I’d have to say my biggest ‘peeve’ about the recruiting industry are the swarmy, scummy “used-car salesperson” types that inhabit the lower-tier recruiting firms. To a candidate, a job posting, recruiter, and recruiting firm can look like any other online. However, from the company vantage-point – there are firms that are top-notch & ethical, and those that certainly get the job done, but at what professional & ethical price? Although I rarely bump into my old firm, I do know that if/when that happened, that both sides would take a pragmatic win/win approach to things — something I cannot say about a recent (2nd time) experience with a competitor – let’s call them “Illogicks”— who seemingly like to bully their competitors and clients to forget any contracts.
The bottom-line in our business, is that it’s just like signing a contract with a Real Estate agent to list your house — in that case you have an exclusive responsibility to pay an agent’s fee to any buyer introduced during the listing period – typically 6 months to 1 year. In our industry, all major firms have a 6 month exclusive period for a candidate (some ask for 12 months) – what this means is that if I introduce you to my client in Aug 2007 for a job, and then you decide to remain at your current job. The company has a fiduciary duty to pay me for the introduction until Feb 2008 (if you decide to review that job again and accept it). To ensure we don’t step on other recruiter’s toes — we always ask our candidates where their resume has been, what they have been doing in their job search and to always keep a list of firms your resume has gone. As I have written before, it’s critical to always ensure a recruiter TELLS you where your resume will go, and asks for your permission.
I’ve been on both sides of the equation – candidates have another recruiter send in their resume and we get the credit, and sometimes, I send in the resume, and the candidate has forgotten 5 months ago interviewing — in that case my competitor gets the credit. Over time — it all balances out — one must remember to try to win the war, and not each battle. In this case, to their own detriment, Illogics will fight a fight that will produce immense damage to their reputation, and ensure that the client company will never do business with them again.
As a candidate – make sure to check out who is representing you! Review their Linkedin profile, ask around – if their firm or the person does not seem to be well vetted – look elsewhere — this cautionary tale of what can go wrong could be YOU — if you’re not partnered with someone like ME – Scott Dunlop – currently the #1 Software recruiter in Boston. You deserve the best representation – be sure to do your homework.