I applied for a position online through the employers website after a strong recommendation by a colleague.

A couple of days later a recruiter contacted me about the same position. I took the opportunity to ask them if they knew what the salary range was since they were recruiting for the position. The recruiting firm took it upon themselves to market me to this employer. We had no agreement or arrangement at all.

Now the employer will not interview me on their own unless the recruiting firm concedes their fee. I am not sure how this works since I applied for the position on my own before ever speaking to anyone. I have decided to inform the hiring manager that I plan to withdraw my application from the employer website and cease all communication with the recruiter. That way the recruiter is no longer involved.

How long should I wait to reapply for the position to ensure that the recruiter can't lay claim to me?

  • 1
    The specific answer to your question would depend on the contract between the company and the recruiter's firm. 6 months is probably roughly in the ballpark but it could be more or less. Aug 21, 2014 at 20:57
  • Why are you withdrawing your application from the employee website? Aug 21, 2014 at 20:59
  • 2
    I think this is an excellent question, but needs some formatting, it is not quite a "wall of text" but getting close to one...
    – daaxix
    Aug 21, 2014 at 21:02
  • I was told by the recruiting firm that as long as the application status is active then I am still considered a client of the firm even though there is no arrangement them. It's all about the fee.
    – J Foster
    Aug 21, 2014 at 21:14
  • How did the recruiter get enough information to market you to the firm? It seems odd that asking "what's the salary range" somehow meant sending them a copy of your CV.
    – Móż
    Aug 21, 2014 at 22:21

2 Answers 2


You applied to this job before you and the recruiter spoke. That means the employer owes the recruiter no fee. That is the reality of the contingent-fee (percentage of salary) recruitment business. Full stop.

If you want this job, do not withdraw your application from the employer's web site. Do call the recruiter and let him know that you do not consent to him representing you. If you didn't tell him you already applied to the job before you asked him about the salary range, you could apologize for that oversight from an abundance of politeness. But it is not your responsibility to establish referral priority.

This is the kind of disgusting behavior that messes up peoples' careers and gives the recruiting business a bad name. If you don't get this job, I hope you will name and shame this recruiter.

I am sorry to hear that this employer doesn't understand this.


The recruiting firm took it upon themselves to market me to this employer.

You need to make this abundantly clear to the employer, that their recruiter is not behaving reasonably and, not only has interfered with an existing application, but then ineptly decided to represent you without permission - which in most of the civilised world is considered to be a criminal offence.

If they continue to use this recruiter it will probably come back to bite them.

If they refuse to listen be happy you avoided working for people who are incapable of a decent level of rational thought where the interests of their business are concerned.

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