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Do Recruiters. Still. Do. This?!

Source | LinkedIn  : By Matt Bradley

I was having coffee with a good friend recently who’s been looking for a new job. He’s been speaking with various agency recruiters and unsurprisingly the experience has left him exasperated with my industry. Not all his dealings have been negative, but the typical feelings of distrust and ‘has this guy really got my best interests at heart’ certainly rang true.

One point he mentioned that is a real bug bear for me and a major factor behind his distrust was Recruiters pushing him to find out what clients his CV has been sent to, and/or where he is currently interviewing. I imagine most of you have heard this type of spiel from your ‘friendly’ Recruiter at some point:

  • “It would be great to know what clients your CV is already with so we know what type of companies would be of interest to you?”
  • “We work with over 50% of the clients in your industry so unless I know where your CV has been sent, I’m really not going to be able to help you I’m afraid.”
  • “You have an interview with a digital agency today, what area of London is that in? I am out and about so could meet you after for a coffee by the nearest tube station.”

Now any of my IT Contractor friends will tell you that this archaic practice is not used to aid the candidate in anyway, the opposite in fact. It’s used by Recruiters to generate ‘hot’ job leads for them to follow up with and pitch other candidates into that client. Ones that are then going to compete with you for the job. It’s tried and tested so I’m not shocked to hear Recruiters still practicing this, but with so many candidates wise to it these days I was genuinely surprised at the amount of Recruiters still doing it. Admittedly this is one small sample out of thousands, but my friend reckoned over 90% of the Recruiters he spoke to tried to generate this information from him.


Why, when prospecting new clients to pitch to is so accessible with the rise of the web and social media do Recruiters still feel the need to do this? Why, when a Recruiters integrity and reputation is so paramount to their long term success do they think it’s a good idea? And why can’t we as an industry, rise above this type of deceitful behaviour and try win back some respect from the people we are making money out of and who we should be helping?

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