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to want to bypass the agency?

(20 Posts)
thatsnotmynamereally Thu 18-Jun-15 10:47:53

I had the ultimate vanity phone call from a recruitment agency on Friday. Background: I uploaded my CV to a industry-specific site, I don't think all and sundry can see it but it must be available for view and that must have been how she got my contact details. She talked over my CV and noted that I've worked for some great firms in the past and asked why on earth was I working where I am now (as it's a real downgrade on my previous roles but it's been a convenient and flexible job while I've been dealing with problems in my marriage). So she reeled off a list of firms that she's potentially recruiting for and asked if I was interested...I said that I might be, then she asked if I could send some work samples, then perhaps I could come in for a meeting with her ostensibly I imagine to 'vet' my work, portfolio etc. She emailed me last Friday and I haven't responded as yet. she hasn't contacted me again or chased anything up, I had a long conversation with her about needing to keep my personal circumstances flexible so I might have put her off. of the firms she mentioned got me thinking, and when I looked on their website they are recruiting, via their own website. I normally would think to go through the agency BUT I cannot stand the idea of being vetted now when I have a better hand on the industry standards than the recruiter does (software, work stages, etc) plus all the hassle of sending work samples, etc, and a new layer of hoops to jump through. Or am I kidding myself and she's a better judge than I am as to whether I'd suit the work?

I'm thinking that I could tailor a covering letter to the firm and do at least as good a job at presenting myself as the agency could do! Then, the firm could contact me for an interview or alternatively tell me to get lost. Would I have burned any bridges if I do that? Do firms actually prefer to pay the premium (30% or so) that comes with hiring people from agencies??

AIBU to think that I don't actually owe the agency anything... even if I do step up my job-hunting efforts I might go to a different agency anyway! It was her choice to reel off a list of firms to tempt me.

hiddenhome Thu 18-Jun-15 10:52:24

If the agency finds out, they'll be able to sue the company for taking you on I think. They'll know that this goes on and have various ways of detecting it. They may be able to penalise you as well. Not worth the risk.

You should just go through the agency.

thatsnotmynamereally Thu 18-Jun-15 11:02:34

Sigh... thanks hidden I think that's what I would expect! And to be fair, if I go to that agency it might be better in that she could widen the job search. And she was nice on the phone smile I am just hesitating because I thought perhaps if they're recruiting off their website they might prefer people who come via that area but to be perfectly honest I wouldn't have even thought of this firm if she hadn't mentioned it. <feeling guilty> So I guess that justifies her involvement. OK off I go to prepare for the next step!

Heels99 Thu 18-Jun-15 11:06:11


romeomorningwhisky Thu 18-Jun-15 11:07:19

If the agency haven't actually put you forward & the company are advertising there is nothing stopping you going direct, even if you just sent a speculative letter & CV saying you're looking for employment & would be grateful if they considered you for any vacancies that may arise.

Heels99 Thu 18-Jun-15 11:09:39

It is fine to apply direct as long as you haven't already agreed for the agency to represent you. Firms do prefer direct applicants as it avoids agency fees.

Hoppinggreen Thu 18-Jun-15 11:10:01

Have you actually sent anything directly to the agency?
From your OP they lifted your details from a general site and then contacted you.
If the only contact has been from them and you haven't asked them to put you forward for anything then I don't see why you couldn't approach the company directly.

Hoppinggreen Thu 18-Jun-15 11:11:37

Also, she may not be working for this company, she may have mentioned them to you but it's common policy to approach a company off spec and say that they have a good candidate they would like to present to them.

thatsnotmynamereally Thu 18-Jun-15 11:25:30

Hmmm romeo yes, I am sure that they haven't put me forward and looking back I did think that it would be a bit unfair if they can cold-call me, reel off a list of names, then effectively prevent me approaching those firms. I am in no contractual relationship with the agency at all.

I think what's putting me off is that I had dealings with a (totally different) agency a few months ago who called me in for a 'vetting' meeting and I hated it. I arrived on time (5 mins early) nicely dressed with portfolio etc all in hand, they sat me down in a room with a big meeting table where some totally unrelated people were having a work meeting at the other end. Left me sitting there for 20 mins during which time my confidence plummeted, then when the recuiter turned up I felt nervous trying to present a broad picture of what I'd done, etc. Now I know myself, I generally do OK in REAL job interviews! Because I know what I'm up against, so to speak, and I know that when there's a real job at stake I can focus on that and discuss technical stuff, etc. But I'm not great at networking, linkdin, etc... and while I know I need to get that side of myself sorted out, I really enjoy what I do (technical aspects) and like to talk about the work itself. So what I'm saying is I do better talking to the firm than to the recruiter. But the recruiter is given this role of, for want of a better term, deciding if I'm 'cool' enough for the job, ie the right look and fit. I'm 50, sort of returning to the workplace, kids sorted and doing great, but there is a 'gap' on my CV that I feel is perhaps better explained in a cover letter than via a recruiter.

