As an agency recruiter, I consider professionalism to be of high importance when dealing with both candidates and clients alike. In my daily work, I come across many people with preconceived ideas about agency recruiters, which usually come from bad previous experiences.
The aim here is to clarify why these practices should not be considered normal and should raise an alarm signal about a particular recruiter and the company (agency) they are working for.
Although such actions can affect your career as a candidate in the long term, it is worth noting that not all recruiters employ them. Below you can find a few examples of such unprofessional agency recruiter actions and behaviour.
Sending your CV to a company without your knowledge
Some recruiters do this much too often; say you want to apply directly for a company working on a great project – if a recruiter has already forwarded your CV to that company (without your knowledge), they might not be able to hire you.
Arranging an interview for you without your approval
This usually happens when the recruiter has forwarded your profile to a company, and they have shown interest. The recruiter receives a request for interview and contacts you to let you know about the interview or tell you about the company. Either way, you should make sure they have told you about this opportunity before.
A simple way to check this is to ask for how long they have been working with that company or to ask the company when and under which circumstances they have received your CV.
Matching your profile with non-suitable jobs
In many cases this refers very much to a recruiter's capacity of matching the right people with the right opportunities.
The point is that good recruiters should do exactly that. Inexperienced recruiters will have less of a quality impact if they present you with an opportunity, which is not suitable. You should be wary of the ones that are absolutely incompetent and only seem to match jobs by keywords, doing even that badly.
Asking you to tell them about interesting jobs
In this case, the recruiter will be looking to contact that company and try to start working with them; they will use your CV when approaching the company, in many cases attaching Terms and Conditions with an email.
Revealing the name of the company they represent
In most cases, professional recruiters or headhunters will not immediately reveal the name of the company they are representing, for confidentiality reasons.
Having said that, once you have made the decision to apply for a position based on the information you received, there is no reason for the recruiter to keep you from knowing the name of the company (before the actual application is made). By having this information, you are able to establish if you have already applied with that company, saving precious time for yourself, that company and the recruiter.
Read next: Agency Recruitment Bad Practice (Part 2)
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