Agency Wanted to Know
We are running a series of advice articles for British based contractors. Contractors ask our advice about contracting matters and we respond.
In this one a contractor wonders why an agency wanted to know which companies he had sent his CV to.
Recently an agency called me up and said that they were going to start looking for a job for me. They asked me to tell them which companies my CV had been sent to. They said that if my CV turned up more than once it could cost me the job.
Although there seemed to be some sense in this, I must confess that I am a suspicious person by nature and this definitely raised my antenna.
I’m sure that they are up to something but I just can’t work out what.
Incidentally, they haven’t as much as found me an interview yet never mind a job.
As you have been around the block a few times Dr. McLaughlin, I thought I’d write to you to see if you had any take on it.
Dr. McLaughlin’s Contractor Surgery Reply
You are right to be suspicious Joe.
You’ll be even madder when you know why they are doing this.
They are doing this so that they can find out who is looking for contractors SO THAT THEY CAN PUT UP A CANDIDATE AGAINST YOU.
What do you think of that Joe?
What type of human beings would do that?
It seems a very sneaky and underhand thing to do and yet it is fairly common practice. Many contractors will have encountered it.
It’s quite possible that the reason that you don’t get interviewed or don’t get the contract at interviews is because someone this agency put up got the interview instead of you with information that you provided.
There’s worse to come!
Some devious aqencies might even put a bad word about you so that their candidate will get the contract.
They could do this in a number of ways. They could send out your CV along with those of their other candidates.
Before the company has time to tell them that they have your CV already, they could well contact the company to say that they are withdrawing your CV because they have had a bad reference about you.
Or, they could simply say tell the client that they have put your CV up with their other candidate, but yours is really a substitute as the other candidate is far superior.
Yes, you were right to be suspicious Joe. I was always suspcious when an agency wanted to know where I’d sent my CV.
Never, never, fall for this one again!