Don’t fully disclose what opportunities you’re pursuing? You put your reputation in jeopardy

October 30, 2012

Rosanna Palermo speaks on an important subject of full disclosure and improving your relatonships with Speciality Recruiters

These days, recruiting/talent acquisition has definitely become a business of highly trained specialists. Really good Third Party Recruiters who are very successful at what they do, work hard to train themselves to really understand the specific vertical in which they seek talent. Recruiters jobs might seem simple to the untrained eye – ‘chat up a few people here and there, do a bit of matching and all that jazz – but NO…it’s a grind. It’s really hard work. It’s in the trenches 7/24, digging for talent, asking who we know (often we know people in the thousands – can you imagine how much work that is?) for who they know and who they might know. Chasing those elusive gems of the very passive talent market. It’s complicated and tedious – its built on hours of intricate and detailed networking and relationship building. It’s where trust and confidences are forged with career seekers and organisations. And we do that day in and day out, day, evening and weekends.

I remember a Christmas Eve four or five years ago where I was knee deep in communications with a Director of Strategic Sourcing out of Montreal who we were endeavoring to situate in New York – that was the sum total of my young family’s holiday season. That’s what it takes to get the job done sometimes. Where we make our living and where we are most valuable, is in that THIN time, those rewarding moments when we can bring those special individuals together with organisations with very unique and specific needs in the Supply Chain Management field.

I wanted to explain how Recruiters work to help educate individual career seekers on the hard work that takes place behind the scenes to bring opportunities to market. Investigating new career opportunities with a Recruiter should base itself on complete trust and total confidence. It’s why selecting the right recruiter for you to work with (or two or even three recruiters) is such an important step in getting the right results. Open communication is probably the most important step you can take to get the most out of your relationships and get the most back in effort and planning. And, in so doing you can and will build a long term sustaining relationship which will last throughout your career.

But here’s a way to put that all in jeopardy. Frequently, individual job seekers don’t get the true meaning of FULL DISCLOSURE. In an effort to try to increase the odds of their chances to work at organisations with open positions, candidates (and this happens at all levels from executives to sole contributors) are not always as open and forthcoming as they could or should be about declaring where they have already sent out their resume. Want to make a recruiter crazy, this will do it. Taint your reputation with a well respected recruiter who has worked hard for you and you will find yourself losing face and their respect. And potentially the opportunity to work openly with them again in the future.

So here’s the deal, CAREFULLY CROSS CHECKING IS SO IMPORTANT. Set up a system to keep copious records of who, where and when you applied for what role so as not to appear to be misleading when you get asked the question about if you have already applied to the company in question. Always be open and honest about what dealings you have ever had with the company you are being considered for. Knowing in advance allows your recruiter to stick handle a potentially tricky situation upfront before it slaps everyone in the face. Having a very effective filter at your fingertips helps you and your recruiters manage any potential conflicts which might later cause embarrassments and potential exclusion from submission for open roles.

So just so there are absolutely NO misconceptions. Here’s the skinny on the INDUSTRY RULES pertaining to candidate representation – and its true across the industry so if anyone tells you different it isn’t true.

There is no difference between whether you have applied for one position and NOT another and there never will be. If you have sent your resume to a company, you are deemed to have been represented to them – whether this is on your own, through a website or through another recruiter or even as a referral through someone you know. It’s all the same thing. The Industry standard stands at six to twelve months – that means that your candidacy remains in that company’s database for that period from the time your resume reached them in the first place. No-one else can represent you for any other role. So for you to be anything less than forthcoming about what you have done in terms of an approach is going to hurt you.

Failure to declare anything and everything to your recruiter when approached about a potential representation to an organisation is just plain wrong. It sends REG FLAGS up everywhere – for the Recruiter, for the company (who now might be querying your honesty) and more than anything as an individual career seeker who is just trying to get in front of the right people, it HURTS you. Being blunt, it can and does tarnish reputations. And people have very long memories for this stuff. It can cause others in the know – connected to those you want to be connected to – to reTHINK about representing you in the future.

I am interested to hear how you have had to deal with this touchy issue yourself so write back and tell me your stories.

I am a specialist Recruiter in Strategic Sourcing & Supply Chain Management with an increasing focus on Contingent Workforce Soluitions – It’s a NEW Permanent Workforce. I welcome all enquiries to




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