I'm currently looking for a job and have been contacted by various companies and agencies.

I interviewed with a subcontractor (call them A) and was expecting feedback from them after they reviewed my tests so that they can see what client of theirs is the best fit for my skills.

Meanwhile, I was contacted by another subcontractor (call them B) that proposed an interview with one of their clients (call them C). I'm to meet with them (with B) before my application is sent to the client (C).

Now A has returned with a feedback. The client they want to send me to is the same, it's client C.

I would be hired by subcontractor A or B, but be contracted to C.

Now, I'm in this entanglement, and don't know what to do.

I'm thinking to cancel the interview with B and tell them that I'm already going to see that client from the part of another company. I consider company B better than A. As a result, I thought I might go that route. However, if A already sent my CV to C, and I refuse to go with A, and later I show up coming from the part of B, then I'm totally going to make a fool out of myself.

How do you handle the situation where two subcontractor companies try to send you to the same client?

  • The one that first contacted you about the role is the only fair way to do this. And BTW a subcontractor is not a headhunter. Feb 17, 2014 at 17:21
  • The thing is, in my language the word subcontractor isn't used as much, I guess because they want to display a prettier picture to the candidate. Guess I was hang up by that when asking the question. I reworded the question, thanks!
    – John
    Feb 18, 2014 at 7:38
  • This is the faux paus of Recruiters who do not tell you for which client they are submitting you. Most recruiters I've seen always ask if you may have been submitted to said client.
    – Alex S
    Mar 7, 2016 at 5:26

2 Answers 2


Tell both recruiters immediately - like within seconds of A telling you they want to send you to C, say "another recruiter is already proposing me there." The two recruiters will have a way of settling this, either who talked to you in general first (A) or who proposed you to C first (B). The choice is not yours to make.

There is a good chance if C realizes both A and B proposed you they will deliberately not hire you because they won't want to be caught up in a squabble over commission between the two recruiters. Your only hope of being sent to C is having both recruiters happy and that means communicate fast and fully.

  • Should I disclose to A who B is and vice-versa or should I keep it to myself?
    – John
    Feb 17, 2014 at 17:15
  • 1
    I wouldn't volunteer it, but I wouldn't with-hold it if I was asked. Feb 17, 2014 at 17:19

1) If a recruiter/headhunter proposes a company that another recruiter has already sent your credentials to, let them know directly. This is sort of headhunter etiquette, they will not duplicate or interfere with another's existing lead. They will not be insulted that you're working with someone else and prefer to know then send a duplicate candidate, which makes everyone look bad.

2) If they've both proposed the company but neither has sent your credentials (usually you need to give them permission first), then choose the headhunter you like working with the most and trust the most to negotiate, and tell the other as suggested in (1).

  • 4
    And this is why they ask your permission before sending your details through.
    – Móż
    Feb 17, 2014 at 21:39

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