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I have a situation where I was cold-emailed by a recruiter after updating a resume for another job. The recruiter pointed me to a job that after some research is posted on LinkedIn by a person that works at the company (but not on other job boards...) Also it appears to be a small company.

I have two choices:

  • Respond to the recruiter and go through them
  • Apply to the job through LinkedIn

I'm leaning toward the latter as the recruiters email gives me a cold-call vibe. For example, I suspect they are skimming off LinkedIn jobs and I would be a candidate they essentially go and cold call the company with.

On the other hand, what if the company has actually enlisted this firm? I don't see evidence of it as there aren't any postings available for this specific position through the recruiter (there are many others though...)

Any advice is appreciated!

  • Not really. Think of it this way. A recruiter sends you a job rec that is publicly available. They changed the information on it in their email to make it seem like the job is through them. Additionally, they have other jobs posted on many job boards. The job in question is not one of them. – Dev1230 Feb 22 at 19:41
  • If the recruiter had an agreement with the company, he would be using an email address from the company and he wouldn't have obfuscated the name of the company. – Stephan Branczyk Feb 22 at 19:52
  • I'm surprised the recruiter told you who the job is with. Typically in my experience they don't often do that until they've signed you up, to try to prevent you going direct (ironically). – ChrisFNZ Feb 23 at 2:51
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If you have the direct connection to the company, deal direct. If the recruiter had a contract with the company, that's not your problem. Unless you had any sort of agreement with the recruiter first, you have no restrictions.

Some recruiters may have agreements with the client that all recruitment has to come through them - in which case, the company will redirect you to the recruiter. If that happens, go with the flow - it won't cost you anything, and the recruiter still gets paid.

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On the other hand, what if the company has actually enlisted this firm? I don't see evidence of it as there aren't any postings available for this specific position through the recruiter (there are many others though...)

Make the best choice you can with the information you have, if you get more information, adjust your actions. So no "what if".

I'm leaning toward the latter as the recruiters email gives me a cold-call vibe. For example, I suspect they are skimming off LinkedIn jobs and I would be a candidate they essentially go and cold call the company with.

And there you go. That's the important information and your answer.

Deal with the company directly (via LinkedIn).

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I would deal direct with the company, but as the recruiter drew your attention to it they should probably get their normal commision from the company. Without knowing the recruiter I would prefer myself to talk about details of the hiring process / conditions of job offer etc. direct rather than go through a 3rd party recruiter. Some recruiters will do an excellent job and it might be in your interest to go through them, but without knowing this recruiter I would suggest that it would be better to deal with the company direct. Will also give you a feeling for what the company is like.

I had a friend recently who moved job. Turned out that a recruiter pointed my friend to a company that he knew about with a person he had worked with closely previously. So my friend was a bit frustrated that he had not found out about the job without the help of the recruiter. I think my friend dealt directly with the person he had worked with before for interview agree terms etc., but the recruiter got their commission because the recruiter had drawn my friend's attention to the opening.

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  • My intention isn't to keep a recruiter from their commission. I specifically want to avoid being in a position where the recruiter uses me as their sales pitch to the company without having an agreement already in place. – Dev1230 Feb 22 at 16:55
  • @Dev1230 - ok fair comment, but then my answer is simply deal direct, but don't forget that the recruiter should get a commision. small edits made – tom Feb 22 at 16:57
  • I disagree that the recruiter should receive commission in this case. They cold called the OP, and the job is publicly listed. If the OP had already been in communication with the recruiter and had asked to be notified of potential jobs, that would be different. – HorusKol Feb 22 at 20:23
  • @HorusKol - yes I can see your point. But I suppose that even if it was a cold email, the reason that the OP saw the job was because of the recruiter. Furthermore, if the recruiter has been told by the firm to find people and he finds out one of the people he emailed filled the job then the recruiter may have cause for grievance... – tom Feb 22 at 21:06
  • @HorusKol - see also the top answer at workplace.stackexchange.com/questions/107739/… – tom Feb 22 at 21:08

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