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I am currently the hiring manager for a new position, and a recruiter has provided a number of great resumes. I expect to hire one of the applicants by the end of the week. I've been impressed by the recruiter in terms of responsiveness, effectiveness and quality.

Unfortunately for my current role, I'm at the point I don't feel I can succeed there any further. I'd like to reach out to the same recruiter, because I feel the quality shown in providing candidates would apply to finding positions for my skillset. I certainly could be wrong in this assumption.

But, my question is around the ethics of the situation...could I open myself up to a conflict of interest doing so? Could I endanger the candidates attitude to my current company such that they wouldn't consider an offer (this assumes the recruiter would tell them)? My present employer is good and I don't want to stop them from hiring good people - I just can't succeed in my career any further there.

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    The recruiter won't tell them. It would be a horrible breach of confidentiality if he did. Plus, it wouldn't make any sense for him to tell them. – Stephan Branczyk Jan 29 at 1:19
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could I open myself up to a conflict of interest doing so?

Depends on the contract between you, your employer and the recruiter. Typically 3rd party recruiters have a contract in place that spells out how and what they get paid on what the rules of engagements are. This may indeed include an anti-poaching clause.

Could I endanger the candidates attitude to my current company such that they wouldn't consider an offer (this assumes the recruiter would tell them)?

Potentially The candidate would never find out that you are using the same recruiter (unless someone behaves extremely stupid), but a hiring manager leaving during or shortly after the hiring process is almost always a de-motivator.

My present employer is good and I don't want to stop them from hiring good people - I just can't succeed in my career any further there.

Best you can do is to do your job as best as you can until you are ready to leave. There is never a great time and a departure is always a vote of no-confidence, but that's unavoidable.

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  • +1 there is almost always an agreement between a company and a recruiter saying they can’t recruit from you if you’re hiring through them and even if there’s not it’s a a norm and the recruiter will almost certainly decline to work with you for fear that it will impact their ability to place with that company in the future. – mxyzplk - SE stop being evil Jan 30 at 14:48
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If the company is good and the candidates will succeed without you being there -- then there is no real reason for the recruiter to hold that against your company (if you are a two person startup, and the company would fall apart without you, then that may be another story). The recruiter deals with people changing jobs all the time for a variety of reasons, career advancement is certainly one of them.

Just explain your current situation to the recruiter, and I am sure they will be understanding.

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