Use headhunter as well as the boss-approved method to get an interview?
September 18, 2013 7:24 PM   Subscribe

I was contacted about a job with a company by a HR recruiter (not from that company) on LinkedIn. I was aware of this job from the company’s website and also I have a friend who is working at that company in a peer position. That friend said he spoke to his boss, and his boss said I should apply for the job via the company's website, so I did. Would there be any benefit following up with the HR recruiter from LinkedIn anyway?

I received a LinkedIn email from a recruiter asking me if I was or knew of anybody who was interested in a certain position at a company. I did not respond to that recruiter because I was aware of the job because I had seen it on their website and also because my friend works in the same position.

I called my friend and asked him if he knew anything about the job. He said he thought it was filled, but that he would ask his boss, the manager of the position in question. He spoke to his boss and his boss said they were still looking and that I should submit a resume via the company’s website.

I submitted my application a week ago, and I can tell from the company’s website that it has not been reviewed yet. Now I’m thinking that maybe I should call the HR recruiter so that I have two lines into this job. Would that be a good move or bad move? I have not followed up with my friend yet because I don’t want to be a PITA, but maybe that would be a better next move.

What do you think my next step should be in this case?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (7 answers total)
If the recruiter does not work for the company, they are going to make the company pay them for bringing you to them if you get hired. That means you will get paid less. Third-party recruiters who have not been specifically retained are almost universally loathed by employers.

Do not respond to the recruiter, or decline if you feel like you have to respond. They will sometimes threaten to sue the employer for "sniping" their candidates, so do not discuss anything you know with the recruiter. They're literally inserting themselves as a third party by reading the job ads and signing up to search resumes. No. Bad.
posted by Lyn Never at 7:29 PM on September 18, 2013 [13 favorites]

Ask your friend if he can put your boss in touch with them, or at least make sure he knows your name and that you're actively looking for positions.
posted by rhizome at 7:37 PM on September 18, 2013

Do not engage with the third party recruiter if you already have an in with the company. All it can do is muddy the waters.
posted by fingersandtoes at 7:56 PM on September 18, 2013 [3 favorites]

From what you said it sounds like the recruiter is not an employee of the company you're interested in. If that's the case then definitely skip them -- it might not hurt you but it definitely won't help you.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 8:39 PM on September 18, 2013

It will definitely hurt you to introduce a third party recruiter.

Supposing they did something to get you hired (they won't), the special benefit from that would be that the company would have to pay an absolutely enormous fee - equivalent possibly to 100% of your annual salary - to the recruiter.

This is bad for the company because they have to pay twice as much or more to get the same candidate. It is bad for you because you are twice as expensive, or more, as other equally desirable candidates. It is great for the recruiter, though, because they get paid a large percentage, perhaps 100%, of your annual salary and they only have to place a few candidates per year in order to have money coming out of every orifice.

There are rules that, if a third party recruiter introduces you to a company in any way, and then that company hires you subsequently in an unrelated transaction, the company HAS to pay that fee to the recruiter because the recruiter got there first. I have had this happen where a recruiter submitted a resume to a company without telling me which company, and I subsequently was personally recommended to that company by someone who worked there, and without knowing that I'd had my CV sent to them before I went through a rigorous interviewing process. Then the company discovered in their records that the recruiter had already pitched me to them and explained they were now obligated to do everything through her. Well, needless to say I never heard from them again. Number one, of course they're going to refuse to hire someone who costs twice as much as everyone else for no reason; and number two, recruiters usually don't bother passing on rejection messages to candidates who have been rejected, because rejected candidates are of no interest to recruiters who will only lift a finger if it pays them to do so.

Applying, and then trying to use a third party recruiter to hassle the company to hire you AFTER you've already applied, is a great way to destroy all your credibility and guarantee rejection now and into the future.

Don't reply to the recruiter at all, and don't let them know in any way that you've applied to this company. Unethical recruiters dig around to try to find out where you've applied and then try to insert themselves into the hiring process after the fact, even though it is extremely bad practice and possibly illegal for them to do so. Recruiters who are unethical enough to do this, are also often unethical enough to hassle the company with hard sell. Not saying that this recruiter is one of the unethical ones, but there is still nothing to gain and everything to lose by responding to them.
posted by tel3path at 4:03 AM on September 19, 2013 [3 favorites]

Ignore the recruiter.

If you already have an in with the company, then work those ties.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 5:22 AM on September 19, 2013

tel3path has it. If you already have an in, communicating with the recruiter can actually hurt your chances of getting the job.

There are good recruiters who are either employees or who have been hired by the company. Then there are bad recruiters. :( I've lucked out and been able to connect to jobs in the past via legit recruiters. I tend to avoid the jobs posted that don't give *any* details. If you have a skill that can be applied in multiple contexts (common for IT folks for example). You can see how well the job description fits your experience and you can tailor your resume accordingly. I get annoyed with employers who do not advertise with their name. However, I was told that this is done when they have hired a 3rd person recruiter to screen applicants. The employers who have outsourced part of this HR function do not want applicants contacting them.

This does not look to be your situation. The company has their own job listings on their website.
posted by Librarygeek at 5:55 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

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