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An internal recruiter emailed me for a job position. This opportunity looked pretty good and I aced the on-site interview, however, the interviewer said the project he planned on hiring me for got pushed back until late March. He did say however that he would keep me updated as new projects come along all the time and that he wanted me to let him know if anything changed.

I had continued interviewing with other places, one of which was through an external recruiter. I passed the technical and they wanted an on-site interview with me. I believe that I'm in the final round of interviews for them.

Should I let the internal recruiter know that I am likely doing the final interview at another company soon or should I wait until something more solid shows up?

My fears are that they offer me the job in that interview and that I don't end up letting the internal recruiter know early enough to make a potential offer. I'm heavily considering both places and it's not a matter of whoever makes the first offer. There are technically no guarantees that I get anything from either company at this point, so this is all just speculation. However, the evidence seems very favorable from the internal recruiter and pretty favorable from the external recruiter.

Update: I didn't message the internal recruiter at all, but he got back to me and told me that I was being considered for a couple of projects that came in today.

Edit: I believe this case is different from the similar question because this question is specifically asking about telling another recruiter about another offer that isn't necessarily on the table yet, just predicted to be.

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Should I let the internal recruiter know that I am likely doing the final interview at another company soon or should I wait until something more solid shows up?

No. There is nothing to be gained, and it will not change the outcome. The internal recruiter, who had the project canceled on him, is probably way more frustrated then you are about canceling the project. He found qualified external candidates, which is not easy in the current economy, to work on a new initiative. When the project restarts, he will have to do all that work over again. Sucks for him. He would rather the project be started when he was told it would start and not delayed.

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  • To clarify, when I said internal recruiter I wasn't referring to the company I work at now. I was referring to the recruiter working directly in another company. I'm employed separately from both entities. If I used the wrong phrasing here, I apologize. I had to remove info from my previous question and so I only included the bare minimum. – Shirohige6969 Feb 17 at 19:29
  • Okay I will edit my answer. – Pete B. Feb 17 at 19:30
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    I have no experience recruiting, but I'm having difficulty imagining that an internal recruiter would be frustrated. External, maybe, since that may be their bonus disappearing. But internal, I don't imagine much would change, unless the company screwed them out of a bonus as well. – Mars Feb 18 at 2:28
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    @Mars: Imagine you start working on a project in language x, and then after you've made a good chunk of progress, a decision comes in from above that the project will actually be implemented in language y. Sure, you're getting paid, but aren't you at least a bit frustrated that a big chunk of your work on the project is suddenly tossed out and you'll have to redo it? – ruakh Feb 18 at 7:22
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    I would be surprised you hold of on external recruitments for a project that has been delayed for only a month or so (end march as per OP), given that the time to recruit externally in itself often is multiple months. You'd much rather keep those new employees busy for a month then start over... . Internally is another case because you can reduce project costs this way. – KillianDS Feb 18 at 10:59
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I would not tell either recruiter.

What would you hope to gain by telling either recruiter? There is potential that you would be removed from consideration for a job. Then if the other does not come through you've lost out on both jobs. When you have a signed offer (from either company) then you tell the other recruiter.

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  • I was think of telling the internal recruiter for purposes of getting him to move quicker, if there was anything in the pipeline. You do have a point though. I had no plans to tell the external recruiter anything unless I go with the internal recruiter and even then only that I found a better opportunity. Their salary is probably set in stone, since it went through an external recruiter and they probably negotiated on those grounds. Either way neither company will ever know what company is on the other end. – Shirohige6969 Feb 17 at 19:24
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    @Shirohige6969 an email asking for the progress of the application should be enough for the internal recruiter. Squeaky wheel gets the grease! – Chad Feb 17 at 19:27
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This entire predicament seems based on the assumptions that

  • The internal recruiter will be unable to move quickly to make an offer
  • The external recruiter will be unable to wait long once they've made an offer

Those assumptions are probably both false, but better than that, it actually only takes one to be false to resolve the other anyway.

Slow down. Take the external interview, then only if you get an offer, think about what you want to do, and negotiate accordingly from that position. One or the other will find a way to bring forward or postpone a decision, if they really want to hire you. There's plenty of time!

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    I did very much appreciate your answer, as I was mostly just looking at the the first point being true and thinking the second one is a big unknown. I still think that if this interview goes well, then I'll probably hear back within 10 days from now, maybe even start offers and showing me stuff then. That's where my concern came from. – Shirohige6969 Feb 17 at 21:59

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