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Does a Recruitment Agency have to tell a candidate where his / her CV is going?

When applying for a job through a recruitment agency, many candidates aren’t aware that they are entitled to know which company their CV is being sent to.  Not only are they entitled to know, they are unwise not to insist on knowing. 

 According to APSO (South Africa’s largest independent recruitment governing body), a member recruitment company may not submit a candidate’s CV or personal details to a company without first having obtained the Candidate's permission to release this information to that specific client company for that specific vacancy. 

The reason for this ruling is simple.  It is to protect all three parties.  Think about it.  It could be incredibly precarious for the candidate if his / her CV was submitted to a company that was in some way affiliated to his / her current employer.  Just imagine if the client company was owned by the candidate’s current employer’s spouse.

Beware however.  This does not mean that a candidate can insist on knowing the company name before they have applied and been interviewed by the agency.  The agency is only obliged to tell the candidate who the client company is IF the agency intends to put the candidate's CV forward to the client. 

Another truth that candidates often don’t realise is that it is not in their interest for their CV to arrive at the same client through more than one agency.  This doesn’t only make the candidate look disorganised but the client company will also often not wish to get involved in a dispute between two agencies and this could negatively influence the candidate’s application.  It is therefore in the interest of the Candidate to be well organised when applying for jobs and carefully record where, when and how their CV has been submitted to a company, and not give a second agency permission to submit their CV to the same company.

One last point that I feel I must raise.  Don't let a recruiter bully you into telling them where your CV has been sent by another agency - you don't have to tell them.  The last thing you want is to have more competition with them phoning these companies.  Most recruiters are ethical and will never jeopardise you chances of landing a job, but unfortunately there are a very few who may unfairly use this information.

Lloyd Dicks
Jobfishing Coach.

Lloyd Dicks

Founder of the JobFishing website.  After many years contracting in IT roles, in South Africa and abroad, Lloyd has spent the last 5 years in the recruitment and selection business.  He is currently Sales Director of Star Personnel Recruitment (Pty) Ltd.  While very much still  involved in the recruitment of top IT staff, Lloyd is also a Job Coach and Trainer.  

Ask Lloyd a question at the Career Coach section of this website.


Related links:
Dealing with recruiters (Part 1)
What employers want
Stolen Kisses
Fishing with dynamite

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