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A couple of months ago, the recruiter of a top company interviewed me. We had an interesting interview, she liked what she heard, and so did I. More interestingly, though she originally contacted me for a specific job offer, she quickly changed to another hidden job offer that fitted me even more. We arranged another interview via Skype and she told me she'd send an email in the following hours with the details. It never arrived (I also checked the spam folder) and we never met again. I sent her another email asking for the meeting details, but she never replied.

Fast forward to yesterday. This recruiter contacted me on the phone again, offering a new position. A new one. She introduced herself, she made sure to carefully explain all the company perks, a very detailed explanation of the job position and progression in the company. When it was my turn to talk about my background, I made it clear she already contacted me and offered me the hidden position. Not only she didn't remember about our initial meeting, but knowing about the hidden offer didn't ring any bell.

Based on this, is this a red flag about the company management? Is it just that they trashed my CV?

  • Sounds like you just didn't get the first job. It's a little discourteous that nobody told you, but that's the way of things these days. I can see why it would be a little disconcerting that she didn't remember you from your previous conversations, but that just means she's poorly-organised - it was a few months ago, and she probably speaks to a lot of applicants. I wouldn't call it a red flag as such. – Jonathon Cowley-Thom Apr 28 '17 at 9:53
  • Surely if you actually made it to an interview there was some contact via email, which the recruiter should be able to find easily? How did she react when you explained that you had prior contact? – Lilienthal Apr 28 '17 at 11:14
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    @JonathonCowley-Thom I wonder if they'd end up mixing salaries or anything, hah!. Thanks – Korcholis Apr 28 '17 at 11:52
  • @Lilienthal Since we were on the phone, I guess she didn't have any history regarding my phone number. I told her about the previous interview and she acted like "that couldn't be". The new offer looked not so awesome as the previous one and she didn't disclose if the first position was covered already. I asked for more info via email, but still no answer – Korcholis Apr 28 '17 at 11:54
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Recruiters are like car salespeople. Once you realize that you should have few (if any) expectations of integrity, you'll sleep much better. This isn't to say that they're all bad, but rather that there are good ones and bad ones, with a very low barrier to entry.

Some of course are much better than others at marketing you to the primary stakeholders, and can get you the first interview -- which is really all you care about. Until then, you should take anything they say with a grain of salt, and keep pursuing other options.

The only other job of the recruiter is after the interviews, after you've been offered the job. The recruiter will act as go-between in the final negotiation over compensation, but here they are now personally motivated to get you the best number, so you can expect to see much better communication. Plus, if anything falls through you should have a direct line to the new company, so you can potentially salvage the situation.

  • Thanks @Andrew. I reached the company to see if they had any of the previous positions open, but they were filled already. It seems that in the meantime, the recruiter switched jobs to another company (she added me on Linkedin in the last interaction), so in the end, there was something with the recruiter! – Korcholis May 25 '17 at 10:31
  • @Korcholis yeah, sorry if my answer is cynical but after dealing with innumerable recruiters I've found that the best policy is to treat them like a necessary impediment to the hiring process. I try to waste as little time as possible talking to the recruiter (they all want to "get to know you") because their opinion means little to the final result, and all too often you never hear from them again even if you're perfectly matched to the job they're pushing, for reasons that have nothing to do with your competency. It's challenging. – Andrew May 25 '17 at 14:41
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It is enough of a red flag for you to do some digging.

Look her up, see what you can find out in a few minutes on a search engine.

People reaching out, hidden jobs, change of interviews, not contacting... Any of these are minor, but put enough together and it's worth being careful.

  • Thanks for the answer. I'm reached out pretty often, because I'm at a couple of job search platforms, so that doesn't sound like a problem to me. Neither the hidden job offer (my current company shuffles the idea of having more people, but it's still not public), in my opinion. But your idea on being it a problem of the recruiter and not the company might be a good sign – Korcholis Apr 28 '17 at 12:00

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