All in the line of work?
November 8, 2012 5:24 AM   Subscribe

My recruiter placed the person who got the job offer instead of me!

I’m lucky enough to have a career where recruiters will sift through job postings for you and use their connections to score you interviews. To that end, I know a recruiters job is self-serving and they worry about getting paid themselves. So when a position is available, they might offer up many candidates for the role, in the hopes of having a better shot at the commission. However, I was just recently turned down for a job and I found out that the candidate who got the job has less experience than me AND was placed OUR recruiter. The selection process was so close that the company has brought me on as a contractor, to work until another position (same role) opens in a couple weeks (maybe).

I guess my question is whether I have a right to be distrustful of my recruiter. I know the decision for employment does not rest with him, but if he was pushing for this other girl, how could he have been pushing for me? I might still have to look for work… is it wrong to leave a recruiter over this?
posted by CPAGirl to Work & Money (17 answers total)
I wouldn't wish the job of recruiter on my worst enemy but I can't see what s/he has done wrong here - they put forward 2 candidates for a job, the other was offered that job... where do you see wrongdoing?
posted by humph at 5:26 AM on November 8, 2012 [15 favorites]

Your recruiter didn't have any weight in the final decision the company made. The recruiter handed them a few resumes and the company went through their decsion process.

It's possible that the person who was selected was less expensive than you would have been, or had a skill you didn't have, or was thought to be a better fit culturally in the department or company. You really don't know.

You have NO reason to be distrustful of your recruiter.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 5:34 AM on November 8, 2012 [8 favorites]

A recruiter is like a car salesmen. He typically does not know exactly what a company might find attractive in a candidate, so he'll present a number of choices, hoping that one will be a match, just as a car salesmen will present a number of cars to a potential buyer. I don't think you have anything to be upset about.
posted by HuronBob at 5:35 AM on November 8, 2012

The recruiter didn't do the hiring. They're also more or less like a matchmaker. They set up the company with several possible dates and the company chose to marry who they married for whatever reason. Experience isn't everything. That's why you have interviews.

I think it's fine. I'd stay with this recruiter who you know has a track record of successful placement with the company.
posted by inturnaround at 5:41 AM on November 8, 2012 [2 favorites]

Good recruiters don't "push" a candidate. They screen and find good ones, send the info, sometimes assist with logistics, and that's all. As an employer, I would be extremely turned off if a recruiter was pushing anyone.
posted by snickerdoodle at 5:42 AM on November 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

There are lots of reasons beyond years of experience that a person might be a better fit for a job. Maybe the other candidate has a background more relevant to the industry or was a better personality fit for the company.
posted by deathpanels at 5:53 AM on November 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

The recruiter sells you to the employer, but you need to seal the deal. I can almost guarantee they sold you just as hard as they sold the person who got the job - and to be honest, if you're on a contract until they can open up a billet, you both got the job. They may have hired the other candidate first for any number of minor reasons, up to and including a coin-toss.
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:21 AM on November 8, 2012 [2 favorites]

Did you think the recruiter would only have you as a client and nobody else?
posted by BlahLaLa at 6:31 AM on November 8, 2012 [2 favorites]

Recruiters give not a single shit about you, or the employer. You should be distrustful of any recruiter until they prove otherwise. You, in turn, shouldn't be working with just one recruiter unless they are somehow magical and know about every job ever. I don't know about "leave" - take their call if they have something for you, but don't mistake a recruiter for someone who's trying to get YOU a job.
posted by Lyn Never at 7:04 AM on November 8, 2012

A recruiter is not your agent. He is a broker, introducing people who want jobs to people who want to fill them. He is paid by the latter. It's really hard to see how he did anything wrong here.
posted by ubiquity at 7:08 AM on November 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

Recruiter did nothing wrong at all. I work in an industry where recruiters bring us TEN people for each job posting we have, sometimes even more. And we work with the SAME recruiter, and have done so for a decade now. We hired solely based on personality, so that is why we get those ten people at once, instead of the 100+ who applied and the recruiter had to sort through before bringing them to us.
posted by TinWhistle at 7:24 AM on November 8, 2012

I had to read your question several times because I thought I was missing something.

The recruiter is a sales person
You are the product
The company is the consumer

They bought that other person. The car dealer doesn't care which car is sold. Just that the consumer buys a car.

Sounds like it still worked out for you. The recruiter got you an interview which is 100% of their job. And That interview lead to you coming on as a contractor. Sounds like a good recruiter.
posted by French Fry at 7:49 AM on November 8, 2012

I agree with everyone else's take here that the recruiter just did his job, but thought I'd come in to at least say that I've been in your position and felt the same sort of cognitive dissonance that you are feeling. I was recruited for a job and made it down to the last two and got passed over. The person that was picked was someone that I myself had steered to the recruiter for a different position. But the recruiter thought he might fit the job I was going for and put him up for that too. He beat me out.

I was really pissed at first and thought that the recruiter should have somehow held my friend back in favor of me. But the recruiter explained to me - and fairly so - that her mission was to allow the employer to find the best match for them and not to find me a job. She told me that she was working with me because she had faith that I would be someone's best match, and that her credibility in the field came from having a stable of good resumes. That made sense and though she was doing some light ego stroking it worked and made me feel better.

And she put me in a great job 2 weeks later.
posted by AgentRocket at 7:59 AM on November 8, 2012 [2 favorites]

Thanks, everyone. I just needed some other people to tell me that I was acting a little foolishly (all of my accounting friends shared my thought process). I think the feelings just come from drinking the recruiter's kool-aid. Time to calm down has been helpful. Thanks again!
posted by CPAGirl at 9:04 AM on November 8, 2012

You could always ask the recruiter if there was a differentiating factor they knew of that you should consider when going for another position of that type.
posted by batmonkey at 10:43 AM on November 8, 2012

Always remember: Recruiters work for the employer, not the candidate. He served his client well by filling their job opening. It's very possible that he is the only recruiter they are working with and 100% of the candidates came through him. His job is not to champion you, his job is to champion the empty job position.
posted by Kololo at 11:36 AM on November 8, 2012

I can totally understand how you'd be dejected/disappointed, but it's important to separate that from concerns about the recruiter. Yes, the situation sucks, but the recruiter was just doing their job.
posted by radioamy at 12:22 PM on November 8, 2012

« Older Winter sun for a single lady   |   Martyr? I hardly even know yr! Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.