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I am applying for positions in a country to which I am moving to soon and one of the positions I am excited about has gotten to the stage where they would have extended me an offer but they have a company policy of meeting face-to-face before making an offer. I am about to fly over for an informal meeting to meet them and hopefully agree to an offer.

The entire process has been through an external recruiter and during this time they have always asked for updates in regards to my other opportunities to which I have always answered honestly, early stages nothing concrete/exciting to report (I worry this could have lowered my expected offer as the price range discussed has gradually decreased).

Now since arranging to fly over I have actually received solid interest from a few other companies (discussing a higher price range) which also want to have final interviews with me once I arrive and i have scheduled them. Should I update my recruiter with this information? Will it be of any aid/detriment to me?

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Should i update my recruiter with this information?

If you find/create the interest (the lead if you will), I would keep this information to myself. I would only tell the recruiter that you are searching on your own too, and let them know when there is a direct overlap -- meaning the recruiter says "Hey I have an opportunity for you at company A" and then you say "I am already engaging company A".

Will it be of any aid/detriment to me?

As with most things there are pro's and con's. The big pro of course is they are doing the leg work for you, scoring you interviews.

The con is they are scoring you interviews for companies they have relationships with, potentially limiting the pool of companies who look at you. In fact, some companies will not deal with outside recruiters at all.

Another con is that typically a company will offer a lower salary to offset the cost of the recruiter. Now, you can usually negotiate this back in, but its still a potential obstacle.

So in short, when I am seeking employment, I typically use a recruiter (or two) along with my own efforts while being honest about it to all involved in my search.

  • While your second answer was an interesting and informative insight into external recruiters, it did miss the ball a little bit. I was more asking about the pro's and con's of updating my recruiter of my progression with other companies. As they have constantly asked and i have kept them informed albeit not shining great on me. Now my positions looks more positive, hence thinking if i should update myself without them asking. – andy203 Jul 22 at 14:16
  • @andy203 I think I hit the mark on this one. Only provide updates to opportunities they provide to you. The interval of such updates should be at your leisure. – Mister Positive Jul 22 at 14:22
  • The first answer was spot on! – andy203 Jul 22 at 14:26
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No, I would only update the recruiter if one of those other companies made an offer and the first company still had not and you were still interested in that company.

Telling the recruiter can help get the company to move along. If you're no longer interested, it doesn't matter.

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No. Unless the recruiter offers to place you in the same company, you only need to say (if asked) that other opportunities are on the table - nothing more than that.

Many years ago, I worked with a recruiter in the UK; they presented me to a couple of companies, but nothing came of it. While talking to them, I mentioned another company that I was interviewing at. I later found out that they had contacted the company and tried to place another of their candidates into the same position. I was upset at the time, but later realized that it's just business. I'm now careful about what juicy information I let slip to the wrong people.

  • Ok, maybe i have been a bit too honest when they asked in the past and although i am expecting an offer, maybe being honest lowered it a little. I will keep things to myself this time. Sorry to hear about that experience, sounds annoying and dodgy. – andy203 Jul 22 at 14:21
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    +1. I have had exactly that experience too. Tell them where else you're interviewing, and they'll be on the phone immediately afterwards offering "better, cheaper" candidates. In the worst cases, they might also enquire if the company had heard about andy203 - "You haven't heard about the real reason he left his last place? Ah well, not really my place to say, but he's off our list of candidates." Nothing concrete or actionable; just innuendo, but it will cost you your interview. You get less of that at the moment, in a fairly buoyant job market. – Justin Jul 22 at 15:29

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