Who's using your CV?
Mark Allen has been working in the recruitment sector with PMR for seven years and provides a valuable insight for candidates and employers regarding recruitment agencies and candidate personal details and the importance of obtaining permission from candidates to use their CVs.
We work in a very niche sector in which there are only a handful of agencies where firms are able to recruit from. One issue that can crop up from time to time is candidate ‘ownership’.
When seeking a new job candidates sign up to various companies to give themselves the greatest potential opportunity to find the best position and I would be the same. The problem arises when the candidates’ details/CV is forwarded to a client by more than one agency and the argument of who is entitled to the fee and who sent details first becomes an issue.
Sometimes this can just be a misunderstanding between the candidate and the agency, due to insufficient information being provided from the beginning of the process or a lack of communication. However, much more frequently we have found that the issue is that personal details and CVs are being forwarded onto a client without prior consent from the candidate and this as you can imagine can cause a number of issues.
Whilst we do understand that candidates can apply for mass jobs and therefore show an initial interest, however without recruitment agencies making initial contact directly with candidates and clarifying if the applicant actually wants to apply for a specific position/job role then this could not only be a waste of time for potential employers but also pose issues for the candidates.
There are many reasons why this is wrong:
- The candidate may not want to work for that company
- The candidate may not want that company to know they are on the market
- The candidate may have already interviewed with them through another source
- You are possibly stopping reputable recruiters from earning a fee
- but the main one …. IT IS ILLEGAL!
It is in contravention of the Data Protection Act AND The Conduct of Employment Agencies AND Employment Businesses Regulations.
On the other hand, and looking at this from a client point of view, this can leave them in a very awkward situation and it can cause an unneeded inconvenience and drawn out recruitment process. The agency/recruiter who has carried out the process correctly and legally should be entitled to the introduction. But why should the client have to explain this to another agency who has cut corners? It is very difficult to prove and would probably not be the easiest conversation to have.
It is therefore important that the candidate should be represented by the agency who has spoken to them and provided the CV on the candidate’s behalf.
I am sure everyone would agree the candidate should have the choice of who represents them as an agency, and would much rather have a company that has taken their time to get to know them rather than an agency who has just obtained their CV from a job board and then sent these details without the candidate’s knowledge.
There is a current high demand for staff across our sector especially for senior staff such as block and estate managers. But this is no excuse for agencies to be searching job boards and just sending out CVs to all their clients.
I would encourage clients to speak with candidates at interview to find out when they were initially contacted about the position to make sure that the recruiters you are using are not being negligent towards their candidates or yourselves.
Ensure that your recruitment company has a policy to meet all candidates before they are put forward for any specific roles within your organisation. This will ensure a better understanding of who the candidates are, what exactly they want and their skill set to ensure that your requirements are met.
Long term you retain this relationship which is all down to taking a little care from the beginning.