So, I met a developer (call him "John") through a job posting we put up on Careers 2.0. It didn't work out when we met, because he was late in the process and accepted an offer the same day that we met.
Since we are a growing startup, I get recruiters calling and emailing me all the time whenever we put a job post up.
3 months later, I got one recruiter who called me and asked if he could send me some resumes. I said sure, why not.
One of those resumes happened to be the guy I met earlier and the recruiter informed me that John wasn't happy at his current job. John never said he was actually looking for a new job, only that he didn't like the commute (to the recruiter).
So I reach out to John (who also happened to work with one of my current team members and they know each other well) and we talk for a few weeks about his situation and if we might be a good fit. We go over working arrangements (remote + on-site), compensation, coding challenges, a test project, and two meetings all without the recruiter.
So, do I owe that recruiter for alerting me that John was not happy at his current job? I already knew John, but would not have followed up at that exact time without the recruiter tip-off.
Also, the candidate never actually wanted his resume to be sent out. He mentioned in passing that he didn't like his commute to the recruiter 2 months after he took the new job and the recruiter, without asking John, sent out his resume again.
Thanks for any perspectives you have on this!
** Clarification: We do not care about maintaining a good relationship with the recruiter because we never use recruiters and this one happened to be really pushy in calling and emailing us all the time. We also never signed a contract with the recruiter and the candidate never told the recruiter he was actively looking.