Recruiter ethics/etiquette question

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Recruiter ethics/etiquette question

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 14, 2017 12:11 am

I recently started the process of trying to lateral to a different (smaller) market and am working with a recruiter. The recruiter called/emailed contacts at a number of firms that I wanted to target but that aren't actively recruiting and gave them a generic description of my qualifications (i.e., without identifying information) to see if they were interested in considering me anyway. All of those firms said they weren't hiring at my level and in my practice area right now, period.

Since my current situation is tolerable and I think I'm qualified enough for the firms I'm targeting to have a reasonable chance of landing something if the timing works out, I'm game to hold out for a few more months or a year to see if something at one of my target firms opens up. It seems to me like the optimal strategy would be to submit my full materials to these firms and ask them to keep me in mind if something becomes available and check in periodically over the next year, rather than hoping they remember that a recruiter once told them about a nameless, faceless candidate with XYZ qualifications.

The recruiter I've been working with has been very helpful. I do not have an exclusive arrangement with her, but I don't want to do anything inappropriate or unethical (nor do I want to look like an asshat to the internal recruiters at the firms I'm applying to, who would connect my resume to the generic description the recruiter provided if I were to send it tomorrow).

What is the appropriate cooling off period here? At what point is it okay to take the approach I proposed above? Or is that approach dumb, period?

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Re: Recruiter ethics/etiquette question

Postby Mickfromgm » Thu Jun 15, 2017 9:54 am

Well, the problem is that there are no universal ethics or etiquette guidelines on something like this AFAIK, in that if you asked 10 recruiters, they'd likely give you 10 different answers (or 4 or 5 at least). Moreover, the attorneys are never informed of any such thing, so it's make believe anyway.

Since there isn't anything legally binding, and all the recruiter seems to have done is emailed the firms (that s/he wasn't specifically and exclusively engaged by to find associates), I wouldn't feel bad about doing things on my own. In another words, s/he hasn't invested time or effort in pretty much anything yet. S/he hasn't submitted your resume to those firms (make sure s/he does not - no firm would hire you if there is a chance that they'd be sued for a placement fee, however meritless).

Finally, consider the fact that, generally speaking, firms would think twice to hire you if there are similar candidates as you and they don't cost the firm the same $30K-70K (or whatever) in placement fees because they mass mailed, or leveraged networking, on their own. Trust me, that's a big consideration, especially for a smaller and/or regional firm. FYI.

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