2 saying that they've already shown my CV to the company C and secured me an interview [...] don't remember giving them an in blanco permission to represent me with everybody.

But then you write

I just found an email in my inbox from R2 mentioning company C from before I've spoken to R1.

Did you give him permission to get the ball rolling with C? Did you write anything that could be taken as such? Anything like Sure, sounds great, let's do it? It would help if you gave such permission for other companies to R2 so that you can demonstrate you've established some sort of procedure. Most recruiters are very specific about the wording they want from you before representing you.

If not, R2 dropped the ball. He took action without your express consent and has damaged your chances with that company.

Otherwise, you dropped the ball. It's your responsibility to keep track of where your CV ends up so these things don't happen. Still, not a big deal in the grand scheme, chalk it up to experience.


I recommend reaching out to R1 immediately to stop the process. C has heard about you via R2 and they won't accept your CV from R1 now, nor do they want to get caught in a row between recruiters, so it's in your best interest to stop that from happening.

  • Did you give him permission to get the ball rolling with C? No, I haven't responded to that email at all. The only thing which could be interpreted as a not-very-explicit green light was me providing my availability to interview after they've told me that everything is done, my CV shown, and the commission is theirs. – KubaFYI Jan 24 at 23:35
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    @KubaFYI The good news (for you) is that if you didn't sign a Right to Represent the fault more than likely lies with R2 (availability for an unspecified interview is not an agreement). Either way, inform R1 that this has happened and that you'd rather work with R1 as a result. More than likely R1 will be able to contact C about it; C is likely more than happy to pivot (as they're already interested in you). Alternatively, R1 might decide that the well's been poisoned and will break off with you, so you take the interview via R2. Recruiting is a cutthroat business and R1 can offer advice too – Draco18s Jan 25 at 0:27
  • Yup, sounds like R2 dun goofed. I agree with Draco18s on all points. – rath Jan 25 at 9:57

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