A candidate submitted an application to a recruitment agency for a job, which only had the job description without revealing company's name. Later, he finds a job with a similar description on another job site, and applies directly to the company. The company interviewed the candidate and made an offer even before the recruitment agency contacted the applicant.

Since there is no way of knowing if the job posted by the recruiting agency is the same as the posting by the company, was there any wrongdoing on the applicant's part? If the company hires the candidate without using the recruiter, does the applicant's info get sent to the recruitment agency for any reason?

  • 2
    No wrongdoing. That may not keep a (bad) recruiter from being annoyed with you about it.
    – keshlam
    Commented Dec 23, 2014 at 1:46
  • 1
    Related: workplace.stackexchange.com/questions/27725/… and somewhat: workplace.stackexchange.com/questions/11980/…
    – user8036
    Commented Dec 23, 2014 at 8:55
  • If the recruiter did not introduce the applicant to the company then there's nothing wrong. If the recruiter sent the applicant's resume' to the company in a stack of other resume's, but the HR dude found the applicant's letter/email and resume' first, still no wrong-doing. If, however, the HR guy saw the resume' in the recruiter's stack, THEN came across the letter/resume' directly sent by the applicant, THEN the HR guy is bound to accept that the applicant was introduced by the recruiter, and the recruiter gets his blood-money. So it's kind of up to the HR guy to be honest. Commented Apr 6, 2017 at 23:07

2 Answers 2


TLDR: No wrongdoing, just get on with the job unless someone calls you out (which is extremely implausible).

There is no wrongdoing on the job applicant's part. Sending a job application to a recruiter does not prohibit you from applying to other job postings found through other channels.

It is not uncommon for job applicants to apply to hundreds of job postings, through dozens of different channels, such as employee referrals, recruitment agencies, job search portals, directly to company's website, walk-in interviews, and so on. It is hard enough to remember all the job postings you have applied to, leave alone being able to figure out similarities between various job postings.

That aside, there are too many uncertainties, beyond the control of the job applicant, such as:

  • The most obvious one: the job postings only look similar, but they could well be from two different companies who happen to have the similar requirements.
  • The recruitment agency may have "pre-rejected" the application, based on their (flawed) understanding of the company's requirement. The agencies typically get rated on the quality of applications they send to companies, so it is good for their business to reject "junk" applications on their own.
  • The company may have "withdrawn" the requirement from the agency before the agency got to sending the application.
  • The application through the agency was rejected by Hiring Manager A, while the direct application was accepted by Hiring Manager B.

and so on. The applicant couldn't know what transpired behind the curtain, and he couldn't do anything about it anyway, so it is best he doesn't worry about it.

Depending on what actually happened behind the curtain, there could be a case of wrongdoing between the company and the agency. For instance, one scenario is:

  1. Company sends the requirement to the agency (or agencies), because they thought few candidates would be interested and they couldn't be bothered looking for needles in the haystack.
  2. Recruitment agency uses all its channels to get interested candidates, and sends applications to the company.
  3. Looking at the volume of applications, company says, "Hey, maybe this isn't as hard as we thought. Why don't we just deal with it ourselves?"
  4. Company ditches the agency, and now makes a posting on its website, hoping that most of the interested candidates would get there and apply.

Even so, there is nothing the candidate needs to do (or could do, even if he wanted to).


Its a bit Strange to find a job Via an Agency were that same Job is advertised freely and able to directly apply for it but i guess it happens.

If you applied for this job Via an agency and you know its that company then you don't have much Choice because if you send you CV directly to the company then they probably end up having 2 copies of the same Application and it maybe not so good.

However if you don't know for sure and you are just going by the Heading of the Job Description then you don't know for sure what company it is, its not a problem.

Maybe the Agency is Just fishing for CV's to put on their Database. If anyone Says anything then you simply say I applied for 2 different Jobs advertised, i didn't know they were for the company.

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