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Did you know that some recruitment agencies are emailing your resume to companies looking for new staff without even getting your OK first?! Yes this is happening on a way to regular basis as recruitment agencies “chase” the cheque without thinking about consequences of their actions.

Let’s look at what has happened when they do this to you, the first biggie is that the recruiter has breached your privacy – huge no no. depending on the legislation where you live this could also be a breach of a Government Act as well. As recruiters we need to keep your information to ourselves until it comes time to pass this onto a prospective employer, I repeat when the time comes, not at the start of the process.

The recruiter also has no idea of who may be reviewing your resume and also who may talk to your current employer (this really happens and more often than you realise) and advise them that you may be looking, yes they mean well however this can jeopardise your current employment very quickly.

You can guarantee that if they have not told you about the role, then they wouldn’t have told the potential employer about you either, what you do and what you are looking for. These are two very important aspects of you and what makes you stand out from the crowd.

One other danger is that you may not actually be looking for work at this current stage of your career, imagine that, the recruiter has “found” your resume in their database and because your skills may match they quickly attach it to an email and BOOM out you go!

I have even heard of one case where a recruiter sent a resume to the company that they were currently working for – imagine how that candidate felt when they turned up for work!

From an employer’s perspective what happens when another recruiter locates an amazing candidate, screens them and goes through the process the correct way, then submits this candidate to you after the unethical recruiter has just “flicked’ over the resume, perhaps not even met with the candidate at all?

Do you really think that the unethical recruiter deserves a fee for their service? The second recruiter will most likely have asked the candidate if they had had applied to anyone when they first screened them. If you tell the second recruiter, who is doing all the right things that you already have the resume…what do you think is going through their mind? I can bet they will be thinking “Hang on. Is the candidate telling me lies or is it my client?”

So why do recruiters do this?

There may be many reasons why recruiters behave this way, one could be that hey are just lazy or under trained or that they actually don’t care as most recruiters are paid on getting a result/placement. So the thought pattern may be that if I send out heaps of resumes then I will get paid or a bonus perhaps.

Last week it happened to me, twice.

I had an excellent candidate that we had been working with in assisting them obtain a new role. We had been through our process and I was talking to a potential employer for them and mentioned the candidate’s name and where they were currently working. The client said “hold on, I already have that resume from another recruiter”. When I asked the candidate she was surprised and annoyed as she had no contact from the recruitment agency for over 3 weeks and knew nothing about the role at all.

So the next day I am talking to a different client in a similar location and thought, yes that candidate would be a good fit for his team. Once again I mention her name and he said “XYZ company emailed me her resume this morning, sorry”, once again I talked to the candidate and the same story as above, no contact at all and no idea that her resume had been put forward.

Two different companies, well known and stooping to this too common practice that we hear about.

Can we change this practice?

Yes – over time we may be able to. If you are looking for work clearly tell the recruiter that you don’t want to have your resume “sent” out to everyone and that you want a phone call from them to explain who they are talking to about you, remember you may not want to work for the company that they are talking too.

Make sure that they understand your position on this so that there is no confusion in the marketplace about you and the roles you are looking for.

If you are using a recruiter to search for you, has met the candidate and that they have gone through their process as well, done reference checks etc. as well. Ask them about their process and what they will do for you. Also ask if they are sending resumes of the same people to multiple clients, yes this happens too!

At the end of the day you could complain to the RCSA in your respective State or Country – they may take action and should do with companies that are doing what has been described above.

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