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I am a recent graduate looking for work and a 3rd party recruiter has contacted me back about position A at a company. Over the phone they said they would put forward my application to the company but I haven't heard from them in over a week (I realise this is not a lot of time). I have had no email exchanges with them following the call either. I am also working with another recruiter at the same organisation for separate roles, who tried to follow up with said recruiter about my position but did not get a response.

Today, through browsing the company site out of interest, I notice a different position at the same company that I felt I could also be a good fit for. Naively, I assumed it would not be an issue to apply to this position directly though I am now finding out this could cause confusion between the company and the recruiter. I did not intend to deceive though I realise this would not matter legally. Would this be a problem and if so, what would be the best cause of action?

I now know that next time I should contact the recruiter about this position as well but is there any way to remedy the situation? I am also in the UK if that is relevant.

Thanks in advance!

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    " I am now finding out this could cause confusion between the company and the recruiter" Who said this? Apr 17 at 3:44

2 Answers 2

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Firstly, I'd probably avoid engaging with 3rd parties recruiters going forward. Some would say "What's the harm?", but this is the situation that you can find yourself in when recruiters are sloppy, and you have no idea what they have and haven't done. They may make sense in certain industries, but I generally think they don't add anything meaningful.

Yes, I would have applied for the different role, just as you have. I would not have assumed the recruiter had taken the initiative to do this for me.

I am now finding out this could cause confusion between the company and the recruiter.

You are not responsible for the relationship between the recruiter and the company.

I did not intend to deceive though I realise this would not matter legally.

Firstly, intention to deceive DOES matter greatly when it comes to various legal situations. In this types of situations, proving you were trying to act in good faith matters quite a fair bit.

In addition, even if you have broken some contract with the recruiter, which would have to be some form of verbal contract, you may be obligated to pay the recruiter the sum of money that they would have missed out on. The UK does not have exemplary damages, so the risk to you financially is quite limited. They recruiter would have to prove the degree of their loss, which may be difficult. So all this together means the recruiter probably won't take the issue any further.

And lastly, from what you've said, I don't see any deception here.

I now know that next time I should contact the recruiter about this position as well but is there any way to remedy the situation?

There is no situation to remedy.

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  • Thanks for the detailed response!
    – ADust283
    Apr 18 at 2:45
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There's nothing wrong with working with third party recruiters. Their account managers often have a direct line with hiring managers, allowing you to circumvent a whole lot of bureaucracy. But there are a couple of rules.

The relevant rule here is the "double submission". When companies agree to use a recruiter, they sign a contract stating they won't cut out the recruiter on a potential candidate for a specific length of time. That might be a six, twelve, eighteen months. In a nutshell it means that if the recruiter presented the candidate, and the candidate ends up working for the company in any way, the company MUST pay the recruiter a fee. The restriction could be for a SPECIFIC job with the company, or depending on the contract terms, ANY job with the company.

If the candidate submits directly, or another recruiter submits the same candidate, then the company is likely to reject the candidate on grounds that the situation may end up in litigation over those recruiter fees.

So for you, if you're interested in the company and the recruiter hasn't given feedback on the prior position:

  • Contact the recruiter. Email is best. You want to find out if the recruiter submitted you to the company. Do NOT share why you're asking. What you want is a written acknowledgement of whether you've been submitted or not.
  • If you can't get a response by email, contact by phone. When you get off the phone, send the recruiter an email summarizing your conversation, and

If the recruiter states that you've been submitted, you'll have to wait (assume a year) to apply directly. If the recruiter states you haven't been submitted, send an email asking that the recruiter acknowledge what you spoke about verbally (a "yes, that's what we talked about" will do). Again, it's important that you don't tell the recruiter that you intend to submit directly, or you may end up in limbo over your status all over again.

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