I had a phone screen with a recruiter for a position I am interested in. It went well. I authorized him to send along my resume.

I walk back into the office, and moments later, the main line rings; I'm a helpful sort (and authorized to do so) so I answer the phone -- "Hello, [company], how may I help you?" (not recognizing me) "Hi this is [recruiter I just talked to], can I speak with [company recruiter]?"

She asks for him to be sent to voicemail, as she does not take calls from staffing agencies/recruiters.

Are they using knowledge of my potential departure to turn my company into a prospect? Is this a tactic that recruiters are known to use? I didn't mention to him that it was most certainly me on the phone, as the awkwardness was too colossal. But I'm curious if anyone knows if this is, in fact, a tactic that staffing firms use.

  • 1
    Well if you are leaving maybe there is a spot need to be fill and recruiter see that as an opportunity Mar 9, 2016 at 19:25
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    This is only a phone screen though which means they have no idea whether you'll get a new job. It's pretty unethical to share information like this.
    – jcmack
    Mar 9, 2016 at 19:27
  • The external recruiter never spoke to the internal recruiter? Did he leave a voicemail? Did your internal recruiter get word that you're thinking about leaving? How do you know the outside recruiter wasn't just using a little inside information to try to form a business relationship for possible future work (involving your potential departure)?
    – Kent A.
    Mar 9, 2016 at 19:55
  • That's one reason I don't accept cold calls from recruiters...
    – keshlam
    Mar 9, 2016 at 21:09
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    Are you sure the position you were screening for isn't a position at your current company? Sometimes, recruiters are reluctant to tell for which company they have a position to fill for (because they don't want to candidate to apply to the company directly). Another possibility may be that the recruiter you screened with wanted to contact the recruiter of your company for a completely unrelated matter. Coincidences do happen.
    – Abigail
    Sep 13, 2017 at 13:31

2 Answers 2


Yes, this is one of many tactics they use. This particular recruiter showed very little class, but every departure is a job lead for them.

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    Even leaving aside the matter of the departure, the fact that you applied from your current company is evidence that your company employs people with the sort of skills that this recruiter handles recruitment for. Hence, a lead worth cold-calling. Mar 10, 2016 at 0:31
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    "This particular recruiter showed very little class" -> I don't want to overgeneralise, but I have seen very few recruiters do did show any class. From what I've seen it seems a very dog-eat-dog survival of the fittest industry with a lot of pressure, all of which can only lead to corner-cutting and unethical behaviour because people do what they gotta do to keep their jobs. Mar 11, 2016 at 10:59
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    @Carpetsmoker I've always said if you fail the ethics test for a used car salesman, you qualify to be a recruiter. Mar 11, 2016 at 13:08

Do not trust this recruiter. They do not have your best interest in mind. Ghost them. As a recruiter myself that should have never taken place. They are invested in their own self interest at this point.

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