I work in Japan and I've been put on garden leave 3 months ago so company gan get rid of me. This might continue for an extra 6 months (I shall decide), then I will be actually jobless (and maybe homeless).

It's been 3 months that I have been looking for a job and no luck so far. Given the multiple failed attempt I had and the way they fail (going pretty ok then suddenly told the position is closed), I start wondering if the company is not bad mouthing about me.

Question: what would you do in regard to head hunters and the hiring manager?

I have I believe few options, which one would you pick? Any other you would think I should go for?

  1. Tell the recruiter I am on garden leave (hoping he covers me in the interview process).
  2. Say nothing to the recruiter and pray neither him nor the company finds about my status.
  3. Tell the recruiter and the hiring manager I am on garden leave.
  4. Quit the garden leave, be jobless and search for job.

Putting it simply, is the recruiter on my side?

Thank you.

Note: In Japan it is legally hard to fire someone, so they are putting people on garden leave. During that period the company usually covers the person if being asked for references saying that he/she is still working.

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    Wouldn't you see the same pattern if you were a good candidate for the jobs, but in each case the employer decided, in the final stages of the selection process, that someone else was a slightly better fit? – Patricia Shanahan Sep 14 '19 at 12:45
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    Why would you quit garden leave without a job to go to? It's free money while you upskill on training courses and search for a new position. Don't throw that away. Also, find one or two more recruiters (make sure they tell you which companies they're putting you in front of, to avoid conflict). And be honest with everyone. – PeteCon Sep 14 '19 at 14:08
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    Thank you. Being in garden leave is fine, just that to recruiters so far I am not mentioning it as it would mean I have been fired. So lying in some way, which is why I’m afraid it’s been detrimental and so thinking that maybe exiting it right away wills be better so that I say I’m jobless and won’t be perceived as a lier. What do you mean by being honnest though? Telling headhunters I’m on garden leave, so essentially fired? – Goul Sep 14 '19 at 14:26
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    To answer Patricia: the reason I see a pattern is that head hunters contact me, then suddenly do not answer my messages with no reason. It’s been 6-7 recruiters already m – Goul Sep 14 '19 at 14:29
  • In the US, recruiters often get paid when the person becomes a permanent hire at a company. So the recruiter is on my side only if they think they can get me hired in a permanent position. Have any of your supervisors talked to you about any problems you had at work? Or is the company or department really downsizing? Is the economy bad in Japan for any specific industry? – Bulrush Sep 18 '19 at 14:11

I can't speak for Japan, because the culture is very different there, but speaking in Canada, here's my perspective on working with recruiters:

Recruiters are always on your side. Well, put more properly, yours and their goals align. They don't get paid unless someone gets hired. Your goal is to get hired. If they put you into an interview and you get hired, then you win (you get a job) and they win (they get paid). So recruiters want to help you out as best they can, because helping you helps them.

Given this, you should be as open as possible with the recruiter. Tell them you are on garden leave, and if you think it's necessary, explain why. This will help them; this is good to know for the recruiter, because it tells them a few things:

  • You are unemployed (functionally) now. You will be available to start working whenever their client needs you to start, and the client doesn't have to muck about with start dates and resignation schedules.

  • You are actively looking for a new job. You are not going to go to an interview, pass it, and then when you get the offer, be like "nah, sorry I changed my mind". This makes them more comfortable working with you because you aren't going to waste their time.

  • Your schedule is more or less open. They don't have to schedule you for interviews late at night or on weekends or whatever due to your current job commitments. This makes scheduling really easy for them.

Of course, telling them the details may make you look desperate for a job. But that's ok; people who are comfortably and gainfully employed don't go to recruiters, so everyone they talk to is at least actively looking for a job, so they should at least be expecting this. Explaining the circumstances surrounding you being on leave may give the recruiter a perspective into what sorts of companies you'd be a good fit for, so they don't just throw you into an interview for a company or position you're not interested in/have the skill set for.

Helping the recruiter helps you, and the more information the recruiter has the better. It's in the recruiter's best interest to share only the positive things you share with them to the client company, because if they share negative things then the client company won't hire you, and the recruiter doesn't get paid, so feel free to speak negatively with the recruiter; they won't (or shouldn't) share anything with the end company you're interviewing with.

As for why you keep getting ghosted by these recruiters, that I can't say. Perhaps the companies found better candidates? Perhaps you're aiming at job placements that are not in line with your experience level? It's hard to say; you should follow up with some of the recruiters and ask them what's going on, and if they have other placements you may be suited for even if you fail in one interview. If they continue to ghost you after that, you can blacklist the recruiter; I have a couple recruiting companies here in Canada who I won't deal with due to being ghosted or treated unprofessionally. If a recruiter from a company contacts you from a company you have been ghosted by before, simply reply to them stating that due to their company's unprofessional conduct and standards you are not interested in working with them. Recruiters will usually apologize for past instances and ask for a second chance (at least this has been my experience), once again, because you are how they make money and at the end of the day their job is to make money, and then you can decide how to proceed. However, ghosting is a big problem if a recruiter does it and I would make it known how upset I am if they do that to me.

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  • “Recruiters are always on your side.” That has not been my experience in Australia- it seems more like they’re just given lists of checkboxes to fill by employers, and they just toss the resumes of everyone who doesn’t meet them into the bin, because employers are so risk-averse about turnover that they want all their employees to “hit the ground running” without any training at all. – nick012000 Sep 17 '19 at 0:51
  • You're not wrong, but that's not the fault of the recruiter. If the recruiter is told by the client "We only want to employ people who have 15 years of experience in this technology that's only 5 years old", then that's who they look for, and they throw the other resumes in the bin. Because, again, the recruiter's job is to make money; they're not going to work to put people who aren't qualified for their positions into those positions, because those people won't get hired and the recruiter own't get paid; that's how it works. – Ertai87 Sep 17 '19 at 15:46

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