I get many emails from candidates along the lines of the following – “Hi Melanie, I just applied for a Media Director position at Ralph Lauren that I am really interested in. Are you working on the role? If so, do you mind sending my resume and putting in a good word for me?”.
Ok. Here is how the recruiting process works. When a company briefs a search firm to find them talent, they are paying us a fee, and obviously, they are not going to pay a fee for a candidate who has already sent their resume to them directly. So with the situation above, lets say I was working on the Media Director role at Ralph Lauren. I would not be able to present that candidate for the role, as the company already has their resume. Why would they pay a fee for a resume they already have. Make sense? The better way to have approached this would have been for the candidate to ask me <strong>before</strong> they apply and see if I have an existing relationship with the firm and if I am able to represent them. I am always honest, and if I am not working on the role but know the hiring manager, I am always happy to put in a good word for the candidate if I think they would be a good fit.
In recruitment terms, this is called “candidate representation” and companies are very strict about this. It gets complicated for them if they are getting the same resume from different sources and this will usually work to the disadvantage of the candidate. Also, if a friend of yours who works at Ralph Lauren tells you they will forward your resume internally for the Media Director role, find out exactly who they are sending it to, and make sure that the person is a relevant, decision maker. Because if I call you up about the Media Director role there, it needs to be very clear as to whether they already have your resume or not.