14 May Finding a Job Through a Recruiter – One Candidate’s Mistake
In this day as it has been in previous years, recruiters are valuable contacts to have when trying to find a new job. This is a letter I received from a job candidate working with a recruiter and the dilemma he faced because he was never told the rules of working with a recruiter.
Dear Ms. Lett,
I’m in the midst of a job search and have a question regarding
correspondence. After responding to a classified ad in a trade
publication, an executive recruiter contacted me to discuss my
qualifications for a position.
That first conversation lead to an informal interview with his associate
and several weeks later a series of tests. After several weeks more, I
received a call telling me that the recruiter’s client wanted to see me
ASAP. The recruiter instructed me to make my own travel arrangements and
that I would be reimbursed for those expenses. I checked both parties out
as best as I could to make sure they were legitimate then made my travel
The trip ended up costing about $1000. About two weeks after that
meeting, the employer made me a written offer. Being that the recruiter’s
client, the employer, was the addressor ofthat correspondence, and I had
personally met with him for several hours two weeks earlier and spoke with
him on the phone earlier that day, I submitted my counter offer directly
to him with a copy to the recruiter. Now the recruiter tells me that I
committed a BIG error that cost him his relationship with his client.
Evidently these guys went to school on a different planet than I and claim
I should have submitted the counter offer response to the recruiter not
the employer. Because ofthis they won’t reimburse my travel expense.
Where I went to school, we learned that a written response to a letter
must always be addressed to the addressor of the original correspondence
and never to a third party. What are your thoughts?
Dear Mr. G:
In general business-proper circumstances what you learned is true.
However, the thing about business etiquette is understanding the nature of
the business you are involved with. Your recruiter is correct because the
way he gets paid by the client is by delivering you as an employee at an
agreeable cost. He is your agent and as such he is right to expect all
monetary arrangements would go through him. When you went “over his head”
by “dealing” with the employer, you in actuality caused him to loose
“face” with his client. He should have explained the proper procedures to
you so you didn’t have to guess at what was the right thing to do when the
situation arose. I would blame him for that but learn from the mistake.
Don’t make it personal. This is business. I am sorry that it turned out to be an expensive one for you.