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ASK THE CAPITALIST: Do I Have a Legal Case Against This Recruiter That Sold Me Out?

Oh boy - here we go.  Fasten your seat-belts for a slimy recruiter story kids...


KD - 

OK...here's an interesting dilemma for you. The doctor is in

I recently contacted a recruiting company. I've been at my current job for 3 years, and thought I'd check out the market.

Then, less than a week later, my boss calls me into his office. He asked me, "So who have you been talking to at [recruiting company]?"

It turns out that my contact at this recruiting company CALLED MY BOSS to tell him I was looking. He also contacted the HR team at my current employer to let them know I was looking, too.

When I first contacted this recruiter via email, I had explicitly asked for confidentiality. 

So...do I have a legal case against this recruiter? Should I go to his boss with this information? 

Kind of lost in this mess right now.



Hey Jen - welcome to the wonderful world of scummy recruiters, of which there are many varieties (full disclosure, I'm a recruiter too).  In this case, I'd say you're dealing with the "dual desk" species of recruiter, where the recruiter gets paid to sell searches to companies like yours as well to fill those searches (which is why that recruiter fielded your call).

There are a bunch of great recruiters out there - dual desk included.  Just like any profession, there are some real jerks and shortsighted folks as well.  Any recruiter worth their salt would not have done what this recruiter did, even if they were currently working with the company when you called.  Instead, they would have told you about the conflict, promised confidentiality and then delivered just that.

A good recruiter takes your call, tells you why they can't help and their conflict, then releases you back into the wild.  They then track you to congratulate you for where you land and use the fact they did you a "solid" to potentially ask for business referrals into your company.

Unfortunately, this recruiter was a troll. You really don't have any legal grounds to pursue.

You could always be like a professional or college coach and have a third party present you in the future - at least by doing that you have plausible deniability.  

Stay strong - KD


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