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I was recently contacted by an external recruiter on LinkedIn for a job that would be a two-hour commute with some flexibility in telecommuting. I spoke with the recruiter on the phone a few times, and she wasn't able to give me details about the job other than what was listed in the official job posting. I asked several clarifying questions about the job, and her answers were in the order of "I assume that x is true about this position."

The recruiter keeps trying to get me to give on the terms with which I would be comfortable accepting this role and seems to be manipulating me with stories of other people that have sacrificed similarly and are ok with it. There are other integrity issues I have with the recruiter that are making this process unpleasant.

I was put in touch with the hiring manager for the company I would be working for and the call went well- the company sounds like a good place to work and has some interesting projects. I am working on coordinating an in-person interview with the company because I am genuinely interested and hope that there may be some room for negotiation to more closely match my terms.

While speaking with the hiring manager, it became apparent that some of the things he expressed about the role don't match up with what the recruiter said about the role. It sounds like the recruiter either misinterpreted facts about the role or did not do her homework. I would assume that the hiring manager knows the true details, but it doesn't leave me feeling comforted that I am getting misinformation from the recruiter.

The job seems like a good opportunity, but I have not had a good experience with the recruiter. Is it worth the agony of dealing with a recruiter that may not have your best interests at heart in order to land a job that could be a good opportunity? Is there a point at which it makes more sense to just cut ties with the recruiter and "move on" even if it means missing a good job opportunity?

  • Having dealt with bad recruiters in the past, I typically take everything a recruiter says as hearsay, until I hear it from the company directly. And if it's a very important detail, I have asked for it in writing from the company before accepting the role. – fubar May 6 '17 at 5:36
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It might seem harsh but in terms of going from application to offer, the recruitment agent is just a means to an end (or in this case, a beginning!). Once you accept the job (if you go for it), your interaction with them should be minimal. Simply assuming something about the job on their part seems unprofessional. At the very least they could have said "I assume this is true but I shall contact them and confirm".

It's in their best interest to have you accept a job but the power lies with you. I have had to do it too; where I've had to email a recruitment agent saying "This is an important factor in considering this role and I will not move forward on a decision until there is confirmation". Agents don't usually like you asking the company something directly at these stages and so should be making efforts to clear up remaining doubts. It's a red flag if they are not delivering on this, especially if they are not explaining any delays / uncertainties.

You however said you had spoken directly to the hiring manager of the company that's offering the job. If you are now fully aware of what the role will involve, and are happy with it, then go for it. If there is any doubt, read over the contract they send you when you accept and be certain it matches up with what the manager told you.

If you decide to go for the job, once you're in, you won't have to interact with the recruiter again. If they do contact you asking for feedback, you can mention the issues you have raised here, but it's not your obligation.

I would be curious to know what other 'integrity issues' you said they had.

  • I appreciate the part about being "a red flag if they are not delivering on" clearing up questions at this stage. Even since originally posting I have asked clarifying questions and have gotten ambiguous and unhelpful responses from the recruiter. The more vague responses that I get, the more stressful this process is getting. – SearchingForAnswers May 5 '17 at 20:02
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I should not worry too much about the recruiter. The only thing that you need to get them to do is get you to have an interview with the company.

When you have achieved this, you can ask as many questions at the interview about the role.

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At this point, FORGET everything the recruiter has told you, and ignore anything else outside of the recruiter giving you specific information on meeting with the company. The recruiter has played "operator" between you and the company, but is potentially clueless. It's all up to you now.

Forget any information you've been told about the commute. Do your own research. You don't want to be on the job for six months and be saying to yourself, "That recruiter misled me!"

Get the FACTS about the job from whoever your contact is at the company. Hear them from the horse's mouth. Most inexperienced recruiters only know buzzwords-on-resumes, but they don't know how X relates to Y relates to Z. So the recruiter may give you an impression that X is important or relevant to the company, when it's not actually so. Do your own homework, and use the recruiter to facilitate further conversation. Do not feel guilty about needing to get your questions answered ... or you may find yourself in deep regret later!!!

Take the situation for what it's worth. If you can ignore the recruiter and still move forward in the process, great!

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Yes. You are going to work with the company, not the recruiter in the end. While bypassing him is probably possible, it may be risky (the company and him may have some agreement). The situation is quite common as in most case, the recruiter interest in that the hiring take place no matters what (as they get money that way).

Now, never put all your eggs in one basket - don't stop looking around anyway - bad recruiter or not.

  • There was never any expression about "bypassing" the recruiter... – Xavier J May 6 '17 at 14:44

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