Caveat Emptor – Buyer Beware

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Written by Robert Keft, 14 May 2013

What job are you really applying for?

You see your perfect job advertised. You get your CV and cover letter ready and then you click on the ‘apply now’ button. Then you wait, and wait and wait only to hear nothing back from the recruitment company. Sound familiar?

There is no wonder why the recruitment industry has a bad reputation. As a company involved with both Workplace Safety and recruitment, we have seen some unethical business practices take place by some recruiters surprisingly on a regular basis.

Most people have a recruitment horror story to tell, but be assured that not all recruitment companies are the same. If you are looking around for a new role please be aware of the following practice that is undoubtedly unethical.

The recruitment company advertises a role for which they have never received a brief.

Without the permission of the hiring company, some recruitment agencies are copying a job ad for a legitimate role and misleading candidates that they are recruiting for this position. You may ask why would they do this?

In our opinion, there are two main reasons. Firstly they top up their candidate database for future roles and secondly they may try to market the candidate directly to the hiring company in the hope that the company may be tempted by their candidate. Some may defend and justify this practice by saying that it is a way to market great candidates.

But hey, what about the rights of the candidate applying for what they believe is a legitimate role? Recruiters that operate like this will also discourage you from applying directly to the company yourself. But what happens if the hiring company does not ‘take the bait’ so to speak? You are the one that ends up missing out on a potential opportunity because you believed that you were being represented by a recruitment company. In our experience most candidates don’t want to be associated with this practice and believe it is very misleading.

So if you’re a candidate what can you do to make sure this doesn’t happen to you?

  • Avoid ‘General Permission’ – make sure the recruiter knows that you have not given them ‘general’ permission to send your CV to any party without your express permission. 
  • Know what you are applying for – if the recruiter has been liaising directly with the client they should be able to provide you with a thorough brief of the requirements of the role. 
  • Ask questions – a reputable recruitment company will want to make sure there is a match between yourself and their client. Make sure you know what is expected before your CV is sent through to a client.
  • Look for members of the RCSA– companies that are members of the RCSA (Recruitment and Consulting Services Association) sign up to a strict Code Of Conduct demonstrating their willingness to practice good business values and ethics.

Don’t Assume the Worse
It is not uncommon for most recruitment companies to withhold a thorough description of the role and client details before you send through your CV. They want to ensure your enquiry is genuine before identifying client details, in order to protect client confidentiality. The other reason is because there are some unscrupulous recruiters out there who will at times act as a candidate in order to establish who the client may be, so that they can target the client directly themselves.

We recommend you build a relationship with reputable recruiters so that trust can be built and you are confident that your CV will not end up in front of a company without your knowledge. After all your CV is your property and you want to ensure it is treated with the respect that you deserve.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]