Apologies for the essay but I'm now seeing the situation more clearly smile it's always helpful to get these thoughts out into the harsh light of day!

thatsnotmynamereally Thu 18-Jun-15 11:30:29

Thanks all for your input flowers I've been sitting here (skiving really blush) thinking it through, as it has got me chomping at the bit to change jobs, I'm going to get together a good selection of work, then decide whether to send it straight to the firm I'm interested or more generally to the agency.

I think that it was a totally spec call... I thought that some firms had relationships with agencies in which they specified that they would ONLY use that agency, and then the agency was allowed to say 'we recruit for company x', and they had some sorof of exclusivity. When I've come across that before, they send you to the agency site to apply for jobs but with the name of the firm upfront.

Spydra Thu 18-Jun-15 11:34:38

You didn't approach the agency and you haven't engaged them. So you wouldn't be breaking any rules.

Who is to say it's not a coincidence you happened to visit that companies site?

syne Thu 18-Jun-15 12:34:34

"If the agency finds out, they'll be able to sue the company for taking you on I think. They'll know that this goes on and have various ways of detecting it. They may be able to penalise you as well. Not worth the risk."

Pure bollocks. (unless the agency has sole recruitment responsibility for those companies, which is unlikely and a which a simple phone call to the company hr dept could clarify in seconds)

Go for it, either direct or via the agency. Each way has particular merits.

SirSpamalot Thu 18-Jun-15 12:42:58

It is fine to apply direct as long as you haven't already agreed for the agency to represent you. Firms do sometimes prefer direct applicants as it avoids agency fees.

This (my italics)

From an ex recruitment consultant.

thatsnotmynamereally Thu 18-Jun-15 13:04:23

Thank you Spyda syne and (especially as it's great to hear it from an industry person) Sir ! I think I'm overly sensitive about feeling I'm being pre-judged by the agency, from my previous experience. I'd gladly put myself in the hands of a recruiter who was going to help me develop my CV or manage the process for me, but I'm not convinced that this one is doing anything more than passing CVs on.

In the meantime I've decided that I need to get to grips with LinkdIn, etc. I wish I could pay someone to do it for me blush. I have a tendency to be introverted and I'm trying hard to get myself out there, so to speak.

GemmeFatale Thu 18-Jun-15 13:38:47

What do you need help with on LinkedIn?

thatsnotmynamereally Thu 18-Jun-15 14:18:45

I have no friends <shame> and I'm sort of embarrassed to go back to old firms, etc. at this point! Is it OK to make it just a sort of online resume? and block out the fact that you have no connections, no recommendations etc? Or will I look like a billy-no-mates! Don't get me wrong, I think that I have enough contact with the real world (and I've just joined a few organisations so I'm sure they will come in time!). But it's the urgency applying for this particular job.

I think I'll put a nice picture of myself up as well <preen> just as a confidence boost. I started looking at some other people's accounts (people I know) but stopped when I realised that it may have been leaving my name so they'd realise I was snooping, yikes! I'm a teeny bit too proud to admit I'm clueless.

Re: the agency, I'm now thinking about applying direct so I won't spend the next week worrying about the agency, which agency, etc. So, if the firm googles me (it's the first thing I would do if I were in their position!) I want a passable online presence. This particular job isn't the only thing I can apply for but I'm keen to do it, if nothing comes of it at least it's a good test run!

Hoppinggreen Thu 18-Jun-15 14:44:11

PM me if you want to linkin with me thats, it will be a start!!!

thatsnotmynamereally Thu 18-Jun-15 16:15:47

Hopping thank you so much! so kind of you to offer. I'll see if I can make any sense of it and PM you later!

GemmeFatale Thu 18-Jun-15 17:39:49

Make it an online CV to start with and add those people you've already checked out. No one will think it's odd - promise.

TwoOddSocks Thu 18-Jun-15 19:35:10

My husband's going through recruiters now, to find a job in a particular field which is new to him but for which he is qualified. For him it's an advantage because he's new to the field and the recruiters can offer advice about how to prepare and show CVs of people who have previously been accepted, they also do the leg work of setting up interviews etc. I don't think most of that would apply to you since you have a lot of experience.

They can't penalise you for applying directly to the company since you haven't agreed to be put forward by that recruiter or received any coaching from her as of yet. I think you can also over estimate how much recruiters know. At least in my experience it's mainly superficial knowledge (or they;d be doing the job themselves) and once they realise you're a good candidate they try to push you for any role they think you have a chance in whether or not it would suit you.

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