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This week, I reached out to a LinkedIn, connected and then followed-up via email to discuss my background. I had identified a role that I was interested in, but had not officially applied for the role. I have been following an approach of speaking with the recruiter, where possible, before applying for the role to better understand the role/responsibilities and the recruiting process.

My first email contact to the recruiter went unanswered, since the recruiter was out of office (I got an out of office message). I then followed again this week (a week after the first email) to ask for some time 'over the next few days'. The response from recruiter was "frankly, i've just returned back and i'm trying to take stock of the current situation. Is there a role you've applied for, for which you're seeking feedback'. I responded by saying that I'd like to have an informational conversation to discuss the role (I included the role details), introduce myself and understand the recruiting process.

The recruiter then responded by saying, they've selected 2 final candidates and will be making a decision in the next few days. However, I can apply for the role and she will review my background and circulate my resume internally as needed. I responded back by offering to share my resume via email (as I was not keen on applying for a role, only to be rejected).

Question: Why would recruiters insist on applying for opportunities where they, highly likely, have no intention of considering another candidate (given they have already found someone they see as a good fit) only to send a rejection email, instead of choosing to review the candidacy in general. Is there something I should be doing differently to avoid unnecessary rejections (which I personally see as not good in a company's HR records)

  • This is not an answer but a comment to help you understand what's happening: "I responded by saying that I'd like to have an informational conversation to discuss the role (I included the role details), introduce myself and understand the recruiting process." If I put myself in the recruiter's position, this might come off as high-needs (in a bad way). If you want details on the job, look at the posting. If you want to know if I think you're a good fit, apply and find out. Recruiters may be too busy to spend time handling "possibly interested" candidates outside of the official hiring process. – dwizum Feb 11 at 17:27
  • (continued) Applying for the job gets you into their system and into their process, and lets them manage you with the rest of the talent pool. It's easier and more consistent, and keeps the recruiter from wasting time on one-off conversations that they have to keep track of, and which may not pan out anyways. – dwizum Feb 11 at 17:29
  • Perhaps you’re right. But “I’m too busy for you” is another topic for discussion so I’m not going to drag it out here. I’m not a fan of sending resumes to black holes (and we all know most recruiting processes are such), never to hear back again. As an update to this situation, as expected I get a “rejection” email on the weekend, one day after submission of a formal application. – Freewill Feb 11 at 17:31
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Why would recruiters insist on applying for opportunities where they, highly likely, have no intention of considering another candidate

From what you've described there it doesn't sound like she's insisting on you applying for the role at all. It seems like she's saying "well, they've selected 2 final candidates, but if you want I can still forward your CV onto them for consideration" on the basis you've done research and identified this specific role yourself. If you don't want that, just say "no thank you, I didn't realise that role had already progressed beyond the interview stage."

Some people would say "why not", on the basis they want the job, there's nothing to lose, and there's a slim possibility they may not be desperately happy with their 2 final candidates / the 2 final candidates may both pull out. Others may not want to, because they don't want to be seen as desperate / don't want the morale hit of being rejected by a company, etc. It's entirely your choice.

If you just asked a recruiter to search for roles in general, it's highly unlikely that they'd suggest going for a role such as that where you're unlikely to get the job. Remember that you not getting the job = them not getting paid either, so it's not at all in their interests to lead you on a wild goose chase.

  • Thanks. Yeah, I'm not alluding that I was forced to make a submission, but what I'm trying to understand is the reason as to why the recruiter would 'encourage to apply' versus ask to 'send me your resume, and I can review'. I sent my resume via email, and then on a second thought went against my principle of not applying for a role without speaking with the recruiter first. I have always believed that a 'declined' application in a recruiting system impacts the success of future applications. Not sure whether its true or not. FYI - this was an internal recruiter at the company – Freewill Feb 9 at 21:47
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Question: Why would recruiters insist on applying for opportunities where they, highly likely, have no intention of considering another candidate... only to send a rejection email, instead of choosing to review the candidacy in general.

No way to know for sure in this specific case... but here's a (cynical) theory:

Because if you apply with/through that person, then you are their candidate.

Recruiters payments come from their candidates, so this essentially "tags" you as theirs. Even if another recruiter places you, they might be up for some sharing of the bonus because they brought you in.

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